Mike Pompeo sworn in as CIA director

24 Jan 2017


Representative Mike Pompeo was sworn in last night as director of the CIA at a crucial time for US national security with intelligence, which had been a nonpartisan issue, becoming increasingly politicised.

Pompeo, 53 has served in the House of Repsentatives since 2011. Pompeo served as a tank platoon leader in the US Army and left the Army as a captain, according to The Wall Street Journal. Pompeo who was born in Orange, California moved to Kansas in 1996, where he started Thayer Aerospace. He served as CEO of the company. He sold the company in 2006 and became president of Sentry International which makes oilfield equipment.

"You are stepping up to lead the finest intelligence-gathering operation the world has ever seen," vice president Mike Pence said during the nighttime swearing-in ceremony. "The men and women serving under your command give true meaning to the word courage."

The senate earlier yesterday confirmed president Donald Trump's nominee to run the CIA in the face of objections from the Democrats over the Kansas congressman's positions on torture, surveillance and Russia's meddling in the US election with a 66-32 vote.

Trump had voiced criticism of intelligence agencies since their assessment of Russian involvement to help him win the election, though he had also had said that he fully backed them.

Democratic Oregon senator, Ron Wyden, yesterday said Pompeo was the "wrong man for the job."

"He has endorsed extreme policies that would fundamentally erode liberties and freedoms of our people without making us safer," Wyden said. He said Pompeo's answers to questions from some senators had been "vague" and "contradictory," making it impossible to know what Pompeo believed.

"I see no real commitment to transparency and his views on the most fundamental analysis of the day - the involvement of Russia in our election - seemed to shift with those of the president," Wyden said.

Wyden accused Pompeo of having proposed the most sweeping new surveillance programme he had I have ever heard of.

Most Republicans called Pompeo, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, an excellent choice and according to senator John McCain, a leader of the fight for legislation barring the use of the rough interrogation methods, he had no reason to doubt Congressman Pompeo's word.

McCain added, ''I fully support his confirmation. Going forward, I will continue to closely monitor this issue, and use my oversight powers to ensure the law is obeyed.''

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