Just a couple of days ago I posted on Rand Paul’s declared intention to oppose either Rudy Giuliani or John Bolton if they were to be nominated to be secretary of state. As I pointed out at the time, Paul’s reasoning is little short of bizarre, even when judged by the rather high bar Paul has set for declaring any of his actions abnormal. Now he has a new target, CIA Director-designate Mike Pompeo:
Transcript via The Hill:
The libertarian senator said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that it concerns him that Pompeo supported the Patriot Act.
“But I would say that with Pompeo, he’s going to have to also answer to my liking whether or not he’s still for torture, whether or not he’s for waterboarding,” Paul said.
Paul noted that Pompeo has also supported expanding the powers of the National Security Agency (NSA).
“Many of the NSA powers were done, I think, in secret without the knowledge of most members of Congress,” he said.
“Even some members who are authors or co-authors of the Patriot Act said, ‘We never intended for them to collect all that data in Utah. And they didn’t tell us.’ ”
One of the questions he said he would ask Pompeo would be whether there are secret programs that even Congress doesn’t know about, Paul said.
As I said in the other post, Paul can oppose nominees for whatever reason he chooses. What he can’t do is pretend that his behavior is anything other than petulant. The Patriot Act is the law of the land. If Paul doesn’t like it, he should change it. Pompeo can’t do anything about it at the CIA which doesn’t have a charter to operate domestically or even against US citizens. The NSA, not the CIA, is involved in data collection. Whatever your view on that activity sane people should be able to agree that grilling a guy who will have nothing to do with another agency’s program is wrong. Finally, waterboarding is not now, nor has it ever been torture. The use of waterboarding had been seemingly put off limits by Congress and whether Pompeo supports using it or not it is not a subject he’ll have to deal with.
This is Rand Paul falling back on the batsh** crazy antics that made his old man famous in a vain attempt to make himself relevant after sucking up to Mitch McConnell for the past four years. It isn’t going to work.