Robin Wright at The New Yorker writes—With Mike Pompeo at the State Department, Are the Über-Hawks Winning? 

President Trump and his next Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, are—for now—two peas in a policy pod. The outgoing Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, who learned that he had been fired only after Trump announced his departure in a tweet, clashed frequently with the President and lasted only fourteen months, although reports of his demise have been circulating for the past five. “Pompeo is not Tillerson—but he could be someday, if the President keeps undercutting his Secretary of State,” the former Ambassador Richard Boucher, a career diplomat who was the spokesman for three Secretaries of State, both Republican and Democratic, said.

The President and Pompeo, who is currently the director of the C.I.A. and must go through confirmation hearings before taking his new post, have clearly become chummy. Speaking from the White House South Portico, just minutes after Tillerson’s abrupt firing, Trump praised Pompeo volubly. “I respect his intellect,” he said. “I respect the process that we’ve all gone through together. We have a very good relationship, for whatever reason, chemistry, whatever it is—why do people get along? I’ve always, right from the beginning, from day one, I’ve gotten along well with Mike Pompeo.” […]

“I don’t know if it’s a victory by the über-hawks, but it reflects a mind-set about how Trump sees the world. He relies on generals,” Boucher told me. “He’s looking for people who see every problem as a threat that needs to be dealt with by military force, rather than an issue that can be countered through diplomacy. There’s an over-all failure by this Administration to understand what diplomacy can do for the country—and the world.”

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“The future is there… looking back at us. Trying to make sense of the fiction we will have become.” 
~Willliam Gibson, Pattern Recognition (2003)

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On this date at Daily Kos in 2006—The FBI: Retroactive blanket immunity in action:

The Justice Department’s Inspector General published a report (PDF) today on the FBI’s continued abuse of National Security Letters. However the IG postponed reporting on the abuse of “blanket” NSLs. We learned about the existence of these only today from the NY Times. They’re an example of how the Bush “administration” actually employs retroactive immunity to shield its own lawbreaking.

In 2006 the FBI, having issued truckloads of warrantless NSLs illegally, decided it needed a way to make all of them legal retroactively. So it did what any agency would do under this “administration” – it waved the magic wand handed over to it by Congress, and presto! The FBI simply issued “blanket” NSLs to each of the telecoms in question to justify after the fact all the records it had previously scooped up.

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: Wow. We keep having “Wow, what a day!” days. Rex is now an ex, and other staffing turmoil. House Intel Committee calls it quits on Trump-Russia. Plus, Armando & Chris Reeves give us a peek inside the DNC’s process for setting the 2020 ground rules. 

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