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Mike Pompeo on Muslims, torture and Guantanamo Bay

The appointment of former CIA director Mike Pompeo as US secretary of state took place on Tuesday after months of rumours that Rex Tillerson was once at the approach out.

Tillerson was once continuously depicted as a peaceful hand of “peaceful pressure” whilst US President Donald Trump typically opted for hasty choices, bombastic rhetoric, and arguable coverage positions. The 2 males disagreed on many problems, together with the Iran nuclear deal and the Gulf crisis.

Pompeo, in the meantime, is a arguable determine who has voiced improve for torture, needs to stay the jail at Guantanamo Bay open, and has a historical past of xenophobic remarks.

How will Pompeo’s previous impact his position as america’ best diplomat? 

On Muslims, immigrants

Pompeo was once elected to the Space of Representatives in 2010, representing Kansas state all through the technology of the Tea Birthday celebration, the ultra-conservative department of the Republican Birthday celebration.

He ran towards Democratic candidate Raj Goyle, a lifelong Kansas resident and son of Hindu-Indian immigrants.

That did not forestall Pompeo from posting a hyperlink to a weblog on his marketing campaign’s Fb web page that referred to as Goyle “simply any other turban topper we do not want in Congress or any political place of job that offers with america Charter, Christianity and america of The us!”

The slur was once written via Bob Pinkstaff of Wichita, a retired US army serviceman. The remarks got here after Goyle “dodged” a query about his faith all through a debate sooner than the 2010 election.

Goyle referred to as Pompeo out for sharing the weblog, pronouncing the “bigoted assault” went “past the principles of engagement in politics”. Pompeo apologised, pronouncing it was once “inadvertently posted“.

In 2013, two months after the Boston Marathon bombing, Pompeo took to the Space ground to accuse US Muslim leaders of failing to sentence “extremist” assaults.

“Silence has made those Islamic leaders throughout The us doubtlessly complicit in those acts,” he mentioned.

Corey Saylor, former director of the Council on American-Islamic Members of the family division that displays Islamophobia, instructed Al Jazeera that Pompeo being appointed secretary of state is a “continuation of the troubling insurance policies we have now observed popping out of the Trump management”.

In regards to the message it sends to leaders of Muslim-majority states, Saylor mentioned it is going to sign a loss of “admire” for his or her religion and tactics of lifestyles.

Juan Cole, a visiting professor at Qatar College, was once extra direct about america’ new best diplomat, describing Pompeo as “out of keep an eye on.

“He is an enormous Iranophobe. He truly has it in for Iran … He is an enormous Islamophobe. He is accused American-Muslim leaders of probably being in cahoots with terrorism … He is a hardliner. I believe Pompeo is so ideological, so one-sided,” Cole instructed Al Jazeera.

“I believe that is dangerous information for Qatar, as an example, as a result of I believe he is very on the subject of the Saudis. He is mentioned brazenly if the Saudis and the Israelis wish to mix towards Iran that is all to the nice. And naturally Qatar is stuck in the midst of that.”

On Torture

Pompeo has additionally taken a stalwart stance in favour of “enhanced interrogation” techniques, or torture strategies, together with waterboarding, used to query the ones suspected of violent actions.

Pompeo criticised the management of former President Barack Obama for final “black websites” – secret prisons used to interrogate suspects in a foreign country – and the requirement for interrogators to stick to anti-torture rules.

In 2014, Pompeo accused Obama of neglecting to “take the conflict on radical Islamic terrorism severely”.

The feedback had been mentioned to have motivated Trump to believe Pompeo as the long run CIA director. Trump mentioned at the marketing campaign path for the 2016 elections that he would believe bringing again waterboarding “and a hell of so much worse”.

At his 2017 affirmation listening to sooner than US legislators to take the position of CIA leader, Pompeo mentioned the company would now not restart torture on his watch.

On Guantanamo Bay

Whilst he has backtracked on torture, Pompeo’s improve of Guantanamo Bay, america naval base in Cuba the place overseas nationals suspected of acts of “terrorism” are imprisoned, seems to be unwavering. 

The jail camp was once one of the crucial trying out grounds for the “enhanced interrogation” techniques of the management of former President George W Bush.

A large number of US officers have referred to as for the jail’s closure, together with Obama.

One in every of Obama’s first acts as president was once to signal an order to near Guantanamo. The bottom was once by no means closed. Pompeo has spoken favourably of this end result.

“GTMO has been a goldmine of intelligence about radical Islamic terrorism,” Pompeo mentioned in 2016.

Lots of the 41 detainees at Guantanamo have by no means been attempted. Of those males, 31 are being held in indefinite “law-of-war” detention. 5 of those are really useful for switch if safety prerequisites are met.

Every other seven had been charged via the army legal justice device, which is cut loose US civil regulation. Every other 3 had been convicted.

The newly appointed secretary of state wrote in an op-ed within the Kansas Town Famous person in 2015 that “there is not any proof that those and different detainees would not briefly go back to the battlefield having a look to do hurt to our infantrymen, our voters and our lifestyle.”

Omar Farah, a senior personnel lawyer on the Heart for Charter Rights who litigates instances at Gitmo, instructed Al Jazeera that “vilifying the prisoners is a drained trick to excuse a Guantanamo coverage that was once brutal and silly from day one.”

Even supposing the 41 detainees are the “hardened terrorist” Pompeo contends, a “simply, constitutional democracy owes even its worst prisoners higher than 16 years and counting of indefinite imprisonment”, mentioned Farah.

The appointment of Pompeo as america’ best diplomat additionally means that “Trump’s instincts are polishing”, the lawyer added. Pompeo can be a “crisis for Guantanamo.

“Former secretaries of state and their envoys had duty for negotiating Guantanamo releases. With Pompeo on the helm, it is in doubt any person leaves Guantanamo alive with no judicial order,” Farah mentioned.

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