Pompeo Called Me a ‘Liar.’ That’s Not What Bothers Me.

  
Via:  pat-wilson  •  2 months ago  •  20 comments

By:   Mary Louise Kelly

Pompeo Called Me a ‘Liar.’ That’s Not What Bothers Me.
Journalists are supposed to ask tough questions, then share the answers — or lack thereof — with the world.

The way Pompeo treated Ms. Kelly was appalling. She is an esteemed journalist for NPR and is and was with Pompeo as professional as they come.

Pompeo was left looking like an angry, ignorant child. Trump praised him of course.


S E E D E D   C O N T E N T




Ask journalists why they do the job they do, and you’ll hear a range of answers. Here’s mine: Not every day, but on the best ones, we get to put questions to powerful people and hold them to account. This is both a privilege and a responsibility.

January has been an interesting month on this front. I’ve had the opportunity to put questions, one on one, to the top diplomats of both the United States and Iran, in their respective capitals.

Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, spoke to me on Jan. 7 in Tehran. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke to me last Friday, in Washington. Each man represents a nation in conflict with the other; speaking with them, I wondered what path either could see out of the situation. In both cases, I was allotted 10 minutes for questions.

It turns out you can cover a lot of ground in 10 minutes. When Mr. Zarif sat down with me, on the sidelines of a big think tank conference focused on security in the Persian Gulf, it was just four days after an American drone strike had killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani. We started there.

How might Iran retaliate for General Suleimani’s death? “The United States has committed a grave error,” Mr. Zarif told me. “And it will pay for that grave error.” I do not know whether, at that moment, he was aware that just hours later, Iran would unleash missiles on Iraqi military bases where American troops are housed.

We moved on to whether he would travel to New York later that week, to attend Security Council meetings at the United Nations.

“No,” he told me, “because Mike Pompeo decided I was too dangerous for the United States.” The United States had denied Mr. Zarif a visa, in what some have branded a violation of the 1947 United Nations headquarters agreement , which generally requires the United States to grant access to the United Nations for foreign diplomats.

Next I asked whether we were witnessing the death of the 2015 nuclear deal. Mr. Zarif insisted no — even as he acknowledged that Iran was suspending compliance with centrifuge limits.

The foreign minister and I ended with a tense exchange on what is an uncomfortable question for him: The status of United States citizens imprisoned in Iran, and whether future prisoner exchanges were off the table. “We had proposed a universal exchange of all prisoners and we were doing that in good faith,” Mr. Zarif said. But are those channels still open? No, he conceded, saying, “Those talks are certainly suspended now.”


My interview with Secretary Pompeo came two weeks and three days later, in the East Hall of the Treaty Room, on the seventh floor of the State Department. By then an uneasy pause had taken hold; the United States and Iran appeared, for the moment, to have stepped back from the brink of war.

I kicked off with a question on diplomacy. Is there any serious initiative underway to reopen diplomacy with Iran? “We’ve been engaged in deep diplomatic efforts since the first day of the Trump administration,” Mr. Pompeo replied, underlining American efforts to build a coalition to counter and contain Iran.

But in terms of American engagement with Iran, I went on, are there any plans for talks? “The diplomatic effort on this front has been vigorous, robust and enormously successful,” Mr. Pompeo said, changing the subject back to engaging American allies to put pressure on Iran.

Another question I was curious to hear Secretary Pompeo answer was how the Trump administration plans to prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons, should it decide to do so, given that Iran is closer to a nuclear weapons capability than when President Trump took office.

Here’s the relevant portion of the interview:

KELLY : How do you stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon?

POMPEO : We’ll stop them.

KELLY : How? Sanctions?

POMPEO : We’ll stop them.

He did not offer specifics. Nor did he elaborate, when pressed on how to square his resolve with what Mr. Zarif had just told me — that all limits on Iran’s centrifuge program have been suspended.

“Yeah,” Mr. Pompeo said. “He’s blustering.”

Do you have evidence that he’s blustering? He did not directly answer. (In fairness, I could hardly expect him to telegraph what intelligence the United States may possess on the Iranian regime’s nuclear ambitions.)

I write about all this now to refocus attention on the substance of the interviews, which has been overshadowed by Mr. Pompeo’s subsequently swearing at me, calling me a liar and challenging me to find Ukraine on an unmarked map .

For the record, I did. That’s not the point. The point is that recently the risk of miscalculation — of two old adversaries misreading each other and accidentally escalating into armed confrontation — has felt very real. It occurs to me that swapping insults through interviews with journalists such as me might, terrifyingly, be as close as the top diplomats of the United States and Iran came to communicating this month.

There is a reason that freedom of the press is enshrined in the Constitution. There is a reason it matters that people in positions of power — people charged with steering the foreign policy of entire nations — be held to account. The stakes are too high for their impulses and decisions not to be examined in as thoughtful and rigorous an interview as is possible.

Journalists don’t sit down with senior government officials in the service of scoring political points. We do it in the service of asking tough questions, on behalf of our fellow citizens. And then sharing the answers — or lack thereof — with the world.

Mary Louise Kelly is co-host of NPR’s “All Things Considered” and is a former NPRnational security correspondent.




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pat wilson
1  seeder  pat wilson    2 months ago

There is a reason that freedom of the press is enshrined in the Constitution. There is a reason it matters that people in positions of power — people charged with steering the foreign policy of entire nations — be held to account. The stakes are too high for their impulses and decisions not to be examined in as thoughtful and rigorous an interview as is possible.

Journalists don’t sit down with senior government officials in the service of scoring political points. We do it in the service of asking tough questions, on behalf of our fellow citizens. And then sharing the answers — or lack thereof — with the world.

Mary Louise Kelly

 
 
 
WallyW
1.1  WallyW  replied to  pat wilson @1    2 months ago

No....they do it for their left wing political  buddies..

The MSM can't be trusted to tell the truth

 
 
 
pat wilson
1.2  seeder  pat wilson  replied to  pat wilson @1    2 months ago

I have to lock article. My internet connection keeps going out

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
2  Vic Eldred    2 months ago

Mary Kelly is no journalist. She is part of the resistance.

 
 
 
Dean Moriarty
2.1  Dean Moriarty  replied to  Vic Eldred @2    2 months ago

Yes NPR has really gone down the tubes in the last twelve years. Now that All things considered lost Robert Siegel it's really not worth listening to anymore. They should be stripped of all federal funding. 

 
 
 
pat wilson
2.1.1  seeder  pat wilson  replied to  Dean Moriarty @2.1    2 months ago

That's bullshit.

 
 
 
Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom
2.1.2  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom  replied to  Dean Moriarty @2.1    2 months ago
They should be stripped of all federal funding.

I'm pretty sure they can do without it.

256

Source

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
2.1.3  Vic Eldred  replied to  Dean Moriarty @2.1    2 months ago

Let them do like CNN - put up there own money to keep a loser going!

 
 
 
pat wilson
2.2  seeder  pat wilson  replied to  Vic Eldred @2    2 months ago
the resistance.

Oooohhhh, the big ole, bad ole "resistance".

[deleted]

 
 
 
Larry Hampton
2.2.1  Larry Hampton  replied to  pat wilson @2.2    2 months ago

No need to bring facts or truth when all ya need (or have) is “resistance”, “deep state”, “Clinton”, “Obama”. It riles up rump’s base and deflects responsibility. 
Those are  the only tactics needed by the Post-Republican party to ensure none focus on the travesty they are perpetrating.

 
 
 
pat wilson
2.2.2  seeder  pat wilson  replied to  Larry Hampton @2.2.1    2 months ago

Gas-lighting is trumpers' default setting.

Sorry, ya'll, it isn't working.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
2.2.3  Vic Eldred  replied to  pat wilson @2.2    2 months ago

Over the likes of the elite left? It invigorates me every morning as I work on the speed bag. Always thinking of them.

But thanks for always mentioning me.

 
 
 
pat wilson
2.2.4  seeder  pat wilson  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.2.3    2 months ago
But thanks for always mentioning me.

You mean the gas-lighting ? You're welcome.

 
 
 
Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom
2.3  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom  replied to  Vic Eldred @2    2 months ago
Mary Kelly is no journalist. 

Whatever you say dear...

Mary Louise Kelly has spent two decades traveling the world as a reporter for NPR and the BBC. Her assignments have taken her from grimy Belfast bars to the glittering ports of the Persian Gulf, and from mosques in Hamburg to the ruined deserts of Iraq. As NPR’s National Security Correspondent, she reports on wars, terrorism, spy agencies and rising nuclear powers. A Georgia native, her first job was working as a staff writer at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Kelly was educated at Harvard University and at Cambridge University in England.  Source

Would I be right in guessing that you feel threatened by strong, educated women?  If so, it would be something you have in common with Mr. Pompeo.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
2.3.1  Vic Eldred  replied to  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom @2.3    2 months ago
Would I be right in guessing that you feel threatened by strong, educated women? 

Mary is neither

 
 
 
Sparty On
2.4  Sparty On  replied to  Vic Eldred @2    2 months ago
Mary Kelly

Ah yes, the left in attack mode protecting one of their own by attacking a civil servant who's only mistake was to serve in a Trump Administration.      I'll take Pompeo's resume over Kelly's any day.

Graduated first in his class at West Point with an Engineering degree.   Tank Platoon commander in Germany and left Army as a Captain.   Harvard Law Degree.   Practiced law, started and sold a successful business, US House Rep for six years, CIA Director for one year, SOS for three.   Yeah, he's the type the left loves to hate.

Yep, he's got nothing to apologize to Mary "resistance" Kelly about.

 
 
 
pat wilson
2.4.1  seeder  pat wilson  replied to  Sparty On @2.4    2 months ago

They both have impressive resumes but only Pompeo lied and acted the fool.

 
 
 
Sparty On
2.4.2  Sparty On  replied to  pat wilson @2.4.1    2 months ago

Thats a matter of opinion.  

Mine is that Kelly intentionally ambushed Pompeo and that's not genuine journalism.   It's tantamount to lying and a bush league journalism move.

That's more TMZ than NPR .....

 
 
 
Larry Hampton
2.5  Larry Hampton  replied to  Vic Eldred @2    2 months ago

HA! 

(not a journalist)....sure...jrSmiley_26_smiley_image.gif

Kelly's first post-college job was reporting on local politics for her hometown newspaper, the   Atlanta Journal-Constitution . After her post-graduate studies in   Cambridge, England , and internships at the   British Broadcasting Corporation   (BBC) in   Scotland   and   London , Kelly joined the   Boston   team that launched the radio news magazine   The World , a joint venture between the   BBC   and   Public Radio International .

The following year, Kelly returned to the UK, working as a host, foreign correspondent and senior producer for the   BBC World Service , and as a producer at   CNN   in London. Kelly reported from the Afghan-Pakistan border, radical Hamburg mosques, Kosovo refugee camps and the deck of an   aircraft carrier . At the BBC, she covered the peace talks that ended   the troubles   in   Northern Ireland .

In 2001, Kelly returned to the United States to join   NPR   in   Washington . For three years, she edited NPR's evening newsmagazine,   All Things Considered . The NPR website described her as a "bad-ass babe on breaking news". [4]   In 2004, Kelly launched NPR's intelligence beat. [2]   She reported on spy agencies such as the   Central Intelligence Agency , the   Defense Intelligence Agency , and the   National Security Agency . In 2005, Kelly became the first reporter to interview   Gary Schroen , the   CIA   operative who was dropped into   Afghanistan   in the aftermath of the   September 11 attacks   with a six-man team and a directive to bring back the head of Bin Laden. [5]   In 2006, Kelly broke the news of the CIA's secret decision to disband the unit aimed at searching for   Osama Bin Laden . [6]   The story caused an uproar and led to the Senate voting on September 8, 2006, to reinstate the unit.

From January 2009 to 2011, Kelly was National Public Radio's senior   Pentagon   correspondent , reporting on defense and   foreign policy   issues. As part of NPR's national security team, Kelly covered the   Obama administration's   approach to the wars in   Afghanistan   and the   Iraq War . She also focused on how the U.S. projected its military power elsewhere in the world; how the U.S. reacted to, and dealt with, the emerging global military muscle of countries such as   China ; and the way in which U.S. foreign policy goals are often sought, and sometimes achieved, through defense and   Intelligence agency   channels. [7]

From 2011 to 2014, Kelly focused on writing novels, and raising her sons, moving twice to live in Florence, Italy. She became a contributing editor at   The Atlantic   magazine in 2014, hosting multiple live events including the   Aspen Ideas Festival , The Washington Ideas Forum and CityLab London. [8]

In 2016, Kelly returned to   NPR   as National Security Correspondent and guest host of   Morning Edition   and   All Things Considered . She continued as a contributing editor at   The Atlantic   magazine and is working on her third novel. [ citation needed ]

In January 2018, Kelly took over as anchor of flagship daily news show   All Things Considered , following the retirement of   Robert Siegel . [9]

~WIKI~

Deepstate is a fevered hallucination, used as an excuse to disavow opposing views, and rile up rumps base.

 
 
 
Transyferous Rex
3  Transyferous Rex    2 months ago
Ask journalists why they do the job they do, and you’ll hear a range of answers. Here’s mine: Not every day, but on the best ones, we get to put questions to powerful people and hold them to account. This is both a privilege and a responsibility.

My undergrad degree is in broadcast journalism. I worked on some big projects with national companies, worked live broadcasts, most of which would have been cool stuff. The one thing I couldn't take was dealing with all of the self-important, circle jerkers in broadcast. Everyone! The little moron that is getting coffee thinks he knows more than the expert being interviewed. Why do they do what they do? It's right there in the quote, but not the altruist BS contained in the quote. Journalists are, in my experience, the most egotistical, selfish people on the planet. "we get to put questions to powerful people..." and either prop them up or burn them down, which strokes our ego further...

 
 
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