Pompeo Escapes Without a Scratch

The State Department was meant to be a counterpart to the U.S. War Department, writes Caitlin Johnstone. Instead it wound up as a cheering squad for starvation sanctions, proxy wars and war coalitions. 

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at right on ABC’s This Week, Jan. 5. 2020, speaking in praise of the U.S. killing of an Iranian top commander. (Screenshot)

By Caitlin Johnstone

My eclectic news feed looks odd as the hours count down to the end of the Trump administration. Westerners are largely celebrating the exit of President Donald Trump himself, whereas among those I follow who are in areas targeted by U.S. imperialism, the man they’re happiest to see go is Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

It looks very bizarre, as this part of our weird collective adventure comes to an end, how Pompeo’s tenure, first as CIA director and then secretary of state, was almost entirely unmarred by criticism from the political/media class. This is after all a man whose word and deed have been easily more depraved than Trump’s during this profoundly corrupt administration, yet both rank-and-file Democrats and rank-and-file Republicans have been kept only dimly aware of his existence amidst the nonstop scandalous shrieking about the president and his other goons.

This is the man who has spearheaded all of this administration’s most depraved initiatives, like its latest Yemen sanctions which the UN World Food Programme executive director says is “literally is going to be a death sentence to hundreds of thousands, if not millions of innocent people”, its Venezuela regime change ops which have starved untold tens of thousands of civilians to death, its murderous brinkmanship with Iran, and its world-threatening cold war escalations against Russia and China.

The man who openly boasted about lying, cheating and stealing in the CIA. The man who privately said the U.S. would intervene to prevent Jeremy Corbyn from becoming prime Minister in the UK. The man who admitted the U.S. is slamming Iranians with starvation sanctions to force them to rise up against their government. 

The man who designated WikiLeaks a “non-state hostile intelligence service” as Julian Assange’s imprisonment was being orchestrated.

Mike Pompeo as CIA director calling WikiLeaks a nonstate hostile actor. (Screenshot)

This person is disgusting. You could hardly find a worse specimen of human life than Mike Pompeo. Yet amid all the mainstream news media’s relentless histrionics about the Trump administration, criticism of Trump’s own secretary of state has remained a rare sight there, and shrill vitriol like that to which we’ve become accustomed against the rest of Trump’s inner circle has never existed.

After all this time and after all his depraved actions, he is walking away with nary a scratch of media criticism on him.

Normal Depravity

This is because Mike Pompeo’s depravity is the “normal” kind. The kind we’re all meant to be used to. The psychotic, mass murdering American exceptionalist imperialism that the billionaire news media exists to protect and facilitate.

You don’t bite the hand that feeds you, and you don’t attack the man who serves the same empire as you. Gotta maintain that access journalism. This could be your next president, after all.

Pompeo’s exit provides a very short respite between the time he leaves for whatever lucrative neocon think tank gigs he winds up with and the time he re-emerges from the sea like Cthulhu to once again try to devour the world.

He will be replaced as secretary of state in that interim by Tony Blinken, who is another psychopath because that is a job requirement.

The U.S. Department of Defense used to be called the Department of War, which would be a much more honest label today for a military which virtually never operates in any way that could be described as defensive. An even more suitable name would be the Department of Eternal War.

The State Department was meant to be the counterpart to the War Department, focusing on diplomacy and peace. What ended up happening as the U.S. government morphed into a globe-spanning empire dependent on endless violence and aggression is that the State Department wound up focusing more and more on manufacturing interventionist narratives on the world stage to gin up international support for starvation sanctions, proxy wars and war coalitions.

So in practice the U.S. ended up with two war departments: the DoD and the State Department. Which is why you’ve seen the nation’s secretaries of state becoming more and more jingoistic and psychopathic, to the point where some sort of antisocial personality disorder is really a job requirement for the position. Hence Psycho Mike.

I wish humanity a pleasant sigh of relief on Pompeo’s exit. Please enjoy it as much as possible until the Biden administration does whatever horrifying things it’s going to do, and until the eldritch monster re-emerges from the sea.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium.   Her work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking her on Facebook, following her antics on Twitter, checking out her podcast on either YoutubesoundcloudApple podcasts or Spotify, following her on Steemit, throwing some money into her tip jar on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of her sweet merchandise, buying her books Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone and Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.

This article was re-published with permission.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

Donate securely with Paypal


Or securely by credit card or check by clicking the red button:




22 comments for “Pompeo Escapes Without a Scratch

  1. David Hamilton
    January 21, 2021 at 14:11

    When political and imperialistic pronouncements become absurd, like they have been for some time now, you know you’re living in an absurd matrix , like in 1984.

  2. Dave
    January 21, 2021 at 10:49

    Hit the nail on the proverbial head, Ms Johnstone. Now USA is confronted with the potential likes of Tony Blinken and mass murderess Vickie Nuland and her female accomplices, Hillary Clinton and Samantha Power and their likes. The Establishment Democratic Party is simply unbelievable….time to change it completely or get rid of it. It no longer functions in the interests of the USA middle and lower classes. Bye-bye, Pompeo Maximus…go live in Israel and don’t come back.

  3. January 21, 2021 at 04:54

    I have repeatedly been amazed at how little coverage Pompeo has gotten throughout. Truly an insult to invertebrates and a myriad crawling crustacean. I have always regarding def him as most evil and highly dangerous to world peace. Everyone on social media/ cosmeticized news sources have taken on Trump’s idiocies as news and not got their teeth into what really has mattered. All foreign policy and warmongering have been in Pompeo’s play pen. Never aired, analysed by Rachel Maddow et al. Would David Packman enthuse over him?? He would have been behind pardon denial to Assange and Snowden.i said it all along. New set up will be no different

  4. Stench of Decay
    January 21, 2021 at 00:56

    A stinking meat mountain called Pompous Michel

  5. Rob Roy
    January 20, 2021 at 17:50

    Thanks, Caitlin, you are the one who hits the nail on the head every time; or maybe I appreciate you so much because you always write what I’m thinking, but do it so well. All along I’ve thought the worst of the worst of Trump’s chosen was Mike Pompeo, and he’s not through yet. I think he plans to be the frontrunner for president in 2024 for the Republicans…god help us.

  6. robert e williamson jr
    January 20, 2021 at 15:16

    The most keenly perceptive Ms. Johnstone nails it again and again.

    See her last three paragraphs here. If we move from the creation of the CIA forward and study the CIA and State Department from their inception we can learn a load.

    I have often lamented the fact that the idea of the CIA in Truman’s mind was hijacked by Robert Blum and Allen Dulles. I again refer to Arthur B. Darlings The Central Intelligence Agency which reveals that John Foster Dulles being Secretary of State greatly helped his brother and Mr. Blum in their fashioning of CIA. Same with the National Security Council created in Sept of 1947. These guys with the money and connections pulled off the caper.

    SEE THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, And Institution of Government to 1950, by Arthur B. Darling.

    With Allen at CIA and his brother Secretary of State, 1953 – 1959 as far as foreign policy the fix was in. If one looks deep enough you find that the plans and tasks associated with NUMEC started around 1953 and there were rumblings before that, see Grant Smith’s IRmep NUMEC files. Remember the The Department of State is part of the Executive branch.

    Now read that third to last paragraph again.

    Dulles created version of the CIA ended any hope that DOS would operate independently again, in my opinion. Make your own judgements once you study the history here.

    Ms. Johnstone my apologies for this next. See Ms. Johnstones 2nd to last paragraph.

    I will submit CIA was created by individuals who from the very beginning designed a structure for an independent CIA they knew would overpower DoD and State. This explains their Herculean effort to establish their sources and methods caveat that give the agency cart blanch and places them in higher position in the US government hierarchy than State, who also uses that CIA caveat . Their incestuous relationship with DOJ sealed the deal and compromised DOJ’s ability to dispense any justice in my opinion.

    CIA does the dirty deed , classifies it from beginning to end and obtains total immunity from prying minds and suspicion. They abuse the power given them in this way.

    Credit to Ms. Johnstone the secret is out. CIA by having a ticket to where ever they want to go, when they want to go, have hijacked the presidency, DOJ, the state department and DoD.

    Catlin write in the second to last paragraph in the first sentence, ” So in practice the U.S. ended up with two war departments: The DoD and the State Department.”

    My apologies again Caitlin, but you could have said So in practice the U.S. ended up with three war departments: The DoD , the State Department and the CIA who always leads the charge from the shadows of USAID.

    So much thanks for Caitlin’s aid in my describing connection of what I feel has been a missing link that helps describe our corrupt foreign policy of the last 50 years.

    Ms, Johnstone thanks again. A sigh of relief will have to wait as I currently have a mouth full of bile. Revulsion resulting from the horrid turn of events I describe here.

    I’ll be 73 soon that will tell you I was just coming of age when JFK was murdered. So much for the U.S. being a peaceful non-belligerent nation. I can count the number of years the U.S. has been at peace with the rest of the world on one hand. The same can be said of all those who come after my peers and I.

    Now what did I do with the mouth wash.

    Thanks CN

  7. Juan José Torres Núñez
    January 20, 2021 at 14:31

    Dear Caitlin,
    I like your article very much. Probably in the corporate media in the EEUU they forgot about Pompeo but in the digital newspaper Infolibre in Spain they have not. I have talked about him a few times, like in my article “La peligrosa cruzada de Pompeo contra China”.
    Best wishes
    Juan José

  8. Vincent Berg
    January 20, 2021 at 13:21

    Give him a couple of years to “cool off” and he’ll be back, working for the Democraps if he doesn’t run for prez as a Repuglican. They’ll welcome him with open arms. The neocons stick together, party affiliation being a minor irrelevancy. Within two years I can easily envision the ‘Miss Me Yet?’ billbords going up.

    • Maxine
      January 20, 2021 at 16:37

      Orrrr….He’ll be working for CNN, MSNBC or the NYT.

  9. January 20, 2021 at 13:13

    Mike Pompeo is a fundamentalist and Zionist Christian. As such these words of Jesus would especially apply to him:

    “It must needs be that trials and tribulations will come, but woe to those by whom they come. It would be better for such to have a millstone wrung about their neck and be thrown into the sea … ” (Luke 17:1-2)

  10. robert e williamson jr
    January 20, 2021 at 12:45

    Pompeo needed to be head at CIA like JJ Angleton needed to be head of counter intelligence.

    His description of WikiLeaks being a “hostile intelligence service” echos JJA’s “I’m right, your wrong” opinions.

    Opinions protected by the absolute fear he instilled in all around him. A dictator in waiting?

    As little respect that I have for JJA I can assure everyone reading this ” The Great Pompous Ass” is no JJ Angleton. He is simply another very dangerous wanna be.

    His” war at any cost with Iran” shrieks reveal devotion to Israel’s far right wing government and that pretty much says it all for me.

    Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out Mike!

  11. Jonny James
    January 20, 2021 at 11:12

    If “the rule of law” was applied, most of Trump’s cabinet (and Obama’s, Bush Jr.s, etc.) would have been thrown in prison long ago. When the drama settles, we see that it’s the same oligarchy, just different flavors of PR. Pompeo is but one example of the kakistocracy: the most incompetent, immoral and corrupt are retreaded for the “revolving door” of crooks.

    Of course Caitlin, no surprises. Bush Jr., Pompeo, Cheney, HRC, Obama, Trump, and a whole raft of people should be in prison. Feggedaboudit. Of course, scumbag Trump did not pardon Assange, just his cronies.

    US democracy is merely the world’s most expensive PR stunt. Plus, it generates billions for BigMediaCartel, consulting firms, advertising firms, PR firms, etc. Democracy Inc. is run by the oligarchy, for the oligarchy, but don’t take it personal – strictly business.

    • Maxine
      January 20, 2021 at 16:45

      Perhaps one can say that Obama was the worst of the worst….He refused to prosecute the Bush/Cheney war crimes, thus setting the precedent that president’s are above the law and no matter how hideous the crime, need never fear prosecution….Could be because he intended to commit similar crimes.

      • Jonny James
        January 21, 2021 at 16:51

        I take your point: Obama et al. also deemed the criminal banks TBTF (above the law), but failing to prosecute crimes in high places is not new. For relatively recent examples: Nixon/Kissinger were never prosecuted for lying to Congress and failing to inform Congress of the carpet bombing of Laos and Cambodia. These crimes make the Watergate scandal look trivial in comparison. Kissinger has a Nobel Peace Prize and is still alive. (Besides, Ford pardoned Nixon).

        Obama et al. committed their own high crimes and war crimes, and Bush Jr./Cheney mass murdered more people since the so-called Vietnam war. No one has the raw power to hold any of these folks accountable. Instead, they are lavished with praise by the media, and rewarded with ridiculous speaking fees, fat contracts and book deals.

        We don’t have “the rule of law” we have the Law of the Jungle. The US Empire does not have to abide by its own treaties and agreements. The US started this by flagrant violation of treaties and agreements with the indigenous nations. So, the application of the law has never been equal. The “rule of law” is a privilege and tool of the powerful.

  12. Deniz
    January 20, 2021 at 10:02

    Mike Pompeo and John Bolton are undeniable facts that destroy any credibility in Trumps anti war rhetoric; just surely as Syria and Libya destroyed Obama’s.

  13. Gerard Vaughan
    January 20, 2021 at 09:39

    If God allows that I shall definitely loose All faith in His “mysterious ways” !.

  14. Richard Lemieux
    January 20, 2021 at 09:36

    Pompeo just created noise and chaos in foreign politics. A minor general playing old tricks. What did he accomplish for humanity or even just for the US? Next to nothing. The US lost four years and over a billion friends all over Asia. He isn’t even worth a mention.

  15. Gerard Vaughan
    January 20, 2021 at 09:35

    Caitlin Johnson you really cut to the bone on that piece of Pork ! Thank you.

  16. Diane Lesher
    January 20, 2021 at 09:33

    You said it so much better than I could have ever said. My husband and I are ex-US pats living in Chile and we’re very concerned about what the Biden administration will do in Latin America, and especially to Venezuela and other socialist countries, and for those of us whose countries are moving left. As you know, Chile is about to write a new constitution to change the neoliberal policies, among other others that the US helped to install under Pinochet, which is still destroying the non-elite to this day. I can only hope that we will be strong enough to stop the Imperial US from once again destroying our lives but sadly when Americans are still asleep to anything happening outside the US plus with Joe Biden about to take office, I don’t see anything changing for the good. Just look at who is on his cabinet. That should tell you all you need to know. Good luck to us all because we’re going to need it.

  17. John Puma
    January 20, 2021 at 09:18

    I’ll concede my memory is fading a bit but can someone refer me to the equivalent of this article from early 2017 in reference to then outgoing Sec. State Hillary (“We came, we saw, he died”) Clinton?

  18. Andrew Nichols
    January 20, 2021 at 04:06

    This vile Pompous person has decisively set a new depth benchmark for grotesque SOS office holders, taking the title from the last record holder, one HR Clinton. Like global warming, it just keeps getting worse yet all the vassals still bow and scrape to the Caesars corpulent Consigliore hit man. Watch him become the front runner as Republican nominee for POTUS next election as various commentators have already predicted that the election of the geriatric neoliberal Corporocrat Biden with his plutocrat friendly policies of the past will ensure a more evil Trump like demagogue is POTUS next time round. Too bad for Planet Earth.

    • Diane Lesher
      January 20, 2021 at 09:46

      I agree, Andrew with everything that you said. Seeing who Biden wants in his cabinet, as they’re now being vetted by both corrupt parties, they’ve already decided who gets to fill those seats, and therefore the worst is yet to come. I agree that someone more mentally keen but not saner or more humane will come along to fill the void for the Republicans or for the Democrats for that matter. With global heating ramping up faster than the growing infighting occurring on US streets and not at the corporate elites who are the true destroyers of the planet and of humanity, Biden’s pathetic green energy plan will do nothing to stop what’s coming, we truly are doomed.

Comments are closed.