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In Spies Battle, Trump Holds the High Ground
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In backing John Brennan’s right to keep his top-secret security clearance, despite his having charged the president with treason, the U.S. intel community has chosen to fight on indefensible terrain.

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper seemed to recognize that Sunday when he conceded that ex-CIA Director Brennan had the subtlety of “a freight train” and his rhetoric had become “an issue in and of itself.”

After Donald Trump’s Helsinki summit with Vladimir Putin, Brennan had called the president’s actions “nothing short of treasonous.”

The battle is now engaged. Trump cannot back down. He must defy and defeat the old bulls of the intel community. And he can.

For a security clearance is not a right. It is not an entitlement.

It is a privilege, an honor and a necessity for those serving in the security agencies of the U.S. government — while they serve.

Brennan is not being deprived of his First Amendment rights. He can still make any accusation and call the president any name he wishes.

But to argue that a charge of treason against a president is not a justification for pulling a clearance is a claim both arrogant and absurd.

Again, a security clearance is not a constitutional right.

Said Defense Secretary James Mattis: “I have taken security clearances away from people in my previous time in uniform … a security clearance is something that is granted on an as-needed basis.”

Brennan is now threatening to sue the president. Bring it on, says national security adviser John Bolton.

With 4 million Americans holding top-secret clearances, and this city awash in leaks to the media from present and past intel and security officials, it is time to strip the swamp creatures of their special privileges.

The White House should press upon Congress a policy of automatic cancellation of security clearances, for intelligence and military officers, upon resignation, retirement or severance.

Clearances should be retained only for departing officers who can demonstrate that their “need to know” national secrets remains crucial to our security, not merely advantageous to their pursuit of lucrative jobs in the military-industrial complex.

Officials in the security realm who take clearances with them on leaving office are like House members who retain all the access, perks and privileges of Congress after they step down to earn seven-figure salaries lobbying their former congressional colleagues.

The White House statement of Sarah Huckabee Sanders on John Brennan’s loss of his clearances was spot on:

“Any access granted to our nation’s secrets should be in furtherance of national, not personal, interests.


“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.”

Trump is said to be evaluating pulling the security clearances of Clapper, ex-FBI Director James Comey, former CIA Director Michael Hayden, former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, former FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page.

This is a good start. Some of these individuals have been fired. Some are under investigation. Some were involved in the FBI’s “get-Trump” cabal to prevent his election and then to abort his presidency.

Some have become talking heads on cable TV, exploiting the credibility of their former titles and offices to undermine an elected president.

Again, they have a First Amendment right to do this. But they should be stripped of their clearances to show the nation that the president is dealing with insiders who have joined the Resistance.

At bottom, the issue is: Who speaks for America?

Is it the mainstream media, the deep state, the permanent government, the city that gave Trump 4 percent of its votes? Or is it that vast slice of Middle America that sent Trump to drain the swamp?

Trump’s enemies, and they are legion, want to see Robert Mueller charge him with collusion with Russia and obstructing the investigation of that collusion. They want to see the Democratic Party take over the House in November, and the Senate, and move on to impeach and remove Trump from office. Then they want to put him where Paul Manafort sits today.

For Trump, a truce or a negotiated peace with these people is never going to happen. But this issue of security clearances is a battlefield where the president cannot lose, if he fights wisely.

Americans sense that these are privileges that should be extended to those who protect us, not perks for former officials to exploit and monetize while they attempt to bring down the commander in chief.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2018

• Category: Ideology • Tags: CIA, Deep State, Donald Trump, John Brennan 
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  1. anonymous[171] • Disclaimer says:

    For Trump, a truce or a negotiated peace with these people is never going to happen, just like in the movies.

  2. A neutral observation on political expediency: its way past time that Trump start the sacking of the “disloyal” in the security/intelligence agencies. Yes, he may need to move cautiously — smaller fish first, perhaps ? But, to repeat:
    “For Trump, a truce or a negotiated peace with these people is never going to happen, just like in the movies.”

  3. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:

    OK, I admit that I haven’t researched it myself. But shouldn’t a column on this topic state briefly what a “security clearance” is and explain what is had enabled Mr. Brennan, once he left government employ, to access? Is it like a password or something? What is the practical effect of its revocation?

    “With 4 million Americans holding top-secret clearances,” this sounds like the Battle of Molehill Mountain.

    Thanks to anyone who helps to provide some context.

  4. Here is a look at a unique that shows us why Americans voted for Donald Trump in 2016:

    Given the demographic changes that the United States is experiencing, it is quite likely that populist political candidates will continue to play on voters’ perceptions of vulnerability.

    • Replies: @John Jeremiah Smith
  5. Stick says:

    Its interesting to see how shielded the Dem party is from voters. First is their use of Caucuses which uniformly went with Obama over Hillary in 2008 – they represent a quasi church. Then there are the super delegates, the money wranglers and blue bubble potentates that decide who wins a nomination. Then there are the two factions of the ruling dynasties, Bush and Clinton, that are seeded into the deep state. It should be noted that Bill and Hillary are personally worth \$300M and have a family foundation that controls \$2.5B in tax free funds. They could only have done that by selling America under the protection of Deep State. Finally, there is Manhattan Media which is the King Maker with its air cover. Its like we are ruled by a House of Lords answerable only to Manhattan Privilege, the owners and operators of multinational entertainment companies. This is what Trump beat. His presidency is truly a miracle.

  6. @Sally Snyder

    Here is a look at a unique that shows us why Americans voted for Donald Trump in 2016:

    LOL. Trump was made president by a slim majority of still-sane, still-productive Americans because the Democrat’s candidate was a corrupt proto-Marcos burning to make America a Nueva Filipinas.

    The Democrats will now attempt to provide voting rights to illegals for the 2020 election.

  7. Of those 4 million Americans holding Top Secret clearances, how many also hold dual citizenship?

    • Replies: @Per/Norway
  8. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:

    We have a lot of people in the US who served in the Soviet NKVD. They killed millions and have serious blood on their hands. When will we hunt them down?

  9. @Anon

    + all the living expresidents whose kill list is huge and let us not forget the dead ones…
    your country have been at war over 200 years since its creation. so how a murican dare use the old muuh “commies killed a gorillion people” is not easy to understand tbh.
    but i guess hubris, propaganda and no knowledge about the world plays a big part…

  10. Anonymous [AKA "uztrew"] says:

    So in the end this site is just another layer of opposition control by mostly ‘ex’-intelligence professionals focusing on the smokescreen that is this entire ochestrated circus.
    I don’t know which is worse, that it is being done, or that the majority doesn’t realize it. Guess divide and conquer works even on the own population just too well to not do it.

    • Replies: @John Jeremiah Smith
  11. @anonymous

    OK, I admit that I haven’t researched it myself. But shouldn’t a column on this topic state briefly what a “security clearance” is and explain what is had enabled Mr. Brennan, once he left government employ, to access? Is it like a password or something? What is the practical effect of its revocation?

    “With 4 million Americans holding top-secret clearances,” this sounds like the Battle of Molehill Mountain.

    Thanks to anyone who helps to provide some context.

    I held clearances at various times during my engineering career. It’s very simple. If you quit or retire, your clearance evaporates instantly. If, within your job, you are assigned to work that doesn’t require a clearance and your employer doesn’t anticipate your needing it again anytime soon, it is dropped (maintaining a clearance isn’t cheap).

    And, no, it isn’t like a password, not really. If you want classified information, you need two things to get it: appropriate clearance, and need-to-know. The person or system from whom or which you’re trying to get the information is duty-bound to verify that you have both. Obviously, for someone who’s retired or been fired and is now out jacking the jaw on CNN, there is no need-to-know, and for an “ordinary” cleared person, there’d be no clearance, either.

    It’s not complicated. I was surprised to find that these spy bureaucrats apparently remain cleared after leaving government “service” in one way or another. Obviously, big-boy swamp creatures have their privileges. They should have them no more. If the orange clown can’t handle that, I don’t see what use he is for anything else, either.

    • Replies: @anonymous
    , @in the middle
  12. anonymous[107] • Disclaimer says:

    To protect the promise of freedom for Holocaust survivors and their families, President Trump prioritized the removal of Palij. Through extensive negotiations, President Trump and his team secured Palij’s deportation to Germany and advanced the United States’ collaborative efforts with a key European ally.”

    Thank the good lord.

    At long, long last, the promise of freedom for holocaust survivors and their families is protected!!

    The Last Nazi has been captured and no Nazi remains in the USA to hound, harass, intimidate, threaten, persecute, deprive, torment, torture, blackmail, imprison Jews.

    Jews are Free At Last!

    ADL can now close its doors; it is no longer needed to protect Jews.

    AIPAC can close up shop; the 52 presidents of Jewish organizations can retire to a golf course in Boca Raton.

    USA taxpayers need no longer send \$3.8 billion / year to Israel, because now that 95 yr. old Jakiw Palij has been captured — Alive!! — in a daring raid on his wheelchair, Jews need no longer fear that midnight knock on the door: “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”

    • Replies: @Wally
  13. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:
    @Reactionary Utopian

    Thank you. I didn’t appreciate that the restrictions are upon those already privy to information as part of their jobs. So, Mr. Brennan can no longer be furnished, under color of law, non-public information by sympathetic former colleagues.

    I agree with the end of your comment, too.

  14. @anonymous

    I did have a clearance when in the Service. Once I left, I kept it for five years I think. And it is a ‘sell able’ when you are looking for a job with defense contractors, Basically, it means that you could have access to the level of clearance that you have, related to what you work on. Not every one has the same level of clearances. I assume they do have Top Secret clearances of higher, because they do have access to high level stuff, and or info that is not available to others. Its called ‘need to know’. If you need to know or have access to something, then you will require clearance according to what you will have access in accordance with your work level. Some times, it is better not to know somethings, believe me.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  15. @Reactionary Utopian

    Well, first of all, the President is not a clown, period. Of course that is your personal opinion. But those previous Oboso’s hirelings, should not have security clearances. They are out of their job, and need to have it terminated. I can’t believe they still have clearances, after lying to congress, and other criminal behavior. Clearances are needed during their daily performance of their official duties; once terminated from that, should be like any other american out there, except that they are running their mouths against the President. They can, of course, its their right, but without clearances, they should be just like any other leftists barking at Trump, and making themselves available to ridicule.

  16. @Anonymous

    So in the end this site is just another layer of opposition control by mostly ‘ex’-intelligence professionals focusing on the smokescreen that is this entire ochestrated circus.

    There is an element of that, but keep in mind that the user/responder base is self-selecting, in the sense of those who frequent the joint who are not under the direction of the deep state, or other population-influencing entity.

    You want HuffPost stuff? Prolly not, as it is utter garbage in all respects. The best you can hope for is some melange of individual postings, muddled by directives from minions of wealth.

  17. bluedog says:

    I would say about the same time that Clinton, Bush and his inter circle are standing before the world court, charged with war crimes,which of course is never…

  18. Divergent says:

    I’d like to see Trump tap Pat for some position in the Executive.

    • Replies: @WHAT
  19. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:
    @in the middle

    Thanks. You have helped to fill out the credentialism aspect of this topic.

  20. MarkinLA says:

    Brennan knows he is guilty of serious crimes along with everybody else in the cabal. He is playing offense hoping to hold off any serious investigation of him and his cronies until Trump is gone.

  21. WHAT says:

    Pat should have been where Pence is.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  22. JimB says:

    How about revoking Bruce Ohr’s security clearance NOW!

  23. Wally says:

    Factual discussion that debunks the entire Palij case and the impossible claims here:
    NYC: Jewish Thugs Terrorize 92-Year-Old claimed Treblinka operative Outside His House

    Facts on the ‘US ‘Holocau\$t’ Memorial Museum:

    Tax exempt cash taken in by USHMM, aka: ‘Holocau\$t’ Theme Park, for fiscal year 2016 which supports huge salaries for Jews only, most of the remaining money goes to Jews & Zionist organizations:

    US taxpayers money to the USHMM in the 2017 budget:

    There are over 100 ‘holocaust’ oriented ‘museums’ / indoctrination centers throughout the US alone, they all receive US taxpayers funding.

    Revisionists are just the messengers, the absurd impossibility of the ‘holocaust’ storyline is the message.

    The ‘6M Jews, 5M others, & gas chambers’ are scientifically impossible frauds.
    see the ‘holocaust’ scam debunked here:
    No name calling, level playing field debate here:

  24. anon[228] • Disclaimer says:

    If a friend gave Trump a pair of shoes for his birthday on June 14, 2016, and he wore them while accepting the Republican Party’s presidential nomination on July 19, 2016, were those shoes a “campaign contribution?”

    Trump has committed any number of impeachment-worthy offenses. Perhaps his tormentors should concentrate on those offenses instead of just looking for the easiest way to “get Trump.”
    Thomas Knapp

    The media Congress law school will not pursue those other offenses because – most of them have committed those other offenses in office.

  25. JR says:

    Guess that keeping a security clearance also requires periodically repeated vetting and associated cost.
    Given the leaks, lies and over the top partisan language he should not be able to pass that vetting process. Also I can’t see any reason to spend money on vetting this creature.

  26. @WHAT

    Pat should have been where Trump is.

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