Trump Revokes Clearance Of John Brennan and Orders Review Of Other Former Officials

donald_trump_president-elect_portrait_croppedIn a highly controversial move, President Donald Trump has revoked the security clearance of former CIA director John Brennan and ordered the review of other officials who all share one obvious distinguishing characteristic: they are all fierce critics of Trump.  The move has been widely condemned as Nixonian and amounting to a black or enemies list.  While I have been highly critical of everyone on the list (and called for some to be fired and, in a couple cases, prosecuted), I find the move very troubling from a free speech perspective.  Indeed, I am still uncertain about the rationale for the actions and why the list would be composed entirely of Trump critics if based on a consistent, apolitical basis.

The press conference only served magnify these concerns.  Sarah Huckabee Sanders read a letter from Trump dated three weeks ago but only now announced to the world.  Brennan was singled out as using his status “to make a series of unfounded and outrageous allegations” and “wild outbursts on the Internet and television about this administration.”

The letter appears to have been written around the time when this idea was first made public on July 23rd but nothing was said about its implementation.  Even stranger is the issuing of the letter today with the July 26th date and then the reissuing of the letter without the date with no explanation. It is another example of the poor record of rollouts for this Administration. These are basic errors that seem to plague this Administration.

The list itself however is the most curious. The letter calls for the review of former FBI director director James Comey, former national intelligence director James Clapper, former CIA director Michael Hayden, former national security adviser Susan Rice and former acting FBI director Andrew McCabe. former acting attorney general Sally Yates, former FBI agent Peter Strzok, former FBI counsel Lisa Page, and FBI agent Bruce Ohr.

Former high ranking officials are allowed to maintain access to classified information to allow them to consult on matters that arose during their tenures as well as a simple professional courtesy.  Frankly, most do not use the clearances after leaving the government and this is not likely to have a pronounced effect.  Indeed, Comey and McCabe already lost their clearances — a point that was repeatedly made back in July when this idea was first aired.

However, the greatest question remains the reason for those specific individuals.  Ohr and Page have not gone public.  Yates (who I agreed with Trump in firing) achieved notoriety because of her stand against the travel ban.  She was wrong in the action that she took, but that hardly distinguishes her from other prior officials in terms of her clearance.  She is also a vocal critic of the President’s.

It is difficult not to see this list as reflecting the criticism of the President.  Lines like this one seems less than objective in describing Brennan’s public commentary: “Mr. Brennan’s lying and recent conduct, characterized by increasingly frenzied commentary, is wholly inconsistent with access to the nation’s most closely held secrets, and facilities [facilitates] the very aim of our adversaries, which is to sow division and chaos.”

Indeed, it would have been an easy thing to add other officials who committed the predicate acts  — once the Administration clearly states what those acts or criteria may be.  It does not help matters that the Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats was reportedly not consulted on unprecedented order.

Having stated the obvious free speech concerns, this order (like such many in this Administration) would push us into uncharted legal waters if challenged.  Trump has the clear advantage.  The assumption is that a challenge could be raised for a clearly unconstitutional purpose like banning African-Americans from holding clearances.  However, the White House has emphasized that this is a case-by-case determination with only Brennan being revoked thus far.  Clearances are a privilege controlled ultimately by the President.  Courts are loathe micromanage who can hold clearances in the Executive Branch.  Most cases focus on procedural rights in being allowed to challenge such decisions. There is currently no case that would directly contravene Trump’s authority in barring access to former officials on a case-by-case basis.

Here is the letter read by Sanders:

As the head of the executive branch and Commander-in-Chief, I have a unique constitutional responsibility to protect the nation’s classified information, including by controlling access to it.  Today, in fulfilling that responsibility, I have decided to revoke the security clearance of John Brennan, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Historically, former heads of intelligence and law enforcement agencies have been allowed to retain access to classified information after their government service so that they can consult with their successors regarding matters about which they may have special insights and as a professional courtesy.

Neither of these justifications supports Mr. Brennan’s continued access to classified information.  First, at this point in my administration, any benefits that senior officials might glean from consultations with Mr. Brennan are now outweighed by the risks posed by his erratic conduct and behavior.  Second, that conduct and behavior has tested and far exceeded the limits of any professional courtesy that may have been due to him.

Mr. Brennan has a history that calls into question his objectivity and credibility.  In 2014, for example, he denied to Congress that CIA officials, under his supervision, had improperly accessed the computer files of congressional staffers.  He told the Council of Foreign Relations that the CIA would never do such a thing.  The CIA’s Inspector General, however, contradicted Mr. Brennan directly, concluding unequivocally that agency officials had indeed improperly accessed congressional staffers’ files.  More recently, Mr. Brennan told Congress that the intelligence community did not make use of the so-called Steele dossier in an assessment regarding the 2016 election, an assertion contradicted by at least two other senior officials in the intelligence community and all of the facts.

Additionally, Mr. Brennan has recently leveraged his status as a former high-ranking official with access to highly sensitive information to make a series of unfounded and outrageous allegations — wild outbursts on the Internet and television — about this administration.  Mr. Brennan’s lying and recent conduct, characterized by increasingly frenzied commentary, is wholly inconsistent with access to the nation’s most closely held secrets, and facilities [facilitates] the very aim of our adversaries, which is to sow division and chaos.

More broadly, the issue of Mr. Brennan’s security clearance raises larger questions about the practice of former officials maintaining access to our nation’s most sensitive secrets long after their time in government has ended.

Such access is particularly inappropriate when former officials have transitioned into highly partisan positions and seek to use real or perceived access to sensitive information to validate their political attacks.  Any access granted to our nation’s secrets should be in furtherance of national, not personal, interests.  For this reason, I’ve also begun to review the more general question of the access to classified information by government officials.

As part of this review, I am evaluating action with respect to the following individuals: James Clapper, James Comey, Michael Hayden, Sally Yates, Susan Rice, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and Bruce Ohr.

Security clearances for those who still have them may be revoked, and those who have already lost their security clearance may not be able to have it reinstated.

It is for the foregoing reasons that I have exercised my constitutional authority to deny Mr. Brennan access to classified information, and I will direct appropriate staff of the National Security Council to make the necessary arrangements with the appropriate agencies to implement this determination.

450 thoughts on “Trump Revokes Clearance Of John Brennan and Orders Review Of Other Former Officials”

  1. “Hollwood, you’re a pawn for the belligerents intent on war. Pathetic!
    There is much to admire about Putin, without being considered part of his “team.”
    I reject categorically the demonization of foreign heads of state by our mass media.
    They did it to Saddam Hussein, Qadaffi, Castro, now Putin, tomorrow maybe Xi.

    “YOU are the sad fool to be taken in by the propaganda machine.”

    Kurtz, is that your name or is it from Conrad?
    What war? I’m no neocon. There is nothing to admire about Putin. He’s a mass murderer.
    You are Colonel Kurtz upriver in Cambodia, losing your senses.

    1. Conrad’s Kurtz was in Congo,

      Coppolla’s Kurtz was up the Mekong

      My Kurtz is up the Chicago River

      “what do you call it when the assassins accuse the assassin? They lie. They lie and we have to be merciful. For those who lie, those … nabobs — I hate them. I really do hate them.”

      that’s all these Permanent State war pigs calling Putin names. He is just their adversary. You are a fool, repeating their insults, repeating the gibberish from the nabobs of negativity.

      And war is always close, like it or not. In the case of war with Russia it is a very dangerous proposition. The strategy of depicting Trump who is barely even a moderate peacemaker, as some kind of current day Chamberlain who is failing to stop HItler is gross hyperbole. Enough already

      1. Mr. Kurtz,…
        Too bad Hillary lost…she was good at saying “Saddam must go, Mubarek must go, Gadaffi must go”.
        She might be saying “Putin must go” right now, had she been elected.
        That’d show them Ruskies, and her previous decisions on who goes and who stays all worked out so well😉😃.

    2. Putin is a mass murderer! Waaah wahhh!

      That’s what they said about Saddam Hussein. Is the situation in Iraq better than it was then? Better for anybody? Only better for jihaadists, Saudi mercenaries, not better for Iraqis, not better for Americans. ‘

      Stop being such an idiot.

      I remind you fools that your own freedom is in fact a consequence at one time or another, of mass homicides in war. We would not live here if our ancestors had not engage in a brutal multi generational war of extermination against Native Americans. In which the other side murdered plenty of ours along the way too.

      We could continue that line of thought about ww2 fireboming of dresden hamburg tokyo etc etc. “MASS MURDERERS!”

      Im not whining about that. I’m making a simple point people should ram through their thick skulls…… that a foreign head of state having been demonized by the media is not a reason sufficient in itself for any particular policy or action by our state.

          1. I’m awake. I think you’ve had enough red meat for today, if not the week. Better switch to plant based products.

          2. We (THEY) do it by drone, up close, and every which way. I spoke once to a former Special Operations guy who (after several drinks) was in tears as he related how he’d had to pull the trigger to shoot children in some third world country. Later on, he put a gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger — and, thank God, it didn’t fire.
            I told him that was the sign he had a mission to complete here.
            Of course, where he failed, many service members succeeded.
            Ending up as dead as the innocents whose lives they stole.
            All for freedom, all for Murica.

  2. In the D.C. area, newspapers frequently run ads announcing job fairs open only to persons holding high-level security clearances. These are typically defense contractors who want to hire cleared persons who can go to work immediately, because it costs about $30,000 per employee and up to a year to obtain a clearance. This is an unfortunate result of the inefficiency of the contractors who are hired to perform background investigations. Congress decided to vastly increase the frequency and scope of employees needing clearances, and then awarded contracts for this work to firms who lack the number of employees needed to get the job done. It’s just another pork barrel boondoggle. I’ve been waiting four months for a simple building pass renewal, which is nowhere near the complexity of a security clearance. Every time I check, they say it’s “in transit.” From where, the moon? I don’t even want to contemplate the nightmare of getting my clearance renewed in a few years…..

    1. He works for a private university and has the sort of job you might see in any city with more than about 600,000 people in it.

      1. This is what I referred to last Sunday. If Turely has analysis Trumpers don’t like, then Turley is attacked.

  3. MORE ENEMIES FOR TRUMPERS TO HATE

    BUT ‘WHOSE’ BEHAVIOR IS ERRATIC..????

    Historically presidents strove to maintain ‘moral authority’. That authority came from statesmen-like conduct; a public persona of dignified maturity.

    Presidents were ‘above the fray’. They didn’t respond directly to critics. They avoided outbursts that sounded vindictive or thin-skinned. Presidents strove to be unifying figures who cared about ‘all’ Americans. They spoke in measured tones that read as diplomatic.

    The concept of moral authority was to keep the president a reasonable figure open to compromise. A leader who put country above politics. Moral authority was crucial to lead in times of crisis. So the president’s motives weren’t suspect when military action was required.

    But Donald Trump has no concept of moral authority. He has instead achieved the opposite. Through insulting, vindictive language, Trump has sought to be the ‘Anti-President’; a mean-spirited bully naming enemies every day.

    Trump makes no attempt to reach beyond his political base. He is ‘only’ president to his core supporters. Non-supporters are vile in Trump’s America. Critics must be smeared with all the mud Trump can throw. And supporters are encouraged to hate any critic.

    Trump is the monster created by right-wing media. A deliberately polarizing figure who thrives on animosity. American unity means nothing to Donald Trump. You’re either with him or against him. And being ‘with’ Donald Trump means passionately hating his endless parade of enemies.

    In short Donald Trump is precisely the president Vladimir Putin sought for us to have.

    1. I agree that Trump can be petty and “unpresidential,” but the reason he is in office is because about half the voters felt that Obama and his ilk did not represent them. So while Obama spoke in more measured tones, his cabinet, appointees and policies did not represent Main Street America. I believe the hyper-partisanship of the presidency began with Obama, who promised to “transform” a country that most people didn’t want transformed. A vote for Trump, warts and all, was a vote to regain the country that we grew up in.

      1. Reposting.


        “In short Donald Trump is precisely the president Vladimir Putin sought for us to have”

        A bunch of Bull$h-t. Trump has opposed Putin with troops, economically and with arming those not under Putin’s thumb. He has a lot better record than Obama who let Putin’s tanks take over portions of sovereign nations. Then again we can’t forget the plastic reset button or Obama’s comments how he will be more flexible after the election.

        Peter Shill keeps piling on the Bull$h-t but still hasn’t responded to the comparison of JFK to Trump that I am posting again below.”

        1. “Tin, we agree that Trump is un-presidential.”

          Peter Shill, the President is a bit eccentric but unlike his predecessor he doesn’t bow to our enemies, doesn’t permit tanks to flow across the borders of sovereign nations, actually punishes Russia militarily and economically. Add to that a reversal from a poor/ mediocre economy to the present one we have and we have a winner who compared to Obama is un-presidential but actually improves America and punishes our enemies.

      2. What’s cray, cray is you think Trump represents you. He doesn’t. He represents only himself. You need to get woke.

    2. Peter, I await your response. This shows the leftist shift of the Democratic Party

      We were talking about history and history involves long timelines. 50 years is enough time to see how the Democratic Party has moved further toward the left and to also demonstrate how the Republican Party as a whole has moved in that direction as well.

      Look at the stance taken by JFK on all the major issues:

      Taxes: Both Kennedy and Trump markedly reduced personal and business taxes. Both believed the way to raise revenues was to increase business activities by reducing taxes. Both relied on growth. Today the Democratic Party has repudiated conservative economic policies that worked in JFK’s time and are working today. Neither JFK nor Trump sold America short. JFK believed every dollar taxed was one dollar less for growth.

      Foreign policy:

      JFK was naive when he first came to office and could have started WW3 but he was strong against Russia and had a relatively strong foreign policy. Like Trump, he recognized America’s strength and its leadership position. He didn’t bow to foreign despots something Trump would never do.

      Immigration:

      Like most Democratic leaders he didn’t push for open borders. Even Chuck Schumer called for border control prior to Obama’s Presidency. Trump believes like Kennedy that a nation has borders that must be controlled.

      Space

      Kennedy pushed exploration and pushed us to catch up to the Soviets. Trump is calling for a space force.

      Peter, learn your history.

      1. Allan, the year is 2018.

        I think this Kennedy crap is something you said to hippies 40-50 years ago. And I think you think you’re talking to some hippie when you keep posting this crap on me.
        It makes no sense, Allan. That’s why I wondered yesterday if dementia could be a creeping problem with you. I sympathize if it is.

        1. “Allan, the year is 2018.”

          No, Peter, you are a weasel trying to weasel your way out of a previous discussion. You wanted me to prove the Democratic Party moved in a leftward direction and to do so one has to look back in history. Instead of being an honest broker and admitting that what I said was true you try to weasel out of your constant spin with your comment above.

          You don’t recall your history so if one of us has dementia it seems to be you. Your intellect seems to be impacted by age, illness or psychiatric problems so you cannot deviate from the Bull$h-t fed to you by your leftist friends. You are near hopeless not being able to defend almost any position you take.

          It’s embarrassing, Peter, the position you have been put yourself in. I sympathize with your plight.

      1. More profound wisdom from Anonymous, and constant reminders why Anonymous remains anonymous.
        But hey, the jackass posted a comment that wasn’t a lame link, or a quote from someone else.
        So credit where credit is due…,Anonymous composed a comment, a full sentence or two, using Anonymous very own words!😦

    1. liberal objections are always hypocritical products of trump derangement syndrome. Brennan has openly called for a coup. He should be in jail. Revoking his clearance is a slap on the wrist, but still liberal Swamp rat turley thinks the troubling aspect of this isn’t that the former head of the CIA is openly calling for a coup, but for the president protecting the presidency from turley approved scum like Brennan

      1. Exactly.
        So called liberals have no principles except the acquisition of power to reward themselves and their friends, and punish their enemies.

        About the coup participants, the question for me is how some of these people still walk free.

  4. Why do ex government employees need security clearances anyway? When they leave the government, the clearances should be revoked. PERIOD

    1. It’s called institutional memory. They don’t necessarily get classified briefings but should the need arise where they must be consulted on such matters as a matter of national security they are eligible to receive such intelligence. It’s important.

      1. When the need arises, as in the IC has run out of old but trustworthy ex-intelligence officials, then read him in on a need to know basis. Then kick him to the curb.

        1. I can see the benefit of a former employee holding his/her clearance for about a year, so that his successor can consult with him, but after that it should automatically expire, and be continued only on a case-by-case basis.

              1. That’s already true.

                Sure. It’s already true that the IRS should not be used to target specific groups (like conservatives) for political purposes. Already true does not necessarily equal compliance.

                  1. Have you been in a coma TONY?

                    https://youtu.be/g2wD5TaMf2k

                    “The IRS’s use of these criteria as a basis for heightened scrutiny was wrong and should never have occurred,” Sessions said. “It is improper for the IRS to single out groups for different treatment based on their names or ideological positions. Any entitlement to tax exemption should be based on the activities of the organization and whether they fulfill requirements of the law, not the policy positions adopted by members or the name chosen to reflect those views.”
                    https://www.cnn.com/2017/10/26/politics/justice-department-settles-irs-lawsuits/index.html

  5. Senator Rand Paul sez

    “I applaud President Trump for his revoking of John Brennan’s security clearance. I urged the President to do this. I filibustered Brennan’s nomination to head the CIA in 2013, and his behavior in government and out of it demonstrate why he should not be allowed near classified information. He participated in a shredding of constitutional rights, lied to Congress, and has been monetizing and making partisan political use of his clearance since his departure.”

  6. @ggreenwald

    In sum:

    1) @JohnBrennan is a war criminal, a pathological liar & an advocate of torture & torturers.

    2) Ex-CIA officials exploiting their security clearance for profit is abusive & they don’t need it.

    3) It’s dangerous to allow a President to impose punishments for criticisms.

      1. “OK, Greenwald is being Greenwald. I should care just why?” -TSTD

        I doubt that many people “care” if you “care.” If you don’t understand why you should “care” — well, we can’t help you with that.

    1. “3) It’s dangerous to allow a President to impose punishments for criticisms”

      Not as dangerous as having a spokesman for a TV show who also has security clearance.

        1. The memo says, “Brennan is behind the witch hunts of investigative journalists…”

          And, “There is a specific tasker from the WH to go after anyone printing materials negative to the Obama agenda (oh my.) Even the FBI is shocked…”

          1. Why didn’t we ever hear journalists say Obama was behaving like a Dictator? Because, he was. He actually silenced them, spied on them, lied to them, had them physically removed, prosecuted them, jailed them — in addition to all of his verbal criticisms of the bad press he felt he was getting by Fox News and talk radio.

            Trump is silencing no journalist in the ways the Obama WH and DOJ did –except with his own verbal criticisms and slapdowns of them.

    2. 3) that’s pretty good the way he packs in those logical fallacies. He begs the question, he drags a red herring across the trail, he assumes that we have to “allow” the chief executive something that’s clearly and unquestioningly within the chief executive’s powers. Then, Greenwald ignores that one of Trump’s given reasons for the revocation of this privilege is identical to his own 1) : Brennan’s a liar.

      1. Greenwald sometimes says things that need to be said but aren’t being talked about. Unfortunately, all too often, as you say, he “ignores” how one of his facts conflicts with another. In order to make a point, he frequently leaves out important facts. That can make his point false.

  7. He gave up freedom of speech when he signed on with clandestine services.

    He can still say anything he wants, though, as long as it isn’t classified. Now he doesn’t have to worry because if it is classified, he won’t know about it. If it was classified and he knew about it, he can’t talk about it anyway.

    So where is the freedom of speech problem?

  8. Verified account @libbycwatson

    john brennan is being punished by not being able to find out who got droned yesterday, i hope he’s ok

    1. Spiked,…
      I don’t know if Brennan was directly involved in the “unmasking” of individuals ” incidentally” caught in surveillance.
      There was said to have been a very large increase in requests for unmasking toward the end of the Obama Administration.
      There hasn’t been a lot of recent coverage on this, and it may be under continuing investigation.
      It’s been a year? or so since Susan Rice stepped forward and make two contradictory statements about this on PBS, then in a softball interview with Andrea Mitchell.
      If Brennan was involved in improper unmasking, he may no longer have the means to track the investigation that he could have had with a security clearance.

  9. I fail to see how anyone’s free speech rights have been violated. Many of the “victims” continue to have a megaphone in their capacity as experts on various news programs.

    Further, these people should have their security clearances revoked, or at least reviewed, quite apart from any grudge Trump may hold against them. Clapper, Brennan & Hayden have all lied to Congress, a criminal offense. Arguably, they have participated in an attempted soft coup against a duly elected president.

    Nor does the comparison to Nixon does not hold up. Nixon used illegal means, for example, harassment by the IRS, against his targets.

  10. Tucker right on re Brennan and his security clearance

    “Carlson called the media Brennan’s “faithful handmaidens” and said the “state media” is taking up for him and defending his access to a security clearance. Carlson said journalists ought to be skeptical of the powerful and “secretive bureaucrats like John Brennan.” Instead, he said, they have decided he and his colleagues are not bound by the same rules as everyone else.

    “Journalists ought to be skeptical of the powerful,” Carlson said. They ought to demand accountability and clear explanations from secretive bureaucrats like John Brennan and from the agency he once worked for.”

    “Instead, they have become Brennan’s faithful handmaidens, arguing that he and his colleagues in the intelligence world are not bound by the same rules that you and I are,” he said.

    “That is the message on every other channel. That is state media, the definition of it,”

    Tucker Carlson: John Brennan Being Defended By “State Media,” His “Faithful Handmaidens”

    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2018/08/16/tucker_carlson_john_brennan_being_defended_by_state_media_his_faithful_handmaidens.html

  11. The only question in my mind is, why did it take so long? Also, if it is a free speech issue (!), then shouldn’t all American citizens have TS clearance? After all, free speech is a right, right?

    1. Amen! Brennan is a piece of work, and nothing but a shill for the DNC, and for his various cronies. Plus, what does a retired spook need clearance for???

      Trust me, anything he has a chance to review will simply be spun into anti-Trump dialogue. Just like the Phony Dossier, which was a product of the intelligence community.

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

        1. Where does it say he did this? He didn’t. Where is your source for this “implicit” authority? Where is your source that it’s not binding on him? I think at a minimum he would have to execute an order undoing the prior orders. He did not.

          1. That last sentence may be a valid viewpoint.

            As to the rest, I am not an expert on this aspect of our constitutional regime,. But I know that one executive can undo previous executive orders. That’s a simple concept. You may verify it on your own if you like. Then, assimilate and apply.

      1. Hollowood, learn to read. That was never passed by Congress. It was an executive order. EO 12968

        You are a fool.

          1. Fools seldom learn. Executive orders don’t have much meaning if the new chief executive doesn’t agree with them. He need not go through Congress because Congress had no part in their implementation. Stick to changing bedpans.

            You are a fool.

            1. Orderly, he’s been drinking from his bed pan again. Get rid of it. Put him in Depends and strap him down.

          2. hollywood, you said “So, once again, we see Trump not only violating norms and protocol but also the law.” How can it be a law if it wasn’t passed by Congress?

            1. an XO is a law. until it is superseded or revoked or amended etc by a succeeding Chief Executive. Trump is the current Chief Executive who implicitly can modify this law.

            2. You need to reconsider what a law is. Passage by Congress is not the sina qua non of a law. Sorry. A lot of laws are created by administrative agencies, for example. Usually, they engage in hearings in the course of their law making, but not always. Consider the aggressive Mr. Pruitt formerly at E.P.A.
              If it’s written like a law; if it can be enforced like a law; if it can be challenged in court, like a law; well, fer f*ck’s sake, it just might be a law.

              1. Administrative regulations are subject to modification by the succeeding administration. They are not statutory law and the Administration is well within its authority to trash what Obama’s people did.

                1. Hollowood can’t understand that his knowledge is woefully lacking. He fights to prove he is not a dolt and as he is proven wrong and wrong again his arguments degenerate into that of a fool.

                2. No, it’s not statutory law–that’s law passed by Congress. It’s administrative law, created by administrative agencies. P.S. Don’t look to Allan for the truth on anything.

                    1. Go ahead Hollowood, blame your being a fool on someone else. That doesn’t alter the fact that you are a fool.

                    2. Allan, you are amazing. You are a logical fallacy complex. You throw out ad hominems–you’re a fool! Then you go for a tautology–you’re a fool because you’re a fool!
                      Dude, I bet you get lots of mileage with that sort of logic.

                    3. Hollowood, I have listened to enough of your nonsense to know there is no way to communicate with you at an adult level. One needs to drop down many levels in order to do so. You don’t have the facts, you aren’t logical and you are a fool. Just look at some of the things you have said. Evaluate them alongside the facts. You fail miserably.

                      Go back to the playground and throw sand at another 5 year old.

  12. “President Donald Trump has revoked the security clearance of former CIA director John Brennan”

    What did Trump do? He revoked the security clearance of the former CIA director. How did Brennan ever get that position when during the cold war Brennan voted for the communist party?

    So far all of the others mentioned are under great suspicion of breaking the rules of their respective organizations and attempting to influence the election. Of course they should lose their clearance. I understand Professor Turley’s underlying objection but his objections to the activies of those mentioned should have been more pronounced and more frequent. Trump is a partisan and was elected President so we expect some partisanship. Those people losing their credentials were partisan and acted partisan though they were sworn to uphold the law in a non partisan manner.

    1. How did Brennan ever get that position when during the cold war Brennan voted for the communist party?

      How did Aldrich Ames get promoted multiple times in spite of the fact that he was clearly living beyond his means and never demonstrated particular intellect in venues other than the CIA? See Reuel Marc Gerecht on the CIA as he knew it: promotions were determined by the number of assets you collected. They didn’t actually give much notice to whether or not your assets ever provided any useful information.

      You ever notice that the quondam CIA agents who make the papers seem to run the gamut from finagler to problem employee to head case? See Valerie Plame, Frank Snepp, Philip Agee, Michael Scheuer, Philip Giraldi.

        1. i will admit i thought it nutty that Giraldi went and talked at some powwow in Iran but then again like i said does one accept the premise that these agents are ever fully, really, out?

        2. you say so, I find it hard to compare Plame and Scheuer and Giraldi to Brennan. Very different.

          I don’t. All of them are people you wouldn’t want in a position of public trust.

          1. Teaching Spastics: Both Scheuer and Giraldi have already served in positions of public trust, with distinction. Is your objection to them based on their critical of the Israel lobby?

            1. with distinction.

              You have a copy of their personnel files?

              Is your objection to them based on their critical of the Israel lobby?

              ‘Critical’ is a rather anodyne way of describing Giraldi’s view of the Jews. File under “The Arrow Cross Party was ‘critical’ of the Jews”.

              1. Yeah, why did I expect you to use that old smear tactic? Giraldi is critical of the Israeli Lobby. As are many people, including myself, including many Jews.

                1. David, lobbying is part of our heritage and lobbying the government is one of the more important features of our first amendment. You aren’t trying to say that only certain people shouldn’t lobby, are you?

    1. It’s not a question of “deserved,” it’s whether she “could be” fired. She took a moral stance that was beyond her authority. She may have been morally correct, but she was not legally able to adopt that position.

  13. The professor is continually in a state of upset that Trump behaves like a normal person (and a normal executive) instead of behaving strangely in accordance with the DC courtesy culture.

  14. Security clearances are issued on a, “need to know”, basis according to job requirements. Almost all clearances are revoked when you leave the job that required it. A security clearance is a privilege, not a Constitutional Right. No one has stopped Brennans freedom of speech.

    1. I agree Ted and Foxtrot,

      A security clearance is linked to a workplace. It is not a violation of their human rights to revoke it.

      JT, you seem unaware of what is happening with the CIA and FBI. These people should have been fired under Obama (some under Bush) for unlawful behavior. What many of these people have in common is the subversion of our Constitutional rights. They have lied to Congress with impunity. Some appear to have presented false evidence to the FISA court in order to obtain a wiretap against a US citizen. Personally, I’m not O.K. with these people violating my constitutional rights. If you want to lobby for the removal of other people’s security clearance, please do. This nation has way too many secrets and classifications–most all to hide wrong doing.

      It is frustrating to see that you refuse to take up an actual case of extreme human rights violation based on the denial of free speech. That would be Julian Assange. Here is a man for whom members of this govt. have openly called for him to be murdered for doing the work of a publisher. USGinc. shows every intention of indicting him for treason. His crime? Showing evidence of USGinc. war crimes.

      You may also notice that the press does not come to the aid of their fellow journalist. Instead, they are also calling for his head on a platter. He has no access to the internet, phone or even his friends. He may only confer with his lawyers. There are jammers all around him at the Ecuadorian embassy. This is clearly a violation of Assange’s human rights. His free speech is stifled and his very life is threatened.

      Meanwhile, those who have committed actual crimes have the megaphone of CNN. WTF?

      1. Turley cannot possibly be “unaware” of what is happening. Maybe he really is just a lawyer / PR agent for the swamp.

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