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Watch Trump's Pick to Run the CIA Call Edward Snowden a 'Traitor' Who Should Be 'Given a Death Sentence'

Friday A/V Club: Mike Pompeo vs. Edward Snowden

Trump has reportedly picked Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) to run the Central Intelligence Agency. Would sort of CIA director would Mike Pompeo be?

Well, for one thing, he thinks Edward Snowden should be executed:

That's Pompeo speaking on C-Span's Washington Journal this past February. (You can watch the full appearance here.) His comments came in the midst of a discussion of Hillary Clinton's emails and the Benghazi scandal. Here is a transcript of his Snowden remarks:

It's absolutely the case that we have not been able to secure all the American information that we needed to, and that we've had the traitor Edward Snowden steal that information. He should be brought back from Russia and given due process, and I think the proper outcome would be that he would be given a death sentence for having put friends of mine, friends of yours, who served in the military today, at enormous risk, because of the information he stole and then released to foreign powers.

That is, needless to say, an extremely tendentious description of what Snowden did. But many people in the intelligence world feel the same way, and—if this is indeed the president-elect's pick to run the CIA—it doesn't look like that culture will change under Trump.

Update: It's official. They're offering Pompeo the job, and he wants to take it.

(For Reason's interview with Snowden, go here. For past editions of the Friday A/V Club, go here.)

Photo Credit: C-Span

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  • Krabappel||

    :[

  • Jimbo||

    So does that mean Snowden won't be getting a pardon?

  • gaoxiaen||

    I thought that Christie was the worst AG candidate. I was wrong. I actually had less pessimism (not to be confused with even the slightest amount of optimism) about Trump. Now I'm not sure.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    ... and along came the Republicans draped in minuses bleeding rods of correction.

  • Citizen X||

    This.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    I was just about to say the exact same thing. Except, I was gonna say "anuses" instead of "minuses."

  • Don'tTreadOnMeChipper||

    And by 'rods' he means penises, right?

  • gaoxiaen||

    + 1 bundle

  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    WE SHOULDA PICKED HILLARY SHE WOULDN"T DO THIS SHIT

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Let her nap in a dog hair of sofa, Scare. Democrats have entered a swamp of twilight, misty and irrelevant under a blaze of Republican renewal.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    Yes, she would have been similarly bad. That does not excuse us from criticizing Trump's administration every opportunity we get. And we'll get them daily.

  • MikeT1986||

    Well remember Trump is better because he'll be opposed.

    That's why we can't oppose him so that we make sure he stays there so we can oppose him.

    You see.

  • Africanis||

    Yep yep, you are so right, Hillary would just drone the guy. I mean can't we just drone this guy already.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Al Smith came out for making beer and whiskey legal when pot was legal, so the Klan left the Dems and Herb Hoover won. Hillary Clinton had the opportunity to say "yes, marijuana prohibition should be repealed!" And what did she say?

  • gaoxiaen||

    MOAR MONIES FOR THE PRISON-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX! Too much money in it, didn't you hear her?

  • Bubba Jones||

    That seems like a perfectly reasonable opinion for someone heading the CIA. Isn't it their job to be the nation's asshole?

    *shrug*

  • gaoxiaen||

    +1 Sgt Major Sixta

  • steve walsh||

    There's no shortage of people that agree with him on this. Not me, mind you, or any of you fine folks here at Libertarian Central, but, you know, all the other people.

  • ||

    There's no shortage of people that agree with him on this.

    Really, where'd you hear that? You think they would've learned the lessons about being assholes and wanting things desperately enough doesn't make them true or right and doesn't make them true or right in the hearts of the citizenry.

    A good portion of Snowden's heroism is that he knew, even before there was a Trump v. Clinton candidacy, that he probably wasn't going to get a friendly administration ever and, even if he did, there were still lots of reasons why he should take a pass on any invitation home.

    I kinda wish the next person to express an opinion on Snowden like that gets asked it they personally would go slap the cuffs on the Bundys. Knowing these zealots, it would just be an dim-witted non-plussed, "Sure."

  • Bubba Jones||

    If I were in his shoes, I'd have taken my fat checks and married my model wife and chilled on the beaches in Hawaii.

  • The Fusionist||

    "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort."

    /U. S. Constitution, Article III, Section 3

  • thom||

    LOL

  • Citizen X||

    I love this logic because it means that any government official who calls Ed Snowden a traitor is admitting that the federal government considers the citizens of the United States its enemies.

    Which they ought to be, but it's an odd thing to let slip.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Too bad we don't have a media that sees it that way and says exactly that.

  • liberalinsight||

    That should be the difference between whistle blower and spy.

  • Hank Phillips||

    It's been pretty clear since Connolly got shot from six stories up... 4 seconds before JFK was shot from ahead of the limo on a flat trajectory--while Dick Nixon was in Dallas.

  • gaoxiaen||

  • gaoxiaen||

    It is a hard heart that kills. Trump's got that covered.

  • gaoxiaen||

  • Rich||

    "Hey! What could be more comfort-giving to our enemies than making us a laughingstock?!"

  • ||

    It really is unfortunate that he didn't flee to Syria.

  • Bob Meyer||

    You're right. We'd be much better off if Pompeo had fled to Syria.

  • ||

    I agree. But I think it would make a much more pointed statement (or a couple of them even) if Edward Snowden were discovered, in country, in a refugee camp. Especially if he 'got in' through 'extreme vetting'.

  • SamHell||

    Traditionally he's supposed to flee to Egypt, where he can be assassinated on the orders of Ptolemy.

  • Bob Meyer||

    Pompeo has a great way of encouraging whistle blowers, encouraging them to shut up that is.

    Kill those who expose lies and corruption? Pompeo should be working for Putin.

  • DesigNate||

    If there is a Hell, one could imagine Pompeo working for the Devil when he gets there.

  • Bob Meyer||

    If he works for the Devil it may turn out that he's self employed.

  • gaoxiaen||

    I heard that Charon wants to retire.

  • Rich||

    Serious question: What does Pompeo think should be done to Hillary?

  • The Fusionist||

    A stern talking to before she goes back to giving lectures as several thousand dollars a pop.

  • Rich||

    "We'll consider those your 'community service', Madam Secretary."

  • gaoxiaen||

    Community service = tax-free graft

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Or Petraeus?

  • Rich||

    Or Sandy "Socks and Pants" Berger?

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Questioned and then questioned. After she shrugs all those off... more questions. Until finally satisfied he slinks off to hang some hapless lackeys. Questions fire from Pompeo's muzzle like giddy bird shrieks echoing in a lonely wood.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Remember folks, this is the media announcing these positions being filled.

    I went to President-elect Trump's website and nothing on actual appointment nominations.

  • ||

    Remember folks, this is the media announcing these positions being filled.

    This is also the Clinton/Clapper media that kicked back when Clapper lied and nodded along when he said he would like to punish Edward Snowden extrajudicially.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I think the media has shifted gears to guessing on Trump appointments to try and control who is picked. If they can make enough noise, Trump might choose someone more to progtards liking.

    Boy, the media is underestimating Trump...AGAIN.

  • Rich||

    You know what would be, um, amusing?

    Picking Hillary for Secretary of State.

  • AlmightyJB||

    She would fit right in

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Good theory.

  • ||

    Boy, the media is underestimating Trump...AGAIN.

    More pointedly, they don't realize that the "OMG, how do we control/present/conceptually Trump?" MO contains an implicit/intrinsic "Fuck You America!" message.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    Here we go with the apologists. It will be fun watching how far you get dragged into Trump's bloating of the federal government.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Dump Sessions or DIAF. That is all.

  • ||

    it doesn't look like that culture will change under Trump.

    -> This is my Shocked Face.

    I'm staggered to find out that there's no real difference between Team Red and Team Blue. Wouldn't it be nice if there was a magazine that recognized this and incorporated that recognition into their articles?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Wait until the liberals freaking out find out.

  • John DeWitt||

    It's cute that you think they'll recognize it.

  • ||

    Fool! Don't you know Hillary would have been 1000x worse! We can weather this storm! Jeff Sessions 4LYFE!

  • DesigNate||

    You wouldn't have known it from reading the articles over the last year.

    /average HnR complaint

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    The salty ham tears were fun.

    Now reap it.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    Too much salt makes one bloat.

  • gaoxiaen||

    It's worth it if you're doing tequila shooters.

  • The Grinch||

    Disappointing and not at all surprising. If it makes anyone feel better, Hillary's pick would have been no better.

  • Gary T||

    Well we knew that Trump was a bunch of questions marks, and we knew his position on Snowden, so this is an unfortunate non-surprise.
    So far, I would still go with the question marks over the definite evility of Clinton.
    Trump will have to go very far to meet that measure of being equally as bad as Clinton would have been.
    At least with Trump we will see everything he does, Clinton would have done it all behind closed doors and under covers.

  • The Fusionist||

    "under covers"

    Great, you lit the Sugarfree signal.

  • Gary T||

    ooookay. you got me on that one.
    The Sugarfree signal??

  • Rich||

    Stay tuned, Gary. You're in for a *treat*!

  • ||

    and my treat, he means harm by your own hand.

  • EDG reppin LBC||

    Dear, sweet, innocent Gary T.

  • Tundra||

    They grow up so fast.

    *sniffs*

  • Bob Meyer||

    Trump's a coward. He doesn't pick fights with people who can fight back. Eminent domaining elderly widows are more his style.

  • Brochettaward||

    Right. Trump put himself out there for the media and Democrats to skewer for the last year and a half, despite being set for life, because he's a coward. He made himself enemy #1 for many in his own social circle and pissed off half the country because he's a coward.

    You may not like the guy, but he sure as shit isn't lacking in the balls department. He won all of this doing it his way and with everyone telling him he was wrong.

  • Bob Meyer||

    Look at the legal fights he picks and then tell me he's anything but a scumbag bully. He never, ever fights someone in court who can fight back. Today he folded like a cheap suit in the Trump University case because he's scared shitless that the truth about his fraudulent "University" will come out.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Unless he's grabbing them by the whatever.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    That is, needless to say, an extremely tendentious description of what Snowden did. But many people in the intelligence world feel the same way, and...

    The judgement of Snowden's actions is an ongoing affair until how he's been compromised by his 'hosts' is known. Maybe Snowden is telling truth he's not shared or coerced into sharing data etc. with the Russians. But taking at face-value anything from someone in Snowden's unique circumstances is naive. Jury still out on him far as I'm concerned.

  • Monty Crisco||

    Mostly agree... Except for the not-killing him part...

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Maybe he was sent by the CIA to leak bad info to the Russians and keep Americans off guard, so Hillary would lose the election.

  • AlmightyJB||

    And Mike Pompeo is actually his dad trying to provide cover.

  • DenverJ||

    Edward Snowden is a goddamned American hero. There should be streets named after him, statues of him, and a federal holiday dedicated to him. And people he exposed as treating the American people as the enemy are the ones who should be executed.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Amen brother!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Yup. Obama would get some street cred from me if he pardoned Snowden.

  • DesigNate||

    ixnay on the eliminationist rhetoric man, do you want Preet comin' after you?

  • DenverJ||

    Fuck Preet. I'm an American citizen and I'll tell my government to fuck off and call for the execution of slavers whenever i want.

  • Don'tTreadOnMeChipper||

    That was the America of 1776. That's a lot of elections and cronyist cycles ago....

  • gaoxiaen||

    Your pig Latin is not up to snuff.

  • Hank Phillips||

    That's a really good idea... an idea that deserves to be circulated in several languages in a multitude of countries.

  • Hank Phillips||

    DenverJ, I blogged your idea elsewhere: http://expatriotas.blogspot.com.br/
    I will happily give you credit and a the of the old Hatlo Hat. With any luck we'll have Avenida Edward Snowdens rolling out all over South America--hopefully with bike lanes.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Just rename the streets called Rue de Joseph Stalin.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Interesting that these appointments seem to be sitting R legislators. Seems like they're taking for granted that these seats will remain R.

  • SIV||

    Alabama isn't going to elect a Democrat Senator ever again unless we're struck by a plague that only kills Caucasians.

  • Invisible Finger||

    I tend to agree but hold out hope that we at least see replacements leaning in the Paul/Amash direction.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Replacements don't live very long.

  • Monty Crisco||

    Watch Trump's Reported Pick to Run the CIA Call Edward Snowden a 'Traitor' Who Should Be 'Given a Death Sentence'

    As a libertarian.........

    I agree.

  • DesigNate||

    Tha fuck?

  • gaoxiaen||

    As a Libertarian, I am disgusted.

  • SIV||

    I'd think in that one of an infinite number of parallel universes where GayJay/Weld won the election their CIA director pick would be just as much of an asshole.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Yawn. Did anyone think the CIA pick wouldn't be someone like Pompeo? Wouldn't be my pick, but pretty much what I would have expected from either a Trump or Clinton administration.

  • ATXChappy||

    "Watch Trump's Pick to Run the CIA Call Edward Snowden a 'Traitor' Who Should Be 'Given a Death Sentence'"

    Not just no, but hell no. And, you can't make me!

  • mrvco||

    This sort of creeped up on me apparently, but when did the front page of Reason.com become such a convoluted mess?

  • ace_m82||

    Integrity: Doing the right thing no matter what the consequences will be.

  • ||

    I'm not thrilled with the whole "let's execute Snowden" line, but Pompeo has been a very reliable supporter of smaller government and most libertarian principles.

    This is him during the Solyndra Trials -

    E&C Hearing - Solyndra - Part 1

    He also co-sponsored this bill and several more like it-

    H.R. 3308 (112th): Energy Freedom and Economic Prosperity Act

    I like having Pompeo in this administration.

  • robc||

    Then make him Sec of Energy or Sec of Commerce instead.

  • Calidissident||

    The Director of the CIA has nothing to do with any of those areas, and everything to do with issues relating to Snowden and the civil liberties issues he exposed.

  • 0x90||

    Pompeo, Sessions, and Giuliani: the Worst Triumvirate?

  • Uncle Jay||

    RE: Watch Trump's Pick to Run the CIA Call Edward Snowden a 'Traitor' Who Should Be 'Given a Death Sentence'

    Funny that I think just the opposite way.
    I think that Snowden should be given a medal as well as a full, free and unconditional pardon for exposing the NSA and other intelligence communities for not doing as they are supposed to do, ie. spy on countries and organizations that wish the USA harm, follow the wise diktats outlined in the US Constitution, and not spy on US citizens.
    It only goes to show what a fool I am.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Hey, I feel just as foolish...

  • ||

    Snowden must be given a "People Medal" at this point.

  • Bob Meyer||

    Snowden deserves a medal and Pompeo deserves to be sent to a North Korean "Re-education Center". Neither will happen.

  • Hank Phillips||

    The guy is one of God's Own Prohibitionists, there's no question of that. Here is what George Holy War Bush said about the death sentence for potheads: Billings Montana, July 20, 1990: "And when I say fast – we need habeas corpus reforms to stop the frivolous appeals that are choking our courts. And final – I'm talking about fair and constitutionally sound death penalty provisions for these major traffickers." Papers of the Presidents (Bush, 1991 Book II 1036-8)

    The biggest objection to Judaism raised by German National Socialists was the lack of life-after-death in their teachings. Nobody can claim there was any lack of death sentences once religious conservatives gained control of Germany after 1933! I seem to recall a comeuppance in Nurenberg...

  • gaoxiaen||

    PA? Not yet, hopefully soon.

  • The Lone Loner||

    I suspect Snowden is essentially a traitor. I mean, yeah, if the NSA is up to things it not be, then that should have been stopped. But running off to Russia...hmmm...No. Not the action of some morally-concerned good citizen whistleblower.

    But, no, I wouldn't want Trump's pick. I would almost certainly reject anybody that Reason.com liked, though.

    I want somebody calm, not given to sensationalism or histrionics. Someone not likely to turn up in a Coen-brothers-like love-pentagon with some scamster who wears too much make-up and his Reserve-Component commissioned officer biographer. Someone educated, geographically and historically literate. Someone who has served a career in the intelligence field already. Someone who has absolute loyalty to the constitution. Someone who can actually find the bin Laden-types before they carry out a 9/11.

    That rules out media figures and politicians entirely.

  • Jickerson||

    I suspect Snowden is essentially a traitor. I mean, yeah, if the NSA is up to things it not be, then that should have been stopped. But running off to Russia...hmmm...No. Not the action of some morally-concerned good citizen whistleblower.

    If you had done any research whatsoever about this issue, you'd have discovered that Russia wasn't his first pick and he essentially ended up stranded there due to the actions of the US government. Russia's government is terrible, but they can still be used to prevent the US government from getting its hands on Snowden. Staying in Russia is not an endorsement of its government.

    How many times has this nonsense about Russia been repeated and debunked? It's ridiculous, and it demonstrates how effective propaganda is on uneducated people.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Another mystical conservative prohibitionist too busy rereading the Holy Bauble to spare a glance at the Constitution.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Yep. Cuing Andrew Napolitano.

  • Africanis||

    Oh no, we should start a petition and send it to the Electoral college to overturn the election. Then picket any building with a T on the name just in case Trump has some vested interest in it. All his appointments must be attacked at any opportunity and for any reason. Shika get on this!

  • gaoxiaen||

    -1 World Trade Center

  • josh||

    it's also nice that he shares his boss's affinity for a sentence first, trial second mentality.

  • american socialist||

    WE SHOULD'VE PICKED BERNIE. HE WOULDN'T DO THIS SHIT.

  • american socialist||

    Snippet of conversation at work...

    ***
    Me: ...Come on though. Don't you think Trump is going to be a lot of fun?

    Female co-worker: it's easy for you to laugh. You're the right color and don't have to worry about your reproductive rights under a man who said that he would deport millions of people and that women should be punished for having an abortion.
    ***
    God, when did females get so uppity?

  • Hank Phillips||

    Women knew their place when National Socialist Positive Christianity ruled Germany with an Iron Cross.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Since men have become cucks/ feminists/ househusbands.

  • AD-RtR/OS!||

    As a low-level analyst for the NSA (a long, long time ago) who followed the rules, I second the Congressman's thoughts on Mr. Snowden.

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