Not Happy

Late last month, the White House announced it was considering revoking the security clearance of former CIA director and partisan hack John Brennan.

Historically, former intelligence officials, indeed, former officials across agencies, have been allowed to retain security clearances after leaving office. If they are writing a memoir, they need clearance to see the memos they, themselves, wrote and documents concerning their tenure in office. If they are called upon for advice, they need clearance. What has become sort of obscene in Brennan’s case is the way he has monetized his on-going access to classified information as a CNN contributor. Without access to information he’s now seeing as a courtesy to a former DCI, he’s really an out-of-the-loop nobody like the rest of us. What makes the monetization of his access worse is that he’s using that access to attack the administration that is letting him see secret information.

One of the most bizarre excuses you’ll see is this:

(Is it true that “Esquire” is Latin for “douchebag?” I only ask because every lawyer I’ve encountered who calls himself “Esq.” has been one.)

This is simply fatuous. Brennan has friend and fellow travelers in the CIA and other agencies. Him having clearance gets him access to facilities. It allows his sources to tell him things, under the guise of consultation, that he can use for personal profit or to further his vendetta and if they are caught, the source is home free because they have a plausible cover. Now if someone tells Brennan something that is classified and they get caught, then someone is going to lose their job if not go to jail for leaking secret information.

Brennan is not alone:

In addition, she said, the administration is evaluating clearances for former FBI Director James Comey, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former National Security Agency Director Michael Hayden, former national security adviser Susan Rice, former FBI attorney Lisa Page, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, former FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strozk, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, whose security clearance was deactivated after he was fired earlier this year, and Bruce Ohr, who is still in the Justice Department although he was demoted from associate deputy attorney general.

The last name, Bruce Ohr, is significant. Pulling his clearance will essentially result in firing him.

There will be a lot of sniveling about this. Some of the Comey clique at assorted blogs have started claiming that there is a certain “property right” to a clearance once you have it. I don’t think any challenge by Brennan to this decision is going to survive. And we should hope it doesn’t.

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