Discover more from Kevin McKenzie
Rand Paul to vote in favor of torture, regime change in Iran, and mass surveillance
When President Trump first announced that he would nominate CIA Director Mike Pompeo to be his next Secretary of State, Senator Rand Paul opposed Pompeo's nomination for several reasons.
“What I liked about candidate Trump was his strong condemnation of the Iraq War. I believe President Trump has done a great job, and I continue to support him, but I cannot endorse his nomination of people who loved the Iraq War so much that they want an Iran War next. Director Pompeo has not learned the lessons of regime change and wants regime change in Iran...
In addition to Director Pompeo’s stance on foreign policy, Dr. Paul is also concerned about his previous statements supporting the use of enhanced interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, and his support for maintaining and expanding the growing surveillance state, including calling in a 2016 Wall Street Journal op-ed for Congress to “pass a law re-establishing collection of all metadata, and combining it with publicly available financial and lifestyle information into a comprehensive, searchable database.”
These were Rand Paul's reasons for opposing Mike Pompeo's nomination to Secretary of State:
1. Pompeo's support for the Iraq War;
2. Pompeo's support for regime change in Iran;
3. Pompeo's support for the use of torture;
4. Pompeo's support for expanding the NSA's power to spy on everyone, including American citizens without a warrant.
Now, however, Senator Paul claims that he supports Pompeo's nomination after speaking with him and President Trump throughout the day.
Senator Paul's apparent change of heart begs some very important questions:
Why does Senator Paul now support Pompeo's nomination when Pompeo has only signaled a change in 1 out of the 4 original criticisms Senator Paul laid against his nomination?
Why is Pompeo changing his mind on two past wars, Iraq and Afghanistan, of more significance to Senator Paul in a possible Secretary of State than Pompeo's continued support for regime change in Iran?
Why does Senator Paul believe that Pompeo can be taken at his word on opposing continued military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan given the Trump Administration's willingness to change their mind on ending U.S. military involvement in Syria before any evidence could be gathered to determine Bashar al-Assad's culpability in an alleged chemical weapons attack?
Why does Senator Paul believe that Pompeo's support for "enhanced interrogation techniques" like waterboarding and support for expanding mass-surveillance are no longer objectionable enough to oppose Pompeo's nomination to become Secretary of State?
I have reached out to Senator Paul's office for a statement on these questions and will update this blog post if they do so.
During the 2016 Presidential campaign Rand had to drop out of the race before the primary in New Hampshire because he only succeeded in alienating Republican voters. In an election cycle where everyone wanted an outsider and where he was deemed "The Most Interesting Man in Politics" because of his outsider credentials, Rand catered to an establishment that had more favorable candidates to choose from and destroyed all the enthusiasm in his own base of support. It now seems as if Rand is attempting to associate with Donald Trump in an effort to gain more relevance for his future presidential prospects, but this will almost certainly backfire as well.
Rand's base of support and Trump's base of support are two different things, and those Trump voters who simply wanted an outsider are unlikely to favor Trumpian politics in the long-term. Rand needs to rally his more libertarian base and remain an outsider from the GOP establishment and the Trump administration if he ever wants to be President. Supporting Mike Pompeo gains him no new support and loses him the support of those of us who favor peace, privacy, and human rights.