Pompeo's East German War

Mike Pompeo testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for the first time in a year yesterday. Many of the senators challenged him over the recently announced withdrawal of approximately 12,000 troops from Germany, and Pompeo defended the decision with his characteristic dishonesty.

The Guardian reported on one of Pompeo’s exchanges:

When pressed by Shaheen on the impact of the withdrawal on the relationship with Berlin, Pompeo did not directly respond, but said: “This is personal for me. I fought on the border of East Germany when I was a young soldier. I was stationed there.”

There was no fighting along the border with East Germany at any point. Since WWIII didn’t erupt in the late ‘80s, one would think this would be hard to miss. Pompeo’s service in the Army in Germany never once involved anything that could be described as fighting. It is obvious that Pompeo just made this up to embellish his service record and to deflect criticism, but as with so many blatant lies that Pompeo tells he wasn’t called out for it. As if to underscore how useless most Democrats are at holding this administration to account, Sen. Shaheen responded with this toothless rejoinder:

Shaheen shot back, noting that “your unit is coming back to the United States” as a result of the policy change.

This is hardly a devastating criticism, but the depressing thing is that Shaheen thought that it was. Instead of pointing out Pompeo’s flagrant dishonesty and self-aggrandizement, she settled for the weakest answer possible. This is not the first time that Pompeo has made false statements to Congress, and he has lied about much more important things, but the ease with which he lies about the most basic facts of his own career should show that he cannot be trusted about anything. The same man who tells us that North Korea agreed to disarm and claims that the U.S. killed Soleimani to ward off an “imminent” attack casually lies about his own record under oath. He is a serial liar, and should be judged accordingly.