| Before Antony Blinken can become Secretary of State, senators must approve. And before that, they must ask questions.
We've got an email set up and ready to go to your two senators recommending some serious questions they should ask. It will be even better if you modify it and add your own ideas. Click here.
Blinken should be asked about his role in helping start wars in Iraq, Syria, and Libya. Which of those wars does he now regret? What would he do to prevent similar catastrophes going forward?
The trend of the past dozen years is away from ground wars in favor of air wars. This often means more killing, more injuring, and more making people homeless, but with an even higher percentage of all that suffering concentrated on the non-U.S. side. We need to know whether Blinken favors continuing this trend and how he claims to defend it morally and legally.
Much of the U.S. public has been wanting an end to endless wars, and President-elect Biden has promised it. Blinken has suggested that endless wars shouldn't really be ended.1 We need to know which of these wars, if any, he supports actually ending every U.S. role in: Yemen? Afghanistan? Syria? Iraq? Somalia?
Blinken cofounded WestExec Advisors, a company that helps war profiteers get contracts, and serves as a revolving door for unscrupulous individuals who get rich from private money for what they do and whom they get to know in their public jobs. WestExec has paid Blinken nearly $1.2 million for advising corporations, including seven that have recently lobbied the State Department, including Facebook, Boeing, and Blackstone.
Blinken has stakes in WestExec worth $6 million. Blinken has said he will sell his stakes within 90 days and seek authorization in matters involving former clients during his first year, hardly eliminating conflicts of interest. Blinken has also been a partner in Pine Island Capital Partners, which has promised investors profitable government contracts through revolving door connections.
What is Blinken's view on profiting from war? What about profiting from government service? How do past and future profits influence his public actions?
Such questions need to be asked, and your senators should be willing to ask them in public.
The State Department helps weapons companies, including Boeing, win foreign contracts, and approves those sales. Does Blinken believe the State Department should serve as a marketing arm for weapons dealers? Does he believe it should approve weapons sales to foreign governments? What about horribly oppressive foreign governments? Does he support the Stop Arming Human Rights Abusers Act introduced by Congresswoman Ilhan Omar? Does he believe it was a good decision to approve arming Saudi Arabia with Boeing planes leading up to and during the war on Yemen?
The U.S. and Russian governments are heavily armed with nuclear weapons. Blinken has encouraged hostility toward Russia. While in the pay of tech companies, Blinken has promoted blaming election problems on Russia. What will Blinken do to scale back the new Cold War, rejoin disarmament agreements, and move us away from nuclear apocalypse?
Click here to send these key questions to your senators now.
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1. CNN Transcript, September 28, 2014; MSNBC Transcript excerpt, September 5, 2013.
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