On Wednesday, August 15, President Trump revoked the security clearances of Obama-era CIA Director, John Brennan. John Brennan has been a frequent guest on numerous news outlets claiming that President Trump has committed treason though, he has never been able to present any evidence to support his claims nor has he been able to cite any evidence he saw while serving in the capacity of CIA Director. Of course, John Brennan lashed out, accusing President Trump of attempting to silence him.
“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 principals are worth far more than clearances. I will not relent,” tweeted John Brennan.
However, it appears that Mr. Brennan is crossing his wires a bit because John Brennan is now contemplating whether or not to sue the White House in order to get his security clearances back. He must have requested a price check on his “principals” and realized that security clearances are worth far more than diddlysquat.
Critics of John Brennan, as of late, include Obama-era Director of National Intelligence (DNI), James Clapper. “John and his rhetoric have become, I think, an issue in and of itself,” said James Clapper on State of the Union on CNN. “John is sort of like a freight train, and he’s going to say what’s on his mind,” added Clapper.
CIA regulations regarding former intelligence officials maintaining security clearances demand that, in order for former intelligence employees to maintain their security clearances, they must conduct themselves in a manner that does not denigrate the agency itself. Brennan did not meet that regulation in his media appearances, which is why he lost his security clearances.
Brennan did not lose his First Amendment right to free speech, he lost his security clearances. The two do NOT go hand-in-hand. This makes Brennan’s tweet regarding President Trump attempting to silence him by revoking his security clearances a rather, erratic statement. One does not require security clearances in order to exercise their right to free speech.
If President Trump truly wanted to silence John Brennan he would have demanded that he sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), just as Brennan did to the Benghazi survivors that were left to die by the Obama-era State Department.
Yes, John Brennan demanded that the survivors of Benghazi forgo their right to freely speak about the massacre by signing additional non-disclosure agreements.
Six months after the attack on Benghazi, Libya, many of the survivors had flown to Washington D.C. in order to attend a memorial service held in honor of two men who had fallen there, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods.
Not long before the service began, a representative from the CIA approached and asked them for a moment of their time. The Benghazi survivors were led away from the memorial service and into a back office by the CIA museum. There, they were handed a packet of papers and with no explanation asked them, one by one, to review and sign the documents, as reported by the Weekly Standard.
The documents they were ordered to sign were non-disclosure agreements. Since they were already covered by existing NDAs, the Benghazi survivors interpreted this as a way for the agency to send them a message to shut-up.
“That was a bunch of bulls—,” said Kris “Tanto” Paronto, one of the survivors of the Benghazi massacre. “We were pissed. We didn’t have anyone outside the agency there with us. No Lawyers, no one. That’s just not right.”
The Benghazi survivors said they quickly signed the papers because the new NDAs were redundant coupled with the fact that they did not want to be late for the ceremony.
If the President wanted to silence the former CIA Director, then Trump could have ordered the CIA to present Brennan with a non-disclosure agreement. Similar to how Brennan presented NDAs to the Benghazi survivors.
If anything, President Trump’s decision to revoke Brennan’s security clearances has freed him up to make as many freewheeling comments and baseless accusations as he would like. It’s just now, those comments don’t reflect poorly on the entire intelligence community. It seems that if Brennan truly cared about the CIA and was listening to what respected and rational intelligence officials are saying about his media appearances, then he should be thanking President Trump.
Brennan’s comments represent a bleeding of credibility at the CIA and it is imperative to stem that bleeding. President Trump did so through revoking Brennan’s security clearances.
Making baseless claims without any evidence to support them is not the role of any CIA director, past, present, or future. Any former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency making such baseless claims should only do so in the absence of security clearances. This way, their conspiracy theories don’t hold the same level of credibility and therefore will not damage the agency, as Mr. Brennan clearly did.
In John Brennan’s mind, Trump is guilty and due process was not required for the Obama-era CIA Director to reach that conclusion. In John Brennan’s own words, that “should gravely worry all Americans, including intelligence professionals.”
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