Rumors are being swirled about the future of current rump Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. As the junior member of the junta keeping Trump from doing anything catastrophic, like attacking North Korea or England, Tillerson has presided over the ongoing slow motion deconstruction of the State Department and has provided some cover for Mattis, McMaster and Kelley. Tillerson, as the only not-a-general member of the junta gives the impression that civilians still run the country.
But while the focus is currently on his looming removal what strikes us as far more significant is the suggestion that Mike I-don’t-know-about-any-Russians Pompeo will be moved from his current perch as pretend director of the CIA to replace Rex.
And that’s curious.
The argument put forward by the not too dimwitted media is that Pompeo and possibly the insertion of Senator Tom we-can-bomb-the-crap-out-of-Iran Cotton as Pompeo’s replacement represents a metastasizing of the Trump tumor. Cotton and Pompeo being both Trump supporters and in Pompeo’s case a craven feckless political whore and in Cotton’s case, a gung ho true believer, their movement/elevation would, so the reasoning goes, represent the ascendency of the goons.
We have a different narrative.
Pompeo is a political whore who hasn’t just sipped the kool aid, but has had a hose placed up his ass and had his mouth turned into a remote controlled soda jerk so he can spew whatever Putin Inc. bullshit is required. In other words in order to stage a bloodless palace coup at Langley, the CIA, Kelly, and their (situational) allies have to throw Rex overboard. Get rid of Tillerson and you make space for Pompeo who has to be removed from spook central because he’s a threat to their business and a threat to their war with the FSB and Putin Inc.
Once he’s sent over to Foggy Bottom for some cash and a nice desk to be named later, Pompeo will become a nobody worse off than Hamlet’s father and unable to even spur anyone into doing anything as Tillerson and Trump have castrated the State Department and left it irrelevant.
As to Cotton what matters is that while a jackass, he is a creature of the Senate and the military and thus their jackass. As a result of that he will be owned by the decadent and depraved gentleman’s club, deferential to the generals, and will be rope-a-doped by the intelligence community mandarins.
The wider and more significant context to all of this is Robert Mueller and the background radiation of lawsuits regarding surveillance, and the investigation into the Russians, and collusion.
Pompeo is not one of us, they will whisper at Langley. Cotton isn’t either but he’s one of them (the Senate and the generals) and can be kept running in circles for months by an endless assembly line rush of reports, assessments and other ephemera. Pompeo, who’s an idiot, can preside over the dead at State while Kelly continues to run the government as the nation’s unelected commander and chief.
Welcome to the Banana Republic.
Read some details here:
Below find a link to a Dailybeast article offering some insider views on potential CIA pick Tom Cotton. The views range from his being described as a neo-fascist to his being an incompetent neo-fascist.
In other words not very different from Pompeo.
This does raise another possibility in understanding Kelly’s rearranging the menu on the Hindenburg as it heads towards the mooring tower in Lakehurst. That is, Trump must be assauged. He’s fallen out with Tillerson, and impotent but vile Trump acolytes must be drafted to keep the malignant troll happy and give the appearance that he is actually in charge. This is a variation on our previous narrative. In this version Pompeo (as described in the Dailybeast article) is still shuffled off to a bureaucratic limbo but, because he is more of a political animal than Tillerson, he will attempt to resurrect Foggy Bottom. Of course Trump’s idea of diplomacy is grabbing the world by the pussy so one shouldn’t expect Pompeo to last very long as an activist Secretary of State.
Which brings us to the young brownshirt, Tom Cotton whose hobbies include advocating torture, war with Iran, setting fire to the Bill of Rights and long slow walks in the moonlight while reciting dialogue from Leni Riefenstahl films. The problem for Cotton is that everything he’s in favor of is either illegal and or politically radioactive which leaves him as a damp bureaucratic squib. He will have zero support inside the CIA, and no support on the Hill for overriding the law or changing the political calculus on torture or military adventures. While it’s true and worth considering that the Cotton for Pompeo trade is a net neutral action and Cotton is no more likely to be friendly to attempts to link Trump to Putin Inc. , he is in for a rude awakening at his new post. Kelly did not pick his name out of his ass. He had to possess two qualities above all others. He had to be a neo-fascist thug masquerading as a republican in order to appease Trump and he had to be politically dead on arrival to appease the career spooks. In other words he could not be worse than Pompeo.
Cotton is not Obama (whose political rabbi was Ted Kennedy) and he’s certainly not the second coming of JFK. In other words his youth is a liability not an asset. He will be undermined by those theoretically serving under him, he will be blocked by old bulls in the senate and his lust for blood and adventure will hit the same roadblock Trump has run into – namely the three headed general comprising the junta.
Trump is intimidated by generals. He is intimidated by the reality of their lived experience. They are not interested in anything he can give them – transitory fame, empty praise, money, television shows, and condos replete with samovars and portraits of dead Czars. They are men who have been in combat and sent others to die. Trump is a limp dick next to them and he knows it and so do they. In this scenario Cotton is about to find out he’s a punk who has been traded for the political version of a box of smokes and a place to stand.
Kelly, who is apparently masterminding all of this emerges as a Machiavelli vs Trump as a kind of Frank Burns but less charming and half as smart which is a bit like being the dumb cousin who makes Gomer Pyle look like a genius. Trump however, gets to maintain his delusions of power and potency and his base gets to riot over fresh meat like a pack of starved orcs in the middle of a forced march to Isengard.
And Kelly & Co. go on running the country and preventing a disaster while exacerbating the disaster that is the end of the pretense of civilian control of the government.
See the Dailybeast piece here:
More palace intrigue. It is now being suggested that Trump was aiming to get Tillerson to quit and therefore was behind the leaks, the swirl and the “plan” to shuffle Pompeo off to State and to insert Cotton at the CIA. While the stupidity of it fits Trump perfectly it also requires a level of thinking that is beyond Trump. The key ingredient that favors the scenario in which Trump was behind it is the insertion of Cotton at Langley which would maintain the anti Putin tone of the DCIA and put a more Trump-esque goon at State. Tillerson’s rabbi, Mattis intervened and helped block the shuffle. Additionally the Flynn dumpster fire made the move somehow politically unpalatable. How that would stop Trump who is reality adverse is not really clear. After all, once you give up paying attention to reality why bother with political optics?
Of course while the simplest explanation may be the best answer to the puzzle one must avoid an overreliance on the Occam’s Razor idea and also consider that more than one thing can be true at the same time. Trump wants Tillerson out. He wants Pompeo in but needs someone who is more like Pompeo than not to replace him; therefore, Cotton. All good as far as it goes but that’s just it – it has to go from Trump to someone else and that someone else is Chief of Staff Kelly. Which brings us more or less back to where we started.
Read some speculation here:
The Intercept is reporting on plans by private paramilitary firms to establish a mercenary force for Donald Trump. If true this adds context to the recent speculation of trading Pompeo for Cotton and dropping Pompeo in Foggy Bottom.
It also suggests the extent to which the fascist supporters of Trump are willing to go in their competition with the career mandarins of the intelligence agency and how far the intelligence agencies are willing to go in staging a coup to remove Trump.
See the details here: