— John Hudson (@John_Hudson) October 19, 2017
He said the CIA would be accepting more risk when it carries out its mission and the presence of agents in hot spots would be increased
— John Hudson (@John_Hudson) October 19, 2017
… to behave just as it’s always behaved. Tea Party alumni and Saudi Arabian monarchy fan Mike Pompeo showed up at the neoconservative Foundation for the Defense of Democracies to thrill the #NeverIran activists with his display of America’s Big Stick(tm). But first, he needed to back up his current master’s Big Lie…
CIA chief Pompeo says intel agencies concluded Russia did not affect election outcome. That's not true. https://t.co/QMXfXUnzV1
— Greg Miller (@gregpmiller) October 19, 2017
… His comment suggested — falsely — that a report released by U.S. intelligence agencies in January had ruled out any impact that could be attributed to a covert Russian interference campaign that involved leaks of tens of thousands of stolen emails, the flooding of social media sites with false claims and the purchase of ads on Facebook.
A report compiled by the CIA and other agencies described that Russian operation as unprecedented in its scale and concluded that Moscow’s goals were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process and help elect Donald Trump.
But the report reached no conclusions about whether that interference had altered the outcome — an issue that U.S. intelligence officials made clear was considered beyond the scope of their inquiry…
Former U.S. intelligence officials voiced concern over Pompeo’s statement.
“This is another example of Pompeo politicizing intelligence,” a former senior U.S. intelligence official said. Pompeo “is the most political CIA director since Bill Casey” during the Reagan administration, the former official said. “This significantly undermines the intelligence community’s credibility.”…
Pompeo, one of the smarmiest partisans on the Hill when he was in Congress, has no business in this job. https://t.co/6R1UyD0AJ3
— Brian Beutler (@brianbeutler) October 19, 2017
Pompeo also threatened “leakers”:
… Pompeo also criticized former U.S. intelligence officials for their television appearances, implying that they violated their oaths and potentially contributed to the leaks of sensitive information.
“There are an awful lot of former CIA talking heads on TV,” Pompeo said, adding that their obligation to remain quiet about their work “far extends beyond the day you turn in your badge.”
His comment seemed to be aimed mainly at former senior intelligence officials in the Obama administration, including James R. Clapper Jr., the former director of national intelligence, who said in a recent interview that Russia’s interference had “cast doubt” on Trump’s win.
“Our intelligence community assessment did, I think, serve to cast doubt on the legitimacy of his victory,” Clapper said in an interview on CNN last month. He added that he worried Trump’s perceived focus on the issue “transcends, unfortunately, the real concern here, which is Russian interference in our political process.”…
Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden (Ore.) and Martin Heinrich (N.M.), both members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, rebuked Pompeo for his Russia comments. Wyden said in a posting on Twitter that Pompeo’s views on Moscow had “shifted with those of the president.”
Pompeo’s mischaracterization of the intelligence report was the latest in a series of statements from the former Republican congressman that have seemed aimed at minimizing the significance of Russian interference in the 2016 election…
The libertarian Washington Examiner is very excited that Pompeo went on to threaten Wikileaks, among other “non-state actors”:
… The former Kansas congressman countered a suggestion that leaks — most of which have not led to prosecution under President Trump — have gained an unstoppable momentum.
“We’re good. We’re America. We’re the CIA. We can protect our stuff,” Pompeo said. “I’m confident we can do it. We will devote the resources to it, we will make sure that the people who are working for the agency have an understanding of what that means.”
Later, Pompeo — who has controversially called WikiLeaks a “non-state hostile intelligence service” — described the primary-source publisher as an “enormous threat.”
“It’s not just the Russian info ops,” he said. “I talked about these non-state actors, and it’s not just Wikileaks. Indeed I may have overemphasized them — they are an enormous threat, we are working to take down that threat to the United States as well, to reduce the threat from all of it. But Hezbollah, ISIS, al Qaeda, none of them sit at the U.N., these are all non-state actors.”…
I wouldn’t mind a cage match between Pompeo and Assange, but to a neoconservative audience “non-state actors” more often means ‘Palestinians, Kurds, and other annoying fringe populations that make trouble for our Saudi Arabian brothers-in-arms’.
If it goes beyond mouth-flapping — and, under Trump, fortunately that’s unlikely — “accepting more risk” and “increased presence of agents in hot spots” probably just means more hotshot American hostage targets for freelance terrorists from Syria to Pakistan to Niger. Argo-fuck-yourselves!