From left, FBI Director James Comey, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and CIA Director John Brennan arrive at a House Intelligence Committee hearing on world wide threats on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

 

A few nights ago, Tucker Carlson asked why some former members of the Obama Administration, like John Brennan, still possess top-secret clearances. Earlier today, Rand Paul said he was going to ask President Trump to pull John Brennan’s security clearance. The question as to why he and other Obama officials still have clearances seems puzzling but the answer is pretty simple. Historically, outgoing and retiring officials are allowed to retain their previous security clearance because they a) may be called upon for advice by their successor or b) they may be working on a book or memoir and need the clearance to see their own official papers. Having the clearance, alone, doesn’t mean a whole lot. For a top secret clearance to be meaningfully different from a secret clearance you have to be “read into” a program and you are only “read in” if you have need to know and occupy a billet authorizing you to have that clearance.

But, in the case of some people, like John Brennan and James Clapper and James Comey, they have demonstrated they are not only “former officials” but they are focused on bringing down the administration. In particular, Brennan seems to be the source of a crapload of official leaks. They are able to do this because their official clearance gets them access to CIA/FBI/DNI headquarters in order to see stuff they are allowed to see or to meet with current officials to “consult” on issues that were also being handled by the previous administration. Entree to the building gives them contact with their catchfarts who are still on the payroll. It enables them to hear rumors, to hear about agency actions, and about discusses held at the upper reaches of the administration. These, in turn, translate in network paychecks.

Now the White House is looking at pulling the clearances of several former officials.

Predictably, their clientele is going nuts.

And the Vichy Republicans:

Trump will be accused of being petty and mean-spirited. This might very well be true–in fact, I think we can consider that a fact. That being said, he’s certainly under no moral, legal, or ethical obligation to let people continue to have access to classified information when their sole reason for needing it appears to be grinding political axes and pursuing self-enrichment.

h/t to Dave Reaboi for the title–sorry, dude, it was too good to not steal.

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