web analytics

The CIA Director confirmation hearings

Written By: - Date published: 11:03 am, January 10th, 2017 - 17 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, Deep stuff, democracy under attack, International, us politics - Tags: ,

On January 11th Mr Michael Pompeo will have his confirmation hearing to be President Elect Donald Trump’s Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, the CIA. For some reason it reminds me of a diligent U.S. Senator called Frank Church.

In the summer of 1975, on NBC’s ‘Meet The Press’, Senator Church reported on completing a comprehensive investigation of the U.S. intelligence community.

He had come away stunned by what he had found at the National Security Agency (NSA), even in that digital stone age: “That capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left. There would be no place to hide … I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America.” The report is worth having a look at, even over 40 years old.

His report was like a textbook example straight out of Robert Higgs’ famous work Crisis and Leviathan, where the state never decreases and always accretes power and scale by calling upon the necessity of crisis again and again and again to gain further executive capacity.

In 2013, Edward Snowden echoed Frank Church. “A new leader will be elected, they’ll find the switch, say that ‘Because of the crisis, because of the dangers in the world, some new and unprecedented threat, we need more authority, we need more power'”, Snowden said in an interview with Glenn Greenwald. “And there will be nothing the people can do at that point to oppose it. And it will be turnkey tyranny.”

Trump is about to be handed those keys.

In a December 2015 radio interview Trump expressed support for the NSA collection of telephone metadata, which is now outlawed. “As far as I’m concerned, that would be fine. When you have the world looking at us and would like to destroy us as quickly as possible, I err on the side of security.” This interview was well before he was the Republican candidate for President. He is about to become the President. Trump’s view on Snowden was that in the past such spies had been executed.

Which brings me to Mr Pompeo. Mike Pompeo is Trump’s chosen head of the CIA. Mr Pompeo wrote in the Wall Street Journal in January 2016: “Congress should pass a law re-establishing collection of all metadata, and combining it with all publicly available financial and lifestyle information into a comprehensive, searchable database. Legal and bureaucratic impediments to surveillance should be removed.”  He has also called for Snowden to be executed.

This is different to the current President’s approach. The Snowden revelations of 2014 had an effect. President Obama’s Presidential Policy Directive 28 of 2014 states that surveillance can’t ever be used, for instance, to give U.S. companies a competitive edge, or to quell dissent abroad.

I hope to see Mike Pompeo questioned about this, and about how he will execute President Trump’s policy intent. Trump of course now has the pen to rescind such Presidential orders.

Sure, I worry about Trump’s access to the nuclear codes. What should concern us all more is his direction on domestic spying through all kinds of metadata and all kinds of financial and lifestyle information, on all kinds of people.

17 comments on “The CIA Director confirmation hearings ”

  1. tc 1

    Poacher and gamekeeper….what could possibly go wrong as they look after THEIR free world

  2. adam 2

    Some Muppet’s on this forum keeps banging on how trump will be the agent of change, except his cabinet choices are all 1%ers of the deranged persuasion.

    This guy is defiantly on the dangerously paranoid end of right wing politics. A believer – a true believer, one which that thinks just by me writing this, I hate him and america.

    You Ad, are right royally done.

    The state has effectively given up on all responsibility to the people, the US state is more and more just a tool with which to use it’s greatest monopoly – violence.

    I can’t see how this is going to change anytime soon.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    1) Your summary on the front page says Pompey

    2) If intrusive mass surveillance continues under the Trump era it will be because of Obama’s approval of those systems, and also Obama’s crushing of whistleblowers during the tenure of his Administration.

    3) Trump has filled up his Cabinet with strong men and alpha females. Good on him. Snowflakes won’t cut it.

    • Ad 3.1

      If President Trump chooses to override PPD 28 and enable really intrusive data collection of persons as well as metadata collection, it will be because President Trump has chosen to do so.

      It will also be the responsibility of the Head of the CIA, which is his appointment.

      President Trump has a chance to change the intelligence community. On the one hand he has shown a healthy skepticism of their capacity. On the other hand he would prefer to execute whistleblowers.

      President Trump will, together with the leadership he hires to execute his will, be solely responsible for the intelligence gathering policies of his new government.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        If President Trump chooses to override PPD 28 and enable really intrusive data collection of persons as well as metadata collection, it will be because President Trump has chosen to do so.

        The NSA didn’t build hundred thousand square feet data storage facilities for the sake of storing metadata.

        And I didn’t hear any news of any of these data storage facilities, eg in Utah, shutting down after PPD 28.

        President Trump has a chance to change the intelligence community…On the other hand he would prefer to execute whistleblowers.

        Let’s see what happens. I think Trump understands the importance of whistleblowers in a different way now.

        He’ll have to work very hard to persecute whistleblowers more than Barack Hussein Obama. Forcing down the official jet of a foreign leader etc because they thought Snowden was onboard etc.

        • Ad 3.1.1.1

          The President Elect has been inferring for a while that a comprehensive and structural review of all the intelligence agencies is on the cards. But I don’t see that turning into an actuality until the main overall head of intelligence is confirmed, and until Trump actually generates some solid structural policy about intelligence full stop.

          Hopefully the intelligence community gets a proper direction out of his first confirmation speech, if not the first State of the Union.

          My one piece of CIA wish list is that there be a single entity responsible for operating drone craft, rather than continuing to allow the CIA to run its own programme separate to the military. IMHO it should all be until one military command, and subject to the Joint Chief of Staff and the President as directly as possible. Needs more sunlight.

          • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1.1

            Also need to avoid situations where Pentagon supported Kurds end up fighting CIA supported “moderate” jihadists in Northern Syria.

  4. One Two 4

    Explaining the genesis of The CIA would provide the required context

    It’s nothing to do with the ‘colour’ of the POTUS. GHWB aside!

    • Ad 4.1

      Crikey. You have to go back to 1946 and President Truman.
      He established the National Intelligence Authority. This was the immediate predecessor to the Central Intelligence Agency.

      Lawrence Houston, head counsel of the SSU, CIG, and, later CIA, was principal draftsman of the National Security Act of 1947, which dissolved the NIA and the CIG, and established both the National Security Council and the Central Intelligence Agency. In 1949 Houston helped to draft the Central Intelligence Agency Act (Public law 81-110), which authorized the agency to use confidential fiscal and administrative procedures, and exempted it from most limitations on the use of Federal funds.

      You can have a trawl through Wikipedia if you like.

      But my personal fictional account of its operations is James Ellroy’s The Cold 6000.
      It’s huge fun with Hoover.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        Biggest mistake ever was allowing the CIA to have an ops function.

        • McFlock 4.1.1.1

          lol

          Yeah, all intelligence agencies should be restricted to open-source data like everyone else is.

          No need for any intelligence organisation to actually run an intelligence operation. /sarc

          • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1.1

            Sorry my bad for not being clear, I meant a paramilitary operations function, as opposed to legitimate intelligence gathering in the field.

            • McFlock 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Ok, so according to you they should be able to place spies, but not protect those spies?

              • Colonial Viper

                No, not what I mean. CIA clandestine services group are capable of black ops taking down small governments and waging wars against small armies. Their purpose goes far beyond the protection of agents or assets.

                • McFlock

                  Well, you’ve already okayed the deployment of undercover armed personnel into other nations in order to protect your spying activities on their soil. Why shouldn’t they overheat the odd pump-station or stab someone with an umbrella while they’re there, if it serves their own national interest? They’re already well into illegal activity in any nation.

  5. Nick 5

    Whatever Trump says about anything is subject to complete reversal or denial that he ever said it in the first place….much like other politicians sadly….I better add shonkeys favourites….I dont remember and I dont have the information.

    That mexican wall will not even be built…..

  6. Conal 6

    From the front page teaser: “Are we going to see the unprecedented destruction of rights of privacy?”

    Well, maybe, but not just yet. The situation has improved recently (because Snowden’s revelations of mass surveillance have led to courts actually enforcing the law, and because of the expiry of PATRIOT Act provisions), so things will have to worsen quite a bit before the loss of privacy rights become as bad as they were, or worse, “unprecedented”.

    It’s interesting to note how easily “intelligence” agencies (I prefer the term “secret police”) can flout government policy, or national or international law, and get away with it for years, and when caught, get let off with a stern warning. How many people went to jail because they illegally spied on hundreds of millions of people, or worse, because they “tortured some folks” (as Obama put it)? There were clear and serious breaches of the law, and yet Obama was inclined to let it slide because he wouldn’t, or couldn’t, take on the “intelligence community”. The US has this myth that it’s a “state of laws, not of men”, but it’s just that – a myth.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Face to face meeting delivers significant progress on NZ-UK FTA
    New Zealand and the UK have committed to accelerating their free trade agreement negotiations with the aim of reaching an agreement in principle this August, Trade Minister Damien O’Connor announced. “We’ve held constructive and productive discussions towards the conclusion of a high-quality and comprehensive FTA that will support sustainable and inclusive trade, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Government taking action to protect albatross
    New population figures for the critically endangered Antipodean albatross showing a 5 percent decline per year highlights the importance of reducing all threats to these very special birds, Acting Minister of Conservation Dr Ayesha Verrall says. The latest population modelling, carried out by Dragonfly Data Science, shows the Antipodean albatross ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Adoption laws under review
    New Zealand’s 66-year-old adoption laws are being reviewed, with public engagement beginning today.  Justice Minister Kris Faafoi said the Government is seeking views on options for change to our adoption laws and system. “The Adoption Act has remained largely the same since 1955. We need our adoption laws to reflect ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Wider roll-out of cameras on boats to support sustainability and protect marine life
    Up to 300 inshore commercial fishing vessels will be fitted with on-board cameras by 2024 as part of the Government’s commitment to protect the natural marine environment for future generations.  Minister for Oceans and Fisheries David Parker today announced the funding is now in place for the wider roll out ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Plan for vaccine rollout for general population announced
    New Zealanders over 60 will be offered a vaccination from July 28 and those over 55 from August 11, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. The rollout of the vaccine to the general population will be done in age groups as is the approach commonly used overseas, with those over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand introduces Belarus travel bans
    New Zealand has imposed travel bans on selected individuals associated with the Lukashenko regime, following ongoing concerns about election fraud and human rights abuses after the 2020 Belarus elections, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta has announced. The ban covers more than fifty individuals, including the President and key members of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ economy grows driven by households, construction and business investment
    The Government’s efforts to secure the recovery have been reflected in the robust rebound of GDP figures released today which show the economy remains resilient despite the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Grant Robertson said. GDP increased 1.6 percent in the first three months of 2021. The Treasury had ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Milestone 250th tower continues to improve rural connectivity
    The Government has welcomed the completion of the 250th 4G mobile tower, as part of its push for better rural connectivity. Waikato’s Wiltsdown, which is roughly 80 kilometres south of Hamilton, is home to the new tower, deployed by the Rural Connectivity Group to enable improved service to 70 homes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria to lift on Tuesday
    Following a further public health assessment of the COVID-19 outbreak in greater Melbourne, New Zealand’s Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria has been extended to 11.59pm on Tuesday 22 June, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. It has been determined that the risk to public health in New Zealand continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister mourns passing of Dr Sir Ian Hassall
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is mourning the passing of Dr Sir Ian Hassall, New Zealand’s first Children’s Commissioner and lifelong champion for children and children’s health. As a paediatrician Sir Ian contributed to a major world-first cot death study that has been directly credited with reducing cot deaths in New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • APEC structural reform meeting a success
    APEC ministers have agreed working together will be crucial to ensure economies recover from the impact of COVID-19. Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs David Clark, chaired the virtual APEC Structural Reform Ministerial Meeting today which revolved around the overarching theme of promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Digital hub to boost investment in forestry
    A new website has been launched at Fieldays to support the forestry sector find the information it needs to plant, grow and manage trees, and to encourage investment across the wider industry. Forestry Minister Stuart Nash says the new Canopy website is tailored for farmers, iwi and other forestry interests, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government continues support for rangatahi to get into employment, education and training
    Over 230 rangatahi are set to benefit from further funding through four new He Poutama Rangatahi programmes, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “We’re continuing to secure our economic recovery from COVID by investing in opportunities for rangatahi to get into meaningful employment, education or training ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NCEA subjects up for consultation
    The education sector, students, their parents, whānau and communities are invited to share their thoughts on a list of proposed NCEA subjects released today, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says. This is a significant part of the Government’s NCEA Change Programme that commenced in 2020 and will be largely implemented by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Major investment in plantain forage programme aims to improve freshwater quality
    The Government is backing a major programme investigating plantain’s potential to help farmers protect waterways and improve freshwater quality, Acting Agriculture Minister Meka Whaitiri announced at Fieldays today. The Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures (SFFF) fund is contributing $8.98 million to the $22.23 million seven-year programme, which aims to deliver ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • America’s Cup decision
    The Minister responsible for the America’s Cup has confirmed the joint Crown-Auckland Council offer to host the next regatta has been declined by the Board of Team New Zealand. “The exclusive period of negotiation between the Crown, Auckland Council, and Team New Zealand ends tomorrow, 17 June,” said Stuart Nash. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Food and fibres sector making significant strides towards New Zealand’s economic recovery
    The Government is backing the food and fibres sector to lead New Zealand's economic recovery from COVID-19 with targeted investments as part of its Fit for a Better World roadmap, Forestry Minister Stuart Nash said. “To drive New Zealand’s recovery, we launched the Fit for a Better World – Accelerating ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to He Whenua Taurikura – New Zealand’s annual hui on countering terrorism and violent...
    Check against delivery Can I begin by acknowledging the 51 shuhada, their families and the Muslim community. It is because of the atrocious violent act that was done to them which has led ultimately to this, the start of a dialogue and a conversation about how we as a nation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Cost of Government Southern Response proactive package released
    The Government has announced the proactive package for some Southern Response policyholders could cost $313 million if all those eligible apply. In December, the Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission, David Clark announced a proactive package for SRES claimants who settled their claims before October 2014. It trailed the judgment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New support to reduce emissions from public building and construction projects
    Government agencies are getting new support to reduce carbon emissions generated by construction of new buildings, with the release of practical guidance to shape decisions on public projects. The Ministers for Building and Construction and for Economic Development say a new Procurement Guide will help government agencies, private sector suppliers, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • He Whenua Taurikura: New Zealand’s first Hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism
    The Prime Minister has opened New Zealand’s first hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism, which is being held in Christchurch over the next two days. The hui delivers on one of the recommendations from the report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to inaugural Countering Terrorism Hui
    E aku nui, e aku rahi, Te whaka-kanohi mai o rātou mā, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau whakapono, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau aroha, Waitaha, Ngāti Mamoe, Ngai Tahu, nāu rā te reo pohiri. Tena tātou katoa. Ki te kotahi te kakaho ka whati, ki te kapuia, e ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Campaign shines a light on elder abuse
    A new campaign is shining a spotlight on elder abuse, and urging people to protect older New Zealanders. Launched on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the Office for Seniors’ campaign encourages friends, whānau and neighbours to look for the signs of abuse, which is often hidden in plain sight. “Research suggests ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Farewelling sports administrator and philanthropist Sir Eion Edgar
    Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson today expressed his sorrow at the passing of Sir Eion Edgar – a leading sports administrator and celebrated philanthropist who has made a significant impact both within and beyond the sport sector. “Sir Eion’s energy, drive and generosity has been truly immense. He leaves ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government to apologise for Dawn Raids
    The Government will make a formal apology for the wrongs committed during the Dawn Raids of the 1970’s. Between 1974 and 1976, a series of rigorous immigration enforcement policies were carried out that resulted in targeted raids on the homes of Pacific families. The raids to find, convict and deport overstayers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Humanitarian support for Bangladesh and Myanmar
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced that New Zealand is providing NZ $8.25 million in humanitarian assistance to support refugees and their host populations in Bangladesh and to support humanitarian need of internally displaced and conflict affected people in Myanmar.  “Nearly four years after 900,000 Rohingya crossed the border ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Poroporoaki: Dame Georgina Kamiria Kirby
    E Te Kōkō Tangiwai, Te Tuhi Mareikura, Te Kākākura Pokai kua riro i a matou. He toka tū moana ākinga ā tai, ākinga ā hau, ākinga ā ngaru tūātea.  Haere atu rā ki te mūrau a te tini, ki te wenerau a te mano.  E tae koe ki ngā rire ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Feedback sought on future of housing and urban development
    New Zealanders are encouraged to have their say on a long-term vision for housing and urban development to guide future work, the Housing Minister Megan Woods has announced. Consultation starts today on a Government Policy Statement on Housing and Urban Development (GPS-HUD), which will support the long-term direction of Aotearoa ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Clean car package to drive down emissions
    New rebates for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles start July 1 with up to $8,625 for new vehicles and $3,450 for used. Electric vehicle chargers now available every 75km along most state highways to give Kiwis confidence. Low Emission Transport Fund will have nearly four times the funding by 2023 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Progress towards simpler process for changing sex on birth certificates
    The Government is taking the next step to support transgender, non-binary and intersex New Zealanders, by progressing the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill, Minister of Internal Affairs, Jan Tinetti announced today. “This Government understands that self-identification is a significant issue for transgender, non-binary and intersex New Zealanders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Crown speeds up engagement with takutai moana applicants
    The Crown is taking a new approach to takutai moana applications to give all applicants an opportunity to engage with the Crown and better support the Māori-Crown relationship, Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little says. Following discussions with applicant groups, the Crown has reviewed the existing takutai moana application ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (AODT) Court opens
    The Minister of Justice, Kris Faafoi, and the Minister for Courts, Aupito William Sio, have welcomed the opening of a new Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (AODT) Court in Hamilton. The AODT Court (Te Whare Whakapiki Wairua) addresses situations where substance abuse and offending are intertwined. “New Zealanders have told ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • EU and UK FTAs top of list for first ministerial trip since COVID-19
    Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor today announced details of his planned visit to the United Kingdom and European Union next week, where he will hold trade and agriculture discussions to further New Zealand’s economic recovery from COVID-19. The visit will add political weight to ongoing negotiations with both the EU ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Arihia Bennett to chair Royal Commission Ministerial Advisory Group
    Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu chief executive Arihia Bennett MNZM has been appointed chair of the newly appointed Ministerial Advisory Group on the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques. “Twenty-eight people from diverse backgrounds across Aotearoa have been selected for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Medical Association General Practitioners' Conference, Rotorua
    Ki ngā pou maha o te whare hauora o Aotearoa, kei te mihiTo the pillars of our health system I acknowledge/thank you Ki te ope hapai hauora o roto o tēnei rūma, kei te mihi To our health force here in the room today, I acknowledge/thank you He taura tangata, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Karangahape Road upgrades are streets ahead
    The upgrades to Karangahape Road makes the iconic street more pedestrian and cycle-friendly, attractive and environmentally sustainable, Transport Minister Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said at the formal celebration of the completion of the Karangahape Road Enhancements project. The project included widening footpaths supporting a better outdoor dining ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to APEC business event
    E ngā tumu herenga waka, ākina ā ngaru, ākina ā tai ka whakatere ngā waka ki te whakapapa pounamu, otirā, ki Tamaki o ngā waka Tena koutou katoa… To the great leaders assembled, who guided your waka through turbulent times, challenging waters and you continue to navigate your respective waka ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pause on Quarantine Free Travel with Victoria extended
    Following an assessment of the COVID-19 outbreak in greater Melbourne, New Zealand’s Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria will continue for a further seven days, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. There are now 93 cases associated with the outbreak in greater Melbourne, spread over four clusters. Contact tracing efforts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supplier Diversity Aotearoa Summit: Navigate 2021
    *** Check with delivery *** A mihi to all who have contributed to making today a success – starting with you! As you have explored and navigated government procurement today you will hopefully have reflected on the journey of our people so far – and how you can make a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pukemiro School to close
    Pukemiro Primary School near Huntly will close following years of declining roll numbers, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “I’ve consulted with the School Commissioner, and this decision acknowledges the fact that the few remaining students from last term are now settled at other nearby schools. “I want to thank ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago