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

  • Tuvalu language revival and COVID-19
    Te Vaiaso o te Gana Tuvalu 2021 - Tuvalu Language Week moves online due to the uncertainty around COVID-19 said the Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio.  “However it is a timely reminder of the power of embracing both traditional and new ways of doing things. It has been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • United Nations General Assembly: 76th General Debate Statement
    E ngā Mana, e ngā Reo, Rau Rangatira mā o tēnei Whare Nui o te Ao Prestigious people, Speakers of note, Chiefs one and all of this General Assembly Ngā mihi mahana ki o koutou katoa, mai i toku Whenua o Aotearoa Warm greetings to you all from my home ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • APEC 2021 Women and the Economy Forum prioritises women’s economic empowerment
    Minister for Women Jan Tinetti today chaired the virtual APEC 2021 Women and the Economy Forum, which is working to address outstanding issues for women and girls across the region as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. The forum brought together Ministers and representatives from 21 economies to discuss gender ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Upper Hauraki to move to Alert Level 2
    Upper Hauraki will move to Alert Level 2 from 11:59pm tomorrow, 25 September, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. After positive cases were detected in the Upper Hauraki area on Sunday, extra Alert Level restrictions were put in place to immediately prevent any wider transmission of the virus.  “We’ve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Report into Aotearoa New Zealand’s export controls system released
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today welcomed the findings of an independent review into Aotearoa New Zealand’s export controls system, which regulates the export of goods to foreign militaries, police forces or paramilitaries. Produced by David Smol, a former Chief Executive of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New District Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General David Parker has announced the appointment of Brett Crowley of Wellington as a District Court Judge.  He is currently the Wellington Public Defender and started his career as a staff solicitor working in a range of litigation including criminal defence work. He went to the bar in 1999 specialising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Mental health stocktake shows strong progress
    The first report of the Government’s Implementation Unit has found strong progress has been made since the Mental Health and Addictions Package was announced in 2019. “The report notes most initiatives funded in the Budget 2019 package are on track to deliver what is expected by 2023/24,” Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Working together to grow the West Coast
    A project that has been crucial in allowing businesses to continue during the tourism downturn is among a number of initiatives to receive a boost from the Government’s Jobs For Nature programme, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. Sustaining South Westland is an extension of an initiative set up last year ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Next steps to improve safety in wake of Whakaari White Island tragedy
    The Government is moving to improve safety in light of the Whakaari White Island tragedy and has released proposals to reinforce safety standards in registered adventure activities. The package of proposals includes: Strengthening requirements for how operators, landowners and the regulator manage natural hazard risks Improving how risks are monitored, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand donates more COVID-19 vaccines to COVAX and the Pacific
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta and Associate Health Minister Aupito William Sio announced today that New Zealand is donating additional Pfizer vaccines to the Pacific and AstraZeneca vaccines to the COVAX Facility, to support equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. “New Zealand is donating 708,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the Property Council of New Zealand
    Kia ora koutou katoa   Is it a pleasure to be able to speak with you today, and to be able to answer some questions you may have. I would like to acknowledge the organisers of this event, the Property Council. The theme of this year’s conference is City Shapers. Together ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Additional MIQ for Christchurch
    An additional hotel will be added to our network of managed isolation and quarantine facilities, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “I have approved and Cabinet is in the final stages of signing off The Quality Hotel Elms in Christchurch as a new managed isolation facility,” Chris Hipkins said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ COVID-19 response earns another major digital investment
    Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications Dr David Clark welcomes Amazon’s Web Services’ (AWS) decision to establish a Cloud Region on New Zealand shores, further boosting New Zealand’s growing digital sector, and providing a vote of confidence in the direction of New Zealand’s economic recovery. “Amazon is the second ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand invests in cutting edge cancer R&D
    Scaling up the manufacture of CAR T-cell cancer therapy for clinical trials Advancing New Zealand’s biomedical manufacturing capability Supporting future international scientific collaborations Transforming cancer care with targeted, affordable solutions Research, Science and Innovation Minister Hon Dr Megan Woods has announced that the fight against COVID-19 will not stop the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Expert group appointed to lead New Zealand’s future health system
    An outstanding group of people with extensive and wide-ranging governance and health experience have been appointed to lead the Māori Health Authority and Health New Zealand, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “This Government is building a truly national health system to provide consistent, high-quality health services right across the country. This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Funding to help clean up contaminated sites
    The Government is supporting the clean-up of contaminated sites in Northland, Dunedin and Southland to reduce risk to people’s health and protect the environment. Environment Minister David Parker said the funding announced today, through the Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund, will help us turn previously hazardous sites into safe, usable public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Predator Free apprenticeships open up new job opportunities
    The expansion of a predator free apprenticeship programme is an opportunity for more people to kick-start a conservation career, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The Predator Free Apprenticeship Programme is focused on increasing the number of skilled predator control operators in New Zealand through a two-year training programme. “The Trust ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Further NCEA support confirmed for Auckland students
    The number of Learning Recognition Credits for senior secondary school students will be increased for Auckland students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. This recognises the extended time these students will spend in Alert Levels 3 and 4. “It means students in Auckland will have a fair opportunity to attain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Long-term pathway next step to better mental wellbeing for New Zealanders
    The Government is taking a new approach to support people who experience mental distress, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “Kia Manawanui Aotearoa – Long-term pathway to mental wellbeing (Kia Manawanui) is the first 10-year plan of its kind that targets the cause of mental distress and also sets out how ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Keeping our Police safe to keep our communities safe
    The Government is committed to keeping our frontline police officers safe, so they in turn can keep New Zealanders safe – with one of the largest investments in frontline safety announced by Police Minister Poto Williams at the Police College today.   The $45 million investment includes $15.496 million in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Clean Vehicles Bill passes first checkpoint
    The Land Transport (Clean Vehicles) Amendment Bill will help New Zealand drive down transport emissions by cleaning up the light vehicle fleet, Transport Minister Michael Wood says. The Bill passed its first reading today and will establish the legislative framework for key parts of the Government’s Clean Car Package, including ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding boost supports ongoing Māori COVID-19 response
    The Government is responding to the need by whānau Māori and Māori Health providers to support their ongoing work responding to COVID-19 and to continue increasing rates of Māori vaccination, Associate Minister for Health (Māori Health), Peeni Henare and Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson announced today.   This increased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Significant increase to COVID-19 penalties
    Penalties for breaches of COVID-19 orders are set to significantly increase from early November 2021 to better reflect the seriousness of any behaviour that threatens New Zealand’s response to the virus, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Throughout this Delta outbreak we’ve seen the overwhelming majority of people doing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill returns to Parliament
    The Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill has returned to Parliament for its second reading in an important step towards giving enforcement agencies greater power to protect New Zealanders from terrorist activity. “The Bill addresses longstanding gaps in our counter terrorism legislation that seek to protect New Zealanders and make us safer,” Justice ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Joint Statement: New Zealand and Australian Trade Ministers
    Hon Damien O'Connor MP, New Zealand Minister for Trade and Export Growth, and Hon Dan Tehan MP, Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, met virtually on Monday 20 September to advance trans-Tasman cooperation under the Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement (CER). CER is one of the most ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s Post Cabinet Press Conference/COVID-19 Update opening statement
    ***Please check against delivery***   E te tī, e te tā, nau mai rā [To all, I bid you welcome]   As you will have seen earlier, today there are 22 new community cases to report; three of which are in Whakatiwai in the Hauraki area, and the remainder in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Major milestones for Māori COVID-19 vaccine rollout as new campaign launches
    Whānau Ora and Associate Health (Māori Health) Minister Peeni Henare acknowledges two major milestones in the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination programme for Māori. “I am very pleased to announce more than 50 percent of eligible Māori have received their first dose and 25 per cent are now fully vaccinated,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government funding to fight infectious diseases
    $36 million for research into Covid-19 and other infectious diseases The investment will improve our readiness for future pandemics Research will focus on prevention, control, and management of infectious diseases The Government’s investing in a new Infectious Diseases Research Platform to boost Aotearoa New Zealand’s Covid-19 response and preparedness for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Quarantine-free travel with Australia to remain suspended for a further 8 weeks
    Suspension to be reviewed again mid to late November Decision brought forward to enable access from Australia to first tranche of around 3000 rooms in MIQ Air New Zealand working at pace to put on more flights from Australia from October    The suspension of quarantine-free travel (QFT) with Australia has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Extra support for Ethnic Communities to share vaccination information
    Extra support is being made available to Ethnic Communities to help them share COVID-19 vaccination information within their communities, Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities Priyanca Radhakrishnan said. “We know we need to get every eligible person in New Zealand vaccinated. A fund being launched today will allow for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • School holidays remain unchanged for Auckland region
    School holidays in Auckland will continue to be held at the same time as the rest of the country, starting from Saturday, 2 October, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “I’ve carefully considered advice on the implications of shifting the dates and concluded that on balance, maintaining the status quo ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government continues crackdown on gangs and organised crime
    Operation Tauwhiro extended until March 2022 Since it was launched in February, Operation Tauwhiro has resulted in:   987 firearms seized $4.99 million in cash seized 865 people charged with a firearms-related offence Gangs and organised crime groups will continue to be relentlessly targeted with the extension of Police’s successful ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to Body Positive 'HIV Treatments Update Seminar 2021'
    E ngā mana E ngā reo E ngā iwi Tēnā koutou katoa Ka huri ki ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēnā koutou. He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei I raro I te kaupapa o te rā. Nō reira tēnā koutou katoa Acknowledgements It’s a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Power bill changes bring fairness to charges
    A key recommendation of an independent panel to make electricity charges fairer across all households will be put in place, the Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has announced. “Phasing out the regulations on ‘low-use’ electricity plans will create a fairer playing field for all New Zealanders and encourage a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy’s strong momentum will support rebound from Delta outbreak; COVID fund replenished
    The economy showed strong momentum in the period leading up to the recent Delta COVID-19 outbreak, which bodes well for a solid economic rebound, Grant Robertson said. GDP rose 2.8 percent in the June quarter, following on from a 1.4 percent increase in the previous March quarter. This was a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Projects create benefits into the future
    Making a well-known lake swimmable and helping to halt the decline of the endangered hoiho/yellow-eyed penguins are among a suite of new projects being supported by the Government’s Jobs for Nature programme across the southern South Island, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “It’s no secret that many of our most ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Opening statement for Whāriki Indigenous Small Business Roundtable
      Kei ngā tōpito e wha o te āo e rere ana te mihi maioha ki a koutou nō tawhiti, nō tata mai e tāpiri ana ki tēnei taumata kōrero mo te ao hokohoko arā mā ngā pākihi mo ngā iwi taketake Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa – Pai Mārire.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New members appointed to Kāpuia
    The Government is adding four additional members to Kāpuia, the Ministerial Advisory Group on the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques. “I’m looking forward to having Pamela MacNeill, Huia Bramley, Melani Anae and Katherine Dedo  join Kāpuia and contribute to this group’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Timeline confirmed for Emissions Reductions Plan
    Cabinet has agreed to begin consulting on the Emissions Reduction Plan in early October and require that the final plan be released by the end of May next year in line with the 2022 Budget, the Minister of Climate Change, James Shaw confirmed today. “Cabinet’s decision allows organisations and communities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Pay parity pathway for early learning teachers confirmed
    Pay parity conditions and higher funding rates for education and care services will come into force on 1 January, 2022, Minister of Education Chris Hipkins confirmed today. The Government signalled this work in Budget 2021. “From 1 January, 2022, centres opting into the scheme will receive government funding and be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago