Philippines pledges cooperation with new USA top diplomat

15 March, 2018, 06:10 | Author: Elena Summers
  • Image via Jared Rodriguez at Truthout on Flickr

US President Donald Trump's decision to tap a hard-liner as his new secretary of state ahead of a historic US-North Korea summit hints at serious intentions for the talks, and the intention to tighten his grip over North Korea policy, experts say.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein -- who was Senate Intelligence chairwoman in 2014 for the committee's massive 6,000-page report on the Bush-era interrogation programs -- had some praise for Haspel on Tuesday, though she said she was not going to decide on her nomination until after the confirmation hearing.

Graham was referencing his and McCain's successful push in 2015 for a formal ban across the U.S. government on the use of waterboarding and other techniques that aren't in the Army Field Manual for interrogations, which made the Bush-era tactics illegal. McCain also mentioned that Haspel carried out an order to destroy video of waterboarding.

Tillerson learned on Tuesday that he had been fired from his position as Secretary of State following a tweet from President Trump thanking him for his service; Trump also announced on Tuesday that Mike Pompeo will replace him.

The first two of these initiatives were Obama signature policies, and Trump has also partially rolled back other key measures from the previous administration like the Cuba liberalisation initiative. He was vocal in accusing her of a major cover-up of the 2012 attack on a USA consulate in Libya.

Pompeo, a former Kansas GOP congressman and tea party leader, was among seven speakers Stewart, R-Utah, lined up for the March 26 event titled "Defining America's Role in the World".

Republican Senator John McCain, Chairman of the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee said the torture of detainees in U.S. custody during the last decade was one of the darkest chapters in American history.

Trump defended the torture of detainees during the 2016 presidential race, saying it "works".

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"I've worked with Mike Pompeo now for quite some time", Trump said Tuesday, minutes after he announced Tillerson's dismissal in a Twitter post.

U.S., British, French and German officials are due to meet on the deal Thursday in Berlin. But they did not immediately provide details. "She cares deeply about the mission of the agency and she cares deeply about the men and women of the agency", Morell said. Senator Richard Burr, R-N.C., the chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, which will vote whether to confirm Haspel, said she has the "right skill set, experience and judgment" to lead the CIA. "I made the North Korea decision with consultations from many people, but I made that decision by myself", he said.

Tillerson said, noting it was he who had declared on his first trip to Asia as secretary that the "era of strategic patience is over".

Iran is a third test, those officials said.

Some foreign policy experts expressed dismay at the decision to swap out top diplomats so soon before the unprecedented meeting and anxious that Pompeo would encourage Trump to scrap the Iran nuclear deal and be hawkish on North Korea. "As soon as we get the facts straight, if we agree with them, we will condemn Russian Federation or whoever it may be", he said.

"There is no question that a director leaving after a year is very turbulent for the agency", said former CIA Director Michael Hayden. But she is a visible presence inside Central Intelligence Agency headquarters, running day-to-day operations while Pompeo handled the public-facing aspects of the job, making speeches and media appearances and meeting with the president. Tillerson's brutal departure may reduce the U.S. administration's divisions on key foreign policy issues, but is unlikely to stop continued flip-flops by the President which reflect the ad-hoc nature of his style of governing, policy inexperience, and contrarian nature.

Haspel has served in a number of undercover overseas posts, including as chief of the CIA's station in London and its base in NY. Supposedly he's trying to do what he can without access to important intelligence, but it's only a matter of time before everyone realizes how ridiculous this arrangement is. "She's got the highest level of intellectual integrity and honesty".

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