WASHINGTON Rep. Mike Pompeo of Kansas, just tapped to be Donald Trump’s new CIA director, has had a lot to say about torture, Muslims, terrorism, the Iranian nuclear deal and NSA spying. Here’s a sample:
Pompeo on the release of the 2014 Senate torture report:
“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,” Pompeo said in a statement on Dec. 9, 2014. “These men and women are not torturers, they are patriots. The programs being used were within the law, within the constitution, and conducted with the full knowledge Senator Feinstein. If any individual did operate outside of the program’s legal framework, I would expect them to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
“It is hard to imagine a sound reason that Senator Feinstein would put American operators and their families at risk—by demanding the release of details that are not in any way related to the legality or appropriateness of the programs. The intelligence collection programs described in the report have been in the news and hot topics for discussion for years. The sad conclusion left open is that her release of the report is the result of a narcissistic self-cleansing that is quintessentially at odds with her duty to the country.
“Moreover, the release of this report makes our nation is less secure. Our friends and allies across the world, who have worked closely with us to crush the Islamic jihad that threatens every Kansan and every American, now know the United States government will not honor its commitments. Their willingness to work with us in the future is now greatly diminished.”
Pompeo on American Muslims:
“It’s been just under two months since the attacks in Boston,” said in a speech on floor of the U.S. House of Representatives on June 11, 2013. “In those intervening weeks, the silence of Muslim leaders has been deafening. And that is sad, but most importantly, it is dangerous. When the most devastating terrorist attacks on America in the last 20 years come overwhelmingly from people of a single faith, and are performed in the name of that faith, a special obligation falls on those that are the leaders of that faith. Instead of responding, silence has made these Islamic leaders across America potentially complicit in these acts and more importantly still, in those that may well follow.”
Pompeo on Guantanamo Bay:
“GTMO has been a goldmine of intelligence about radical Islamic terrorism. I have traveled to GTMO and have seen the honorable and professional behavior of the American men and women in uniform, who serve at the detention facility,” Pompeo said in a statement on Nov. 18. “The detainees at GTMO are treated exceptionally well – so well that some have even declined to be resettled, instead choosing to stay at GTMO. It is delusional to think that any plan the president puts before Congress to relocate radical Islamic terrorists to the U.S, and potentially Fort Leavenworth Kansas, will make our country safer. The reality is that this proposal will ultimately put Kansans and Americans in danger.”
Pompeo on the Iran deal:
“It’s not a question whether America can prevent a nuclear Iran or stop Russian aggression; it’s a question of whether (the Obama) administration has the backbone to use the tools and solutions available,” Pompeo said on Dec. 3, 2014. “Each of these nations poses real threats to America and the West – what is needed is not ambiguity, but clarity, forcefulness and commitments that do not exceed America’s willingness to fulfill them.
“Ayatollah Khamenei watches America allow Iran to expand its power while our President writes him missives ensuring we will protect Iran’s interests. This is dangerous. The Islamic Republic cannot even feed its own people without access to markets and our President rewards that nation, which has killed countless Americans, with sanctions relief. Congress should immediately act to stop all oil shipments out of Iran, reinstitute economic sanctions and demand that our allies do so as well. We should make clear that nuclear enrichment is not acceptable inside of Iran for any purpose and, as President Bush once said, those who harbor terrorists who kill Americans will be treated in the same manner as if they had committed the act of terror themselves.”
Pompeo on NSA spying:
“I believe that program has proven to be a very valuable asset for the intelligence community and for law enforcement,” Pompeo said in an interview with McClatchy in January. “We ought not to take that tool away from our intelligence community while the threats are as great as they are today.”
“(Americans) understood this was a monitoring program, and it’s not,” Pompeo said. “Not a single email was read or call was listened to without the due process the constitution requires.”
Pompeo on NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden:
“He should be brought back from Russia and given due process and I think the proper outcome would be that he would be given a death sentence for having put friends of mine, friends of yours, who serve in the military today at enormous risk because of the information he stole and then released to foreign powers,” Pompeo said on C-SPAN on Feb. 11.
Pompeo on the Barack Obama administration’s approach to the war on terror:
“This isn’t about defeating ISIS as the end objective. The challenge that this administration has refused to take on is that there is a very real call in the west to defeat and destroy the threat from radical Islamic terrorism, whether it fights under the name of Al Quaeda … or Boko Haram or ISIS or any of the other dozens of groups that are founded on the central principle of the destruction of the West and the imposition of Sharia law,” Pompeo said in an Oct. 17 interview with the Wichita Eagle. “And this administration has refused to acknowledge that. They have simply treated these as ordinary criminals and so they have attempted to apply a criminal law model to a threat, which is not that. And as a result the threat to the west is far greater today than it was seven and half years ago.”
Pompeo on the goals for the next administration’s fight against radical Islamic terror:
“It’s possible to defeat ISIS in Dabiq and still have a greater threat here in the West. And so the focus needs to be on a military, diplomatic and ideological defeat of radical Islamic terrorism,” Pompeo told the Wichita Eagle on Oct. 17. “And once you understand that that’s the threat of our times the tactical response becomes very, very clear and inevitably achievable. It is inevitably something that can be achieved by the will of the American people without sending 60 or 80 or 100,000 soldiers to fight, U.S. soldiers, to fight in the Middle East, something I would not advocate for.”
On domestic terrorism:
“We should deal with it quickly, harshly and ensure it doesn’t grow either,” Pompeo told the Wichita Eagle after the arrest of three men charged with planning to bomb an apartment complex and mosque in Garden City, Kansas. “This is not something that’s new in the United States. Our FBI, frankly the sheriffs, did great work bringing this plot down.”
On whether Americans are in more danger now:
“It’s a quite accurate perception. It’s different today than it was,” Pompeo told the Wichita Eagle. “And while I encourage everyone to get out and live their lives – there’s not a single thing that we need to change in terms of our behavior. We shouldn’t do things differently because of this threat. There’s no doubt that there’s increasing threats to the West. (FBI) Director (James) Comey talks about this. There is an investigation going on in every state with respect to ISIS. Every state! And that wasn’t the case a couple years ago.”
Pompeo on cyber security:
“It is the next frontier of warfare. It’s not new in the sense that threat to America’s intellectual property has been out there for quite some time,” told the Wichita Eagle. “We now see hacking taking place by foreign governments and by private individuals all around the world. America has to invest more and be more prepared. And we all have an obligation to be more secure in the way that we handle our own private information. There is a role there for the government to play, but a lot of this is going to be done by private individuals and private entities in America taking upon themselves of keeping their information more secure.”
Bryan Lowry of the Wichita Eagle contributed to this report.