February 1, 2023

Trump’s new Secretary of State nominee was just dragged into a military service scandal

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The chaotic maelstrom that is the Trump administration continues to churn, ejecting high-level officials and sucking in new ones at a turnover rate unprecedented in modern times. Now that the president has removed Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State he is trying to slot his CIA Director Mike Pompeo into the role.


Pompeo — as obsequious a Trump lackey as one is likely to find — is still having a bit of a rocky confirmation process, with Democrats adamantly opposed and even some Republicans voicing concerns about the appointment.

Many see Pompeo’s coziness with Trump as a black mark and believe that a vote for him would be a tacit vote of approval for Trump’s broader, disastrous agenda. Pompeo is a devoted conservative partisan, with all of the regressive baggage that comes with it.

His reputation is unlikely to improve any time, especially given today’s revelation that his military service was not quite what it’s been presented as. Splinter News reports that the  CIA has confirmed to them that — contrary to Pompeo’s Wikipedia page and statements from Republican Congresspeople — Pompeo did not serve in the Gulf War. While he was in the U.S. Army from 1986 to 1991, he was not deployed to the Gulf War theater.

Ned Price, a former CIA officer during the Obama administration pointed out the shocking discrepancy via Twitter.

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Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) even included Pompeo’s imagined Persian Gulf deployment in a letter he and several allies penned in support of his Secretary of State nomination.

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) aped the story of Pompeo’s fake service during the confirmation hearings for his appointment as CIA Director.

It’s still unclear how exactly this fake story was first propagated, but Pompeo must be held accountable for the fact that he has failed to correct the record even after hearing this lie repeated over and over again. Presumably, he realizes that letting people claim he served in the Gulf War pads his resume in a way that will make it easier for him to advance his career.

It’s a grave disservice to those servicemen and woman who actually deployed during Operation Desert Storm. He should be ashamed, and he deserves the nation an explanation. Even if he wasn’t an Islamaphobic warmonger who peddled absurd Benghazi conspiracy theories, his failure to honestly state his service record alone makes him unfit to be Secretary of State.

Natalie Dickinson

Natalie is a staff writer for the Washington Press. She graduated from Oberlin College in 2010 and has been freelance blogging and writing for progressive outlets ever since.

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