Pompeo was appointed as director the CIA in February 2017 and then as Secretary of State in April 2018. I’m not going into any of his ‘achievements’ in either of those posts because there is plenty on the public record, but I will add this for those who don’t know some of the more arcane facts about the role of Secretary of State.
For instance, did you know that ‘under federal law, the resignation of a president or of a vice president is only valid if declared in writing, in an instrument delivered to the office of the secretary of state’? As the highest-ranking member of the cabinet, the secretary of state is the third-highest official of the executive branch of the federal government of the United States, after the president and vice president, and is fourth in line to succeed the presidency, coming after the vice president, the speaker of the House of Representatives, and the president pro tempore of the Senate.
TAP – I’ve cut this long article right down to give readers the gist of what’s being said here. The Pentagon is running Trump basically, and Pompeo is their man in Washington. All the media goes to Trump the actor, but who is actually pulling the strings?
So Pompeo is not only one of the people closest to President Trump, but he would be a key player in any resolution of the on-going election boondoggle if it came to that. And just so you know that Pompeo isn’t only relying on the Koch brothers or their descendants to give him guidance, he said in 2015 in a talk at a church, that ‘politics is a never-ending struggle … until the Rapture’. And to another group in 2014 he said that ‘Jesus Christ as our saviour is truly the only solution for our world’.
Okay, and now to the point at hand. I don’t know if readers have seen or heard this, but in the early days of the pandemic scam Pompeo and Trump were giving a press conference with the ‘Coronavirus Task Force’ and Pompeo said something really odd. Answering a journalist’s question and in reference to the Chinese government, he said: “We’re in a live exercise here.” To which Trump said, loud enough to be heard: “Should have let us know.” Twice. Make of that what you will.
Then, only a day or so ago, he was giving as press conference and he was asked if the State Department was preparing to engage with the Biden transition team and he replied that there would be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration. Later he said it was only a joke but it’s not the sort of thing that the third most powerful figure in the administration would normally make in the hyper-tense atmosphere of an unresolved election. He’s not paid to channel Rodney Dangerfield.
I don’t know if he was just winding them up, because to someone with any intelligence the Washington press corps must look like a pack of donkeys even on a good day, but even so, was he letting slip something that is already in play. Wheels within wheels. And remember, he was Director of the CIA.
Going back to the people who he started out with in the aviation business in Wichita: when Pompeo was appointed as director of the CIA he made his close friend Brian Bulatao the COO, and then when he moved to State he had Trump appoint Bulatao as Under-Secretary for Management, the third highest position in the department. Pompeo also appointed Ulrich Brechbuhl as the Counsellor of the State Department in May 2018.
Effectively that puts those three West Point graduates and close friends at the three key posts at State. You could even say that the Pentagon is now running US foreign policy, but then you could make an argument that it always has. Certainly it would put Koch Industries in a very interesting position if they wanted to know whether any change in US foreign policy was going to affect their interests.
I’d always thought of Pompeo as a bit of a buffoon, rather like his boss, with his excess weight and nasal way of talking without really saying anything. I’ve since revised my opinion. I think he’s a very shrewd operator who knows exactly what he’s doing, who to be friends with among the rich and powerful, and who to keep close to him when he needs someone to cover his back, which is effectively what his two chums from West Point are in their present jobs to do.
I’m sure that readers can come to their own conclusions about a lot of other things about Pompeo and his seemingly irresistible rise to positions of power, his wealthy and powerful friends, and his quirky sense of humour. This is just a very brief summary because time is short and there are many interesting things to watch as they happen in real time.