While President-elect Donald Trump garners daily headlines for his Twitter comments, cabinet appointments and possible conflicts of interests, a new report suggests that Vice President-elect Mike Pence may be more extreme than Trump (video below).
Journalist Jeremy Scahill appeared on Democracy Now! Nov. 21 and explained Pence's connection with the former mercenary group Blackwater, which killed innocent people in Iraq while contracted by the Bush-Cheney administration:
I’ve been covering Mike Pence for almost a decade, and my initial gateway into covering Pence is because he was one of the candidates that received the most funding from Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater, who during the Bush-Cheney years operated what amounted to a Christian supremacist neo-Crusader militia.
And Pence was actually the member of Congress that invited and welcomed and threw a party for Erik Prince in the aftermath of the Nisoor Square massacre in Baghdad in 2007, when Blackwater operatives killed a dozen and a half Iraqi civilians, including small children. So, Pence sort of was on my radar because of looking at who Erik Prince and his family were funding.
Later in the interview, Scahill recalled Pence's attempt to link HIV funding to anti-gay therapy while governor of Indiana:
He held up HIV medication and treatment funding, trying to put on it a requirement that it come with a therapy that would preach against the evils of gay sex. He has said that he believes that the only safe sex is no sex, and he chided former Secretary of State Colin Powell for suggesting that people should use condoms when having sex.
Scahill wrote in The Intercept Nov. 15 that Pence supports making abortion a crime, does not think federal law enforcement needs a FISA warrant to spy on Americans, opposes legal protection for whistleblowers, supports imprisoning people in Guantanamo Bay, opposes non-emergency care for those who cannot make a Medicare co-payment and opposes allowing more kids to be covered under the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which President Barack Obama did expand.
Pence signed a law in June that required fetal remains from abortion to be buried or cremated in Indiana; however, Judge Tanya Walton Pratt suspended the law because she believed it would probably violate U.S. Supreme Court rulings on abortion, reported IndyStar.
(Note: Scahill interview begins at 5:30 mark)