Patterico's Pontifications

8/15/2018

President Trump Revokes Former CIA Director’s Security Clearance

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:14 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Last month Paul Ryan brushed off the suggestion that President Trump was considering the revocation of security clearances for certain former intelligence officials, saying that that the president was just trolling people. Apparently the president wasn’t just trolling because today the White House announced it had revoked former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance:

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 (CIA).

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.

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 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.

The White House reportedly did not consult Dan Coats, the Director of National Intelligence, about the decision.

Other former high-ranking intelligence officials are also reportedly being considered to have security clearances revoked as well, including:

James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence
James Comey, former FBI director
Michael Hayden, former CIA director
Sally Yates, former Acting Attorney General
Susan Rice, former National Security Adviser
Andrew McCabe, former deputy FBI director
Peter Strzok, former FBI agent
Lisa Page, former FBI lawyer
Bruce Ohr, former Associate Deputy Attorney General
(Note: some of these individuals don’t even a security clearance to revoke, or have already had it revoked…)

Sarah Sanders questioned the need for continuing security clearances for those no longer in government service:

“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,” Sanders said. “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.”

Allahpundit enlightens:

Just because someone retains their clearance to receive classified info doesn’t mean they retain their access to it. You can’t demand to see state secrets just because you’re cleared to see them. The administration has to make them available to you. And it hopefully goes without saying that having a clearance doesn’t shield you from prosecution if you’re caught sharing classified info with unauthorized recipients. In other words, if you were worried about Brennan leaking, today’s move doesn’t do much to reduce that risk. In all likelihood he had no access to any recent intel in the first place. And if people inside the administration were sharing it with him because they hate Trump, odds are they’re going to go on sharing it even after today’s action (although they can be jailed for doing so now).

Brennan, unsurprisingly, pushed back on the decision:

This action is part of a broader effort by Mr. Trump to suppress freedom of speech & punish critics. It should gravely worry all Americans, including intelligence professionals, about the cost of speaking out. My principles are worth far more than clearances. I will not relent.

For examples of Brennan’s “speaking out” against Trump, you can scroll through his Twitter feed. Boy, there are plenty of examples.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

158 Responses to “President Trump Revokes Former CIA Director’s Security Clearance”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (023079)

  2. Dan Coats is just a figurehead – and a pretty lame one at that

    he doesn’t have an real expertise in intelligence

    he’s just an old man what likes having an office in DC cause he went native there

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  3. These are really strongallegations against John Brennan.

    The thing is, there are good reasons to think they are highly likely to be true. Maybe you can argue about being “erratic,” but making “unfounded and outrageous allegations” and certainly “increasingly frenzied commentary” might very well be close to undeniable.

    You know he said:

    Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of “high crimes & misdemeanors.” It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???

    That went too far. Trump sort of sounded like he was in the pocket of Putin, but other things showed he wasn’t, really. He just didn’t want to reverse himself.

    So maybe he’s kind of like an exception to a general rule, like Alex Jones.

    This statement was probably not written by Donald Trump himself. Some of the accusations Trump has leveled against Brennan are missing from this. Some allegations that others suspect – like he orchestrated the publication of the dossier in January, 2017 – are not here either. (Brennan seems to have planned the briefing of Donald trump by Comey, on the grounds it was about to leak, but it actually was published in large part because of that news peg.)

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  4. *any* real expertise in intelligence i mean

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  5. Omarosa! What is we gonna do, Boss?

    Today WH presser was quickly added to today’s event schedule and as NBC News has reported, the WH statement delivered by Tammy Faye Huckabee Sanders WH regarding Brennan is dated July 26. It an ‘in case of emergency’ shout, “Look, Halley’s Comet” ploy.

    This has nothing to do w/security and everything to do w/petty vindictiveness and distraction.

    August.
    White House tapes.
    Enemies lists.

    History rhymes.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  6. but think about how humiliating this must be for John Brennan specifically and for the sleazy CIA in general

    summer bummer womp womp

    big time

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  7. John Brennan’s mom is all hey he’s not my kid we adopted him from gypsies

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  8. 6.but think about how humiliating this must be for John Brennan specifically and for the sleazy CIA in general

    Humiliation is tradecraft, Mr. Feet; you feel a draft in here?

    “What the hell do you think spies are? Moral philosophers measuring everything they do against the word of God or Karl Marx? They’re not! They’re just a bunch of seedy, squalid bastards like me: little men, drunkards, queers, henpecked husbands, civil servants playing cowboys and Indians to brighten their rotten little lives. Do you think they sit like monks in a cell, balancing right against wrong?” – Alec Leamas [Richard Burton] ‘The Spy Who Came In From The Cold’ 1965

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  9. That Never-Trumpers think Brennen is credible, in any way, is just so cute.

    rcocean (9d9291)

  10. I don’t think Brennan is credible, but the fact that Trump let him keep his security clearance for the past 572 days is incredible.

    DRJ (15874d)

  11. Every time I hear about the great people DJT has in his administration, I think of this:

    https://youtu.be/Fdjf4lMmiiI

    Except some of those people are more competent.

    Look: when DJT does something good, like a SCOTUS nomination of someone not interested in progressive activism, hurray!

    But he can be so darned unprofessional and embarrassing. And much of that is clearly a choice.

    Simon Jester (6783c2)

  12. DRJ: The fact that you think “the fact that Trump let him keep his security clearance for the past 572 days is incredible” is incredible.

    Trump swims in a sea of vindictive idiots and whether he ended the security clearance for that bum the day after he took office or any day since then, or never, a sizeable number of the vindictive idiots would be squalling.

    Fred Z (05d938)

  13. Bibi had a whole hornets nest to contend with:

    https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/john-brennan-dishonesty-long-record/

    Narciso (6c4eb9)

  14. The most sr. Figure the late Mr. Dagan, was a
    N exec at black cube.

    Narciso (6c4eb9)

  15. Nobody has a right to a security clearance, just as nobody has the right to a driver’s license.

    But denying or revoking someone’s security clearance (or driver’s license) merely because their protected political speech displeases those in authority, seems to my non-lawyerly mind to raise due process and equal protection problems.

    Dave (445e97)

  16. defrocked rather than defenestrated

    steveg (a9dcab)

  17. cia trash like john brennan are supposed to stay above politics in service of national security

    but cia trash like john brennan and fbi trash like jim comey can’t comprehend this concert (treasonous poofters) (corrupt)

    but here it is

    these sleazy knob-jobbers worked really hard to get their security clearances pulled

    and nothing can diminish their accomplishment

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  18. oops i said concert when i meant concept

    how zany is that

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  19. Hayden is now calling it an “assault on the 1st Amendment” which indicates Trump should revoke his Security Clearance for stupidity and ignorance of the Bill Of Rights.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  20. True, Fred Z. He’s incompetent. It’s incredible to imagine him fixing anything.

    DRJ (46c88f)

  21. Other than lying before Congress, being a Communist, calling the Current POTUS a “Tratior” who should be impeached, and being up to his eyeballs in the Dossier-Ohr-Commey attempt to destroy Candidate Trump, Brennan a hell of a guy.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  22. After you’ve seen this the dossier looks very silly:

    https://apelbaum.wordpress.com/

    narciso (d1f714)

  23. For the life of me, I cannot see how having a security clearance enhances your ability to speak. After all you really aren’t supposed to be talking about it.

    When Kennedy ran against Nixon, he made a big deal out of how the US lagged behind the Soviets in missiles. Except that Nixon knew this was anything BUT true — we had far more working missiles and warheads than the Russians.

    But it did him no good, as he couldn’t talk about it. Which Kennedy knew.

    Kevin M (5d3e49)

  24. If Trump can make ANY case that Brennan has used classified info in any utterance, revoking his clearance is the least of it.

    Kevin M (5d3e49)

  25. For the life of me, I cannot see how having a security clearance enhances your ability to speak.

    the argument CIA poofterboy john brennan is making is that all the other cia trash will be afraid to speak out for fear of losing their clearance all up in it

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  26. “They’re just a bunch of seedy, squalid bastards like me: little men, drunkards, queers, henpecked husbands, civil servants playing cowboys and Indians to brighten their rotten little lives. Do you think they sit like monks in a cell, balancing right against wrong?” – Alec Leamas [Richard Burton] ‘The Spy Who Came In From The Cold’ 1965″

    Brennan was an analyst when he was actually worked for a living in the CIA. He was never a spy.

    You might want to read Ishmael Jones article: Brennan, the Spooks, and Russian Collusion

    https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2018/08/brennan_the_spooks_and_russian_collusion.html

    Davod (0640d3)

  27. 23. “For the life of me, I cannot see how having a security clearance enhances your ability to speak. After all you really aren’t supposed to be talking about it.”

    I think the idea is that you are able to form view points based upon your access to classified information.

    Davod (0640d3)

  28. Any viewpoint that rests on classified information is STFU.

    Kevin M (5d3e49)

  29. cia trash like john brennan are supposed to stay above politics in service of national security

    but cia trash like john brennan and fbi trash like jim comey can’t comprehend this concert (treasonous poofters) (corrupt)

    but here it is

    these sleazy knob-jobbers worked really hard to get their security clearances pulled

    and nothing can diminish their accomplishment

    happyfeet (28a91b) — 8/15/2018 @ 4:34 pm

    I approve this comment and recommend it for inclusion in the National Archives.

    nk (dbc370)

  30. The advantage to this is that staff leaking confidential information to Brennan from here on out are breaking the law. Previously, it was just a fireable offense. Now it’s criminal.

    NJRob (af5db4)

  31. He can still receive info through third parties, like those in apelbaums analysis

    Narciso (d1f714)

  32. First time accident, second coincidence

    https://mobile.twitter.com/seanmdav/status/1029816946445963264

    Narciso (d1f714)

  33. Any viewpoint that rests on classified information is STFU.

    ok yeah

    but you’re not reading between the lines of Mr. Brennan’s argument

    he’s saying that having a security clearance is lucrative and people are fearful of losing it

    and this is a very interesting admission

    would that we had journalism in america to explore this further

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  34. Remember that dhs memo that was exhibit a, against thr immigration pause, about that,

    https://pjmedia.com/homeland-security/breaking-isis-killer-caug

    Narciso (d1f714)

  35. @27. Pfft. And Will Stockdale was never PLO.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  36. allahpundit conveniently ignores reality. Elements of the Deep State need wiggle room to operate. If some functionary wants to leak something, they largely avoid criminal liability of knowingly sharing classified info with someone who is not cleared. It’s not just a matter of Brennan or any other sleazebag asking for information.

    Reality is that these “retired” executives trade on their access to privileged intel. Additional value is thus created for their services. Why on earth should they benefit in this manner?

    Yes, prosecution of these intelligence abusers is still entirely dependant upon folks who have the stomach to go against the go along, get along Administrative State. The HRC emails being a classic example of unwilling folks.

    Ed from SFV (6d42fa)

  37. The last link was about longer who was denied a clearance and hence couldn’t do his job, because he had criticized the priorities of the director of the outfit that paid halper.

    Narciso (d1f714)

  38. Lovinger, the Congress has still not scheduled any hearing on that issue.

    Narciso (d1f714)

  39. The WH statement is dated July 26.

    Correlate Trump’s Helstinki rage w/Brennan critiques in the period before that.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  40. that’s a great date for a statement like this

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  41. It was on Brennan watch that ukraine was invaded, Assad was given a relatively free hand in Syria, except for that large outlay to Syrian rebels that accomplished little, the road to Tehran was formulated, and of course the whole Libyan matter came to a head.

    Narciso (d1f714)

  42. plus it was on Brennan’s watch that hillary sold all our uraniums under the table (herpes dog hillary)

    good work john boy

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  43. “And if people inside the administration were sharing it with him because they hate Trump, odds are they’re going to go on sharing it even after today’s action (although they can be jailed for doing so now).”

    Yes, all it does is make it EXPENSIVE rather than CHEAP to have him call in favors from his cronies in the branch offies. Why would Trump bureaucratically strong-arm a bureaucracy? That’s Not How It’s Done!

    Steppe Nomad (d36d9b)

  44. “Philip Rucker
    ‏Verified account @PhilipRucker

    John Brennan’s public service:
    -CIA station chief in Saudi Arabia
    -CIA chief of staff
    -Director of Terrorist Threat Integration Center
    -Director of National Counter terrorism Center
    -White House Homeland Security Adviser
    -CIA director
    -Briefed three presidents”

    And despite all this, produced absolutely no actionable intel on 9/11 before it happened, but did great at shilling for Saudi Arabia while it moved its operatives out of the country during the righteous backlash.

    Simply losing his ability to work as an overpaid ‘security consultant’ in the usual DC-private sector revolving door is what I’d only describe as ‘a good start’.

    Steppe Nomad (98a7d6)

  45. Meanwhile, the Democrat Senator from Florida all but admits to fabricating a RUSSIA report (did DCSCA pass this on to him with instructions to spin it hard? Naughty naughty!)

    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/aug/15/bill-nelson-tries-deflect-russia-hacking-claim-cri/

    “A similar disconnect appeared to exist between Mr. Nelson’s remarks to The Tampa Bay Times and his Tuesday talk. While Mr. Nelson told his Lake City audience what he said Tuesday was “exactly what the letter states,” the record appears to contradict that claim.

    Instead, both the latter and the July 2 letter represented a sort of electoral BOLO, and neither of them correlated with or provided support for the accusation he leveled last week. Then, in an interview with The Tampa Bay Times, Mr. Nelson said Russians “had already penetrated certain counties in the state and they now have free rein to move about.”

    Mr. Scott and other state officials stressed the specificity of Mr. Nelson’s allegations last week, and reiterated that Florida was unaware of any such penetration. For days, Mr. Scott’s campaign has demanded Mr. Nelson either offer proof or explain how he wasn’t revealing classified information.”

    Steppe Nomad (8087ae)

  46. The practice of allowing ex-employees of the Federal Government to retain security clearances, whether by custom or out of gentlemanly deference, is just stupid and should never have evolved. As far as I know, no legislation enables doing so.

    I would favor legislation doing just the opposite: automatically revoking clearance after X number of days following departure from your post, the X number of days only because a reasonable argument can be made in favor of some transition-related overlap. And the X number should be 90 or less. It should apply to ex-Presidents, too; once you’re gone, you’re gone. And should be.

    If some person’s knowledge or advice is needed regarding a particular natsec issue, they can be granted temporary, limited clearance for the purpose at hand. There is no reason whatsoever for this class of people to just carry these clearances to their graves.

    And if it were me, I’d add Kerry, the Clintons and Biden to the revocation list, at minimum. A blanket revocation of all clearances of former government employees would be right and proper. I realize having a clearance doesn’t include on-demand access but having people authorized to receive classified information outside of government is simply how deniable leaks happen.

    Daiwa (2a0965)

  47. @48 Daiwa

    I agree. Everyone I don’t like should lose their security clearance.

    Davethulhu (fddbc4)

  48. we’re mostly just talking about trash that served with the cia or the fbi

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  49. @49 Davethulhu

    I don’t believe that’s quite what I said. But glad you agree with what I didn’t say. 😉

    Daiwa (2a0965)

  50. DRJ:

    He’s incompetent? Says who, you? And who made you the examiner? What are your qualifications to make such an unequivocal statement?

    The real examiners are the voters and they seem to have disagreed and seem to continue to disagree.

    The most annoying thing about the post election Patterico and his ilk is the dead certainty of expression from a bunch of nobodies. Wouldn’t some circumspection be in order given your loserdom in comparison to Trump?

    I love happyfeet and his dead certainty, but he (or she) is nuts, in the nicest possible way, and even though I agree with his/her scorn toward Trumps enemies, …

    Nothing is certain. Wait and see. Be cautious in what you say.

    Fred Z (05d938)

  51. For the life of me, I cannot see how having a security clearance enhances your ability to speak. After all you really aren’t supposed to be talking about it.

    Kevin, having a driver’s license doesn’t “enhance your ability to speak” either.

    But if Jerry Brown were in the habit of revoking the driver licenses of Californians who criticized him and his administration, don’t you think that would limit some peoples’ ability to say things that displease Jerry Brown?

    Dave (445e97)

  52. The real examiners are the voters and they seem to have disagreed and seem to continue to disagree.

    Ooh, snappy comeback!

    Except for the fact that 53.9% of the voters chose somebody else.

    Dave (445e97)

  53. I agree with DRJ. What took him so long?

    mg (9e54f8)

  54. Because Brennan, had created a,wilderness of mirrors, an echo chamber like the one they used to sell the Iraq deal.

    Narciso (d1f714)

  55. The practice of allowing ex-employees of the Federal Government to retain security clearances, whether by custom or out of gentlemanly deference, is just stupid and should never have evolved. As far as I know, no legislation enables doing so.

    Many people with security clearances NEVER work for the Federal Government.

    Working for the government is not a requirement to acquire a security clearance, OR to maintain one.

    In the 1970’s, my mom worked as the executive secretary for the president of a small company in Michigan doing defense work (building parts for turbine engines – I think they had something to do with the first generation of cruise missiles). She had to obtain a security clearance to handle his correspondence and other documents relating to the company’s defense-related contracts.

    For the N’th time, having a security clearance does not, by itself, give you access to any classified information.

    Dave (445e97)

  56. That doesn’t seem logical, Dave. While a driver license cannot be revoked by the simple demand of any state’s governor, revocation being a remedy under statute for certain criminal acts, a security clearance can be revoked for any reason or no reason at all, at any time.

    Even if Jerry Brown succeeded in getting someone’s driver license lifted because he criticized, say, the Bullet-Train-to-Nowhere, however remote the possibility, it would not limit that someone’s speech. Other modes of transportation are readily available and, for that matter, mobility per se is not a component of speech. One can conduct vigorous campaigns of speech from one’s basement these days.

    Daiwa (2a0965)

  57. 58 was in reply to 53, BTW.

    Daiwa (2a0965)

  58. So many of the newly outraged, Mitchell ignatius,et al used Brennan as a source.

    Narciso (d1f714)

  59. 57… and water is wet…

    Colonel Haiku (9298f8)

  60. “Except for the fact that 53.9% of the voters chose somebody else.”

    Don’t be an idiot, Dave. You, I, and the Founding Fathers all know that cheap poorly-vetted urban voter blocs theoretically independent but practically under the control of their machine politicians are not effective representatives of their state as a whole and were specifically mitigated in the Constitution with the separation of Senators from the House, the Electoral College, and the Three-Fifths Compromise. Both Trump and Hillary knew the rules.

    We will NEVER AGAIN let you have the chutzpah of employing armies of slaves while declaring yourself worthy of the largesse due to actual citizens. Take your spreadsheet games back to wherever you came from.

    Steppe Nomad (62e901)

  61. That doesn’t seem logical, Dave. While a driver license cannot be revoked by the simple demand of any state’s governor, revocation being a remedy under statute for certain criminal acts, a security clearance can be revoked for any reason or no reason at all, at any time.

    I’m not sure you’re right on either point.

    California law already includes multiple provisions to summarily revoke someone’s license if they are considered a danger, and this does not require violating any law or even suspicion of violating any law. I know this, because they have done it to me. Whether there is presently a provision allowing the governor to order someone’s license revoked is not important – the point is there could be.

    Your second point is clearly wrong too. The government, in general, cannot do things “for any reason or for no reason”. The government could not, for instance, lawfully revoke the security clearances of all muslims, or all women, etc. All persons, including critics of the president, are entitled to due process and equal protection of the laws. The government cannot act arbitrarily, nor can it consciously choose to treat some leniently and others harshly, based on the whether it approves or disapproves of protected expression.

    This is quite similar to the Lerner IRS enforcing stricter scrutiny of disfavored political organizations. It was wrong then, and it’s wrong now.

    Dave (445e97)

  62. @ 57 Dave –

    Since the discussion concerned Brennan, I limited my comments to government employees.

    But you are correct, clearances provided to contractors should also sundown.

    And for the Nth time, the issue is not actively accessing classified information, it’s the ability to receive it that should be ended, to break that particular leak chain, to eliminate the ‘I did not share classified information with anyone not cleared to receive it’ dodge used by the leakers. (Of course, primary sources can cut out the middle man & go straight to the press, but that’s much riskier.)

    Daiwa (2a0965)

  63. Don’t be an idiot, Dave.

    I would say the idiot is the guy making the argument I responded to. To summarize:

    “You aren’t qualified to criticize President Trump, because he won an election.”

    He’s incompetent? Says who, you? And who made you the examiner? What are your qualifications to make such an unequivocal statement?

    The real examiners are the voters and they seem to have disagreed and seem to continue to disagree.

    I’m sure FredZ has scrupulously applied the same rule to himself, and he has NEVER disparaged President Obama’s policies in office, since, you know, “the real examiners are the voters” and they elected Obama twice by margins that dwarf Trump’s.

    Trump (barely) won the election, and with nothing close to a plurality of the vote. Claiming that makes him right about anything, much less above criticism entirely, deserves mockery.

    Dave (445e97)

  64. Would John Brennan’s security clearance allow him to know the Secret Service’s arrangement’s for the President’s safety?

    nk (dbc370)

  65. More often than not, he leaked info he knew waa false, going back to the spring of 2016.

    Narciso (d1f714)

  66. We will NEVER AGAIN let you have the chutzpah of employing armies of slaves

    Yikes

    Davethulhu (fddbc4)

  67. But you are correct, clearances provided to contractors should also sundown.

    All clearances have to be renewed periodically.

    Having a security clearance is a requirement for many private sector jobs; denying or revoking clearances of those who are insufficiently enthusiastic in their political support for the present administration is an obvious form of unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination.

    Dave (445e97)

  68. @ 63 Dave –

    Two things:

    1 – The scenario you describe does not appear to involve the governor revoking a license because he’s pissed off.

    2 – I’m not talking about ‘in general’. There are indeed things the government (or certain government officials) can do for any reason or no reason at all. Revoking a security clearance may be one of them; if not, it should be, as no one is ‘entitled’ to a clearance. FBI employees, for example, are ‘at will’ employees, specifically excluded by legislation from certain civil service protections. They may be fired ‘at will’. Doesn’t mean that they are as a matter of common practice due to policies & procedures developed internally by the FBI, but it would be legal to do so, as I understand it, for any reason.

    3 – I believe full civil service protections apply to IRS employees, so it’s not really similar at all to what Lois, et al, did. I don’t believe any such protections apply to security clearances. You and I agree that what she/they did was wrong, period. And she/they got away with it because of those civil service protections shielded them and their wrongful acts.

    Daiwa (2a0965)

  69. Juche Dave and old squid are just running the argument clinic.

    Narciso (d1f714)

  70. @ 69 Dave –

    I agree as to currently employed or ‘active’ clearance holders, and I know they require periodic review & renewal while held. I’m only talking about people for whom a clearance is no longer a requirement. That clearance should be revocable at any time for any reason. It would be best to eliminate political considerations by making revocation automatic based on specified criteria, but absent that I think revocation of Brennan’s clearance was warranted, appropriate and legal.

    Daiwa (2a0965)

  71. Civil service protections are an addition to, not a substitute for, the guarantees in the constitution.

    You do not surrender your rights to free speech, due process or equal protection when you take a job with a government agency.

    Dave (445e97)

  72. @ 70 –

    OK, make that 3 things. 😀

    Daiwa (2a0965)

  73. @ 73 Dave –

    I’m just not quite buying that being granted a security clearance, or having one revoked, involves any of those things.

    Daiwa (2a0965)

  74. Do the x presidents all have security clearance? If they do – why have security?

    mg (9e54f8)

  75. Trump said he stuck by Omarosa because “she only said GREAT things about me”. Now, he takes away Brennan’s security clearance for criticizing him.

    We know he admires dictators. And he certainly adores himself. This is what a Trump love story looks like.

    noel (96c84f)

  76. Re : # 23. Eisenhower made many “firsts” in his presidency which have gone unremarked. Two were his changing the role of the vice president to that in the military style of a working presumptive commander-in-chief and the inclusion of the opposing candidates for president & vice president for all presidential briefings. That meant that JFK & LBJ had complete access to all information concerning the Democratic claim that the Soviets were ahead in warheads. As one who held security clearences in the military, I must state that, no matter what my clearance level was, my access to classified information was always job related – if my job did not require access to classified information, I could not access that information. Has that rule changed?

    Michael Keohane (947544)

  77. You mean like erdigan who was his best pal, or Hugo Chavez, or the Iranian mullahs

    narciso (d1f714)

  78. erdogan is a cheesy turk what gayed-up NATO to where everyone hates it anymore

    that said, it’s time to strip dirty Clapper’s clearance too cause he’s treason

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  79. D-E-C-E-A-S-E-D

    find out what it means to me

    remembering this story this morning:

    Aretha Franklin blasts Dionne Warwick for telling people she was Whitney Houston’s godmother: ‘She blatantly lied’

    Aretha kinda got all mean about it

    but Whitney called Aretha “Auntie Ree” a LOT cause Aretha and her mom were besties

    but I never understood this story

    Aretha was maybe a little bit of a diva I think

    no really

    http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/aretha-franklin-blasts-dionne-warwick-whitney-houston-lie-article-1.3099937

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  80. Teapot tempest. It’s not as if security clearances are feudal grants meant to be passed on from father to son in any event and it’s not as though a presidential administration doesn’t have the right to revoke them if it feels like it. I remember Sandy Berger well enough during the 2000s that I am completely fine with seeing these revoked. ^_^

    Towering Barbarian (21f677)

  81. Frankly, Brennan is just upset that his security clearance was taken away because he won’t qualify for some cushy job in the private sector. It’s not as if he ever gave a hoot about the nation’s security while he ran the CIA.

    Rochf (877dba)

  82. This is purely symbolic – it is a way for the president to suggest Brennan is not a man to be trusted. By the way, we have ample evidence this is true. He has a long history of leaking intelligence materiel to the press. I can’t imagine a less credible former Obama official, which is saying something.

    Brennan oversaw an operation of illegal spying on a staffer of the legislative branch of the United States government. At least five agency officials under his watch broke into Senate computer files, viewing drafts of a report on torture and reconstructing emails of at least one staffer. Brennan would attempt to cover up the agency’s actions by doubling down, blaming the Senate, and pushing to fire at least one staffer charged with investigating his agency. The CIA’s inspector general confirmed this wrongdoing. His public response “nothing could be further from the truth. I mean we wouldn’t do that. I mean, that’s just beyond the – you know, the scope of reason in terms of what we would do. Let me assure you the CIA was in no way spying on [the committee] or the Senate.” Of course he later admitted that was entirely a lie.

    The scandal is that not only was Brennan ever given security clearance, but this joker was once head of the CIA.

    George Orwell's Ghost (ba96d1)

  83. What compound, njrob, I didn’t see anything?

    Narciso (019728)

  84. Narciso,

    The compound where Muslim men were training and starving kids to become donestic shooters.

    NJRob (318921)

  85. p.o.s. retired navy admiral William H. McRaven wants his clearance taken away too

    this sounds like a splendid idea to me why should this nasty navy swizzle-suck have a clearance

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  86. I was being ironic, this case gets less attention than mark wahlberg new film.

    Narciso (019728)

  87. The sacramento paoer, did acknowledge the islanic state hitman, but then it was on to sports

    Narciso (019728)

  88. The Islamic State hit man doesn’t cross the median at 2.00am blowing a 0.2 or mistake your brown haired baggy clothes wearing teens for rivaled, so it’s like a mulligan.

    urbanleftbehind (ed9e43)

  89. I suppose so, but then it would make one question the exclusion from the immigration pause,

    https://www.investigativeproject.org/6074/ex-cia-case-officer-sabrina-desousa-ipt-hoekstra

    narciso (d1f714)

  90. well it might have raised a few questions,

    thefederalist.com/2018/08/16/bruce-ohr-may-broken-law-pushing-wifes-opposition-research-fbi/#.W3WPJQ5uvjE.twitter

    narciso (d1f714)

  91. @88. Omarosa, Mr. Feet! What is we gonna do?

    Dust for jowl prints.

    August.
    White House tapes.
    Hush money from campaign donations.
    Enemies list.

    History rhymes.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  92. we have to take omarosa out to the forest in iowa and leave her there

    i had no idea there was a forest in iowa

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  93. i wonder if it’s near that hoity toity lake

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  94. Well it’s not in the Steve King part of IA, probably east of 35 and North of 80.

    urbanleftbehind (ed9e43)

  95. @23. Not to oversimplify, but “The Missile Gap” was a matter of perception. The Soviets, in fact, did have more powerful missiles by necessity because their warheads were heavier. Whereas the United States had smaller warheads and no need to develop missiles capable of a higher throw-weight. Russia was canny at masking setbacks in rocket development as well while American missile mishaps were on full display.

    Perhaps the most misdirected criticism toward Ike surrounded public and Congressional reaction to Sputnik in ’57. At the time Von Braun’s Army-Redstone team was quite capable of lofting a U.S. satellite for the IGY but the decision had been made to go w/t Navy’s Vanguard project, hence the Army team was directed not to try. Legalities involving defining flyover rights in space remained a fuzzy international issue at the time but Russia essentially ended ambiguities by orbiting their satellite first, clearing the way for Ike to greenlight development of the Corona spy satellite program– a closely guarded secret in that era. But Eisenhower’s ‘calm’ post-Sputniks 1 & 2 was misconstrued by the American public and many Congressioal critters. The Vanguard debacle on live television only added to the angst. The eventual public placation led to Von Braun’s Army team getting the green light to fly and the in the wake of their success, came the creation of a new civilian agency– NASA, which turns 60 years old on October 1. Long term, Ike was right, but few knew at the tie. Watch this- Sputnik Declassified –it’s quite good:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhen92UZi8w

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  96. And once again, Trump defies his defenders by again doing what he did on Lester Holt.

    It really was the Russia investigation all along.
    In an interview with the Wall Street Journal posted late Wednesday, President Trump once again gave away the ballgame when it comes to his efforts to affect the probe and tear down its leaders (both current and former). He confessed that his true motivation for revoking former CIA director John Brennan’s security clearance was the “rigged witch hunt” that Brennan once “led.”
    “I call it the rigged witch hunt; [it] is a sham,” Trump told the Journal’s Peter Nicholas and Michael C. Bender. “And these people led it!”
    He added: “So I think it’s something that had to be done.”

    It was really a confirmation of the obvious, but glad that he pretty much stated that he stripped Brennan’s security clearance because of Putin. Good old Vlad couldn’t have done it better himself.

    Paul Montagu (b566df)

  97. There was also the input from the u2 program, the problem was that it could remain at top altitudes, hence it would descend to ranges where it could be targeted.

    narciso (d1f714)

  98. yes yes cia poofter-boy john brennan was the one that made his sick little fbi puppy-dog james comey set up President Trump so CNN Jake tapper fake news could report on “ailing” coward-slut John McCain’s fake urinating hooker dossier

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  99. My mistake narciso. Not used to you doing sarcasm.

    I am amazed that none of our hosts have discussed the antiFA thug getting off free, the insurgency in New Mexico or the left publicly stating America was never great and never will.

    NJRob (b00189)

  100. Yes he created the fusion cell behind the intelligence assessment, with strzok as senior figure

    https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2018/08/the-brennan-factor-2.php

    narciso (d1f714)

  101. Apparently not as interesting as whatabouting for brennan and co, true the shooter murdered one junior officiAL, but then again El Sayyid nosair, only killed one main figure, there are indications they were awlaki fans as well,

    narciso (d1f714)

  102. aretha franklin died

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  103. I’ll just consider mcraven is uninformed:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/stephenfhayes/status/1030167713249939456?p=v

    narciso (d1f714)

  104. Cnn is admitted that he is an ‘accused Islamic state’ back to the omarosa saga.

    narciso (d1f714)

  105. And if people inside the administration were sharing it with him because they hate Trump, odds are they’re going to go on sharing it even after today’s action (although they can be jailed for doing so now)

    They could be jailed for doing so then. Just because you have clearance does not mean that anyone who has TS info can show it to you.

    Kevin M (5d3e49)

  106. if you’re a democrat it sure as hell does

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  107. Here’s a basic rule: You can’t sit at the head table and throw food at the king.

    Kevin M (5d3e49)

  108. 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.

    Why is this even controversial? Particularly when the guy is claiming that he bears not mere opinions, but FACTS, based on his continued access to classified information.

    It’s really hard to argue with a guy who has FACTS backed up by dubble-sekrit information.

    Kevin M (5d3e49)

  109. our cia fbi trash-sluts load up their sporks and flick food at anyone they goddamn want to

    and greased-up stripper-boy marco rubio just eggs them on with his outlandish pelvic thrusts

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  110. The Commander-in-Chief revoked Brennan’s security clearance because he had no need to know

    couldn’t be trusted and

    ropelight (2dfe41)

  111. …and he couldn’t be trusted. Same with all the other Clintonistas and Obama co-conspirators.

    ropelight (2dfe41)

  112. Now I make distinctions between Brennan and Hayden who are so isolated on the seventh floor, they can’t see their feet and operators and analysts in the field.

    Narciso (d1f714)

  113. With Trump’s motivations made known, it does now become a constitutional issue
    If the Brennan decision winds up before the courts, it won’t be enough for the Trump administration to simply cite Article II. It won’t be enough for the Trump administration to merely note that “no one has a right to security clearance.” Administration lawyers will have to grapple with generations of case law not only holding that even members of the military possess First Amendment rights (though those rights are limited by the requirements of service) but also that — as a general rule — government employees and private citizens have a right to protection from government retaliation for the exercise of their First Amendment rights.
    Generations of precedent suggest that the president does not possess entirely unreviewable authority over the substance of security-clearance determinations. Though he does enjoy broad discretion, it’s clearly bounded by limits, even if they haven’t yet been fully defined by the courts. One of those limits should be that presidents cannot dispense or revoke the security clearances of private citizens (such as contractors or former government employees) in retaliation for the exercise of constitutionally protected political expression, short of evidence of disloyalty to the United States, instability, or vulnerability to improper influence. A security clearance is not a reward for good political behavior, and treating it as such has negative consequences for American national security. Does anyone doubt that John Brennan would still have his security clearance if his Twitter comments were just as frothy and erratic, but were instead aimed at the so-called witch hunt rather than the Trump administration?

    Paul Montagu (b566df)

  114. By then the entire fisa application will be have been declassified, and we’ll see what games Brennan has been playing.

    Narciso (d1f714)

  115. Deep State Thoughts

    by John Brennan

    Colonel Haiku (9298f8)

  116. “The first thing was, I learned to forgive myself. Then I told myself, ‘Go ahead, say whatever you want, it’s ok by me.’ “
    —- John Brennan

    Colonel Haiku (9298f8)

  117. Drip, drip; NYT reports Omarosa has as many as 200 ‘White House tapes.’

    History rhymes.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  118. Admiral McRaven is a great American. Trump’s small-minded and petty vindictiveness in removing security clearances should be a badge of honor. The irony is that his own son-in-law barely earned one, even though his father-in-law is commander-in-chief.

    Paul Montagu (b566df)

  119. And ben Rhodes didn’t need one for years, while he was selling out to the country who killed a third of our men and women in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the other nation which is fueling violence from Managua to caracas

    Narciso (d1f714)

  120. I want to set the record straight about retired Admiral McRaven. Despite the spin lies above happyfeet and narciso would have you believe about this highly respected architect of the bin Laden raid:

    McRaven, who resigned as chancellor of the University of Texas in Austin earlier this year, is widely respected among the tens of thousands of active and retired special operators and his message will likely resonate within that community.
    “Through your actions, you have embarrassed us in the eyes of our children, humiliated us on the world stage and, worst of all, divided us as a nation,” McRaven said of Trump.
    “If you think for a moment that your McCarthy-era tactics will suppress the voices of criticism, you are sadly mistaken. The criticism will continue until you become the leader we prayed you would be,” he added.

    https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/16/politics/mcraven-trump-brennan-security-clearance-revoke/index.html

    Tillman (d34303)

  121. petty vindictiveness

    Paul Montagu (b566df) — 8/16/2018 @ 8:32 pm

    Hilarious. Is that from your tight Tonight Show five minutes?

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  122. hi Mr. P&P i never see you anymore

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  123. That’s with carrot top and Marv albert.

    Narciso (d1f714)

  124. With Trump’s motivations made known, it does now become a constitutional issue…
    If the Brennan decision winds up before the courts, it won’t be enough for the Trump administration to simply cite Article II. It won’t be enough for the Trump administration to merely note that “no one has a right to security clearance.” Administration lawyers will have to grapple with generations of case law not only holding that even members of the military possess First Amendment rights (though those rights are limited by the requirements of service) but also that — as a general rule — government employees and private citizens have a right to protection from government retaliation for the exercise of their First Amendment rights.
    Generations of precedent suggest that the president does not possess entirely unreviewable authority over the substance of security-clearance determinations. Though he does enjoy broad discretion, it’s clearly bounded by limits, even if they haven’t yet been fully defined by the courts. One of those limits should be that presidents cannot dispense or revoke the security clearances of private citizens (such as contractors or former government employees) in retaliation for the exercise of constitutionally protected political expression, short of evidence of disloyalty to the United States, instability, or vulnerability to improper influence. A security clearance is not a reward for good political behavior, and treating it as such has negative consequences for American national security. Does anyone doubt that John Brennan would still have his security clearance if his Twitter comments were just as frothy and erratic, but were instead aimed at the so-called witch hunt rather than the Trump administration?

    Paul Montagu (b566df) — 8/16/2018 @ 7:36 pm

    Hey Paul,

    where were you when it mattered. Oh wait, rules are different because TRUMPPPPPPP!!!

    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/aug/15/adam-lovinger-pentagon-analyst-lost-security-clear

    NJRob (b00189)

  125. Laser pointer isn’t in that direction, Peter bergs latest is getting slagged by the usual suspects

    Narciso (d1f714)

  126. where were you when it mattered.

    Never heard of him until 10:14pm on 8/16/2018, so that’s where I was. Analysts aren’t supposed to be partisan while employed by the federal government, which kind of defeats the purpose of being an analyst, and which should tell you that WA Times didn’t understand the dissonance in the title of their own reporting. Brennan and the others aren’t in the federal government and are free to express their opinions as long as they don’t divulge classified intelligence.
    BTW, it looked like Lovinger tried to align with Flynn, which obviously went nowhere.

    Paul Montagu (b566df)

  127. Always 2 sets of standards for you leftists. And then you throw smut that doesn’t apply (Flynn) to try and muddy the waters.

    So damn predictable. Every single time.

    NJRob (b00189)

  128. “you leftists”

    Thank you for confirming Patrick’s final paragraph.

    Paul Montagu (b566df)

  129. More nonsense to distract from your BS. You were called out for your deliberate lies and distractions. Own it.

    NJRob (b00189)

  130. You were called out for your deliberate lies and distractions. Own it.

    Actually, I wasn’t, so you’re just continuing to make s**t up. So thanks again. It’s always good to know who to converse with, and who the intellectually dishonest hacks are.

    Paul Montagu (b566df)

  131. In all seriousness how in haites does Brennan get a job in the govt?

    mg (9e54f8)

  132. They were paying halper for whatever he was doing with papadop. Which had nothing to do with analysis,

    Narciso (d1f714)

  133. So general Flynn was not accepting that Islamic State was Jayvee unlike his successor, also he defended robin gritz.

    Narciso (d1f714)

  134. I love a parade! Especially ones where everyone has to salute me. I love a parade! What, no parade?

    I love Paris.

    noel (96c84f)

  135. It won’t be a real, honest-to-goodness, Paris-style parade without Wehrmacht troops.

    nk (dbc370)

  136. Germany won, the continent on thd economic front, nows its like the eternal turtle in pratchett.

    Narciso (d1f714)

  137. There are some film’s that are eternally long, catch 22, and some like the sand pebbles are worth the length.

    Of course Joseph heller telegraphed his frustrations with McCarthyism to color his picture of world war 2, and the film itself was colored by vietnam

    Narciso (d1f714)

  138. Screw the parade, a public hanging for obama and his muellar mob is what America needs in order to be great again.

    mg (9e54f8)

  139. It won’t be a real, honest-to-goodness, Paris-style parade without Wehrmacht troops.

    Your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries!

    Dave (445e97)

  140. The Irish would have given a parade after sea lion had concluded.

    Narciso (d1f714)

  141. Operation Sealion Dion?

    Colonel Haiku (9298f8)

  142. There are literally “republicans” and “conservatives” here arguing that Brennan should retain his security clearance? Are you that far gone?

    Brennan is a admitted serial liar. A scumbag. Voted communist. Spied on congress. lied about it. Has flirted with Islam. He is a unhinged nutcase. And yes he arguably set the Russia investigation in motion to get Trump.

    Brennan fed the public wildly inaccurate details about the Osama bin Laden raid in 2011, and despite condemning leaks of classified information from others, he has often leaks classified information himself to suit his own need

    How anyone can shed a tear for him is beyond imagining. He is a terrible person with a nasty history. People in Washington were terrified of crossing him. To get back to basics HE SPIED ON CONGRESS. he admitted it, and got to keep his job.

    Now, If you or I were to spy on congress, we’d be cooling our heels in a jail cell. Brennan gets a sweet gig on CNN.

    But OH MY GOD Trump revoked his security clearance. Which means…what exactly?

    The scandal isn’t that his security clearance is revoked, but that he had retained it, or ever be granted it in the first place. revoking his security clearance isn’t a free speech issue, it is a security issue, plain and simple.

    And yes, if you get caned by the government for lying, you should have your security clearance revoked. Why is this even a question?

    George Orwell's Ghost (ba96d1)

  143. meanwhile, cnn wants to out the jurors in the manafort trial, they don’t want the fisa warrant declassified though, funny how that works,

    narciso (d1f714)

  144. CNN trying to intimidate jurors. News you’ll never get from the press.

    NJRob (b00189)

  145. They just want a ‘chill wind’ for some, as if you could ever shut up Tim robbins,

    Narciso (6b1e4f)

  146. “The list of media outlets requesting the jurors’ names includes CNN, AP, BuzzFeed, NBC, the New York Times, and the Washington Post.”

    Colonel Haiku (9298f8)

  147. Wait that list seems familiar, Perez, scuitto, Smith, fandos entous barrett

    narciso (d1f714)

  148. But if Jerry Brown were in the habit of revoking the driver licenses of Californians who criticized him and his administration, don’t you think that would limit some peoples’ ability to say things that displease Jerry Brown?

    Except for that being a ridiculous example — he has no power to do that — you might have a point.

    Kevin M (5d3e49)

  149. Nor does anything I might get out of a drivers’ license, except maybe that the roads are crowded and badly maintained, informs my speech.

    Not even that since Brown can revoke to his heart’s content, but I live in Albuquerque now.

    Kevin M (5d3e49)

  150. Drip, drip; NYT reports Omarosa has as many as 200 ‘White House tapes.’

    I hope the FBI/NSA/etc do her up, but good. She was taping IN THE SITUATION ROOM, which is literally espionage.

    Kevin M (5d3e49)

  151. None of this will matter though. Trump has no idea how the DC game is played and even TV-show bimbos are outfoxing him.

    This has always been my problem with Trump — he has no ability to respond to these attacks, even when all the facts are on his side, he loses because all he can do is scream and bluster.

    Kevin M (5d3e49)


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