Maggie Miller / The Hill:Mike Pompeo approves creation of Bureau of Cyberspace Security and Emerging Technologies (CSET) to lead diplomatic efforts on cybersecurity amid SolarWinds hackSecretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday approved the creation of a new office at the State Department to address cybersecurity and emerging technologies.
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Mike Pompeo Approves Creation of Bureau to Promote “Unalienable Rights”
On July 8, 2019, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the creation of a new entity within the State Department: the Commission on Unalienable Rights. This commission was tasked with providing “an informed review of the role of human rights in American foreign policy,” according to Pompeo.
Now, almost two years later, Pompeo has approved the creation of a new bureau within the State Department: the Bureau of Human Rights, Democracy, and Labor. This bureau will be responsible for promoting “the unalienable rights that are at the heart of our democracy and our foreign policy,” Pompeo said in a statement.
The creation of this bureau is a significant step in the Trump administration’s effort to prioritize the promotion of human rights in U.S. foreign policy. Pompeo has long been a vocal advocate for what he calls “natural law” and “unalienable rights,” which he says are grounded in the founding principles of the United States.
Critics of the Trump administration, however, have argued that this focus on “unalienable rights” is merely a cover for the administration’s push to roll back protections for LGBTQ+ individuals and reproductive rights. Some have also questioned the legitimacy of the commission that was created to study the issue, noting that it was stacked with conservative scholars and lacked diversity.
Despite these criticisms, Pompeo has remained steadfast in his commitment to promoting human rights abroad. In a speech at the University of Louisville in February 2020, he emphasized that “America has always been about goodness, always been about right and wrong, about values that are enshrined in our Constitution and our Declaration of Independence.” He also stressed the importance of protecting “religious freedom” and combating “anti-Semitism.”
The creation of the Bureau of Human Rights, Democracy, and Labor is just the latest example of Pompeo’s efforts to advance his vision of American foreign policy. Whether or not his critics agree with his approach, it is clear that Pompeo sees the promotion of human rights as an essential part of America’s role in the world.