In a strange campaign announcement, Democrat candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg, of South Bend Indiana, issued a statement declaring that he is not, in fact, a CIA asset.
With over 200 endorsements from foreign policy experts, over $500,000 in payments to a private military contractor, a strange trip to Somaliland (note: not Somalia) and a coveted status as the top recipient of donors from the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department, and the Justice Department, Buttigieg’s strange rise to stardom has received attention from far left media outlets who are more inclined to support Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) or Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MI).
Brian Abrams, a prominent left wing journalist who wrote the book Obama: An Oral History, pointed out Buttigieg’s connection to Patriot Group International on Twitter:
“Any idea why Mayor Pete’s campaign has spent nearly $600,000 for ‘security services’ from defense contractor Patriot Group International?”
Abrams added, “Typically it’s municipalities that bill campaigns for protection/public-safety costs, not private spy agencies.”
Any idea why Mayor Pete’s campaign has spent nearly $600,000 for “security services” from defense contractor Patriot Group International? https://t.co/eTosBddAcm
Typically it’s the municipalities that bill campaigns for protection/public-safety costs, not private spy agencies. pic.twitter.com/tDcxpbyPFT
— brian abrams (@BrianAbrams) December 6, 2019
Samuel D. Finkelstein added to the strange billings, noting that “Pete’s $179,617.04 payment to Patriot Group is by far the largest single security payment made by a Presidential campaign, for 2016 or 2020.”
It should also be noted that, at least publicly, there have been no threats on Buttigieg’s life.
President Donald Trump, of course, suffered several attempts on his life during the 2016 presidential campaign, including one man who attempted to snatch a police officer’s gun to shoot him during a rally.
Patriot Group is currently under contract w/the US military.
They provide “contractor-owned, contractor-operated intelligence, surveillance & reconnaissance aerial detection and monitoring support…inside & outside the U.S.”
…and guard Mayor Pete.https://t.co/Aa5Ogl5K8b pic.twitter.com/6tnXDBPtOA
— Samuel D. Finkelstein II (@CANCEL_SAM) December 7, 2019
After left wing alternative media researched a series of connections between Buttigieg and the CIA, the campaign officially denied the allegations in a tongue-in-cheek statement to The Daily Beast:
“We hate to break the news to Twitter, but no, Pete was not in the CIA,” said Chris Meagher, the Buttigieg campaign’s national press secretary. “As for the Somaliland trip, it was not related to his work anywhere. Pete visited a friend while his friend was living in Ethiopia, and the two visited as curious tourists.”
Despite this sobering announcement from Buttigieg’s campaign, the candidate’s strange Iowa victory announcement was cause for more ridicule on Twitter.
Buttigieg famously declared victory in Iowa on election night, despite the state’s election system falling into total disarray with no winner declared until several days afterwords.
For those who never learned the victor in Iowa, Buttiegig did manage to win, narrowly snatching the victory from sanders by a mere 283 votes, and walking away with two more delegates than Sanders in the process. However, this was not confirmed until February 10.
Alex Rubinstein, of The Gray Zone, noted that following Buttigieg’s bizarre declaration of victory, “#CIAPete” became the number 20 trending topic in the United States on Twitter.
— Alex Rubinstein (@RealAlexRubi) February 4, 2020
The Gray Zone specifically notes that it never accused Buttigieg of being a CIA asset, or a member of the CIA (Dear Fact Checkers: National File also is not claiming that Buttigieg is a secret agent backed by the deep state to destroy Sanders’ chances at winning the Democratic nomination):
Neither article published by The Grayzone accused Buttigieg of working for the CIA. However, according to military documents that have gone mostly under the media’s radar, it does appear that the former mayor worked alongside the CIA while serving as a high-ranking Naval intelligence officer during his short stint in Afghanistan.
Moreover, the unit Buttigieg supervised was a subset of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the US agency responsible for the disastrous war on drugs that has spawned humanitarian catastrophes throughout Latin America and much of the world.
It should also be noted that the Buttigieg campaign’s statement to The Daily Beast was not the first time the candidate has insisted that he is not, in fact, a CIA asset.
In December of 2019, Buttigieg himself, not the campaign, told The Atlantic that he is not a CIA asset.
As Buttigieg is now the narrow winner of Iowa, a contest that has predicted nearly every Democrat presidential nominee in living memory, and scored a strong second-place finish in the Sanders stronghold of New Hampshire, it remains to be seen exactly how many more times the candidate will tell Americans that he is totally not controlled by the CIA.