Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

This #GivingTuesday, whatever is your first priority, your second priority has to be independent media.

2021 has been one of the most dangerous and difficult years for independent journalism that we’ve ever seen. Our democracy is facing serial existential threats including the climate emergency, vaccine apartheid amid deadly pandemic, a global crisis for biodiversity, reproductive freedoms under assault, rising authoritarianism worldwide, and corporate-funded corruption of democracy that run beneath all of this. Giving Tuesday is a critical opportunity to make sure our journalism remains funded so that we can stay focused on all your priority issues. Please contribute today to keep Common Dreams alive and growing.

Please Help This #GivingTuesday -- Though our content is free to all, less than 1% of our readers give. We’re counting on you. Please help Common Dreams end the year strong.

Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) is the reported choice to head the CIA under the Trump administration. (Photo: AP)

Trump Picks Pro-Surveillance, Tea Party Hawk Mike Pompeo to Lead CIA

Among other things, Pompeo opposes the nuclear deal with Iran and has called for Edward Snowden to receive the death penalty

Nadia Prupis

President-elect Donald Trump has reportedly chosen the hawkish Tea Party Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) to serve as head of the CIA.

Pompeo's selection was announced Friday along with a slew of other major appointments, including Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) as Attorney General and retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as national security adviser.

Pompeo, a former U.S. Army officer, was elected to U.S. Congress in 2010 amidst a Tea Party wave. Among other things, he opposes closing the Guantánamo Bay military prison, favors National Security Agency (NSA) domestic surveillance programs, and is an outspoken opponent of the landmark U.S. nuclear deal with Iran.

Pompeo wrote on Twitter, "I look forward to rolling back this disastrous deal with the world's largest state sponsor of terrorism."

He has also called for NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden to receive the death penalty and has mocked hunger striking detainees.

Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), said Friday, "Congressman Pompeo's positions on bulk surveillance and Guantánamo Bay...raise serious civil liberties concerns about privacy and due process. These positions and others merit serious public scrutiny through a confirmation process. His positions on mass surveillance have been rejected by federal courts and have been the subject of several lawsuits."

Pompeo also drew fire in 2013 for stating on the House floor that Muslim leaders who do not denounce terrorist acts are "potentially complicit" in the attacks.

He previously served on the U.S. House Intelligence Committee, where he took part in the investigation into the 2012 attack on an American embassy in Benghazi, Libya. He was particularly critical of Hillary Clinton, who was secretary of state at the time of the attack. The panel ultimately found no wrongdoing on her part or that of President Barack Obama, but Pompeo—along with Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio)—said they believed the outcome was part of a cover-up.

If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Pompeo would take over an agency that has come under extreme scrutiny from human rights and civil liberties advocates for its use of torture, the killings of civilians by drone strikes, and involvement in coups against democratic governments overseas.

In fact, Pompeo's appointment comes as the ACLU, Human Rights Watch (HRW), and other organizations fight to achieve accountability for survivors of the torture program, created under former President George W. Bush.

In addition to his hawkish views, Pompeo has ties to the reclusive right-wing billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, who donate to conservative super PACs and lawmakers around the country. The New York Times reports that they gave Pompeo $80,000 in 2010, more than any other candidate that year. Two years later, Pompeo wrote an op-ed in Politico titled, "Stop Harassing the Koch Brothers."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

... We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Omar Hangs Up After Boebert Uses Call to Double Down on 'Outright Bigotry and Hate'

"Instead of apologizing for her Islamophobic comments and fabricated lies, Rep. Boebert refused to publicly acknowledge her hurtful and dangerous comments."

Jessica Corbett ·


Win for Alabama Workers as NLRB Orders New Union Vote After Amazon's Alleged Misconduct

A union leader said the decision confirmed that "Amazon's intimidation and interference prevented workers from having a fair say in whether they wanted a union in their workplace."

Jessica Corbett ·


'For the Sake of Peace,' Anti-War Groups Demand Biden Return to Nuclear Deal With Iran

"It's time to put differences aside and return to the Iran nuclear deal," said one advocate.

Julia Conley ·


'That's for Them to Decide': UK Secretary Rebuked for Claiming Vaccine Patent Waiver Won't Be 'Helpful' to Global Poor

One U.K. lawmaker asked when the government would "start putting the need to end this pandemic in front of the financial interests of Big Pharma?"

Andrea Germanos ·


Shell Slammed for Plan to Blast South African Coastline for Oil and Gas During Whale Season

"We cannot allow climate criminals, like Shell, to plunder in the name of greed," said Greenpeace.

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo