Mike Pompeo and the CIA’s Business Model

A recent speech entitled "Why Diplomacy Matters" (a rather ironic title once you learn what was said in the speech) given at Texas A&M University by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gives us an inside view of how this gentleman did business while he was at the helm of the Central Intelligence Agency.  While it should come as no particular surprise to anyone, it is interesting to see exactly how a former Director of the CIA interpreted the business model of the world's largest intelligence agency.

Before we get to the key part of this speech, let's open by looking at how Mr. Pompeo warmed up his Texas audience and how he worked to attract students into serving in America's global diplomatic mission:

"It’s great to be in Texas, one of the greatest countries in the world. (Laughter and applause.) Yeah, I just came back from South America, now Texas, and I’ll return to the United States in the morning, yes. (Laughter.)

Seeing you all here reminds me of a George Patton quote. He said, “Give me an Army of West Point graduates and I’ll win a battle. But if you give me a handful of Texas Aggies, I’ll win a war.” (Cheers.) That’s tough to take from a West Point graduate. (Laughter).

Look, I understand that this institution has sent more of its graduates into the military than any other university other than our military academies. It’s because you all are tough, you’re committed, and you want to serve. You should be proud of that, and I love it. And it’s why I really wanted to be here today…everyone here – Cadets, Bush school students, anyone looking to give back to America – should consider potentially one day working for the United States Department of State.

Now, I know, I get it, diplomacy doesn’t sound as thrilling as firing anti-tank weapons, flying F-16s, crawling through mud. There’s no “Top Gun” version of the State Department. Instead we get “Madame Secretary.” No offense to Tea Leoni, those of you who are her fans.

But there’s a good reason that many former military officers end up working as diplomats serving our country. It’s because the work that we do is important for our soldiers, the soldiers need us, and we need them. Neither diplomacy nor the military can succeed at delivering for presidents and for our country without the other….

In other words: Diplomacy and military strength go hand in hand. They are indeed intimately related. Each relies on the other."

Here's an interesting quote that followed his comments on how the State Department was responsible for putting the strongest sanctions in history on North Korea and how the department was working to "…warn our friends and partners against buying Chinese 5G technology…" (i.e. Huawei) because these companies "…will take (Americans') private information and transfer it to the Chinese Government…"  I guess it's better to have our private data fall into the hands of the American intelligence network and its Five Eyes partner nations.

Here's the final reason why the Department of State is so important:

"The State Department helps with our American diplomats promoting and protecting our values – indeed, our very way of life.

The U.S. is the global standard-bearer for democracy, for freedom, for liberty, and for human rights as well. If we don’t speak up, no one else will." (my bold)

As you will see in the next section of this posting, his comments about the United States being the global standard-bearer are rather hypocritical at best.

Now, we move to the question and answer section of the speech.  Here is the key question:

Question:  "Hi, Mr. Secretary. My name is Ben Allen (ph), and I’m a civil engineering student. My question for you is: How do you balance condemnations with concessions in diplomacy with a controversial government such as Saudi Arabia? Thank you.

Secretary Pompeo:  "So I always begin with a deep understanding that no secretary of state gets through their first day without recognizing it’s a tough world out there. We don’t appreciate how glorious it is to be here in the United States of America on a consistent enough basis and with enough fervor. Maybe you do here at Texas A&M, but I think too many Americans don’t understand how blessed we are. These are – are many, many tough places out there."

Having said that, not all tough places are the same. They each present a different set of challenges. I – it reminds me, you would know this as – it’s a bit of an aside. But in terms of how you think about problem sets, I – when I was a cadet, what’s the first – what’s the cadet motto at West Point? You will not lie, cheat, or steal, or tolerate those who do. I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole. (Laughter.) It’s – it was like – we had entire training courses. (Applause.) It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment.

And so when you deal with these countries, you have to just recognize they’re not all the same. Some of these difficult, nasty places want to partner with the United States and just haven’t gotten to the right place yet, just haven’t been able to move their own institutions. And some of them may only be trying half as much as they ought to be trying, but they’re trying to move in the right direction. That presents a very different way of thinking about how the United States ought to address them. In those cases, we ought to assist them." (my bold)

In case you missed it, here it is again:

…and there you have it, the CIA's business model of lying cheating and stealing straight from the mouth of a former CIA director.

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