In his nomination hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Rex Tillerson won approval on a party line 11-10 vote. This, like so much about the Trump administration, is not normal. Secretary of State nominations almost always sail through with broad bipartisan support given the importance of the top U.S. diplomat job.
But not Rex.
One reason could be Tillerson’s response in his hearing to a question on the Iraq war, where he commented “our motives were commendable…”
That’s a shocking response given that the stated U.S. motives–to rid Iraq of WMD’s–were based on a lie. It makes you wonder what Rex Tillerson thought our motives were? I’m guessing his 41 years with ExxonMobil had some influence!
The full Senate confirmation vote on Rex Tillerson is expected this Wednesday. Please call your Senators today and demand they vote No! on Tillerson. Call toll-free 1-844-735-1362.
I’m also deeply concerned about Tillerson’s human rights record. Our friends at Amnesty International have said that Tillerson’s nomination is “deeply troubling and could undermine human rights in the U.S. and abroad.” Human Rights Watch argues that under Tillerson, Exxon “has been hostile to U.S. laws requiring greater financial transparency and stronger human rights standards for companies – laws that the State Department has supported.”
These sentiments were shared by the ranking democrat on the committee Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), who said, “I did not see that commitment to be the advocate globally for human rights and good governance that I would like to see in a Secretary of State.”
Please act today and call your Senators today at 1-844-735-1362 to ask them to speak out and vote No! on the confirmation of Rex Tillerson.
In his hearing, Tillerson went on to say, “I think in that regard the decision to go into Iraq and change the leadership in Iraq upon reflection was perhaps not – did not achieve those objectives, we do not have a more stable region in the world and our national security has not been enhanced or is still certainly under threat today.”
Rex Tillerson should explore his own role in that.
In 2011, under Tillerson, ExxonMobil negotiated a deal with the Kurdish government in northern Iraq to buy its oil, behind the backs of American diplomats’ efforts to negotiate a plan for sharing Iraq’s oil with various factions, in order to reduce the sectarian tensions that fueled the war in Iraq.
These events illustrate Rex Tillerson’s willingness to blaze his course in pursuit of corporate interests, even when those interests directly collided with stated U.S. foreign policy interests. As the former CEO of ExxonMobil, it’s literally all he knows.
This plot gets even scarier when you think about Tillerson together with Trump. At a speech to C.I.A. employees following the inauguration, Trump had the following to say:
The old expression: “to the victor belong the spoils” – you remember? You always used to say “keep the oil.” I wasn’t a fan of Iraq. I didn’t want to go into Iraq. But I will tell you. When we were in, we got out wrong. And I always said: “In addition to that, keep the oil.” Now I said it for economic reasons, but if you think about, Mike, if we kept the oil we would probably wouldn’t have ISIS, because that’s where they made their money in the first place. So we should have kept the oil. But okay. Maybe we’ll have another chance.
That is why Donald Trump wants Tillerson in this role. That is why your voice is so critical to speak against this.
The full vote in the Senate is likely to take place this Wednesday. Please take a moment today to call your Senators at 1-844-735-1362 and urge them to vote No! on the confirmation of Rex Tillerson.
Humbly for peace,
P.S. This whole cabinet is turning out to be a real doozy. Can you chip in today to make Peace Action bigger, stronger and better able to take this administration head on?