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Vargo Leaving Pennington County Post to Fight for Rule of Law (and Against Chinese Communists?) in Southeast Asia

Mark Vargo is enjoying a lot of job mobility. In the past year, he has gone from Pennington County state’s attorney to South Dakota Attorney General, back to Pennington County state’s attorney, and now off to Thailand to serve as a super-secret spy or at least that’s the closest I can figure from the vague description of his new Asian post:

Vargo, who served as the state’s 32nd Attorney General last year, confirmed to Dakota News Now/KOTA Territory that he would be taking a post in the country, to work on “rule of law projects” related to southeast Asia.

The job will include helping countries in the region craft and improve their legal systems and governing documents.

…Vargo’s last day in office will April 24. He and his wife intend to be in Thailand by May, while still maintaining a residence in the Rapid City area [Austin Goss, “Former South Dakota Attorney General to Take Post in Thailand,” KSFY, 2023.03.14].

“Rule of law projects” in multiple southeast Asian countries—yeah, right! I’ll bet Vargo is just one of several smart, dashing South Dakota politicos whom Governor Kristi Noem is dispatching to Thailand to fight Chinese agents and undermine CCP influence in neighboring countries. Go get ’em, Mark!


  1. Donald Pay 2023-03-15

    Interesting. My daughter recently relocated to Bangkok from Beijing. She and her husband needed a change after years in China.

  2. Kurt Evans 2023-03-15

    I’ve long wondered whether Mark Vargo was a Five Eyes operative, and this keeps me wondering.

  3. Arlo Blundt 2023-03-15

    Sounds like a USAID project. When a country accepts our foreign aid, they accept projects like this as part of the deal. USAID subcontractors are busy across the globe.

  4. grudznick 2023-03-15

    Do you think he’s going after Mr. Nelson, the ex-Marine?

  5. grudznick 2023-03-15

    It would be just like when Mr. Captain Ben Willard was sent to collect Mr. Colonel Walter E. Kurtz, the uncle of grudznick’s close personal friend Lar, and Mr. Kurtz is accused of being totally insaner than most.

    Mr. Vargo:

    They told me that you had gone totally insaner than most and that your methods were unsound, like Ms. Taffy’s.

    Mr. Nelson, answering like Mr. Kurtz:

    Are my methods unsound?

    Mr. Vargo:

    I don’t see any method at all, sir.

    Mr. Nelson, answering like Mr. Kurtz:

    I expected someone like you. What did you expect? Are you an assassin?

    Mr. Vargo:

    I’m the soldier that took down Mr. Ravnsborg, the ineptest AG ever.

    Mr. Nelson, answering like Mr. Kurtz:

    You’re neither. You’re an errand boy, sent by grocery clerks to collect a bill.

  6. larry kurtz 2023-03-15

    Hey, if grud believes the SDGOP is a failed mission who are we to argue?

  7. grudznick 2023-03-15

    You bear an uncanny resemblance to your uncle, Lar. grudznick will be haunted by that perversity in my train-whistle blighted dreams tonight.

  8. larry kurtz 2023-03-15

    That Mr. Heidelberger tolerates off-topic offal from anonymous sources when preaching transparency is profiteering on meth.

  9. DaveFN 2023-03-15

    Vargo belongs in Thailand as much as he belongs in South Dakota, rule-of-law notwithstanding.

  10. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-03-16

    Donald’s daughter, Mr. Nelson, now attorney Vargo—Thailand must be offering a lot of Freedom™ to draw all that talent away from South Dakota.

  11. Donald Pay 2023-03-16

    Cory wonders: “…Thailand must be offering a lot of Freedom™ ….”

    Not really. It’s pretty bad, really. Since her high school debating days my kid has had a fascination with sketchy regimes, tyrants and terrorists. Well, sure, she grew up in South Dakota.

  12. larry kurtz 2023-03-16

    Nearly every Native American leader in South Dakota has called out Mark Vargo as a enemy of tribal communities. Pennington County’s behavior has been called shocking. Former US Senator James Abourezk even urged the federal government to sue the State of South Dakota during Mr. Vargo’s tenure.

    The court finds that Judge Davis, States Attorney Vargo, Secretary Valenti and Ms. Van Hunnick developed and implemented policies and procedures for the removal of Indian children from their parents’ custody in violation of the mandates of the Indian Child Welfare Act and in violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

  13. Mark Anderson 2023-03-16

    It’s like DeSantis and Thailand. When he was in college he would say early on a date he liked thigh food and if they corrected him he would leave. Says alot about the shortstop.

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