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President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for CIA Director Mike Pompeo concerns Rand Paul.

“I would say that with Pompeo, he’s going to have to also answer to my liking whether or not he’s still for torture, whether or not he’s for waterboarding,” the senator said on CBS’ Face the Nation Sunday.

“That’s important,” Paul added.

Related: Rand Paul will block Donald Trump’s appointees if he has to because of this “important historical lesson”

“We don’t torture,” President George W. Bush said in 2006. Unfortunately, the 2014 Senate Committee’s Report on the CIA’s Use of Torture showed otherwise.


That report revealed that the CIA had engaged in behavior that could be defined as torture, including waterboarding; a gruesome practice called “rectal feeding;” the detainment of a mentally-challenged man who was recorded crying which was played to his family; detainees were left to die from hypothermia; the report detailed broken limbs, sexual assaults, black sites and “Salt Pits;” we learned some of the torture techniques were so horrible that CIA agents broke down; and there was more.

At the time, Pompeo defended the agency, “Our men and women who were tasked to keep us safe in the aftermath of 9/11 — our military and our intelligence warriors — are heroes, not pawns in some liberal game being played by the ACLU and Senator Feinstein.”

“These men and women are not torturers, they are patriots,” Pompeo said. “The release of this report makes our nation less secure,” he added.

Sen. Paul also has concerns about Pompeo’s views on mass surveillance, and wants to know if there are secret programs that even Congress is unaware of.

“Many of the NSA powers were done, I think, in secret without the knowledge of most members of Congress,” Paul said.

Related: Rand Paul explains why Clinton was far more likely to start “World War 3” with Russia than Trump

“Even some members who are authors or co-authors of the Patriot Act said, ‘We never intended for them to collect all that data in Utah. And they didn’t tell us.’ “
He added, “And I think there still are programs ongoing that the bulk of Congress is not aware of.”
Pompeo, who supports robust mass surveillance, told McClatchy in January, “I believe that program has proven to be a very valuable asset for the intelligence community and for law enforcement.”

“We ought not to take that tool away from our intelligence community while the threats are as great as they are today,” Pompeo said.

Disclosure: I co-authored Senator Rand Paul’s 2011 book “The Tea Party Goes to Washington.”
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