What Tom Cotton Would Mean for the CIA

"Mike Pompeo is just an unqualified nebbish who'll be promoted, if he is, because he climbed on board the Trump Train when everybody else was running away from it." (Photo: Getty)

What Tom Cotton Would Mean for the CIA

It's a terrifying, dangerous prospect.

If he really gets the fast shuffle out of town, I'm not going to miss Rex Tillerson as much as I miss what used to be the State Department before Rex took over. But if the post-Rex options really are Mike Pompeo at State and Tom Cotton at CIA, then I'm going to burn a goat carcass to Baal to intercede and bring Tillerson back. Replacing the invisible man with two dangerous lightweights is not a deal that any sensible democracy should make. Pompeo was a Tea Party congressman elected in the great wave of crazy back in 2010. He once told fellow Islamophobic loon Frank Gaffney that he agreed with Gaffney's contention that President Obama had "an affinity for, if not the violent beheading and crucifixions and slaying of Christians and all that, but at least for the cause for which these guys are engaged in such activities." Further, Pompeo tried to run a Muslim-American congressman off the House Intelligence Committee because he was afraid that his colleague was potentially a "fifth column" mole in the service of the worldwide caliphate. From Right Wing Watch:

"The efforts to expand the caliphate are not limited to the physical geography of the Middle East or other places where there are large Muslim majorities, and we should be concerned that every member of Congress understands that in the same way, such that we can do the things we need to do to keep us all safe," Pompeo added. "So I'm always concerned when there's risk, counterintelligence risk, risk of influence that could take place, so we all as members of Congress who have a constitutional obligation have a duty to make sure that we all live to that standard."

So, that's who possibly will be your new Secretary of State.

But it's Cotton's elevation to the top job out in Langley that ought to scare the daylights out of the rest of the world. We've dealt with the bobble-throated slapdick in this shebeen ever since he came out of Arkansas in a subsequent wave of crazy to the one that produced Pompeo. Rarely has someone arrived so absolutely sure of everything he thinks he knows, and rarely has someone arrived who so holds the intellect of the people who disagree with him in such obvious contempt.

This is the guy who was the guiding force behind a letter to the leaders of Iran telling them not to conclude the nuclear deal with the previous president because a subsequent Congress--Tom Cotton, Smartest Man In The World, presiding genius--could (and probably would) revoke it. He also doesn't think waterboarding is torture. If Cotton weren't the most brilliant man in his mirror every morning (he went to Harvard; you probably didn't) you'd think his reasons for believing this were incomprehensibly lame. From CNN:

"Waterboarding isn't torture. We do waterboarding on our own soldiers in the military," Cotton argued with CNN's Wolf Blitzer on "The Situation Room." Blitzer interjected, "But the US doesn't do it anymore." "If experienced intelligence officials come to the President of the United States and say we think this terrorist has critical information and we need to obtain it and this is the only way we can obtain it -- it's a tough call. But the presidency is a tough job. And if you're not ready to make those tough calls, you shouldn't seek the office. Donald Trump's a pretty tough guy, and he's ready to make those tough calls," Cotton said. Blitzer reminded Cotton of his colleague Sen. John McCain, who himself was tortured as a POW during the Vietnam War, and says that torture is a violation of the Geneva Conventions and International Law. "On this one, I disagree," Cotton said, "Anything that American troops volunteer for, and radio DJs volunteer for, is not torture. If it has to be done to save American lives, that's a tough call."

Nobody this arrogant, this absolutely sure of himself, should be anywhere near the head of any intelligence agency. Mike Pompeo is just an unqualified nebbish who'll be promoted, if he is, because he climbed on board the Trump Train when everybody else was running away from it. Tom Cotton is deeply, genuinely dangerous.

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