Russia Probe

Revoking Ex-CIA Chief John Brennan's Security Clearance Is Both Good and Bad News

Brennan was awful and defended the indefensible, but Trump is clearly trying to silence critics.

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John Brennan
LEAH MILLIS/REUTERS/Newscom

President Donald Trump has revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan.

In a statement, Trump accused Brennan of leveraging 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." Trump added that "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."

Which is to say, Trump doesn't like Brennan's very vocal criticism of him. The president told The Wall Street Journal he holds Brennan largely responsible for the special investigation to determine the extent of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and whether anybody in Trump's orbit was involved.

Let us not weep much over Brennan's fate. As director of the CIA, Brennan defended terrible practices such as torture and extrajudicial drone assassinations. Under him, the CIA secretly snooped on Senate Intelligence Committee staff who were researching and producing a report critical of the CIA's use of torture in interrogations of terrorism suspects during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Then Brennan played dumb about it. And then nothing happened. Brennan is neither the hero of this story nor a victim, and he is probably still going to do just fine as a talking head on the news.

Sadly, not very many people cared about Brennan's behavior in connection with the Senate torture report at the time, which makes Trump's inclusion of it as a justification in his statement a bit unexpected. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who is encouraging Trump to revoke the security clearances of former officials and who filibustered Brennan's appointment as CIA director to highlight the secret use of drones by Barack Obama's administration, certainly knows all about Brennan's background. Other Republicans, however, were hardly big supporters of the torture report, and the Trump administration apparently wants nothing to do with the issue.

There is little about Brennan's actual behavior as CIA director that Trump would disagree with, so let's not play dumb about Trump's motivation in revoking his security clearance or those of other potential targets. It's obviously a way of punishing critics within the national security and intelligence community whom Trump loathes (and who loathe him in return).

Does the motive matter? Trump, for his own reasons, is punishing former officials whose behavior may be detestable on other grounds. Or even possibly illegal: One of Trump's targets is form National Intelligence Director James Clapper, who lied to a Senate panel about the existence of the National Security Agency's massive domestic surveillance program.

Let's not fall for a false choice. We can welcome the outcome here and still be concerned about the downstream consequences of tying security clearances to personal loyalty. This is an administration under investigation, and Trump is clearly using his powers against those who support the investigation. There's a pretty clear message here for anyone working within the administration who may be connected to the Trump investigation or anybody currently employed by the Justice Department who may be involved: If you support this investigation, it could hurt your career.

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  1. everyone should lose their clearance after leaving office after a one year transition period. If something comes up where their personal experience might be handy have them come and advise for that only. As it is they use their clearances as collateral to get work and inform people who don’t need to be informed.

    1. If by year, you mean month, then yes.

      1. If by month, you mean the second they leave office, then yes.

        1. This.

          If, by chance their services are requested later then their clearance can be re-instated later.

          When I stop working at a particular hospital my access to medical records ends at exactly the same time.

          1. Clearence and access are not the same thing. And clearance is not (nor should be) based on politics. Nothing is made more secure, and nobody is helped, by revoking the clearance of former officials.

            1. See that’s just stupid and provably wrong, security is absolutely changed by who has clearances.

            2. If clearance and access are not the same thing then please explain why it even matters that Brennan no longer has clearance?

            3. Give me some good reasons why they should keep it. I am an IS/IT worker. When I quit a company both my security credentials and my access are removed. Why should it be any different for government workers? They should not be entitled to that security clearance after they leave.

              1. “Why should it be any different for government workers?”

                Now, now, let’s not bring Hillary into this.

                1. Jared’s second name is Hillary?

            4. I agree that clearance is not the same as access. You can maintain a clearance for years w/o access. However, Brennan clearly is getting away with crap that should see him jailed. Losing a clearance is practically a no-brainer.
              This is not a punishment. This is revocation of a privilege. Mainly, he has lost his ‘elite’ privilege. He is paying a price any of us normals would have paid and more long before. As for silencing Brennan, please. We should be so lucky.

            5. Umm.. I’m asked every year if I have a need to access information as part of my job in order to keep my clearances. If I said no, my access would be revoked. Clearances aren’t something you keep just for shits and giggles. There is a cost to maintaining lists, background investigation, monitoring, etc. Nobody in the current government would trust clapper, Brennan, Comey, et Al. They have no need to have clearances.

        2. Matthew Chalice: “If by month, you mean the second they leave office, then yes.

          It apparently takes about 4 to 8 months to get a top secret security clearance, so if every time you left government employ you lost your clearance being rehired would (probably) men not doing much for the first few months or so until you got it back.

          That’s the first point. The second is just what exactly do you mean by “leave office“. If you mean leave government employment, then you appear to be unaware that many private companies (e.g. Booz Allen Hamilton) do top secret work for the government that requires security clearances of various kinds for their employees. Are you suggesting that such employees should NOT be allowed to have such clearances?

          That could get rather awkward given all the outsourcing and privatisation that has gone on in recent times.

          1. If any of those particular concerns apply to Brennan then perhaps somebody should specifically cite them.

            Likewise for anyone else. There are exceptions to every rule.

          2. Double your estimates. Not even close on time to take.

            If there was a national need to bring in any of these stooges, the president can grant them clearances on the spot or any of his designated originating authorities.

            1. JesseAz: “If there was a national need to bring in any of these stooges…

              Some will almost certainly be back next time there is a change in government–just as John Bolton and assorted other neo-cons are now back working for the government. (Should Obama have cancelled their clearances during the time they weren’t working for the government?)

              JesseAz: “…the president can grant them clearances on the spot or any of his designated originating authorities.

              First all, FYI, the president isn’t the one who grants security clearances, let alone does all the legwork checking the individuals out that is required to grant these clearances. (Presidents have better things to do with his time.)

              Secondly, what exactly do you mean by “on the spot“? You mean without any checking to see whether they CAN still be validly granted security clearances? Wouldn’t that be rather reckless?

              1. “whether they CAN still be validly granted security clearances? Wouldn’t that be rather reckless?”

                Not sure what the standards could even be here, as Brennan was granted one as a straight up communist. They even let him become director of the CIA.

                1. He voted for a communist candidate in college. Hardly a “straight up communist”.

              2. please explain how it is more reckless for the president to do it one off versus having someone keep clearance forever? that makes zero sense…

      2. Immediately, if they begin work in the news media

    2. Eh. Most people are responsible and roll from one job to another with no controversy. It makes little sense to go through the remarkably expensive and time-consuming process of verifying someone’s background and granting a new clearance at every single move.

      And, yes, having been through that wringer is an asset to a potential future employer. Kind of like having a college degree. If you have one for employer A, there’s no point in employer B making you do that again.

      1. Changing positions or job descriptions is not the same thing as no longer being employed.

        And if a former government official is seeking employment that requires security clearance then they damn well deserve re-evaluation.

        1. ThomasD: “Changing positions or job descriptions is not the same thing as no longer being employed.

          First of all rhat assumes a person stepa out of one position straight into another, with no gap in-between. So what happens when a department or agency downsizes and you’re one of the bunnies who gets tossed onto the scrap heap?

          Secondly, there is a major difference between working for the government and working for a firm which does work FOR the government. That work is presumably based on a contract that firm has WITH the government. So what happens if that contract lapses or is rescinded? Does everyone in that firm with a security clearance thereupon lose that clearance?

          That also works inside the government as well. For example, you move from a position which requires a top secret security clearance to one which only needs a lower level clearance, or even no clearance at all. Are you to be allowed to keep your old clearance?

          Thirdly, getting these clearances back is not free. It will cost somebody time, effort, and money to do. That somebody is presumably the government. The more people need to get their clearances back the higher the cost will be to that government. All of which will cost more taxpayer dollars to fund. Is that really what you want?

          1. “So what happens when a department or agency downsizes and you’re one of the bunnies who gets tossed onto the scrap heap?”

            Hahhahahhahahhahahahahahahaha

          2. Lame arguments predicated upon bureaucratic inertia are lame.

            Same for arguments about making government jobs easier.

            Buck up buttercup.

            1. ThomasD|: “Lame arguments predicated upon bureaucratic inertia are lame.

              Says the guy who (presumably) has no problem with how much governments spend or how well they spend it. Which in turn kind of sounds as if you’re a Big Government type who is quite happy to see governments waste money unnecessarily.

              1. You presume wrong.

                What part of buck up buttercup did you not understand?

      2. When transferring companies the dss certified authority responsible for your moll background checks, monitoring, etc also transfers to the new company. The new company takes in expenses to maintain your clearance. Brennan works for an industry that doesn’t require access not has designated authorities in place to properly handle information.


  2. There is little about Brennan’s actual behavior as CIA director that Trump would disagree with, so let’s not play dumb about Trump’s motivation in revoking his security clearance or those of other potential targets.

    Are you fucking serious?

    1. What did Brennan do in office that Trump wouldn’t approve of?

      1. What did Brennan do in office that Trump would approve of?

        Hypotheticals are dumb

        1. ^ Exactly.

          Brennan is and was a piece of shit. I’m pretty sure Trump could think of a hundred things that asshole did that he would disapprove of. In fact, he thought of enough of them that so far Brennan is the only jackass that had his clearance kicked.

          What is more bizarre?

          Leftist doormats that now find themselves defending Brennan.

          1. And, for the record, this is the Comey phenomenon all over again.

            Brennan was a piece of shit right up to the moment that Trump did something to the piece of shit. Suddenly, at that very moment, he was transubstantiated into an amazing patriot and all around good guy.

            Are some of the reasons Brennan lost his clearance perhaps related to the fact he was a vocal critic of the administration? Maybe, or maybe not, but that doesn’t change the fact that he was a human piece of garbage that should have had his clearance revoked.

            Maybe we can talk about why this didn’t happen sooner, under a different administration, instead of theorizing why Trump would revoke the security clearance of a known liar, malcontent, communist, and general all around ass wipe.

            1. Progressive whitewashing of neoconservative crimes is becoming an increasingly common phenomenon. Just read through the replies to any tweet from Bill Kristol or David Frum or Jennifer Rubin or Max Boot.

            2. The Left picks some mighty peculiar people to be its martyrs.

              1. “The enemy of my enemy…”

            3. Maybe we can talk about why this didn’t happen sooner, under a different administration, instead of theorizing why Trump would revoke the security clearance of a known liar, malcontent, communist, and general all around ass wipe.

              Or we could talk about why it isn’t happening currently under Trump to any of the human pieces of garbage that don’t criticize him.


              1. Or we could talk about why it isn’t happening currently under Trump to any of the human pieces of garbage that don’t criticize him.

                Sure, who are you talking about specifically?

                1. Sure, who are you talking about specifically?

                  Let’s start with Mike Pompeo, Gina Haspel, and Jared Kushner.


                  1. Let’s start with Mike Pompeo, Gina Haspel, and Jared Kushner.

                    Ok, for what actions specifically? We’ve established what it was for Brennan.

                    1. Ok, for what actions specifically? We’ve established what it was for Brennan.

                      We have? Other than being a piece of human garbage? I mean, you specifically say “known liar, malcontent, communist, and general all around ass wipe,” but he’s not a communist, so that’s obviously not your real criteria.

                    2. Sure thing Cathy, spying on elected officials and then lying about it under oath, at a bare minimum. Sorry, I guess that you didn’t actually the article. I’ll post a bit of it below since I’m sure you’re curious about Brennan.

                      As director of the CIA, Brennan defended terrible practices such as torture and extrajudicial drone assassinations. Under him, the CIA secretly snooped on Senate Intelligence Committee staff who were researching and producing a report critical of the CIA’s use of torture in interrogations of terrorism suspects during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Then Brennan played dumb about it. And then nothing happened.

                    3. Well, he did once vote for Gus Hall.

                2. Jesus Fucking Christ. Do you know who Brennan’s black-ops director was? Do you know where she is now? Do you know who put her there?

                  Do you remember Trump supporting “waterboarding and a lot more”, going after terrorists families, bombing the shit out of them and taking their oil? Who the fuck do you think is going to be in charge of getting that shit done?

                  1. Jesus Fucking Christ. Do you know who Brennan’s black-ops director was? Do you know where she is now? Do you know who put her there?

                    Lol, you can’t expect the Daddy Defense Corps to know things like that.

            4. Are some of the reasons Brennan lost his clearance perhaps related to the fact he was a vocal critic of the administration? Maybe, or maybe not,

              And maybe, just maybe, you are something other than a half-educated, bigoted, authoritarian, gullible, inconsequential, right-wing malcontent, BYODB.

              Carry on, clinger. So far as your betters permit, anyway.

              1. Carry on, clinger. So far as your betters permit, anyway.

                Try something other than your sad, predictable boilerplate, hicklib.

              2. Carry on, clinger. So far as your betters permit, anyway.

                Wow – talk about the mask slipping!

              3. Kirkland’s pissed because he found out his girlfriend is known around town as “The Clown Car.”

                Anyone want to wager on how long it takes him to call me a bigot and tell me about what my “betters” will do?

            5. Maybe or maybe not? Are you kidding me? Trump explicitly stated that that was why he was revoking Brennan’s clearance.

              The probably has nothing to do with Brennan specifically, and everything to do with Trump’s willingness to abuse protocol, process, law, whatever, in service of saving his own sorry hide.

              1. Trump has a pen and phone too.

              2. Brennan violated the terms he a greed to in order to keep his clearance.

                Jesus, you people are fucking shilling for a guy who spied on Congress, lied to them and us about it, and then violated the agreement he made to keep his clearance.

                1. Tulpa, it’s very important to be against anything and everything atrumo ever does, just because.

                  Even though Brennan is a communist it’s traitor, who did the tugs you say and so many other horrible tings. No would also see every person here stripped of their individual rights.

                  So of course the geniuses here are going to die on this particular hill for him. I’m sure Hihn will come running in screaming his bullshit supporting Brennan next.


              3. Maybe or maybe not? Are you kidding me? Trump explicitly stated that that was why he was revoking Brennan’s clearance.

                Citation? Because all I see in the article is this:

                “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.”

                Which, no offense, I have seen Brennan on TV and this seems entirely apt.

                I am less enthused that Susan Rice was included in their review even though I’m probably more concerned about her alleged unmasking of individual citizens in those unconstitutional data grabs they call the NSA, but I’m also not so sure that this slap on the wrist is really the end of our democracy that it’s being sold as either.

                The thing for me is that the people on the review list are all people who have actually done things that would merit an investigation, but all we’re getting are revoked security clearances. Frankly, that’s a half measure in my book because I’m far more suspicious of the deep state than I am of elected officials.

          2. Agreed with all points.

            But, Cathy’s hypothetical is as valid as mine. And that’s the problem with hypotheticals

            1. Also true, which is why I agreed that hypotheticals are dumb. The concrete fact is that Brennan was a piece of shit that shouldn’t have a clearance and that he is the only one so far who has lost said clearance.

              That sad sack ‘journalist’ that asked why the list of people under review didn’t include a Republican apparently was also not aware that Comey was a Republican.

              That, in itself, shows the lengths that people will shit their pants to make a point and is another reason why I use Comey as an example of this bizarre phenomenon where the media attacks a guy, Trump does something to remedy the situation, and Trump is then attacked for doing the very thing people were calling for before.

              It is mass psychosis.

          3. Considering that Trump has been “ethically flexible” on every single ethical issue that has ever been presented to him, I would not be surprised if Trump would have approved of every single thing that Brennan did. In fact it wouldn’t surprise me at all to learn that Trump’s CIA *right now* is doing even worse shit than what Brennan did.

            1. Sure. That’s a case that can be made and it’s persuasive.

              But, it’s still a hypothetical. Which is not a valid concrete argument. What is not a hypothetical is Brennan’s actions.

              1. You’re better than basing your opinion on a hypothetical, chemjeff.

                1. Since when? Every one of his diatribes is based off a hypothetical reality of his own making. Absolute principles do that to you. Absolutism is easy because it doesn’t make you consider current conditions that may alter your thinking.

            2. It would be a herculean feat for a CIA director to one-up Brennan at this point Jeff. Yes, or no?

              1. Are you kidding?
                Have you seen what the Stasi did in East Germany?
                Brennan was bad, but he was not the depths of conceivable evil, unfortunately.

                And no I am NOT saying Trump’s CIA is the Stasi.
                I am saying that there is a vast gulf between what the CIA has been so far caught doing, and what a spy agency is theoretically capable of.

                1. Why excuse the tiny steps towards the stasi just because they aren’t yet the stasi? It was bad when we speed on MLK. It is bad Obama opened up criminal referrals on journalists. It is bad to investigate political opponents. Tiny steps still get you to where you’ll end up. Stop handwaiving away Brennan’s misteps because you hate trump.

                  1. I’m not handwaving away anything. I’m not excusing away anything that Obama’s CIA did.

                    What I haven’t done, and what evidently you expect me to do, is to claim that Obama’s CIA was so horribly uniquely unbearably awful that no one ever could be worse than that. And I just don’t believe it. What Obama’s CIA did was terrible and awful. But it’s also not the worst it could have been, scary as that sounds.


                    1. What I haven’t done, and what evidently you expect me to do, is to claim that Obama’s CIA was so horribly uniquely unbearably awful that no one ever could be worse than that.

                      You’re hearing voices again Jeff. And once again it’s not the voices of anyone in the actual conversation.

                    2. An avowed communist was its Director, so yes, it was uniquely awful.

                2. So despite all the torture, spying on domestic law makers, and assassinations Brennan still wasn’t as bad as the Stasi when they were torturing, spying on domestic dissidents, and assassinating.

                  Ok, but do you see Trump’s CIA actually becoming the Stasi or are you just pulling a godwin out of your ass because you have no actual point?

                  1. Sure I think Trump’s CIA could become the Stasi. I think ANY CIA *could* become the Stasi. Or worse even. I think the depths of human depravity have not yet been realized, unfortunately. I don’t think any president is above abusing his power to that level and I don’t exclude Trump from that.

                    1. Yet Trump goes out of his way to not let congress cede its authority like Obama did.

                      Yeah, just a huge Nazi.

                      Do you ever not get stuck on stupid?

                3. Are you kidding?
                  Have you seen what the Stasi did in East Germany?

                  One thing that never changes is your stupid analogies.

            3. In fact it wouldn’t surprise me at all to learn that Trump’s CIA *right now* is doing even worse shit than what Brennan did.

              The only thing that would be surprising is finding out they weren’t doing things as bad.

              1. Isn’t it a given that they are doing as bad? But, to be fair, he isn’t particularly popular with the intelligence community so some of those actions may be directed at his own administration

                1. Isn’t it a given that they are doing as bad?

                  Well, everyone else (mostly Tulpa) is trying to pretend Trump is somehow better than or different from Brennan in this respect.

                  1. I think it’s because a lot of people around here, evidently, believe that Obama’s CIA did all the awful stuff it did not because of the incentives and power that those in positions of great power have, but because Obama just hated America. And with Trump, even though all of the incentives and power are exactly the same, he should be given the benefit of the doubt that he won’t abuse his power, because he Loves America.

                    I think that’s what it boils down to, really. It’s not that power corrupts. It’s that Obama Was A Bad Man.

                    1. I mean, anyone given that power is going to abuse it. No one should trust any president to not do that (except maybe Rand Paul, because he’s my crush).

                    2. I absolutely agree Say’n.

                      One of the things that concerns me a lot more than Trump is the amount of power being given to unelected bureaucrats to essentially do whatever they want. The FBI and CIA appear to have been unusually political, or at least unusually brazen about it, this past election and needless to say their concerted efforts don’t appear to have been in favor of Trump.

                      What’s weird is that Trump appears to be the enemy of the CIA and FBI and yet libertarians don’t seem to like the guy. I get that there are a lot of reasons to dislike Trump, especially from a libertarian point of view, but it seems to me that what’s being done to Trump is actually unprecedented in American history. Sometimes you have to defend people you don’t like because if you don’t the end result is far worse.

                      I don’t really like Trump, but I see what’s being done to him and extrapolating out into the future and I do not like what I see. I’m not Nostradamus, just someone with a lick of common sense.

                    3. what’s being done to Trump is actually unprecedented in American history

                      You have to be really bought into Trump-sympathetic talking points to believe that.


                    4. You have to be really bought into Trump-sympathetic talking points to believe that.

                      I think there’s a good case to be made that the FBI under J. Edgar was worse, or the CIA under Kennedy, so I probably shouldn’t say ‘unprecedented in American history’ and instead say ‘something we were promised was long over with that really wasn’t’. Which was always a suckers bet since the CIA and FBI were never going to stop, they just got more careful.

                      Until Trump, it would seem, and in his case it seems that it really was because no one actually expected him to win so they got sloppy. That’s my theory, anyway, and it seems to fit like any good conspiracy theory.

                  2. “Well, everyone else (mostly Tulpa) is trying to pretend Trump is somehow better than or different from Brennan in this respect. ”

                    Awwww Cathy/Kivlor is upset that I keep reminding people that she admitted being a pedophile.

                    It’s nice to know telling the truth makes you resort to lying about me!

                    1. It’s nice to know telling the truth makes you resort to lying about me!

                      I’m rubber, blah blah.

                    2. Hey, you’re the one that name checked me about things I wasn’t saying after I reminded everyone you were a kid raper.

                      If that isn’t drfinitive evidence of how upset you are, then “I’m rubber, blah blah.” that certainly is.

                      It’s kind of fun that you’re so upset you have to lie. I like doing that to people like you.

                    3. “Hi I’m Cathy L/Kivlor, and when I’m not raping babies, I like to lie about people who have exposed me!” – honest Cathy L

                  3. Some of us prefer to live with known facts instead of subjective imaginations Cathy. With an intelligence community that seemingly hates trump you would think leaks of bad behaviors or requests would have happened by now. A lot of the abuses under Brennan and clapper wrte not discovered by leakers but by FOIA from journalists. You can surely point me to trust bad behaviors with actual documented actions… Right?

                2. And given that punishing them is apparently verboten, why wouldn’t they do horrible thing?

              2. Of course a proggie like you would think that.

        2. Trump has said that the US should torture even more than Brennan did.
          Trump signed into law a bill to expand the spying that Brennan did.
          Trump didn’t pull Sessions’ nomination after he was found to have lied to Congress.

          These aren’t hypotheticals. These are actual statements and actions.

          Did you skip over the part where Trump’s statement said it was in retaliation for Brennan’s statements?

          Yes. Brennan is a piece of crap who, like Comey, did a bunch of bad shit.

          But, that’s not why they have been punished. It is politically motivated interference with the intelligence and justice departments. That’s one of the steps to tyranny.

          1. “Trump has said that the US should torture even more than Brennan did.”

            He never said “I’m going to torture more than that guy”. And again. Those are words- not actions.

            “Trump signed into law a bill to expand the spying that Brennan did.”

            No. It was a renewal of the existing spy program. But, he gets as much blame as his predecessors for signing that.

            “Trump didn’t pull Sessions’ nomination after he was found to have lied to Congress.”

            Session’s “lie” was about a public meeting that he had with a Russian diplomat that met with other Senators that same day. This is not even nearly equivalent to Brennan lying about spying on Congress.

            Adults judge actions- not deeds. Brennan’s actions are demonstrative. And now we’re all suppose to forgive them, because you fear Trump. That’s stupid

            1. “Adults judge actions- not deeds”

              Or rather “Adults render judgement based on actions- not words”

            2. Is pulling someone’s security clearance in retaliation for criticism not an action?

              1. Please go on and defend John Brennan

                1. Please tell me what is so egregious about pulling the security clearance of a disgraced spook who needs clearance so he has some margin of credibility as he goes on cable news and spouts unsubstantiated nonsense so he can fatten his wallet.

                  There is not constitutional right to an “income”. Brennan is lucky that he escaped prosecution from Congress.

                  1. Putting a political test on.

                    If his clearance was pulled for misdeeds, that would be okay.

                    If his clearance was pulled for criticizing the President, that’s political retribution and is chilling to the independence of the intelligence agency. Trump’s statement made it clear that the reason the clearance was pulled was political.

                    1. This is the kind of TDS we love around here!

                      He DESERVED it you see, but because of SOME of the THINGS Trump stated (and ignoring the REST OF THE THINGS BRENNAN actually did) it’s “chilling”.

                      Sure bro.


                    2. If his clearance was pulled for criticizing the President, that’s political retribution and is chilling to the independence of the intelligence agency.

                      Umm…the intelligence agencies are not independent. Nor should they be.

                    3. They should be independent of politics.

                      Bush/Cheney used promotions and punishments to get the answer they wanted on Iraq.

                      Trump is using the same tactics for the investigation into Russia. If he is innocent, it’s not an investigation into him. But, already his NSA and two security advisors have criminal records.

                2. Please go on and defend John Brennan

                  You keep really wanting me to do shit I have no interest in doing just because I don’t worship at the altar of daddy.

                  I would have thought you’d be a little more circumspect about that after getting the Piggy treatment yesterday.

                  1. “You keep really wanting me to do shit I have no interest in doing just because I don’t worship at the altar of daddy.”

                    This tells me that you have no point.

                    You can disagree and dislike the president, while also being sane enough to not give two shits about John Brennan nor believe that there is anything bad about him losing his clearance.

                    So again (and without insults this time) explain to me why Brennan should keep his clearance?

                    1. So again (and without insults this time) explain to me why Brennan should keep his clearance?

                      I never said he should, so, no.

                3. I think it’s pretty clear that people like Jeff and Cathy are certain they can peer into Trump’s heart and know his intention.

                  I don’t doubt they could be correct, but frankly the list put out by the administration of people who are under review for losing their clearance is a list of people who have been in the news for months now as having taken questionable actions in regards to their treatment of classified and privileged information. Several were fired for those actions, and some of them are under active investigation.

                  Coincidence? I really don’t think so.

                  I would like people to specifically name the people on that list that they think should keep their clearance, and who isn’t on the list that should also lose their clearance. I suspect I’ll see a lot of equivocation and excuses.

                  1. I think it’s pretty clear that people like Jeff and Cathy are certain they can peer into Trump’s heart and know his intention.

                    No, we can read the Wall Street Journal and find that out.

                  2. They peered into his heart by reading the statement from Trump quoted at the top of the post.

                    1. The one where he gave lots of legit reasons that make revoking the clearance a good idea?

                      That one?

                      Your entire stupid fucking point is “Trump doesn’t like him, so all the shady shit he did shouldn’t matter”

                4. Please go on and defend John Brennan

                  One needn’t defend either Trump or Brennan. The point that Trump would have no problem with Brennan whatsoever if Brennan simply sang Trump’s praises and that there is no “higher principle” involved here is pretty self-evident, really.


                  1. One needn’t defend either Trump or Brennan. The point that Trump would have no problem with Brennan whatsoever if Brennan simply sang Trump’s praises and that there is no “higher principle” involved here is pretty self-evident, really.

                    I think that’s possible given who Trump has nominated to replace him, but I can’t really say that for sure either. What I can say for sure is that Brennan shouldn’t have access still, and so no matter what the reason that’s given it’s a win.

                    We’ll see if the rest of their review list is as clear cut. Honestly, I would prefer more open investigations of those individuals still on the list since many of them potentially worked against Trump behind the scenes during an election, and that should be dragged into the light if true.

                    I can say with a reasonable degree of certainty that Trump will probably either meet or exceed the excesses of his predecessor overseas. And I say that simply because it’s usually the case with power that it grows over time, and because Trump didn’t exactly run on peace love and understanding.

                    My main point, somewhat lost in translation and trolling, is simply that regardless of the final reason that broke the camels back Brennan should have had a whole lot worse happen to him than losing a security clearance. The fact that none of those things happened means that Trump was actually pretty easy on Brennan in my view.

                    1. regardless of the final reason that broke the camels back Brennan should have had a whole lot worse happen to him than losing a security clearance

                      Agreed.

                      But the thing that kicked off this thread was:

                      There is little about Brennan’s actual behavior as CIA director that Trump would disagree with, so let’s not play dumb about Trump’s motivation in revoking his security clearance or those of other potential targets.

                      Looking at the people Trump tolerates and even praises, it’s not that far-fetched to suggest that it’s not really anything in particular about Brennan’s behavior that caught Trump’s attention. Whether or not you are a Beautiful Person whose actions are always excusable or a Poopy-headed Monster who really represents What’s Wrong with the World depends 100% on whether or not you say nice things about Trump.

                      If Trump really were just Doing What’s Right by going after Brennan, Team be damned, there would be a whole lot more housecleaning/swamp-draining going on.


                    2. If Trump really were just Doing What’s Right by going after Brennan, Team be damned, there would be a whole lot more housecleaning/swamp-draining going on.

                      Well, there are the rest of the people on the list and presumably people might be added or removed from it. Although, of course, as I’ve said I’m not as sure those cases are as clear cut and I would suppose the administration started with the slam dunk case. A middle-of-the-road reading would be some are for personal or political reasons while others are legitimate, I’d think.


                      Looking at the people Trump tolerates and even praises, it’s not that far-fetched to suggest that it’s not really anything in particular about Brennan’s behavior that caught Trump’s attention.

                      There is some truth there for sure, although Brennan’s behavior towards the current administration and the things he’s said about it aren’t exactly above reproach either. If he said those things about, just for example, Obama I wager that his administration would have probably done something similar. That’s really just a guess though, and not terribly substantiated by anything at all so I wouldn’t die on that hill.

                      We’ll never know what another administration would have done here, though, since a former CIA director probably wouldn’t have gone full retard quite the way Brennan has nor would they have had the same amount of cover from the Media that anyone anti-Trump is afforded.

              2. Well, when the guy having it pulled violated the conditions of retaining it, why should anyone think it’s a problem?

              3. Cathy, if Hillary did this to a conservative we would not be hearing these bullshit arguments from you.

                Translation: Nigga, please.

            3. “Not since medieval times have people seen what’s going on,” Trump said. “I would bring back waterboarding, and I’d bring it back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.”

              He has no problem with torture. He wants more.

              http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2…..rveillance

              He did not end or limit surveillance. It doesn’t bother him, unless it hurts him politically.

              Session lied about multiple meetings related to something that was a huge story. He also lied when he said he was unaware of others’ meeting with the Russians, contradicted by Page and Papadopolous both testifying that they told him.

              Either he is very forgetful, or he has a problem with the truth when it comes to Russia. So, lying to Congress isn’t a thing.

              1. “He did not end or limit surveillance”

                Citation?


                1. “He did not end or limit surveillance”

                  Citation?

                  No, he really hasn’t done that. Nor would I expect him to, because even while he might be pissed off that the apparatus could have been used against him that isn’t a good enough reason to give up a tool he can use against the next guy.

                  Assuming, of course, that the apparatus is conducive to being used by Trump. If it isn’t, it’ll bite him just as hard as it would bite someone else. That is but one facet of the problem.

                  1. even while he might be pissed off that the apparatus could have been used against him that isn’t a good enough reason to give up a tool he can use against the next guy

                    And this here is why it continues despite virtually every candidate for the last half century pledging to be “Different.”

                    Assuming, of course, that the apparatus is conducive to being used by Trump

                    Yes – if not, the intelligence agencies are truly “independent” – i.e. have “gone rogue,” which is not a good situation. Anyone remember when the Praetorian guard sold the Emperor-ship to the highest bidder?


                    1. Yes – if not, the intelligence agencies are truly “independent” – i.e. have “gone rogue,” which is not a good situation.

                      And this here is my biggest concern, and has been since at least 9/11. I’d be a lot less inclined to believe that the so called ‘deep state’ wasn’t putting it’s thumb on the scales if they had some level of accountability, and it seems if the President goes against them accountability somehow vanishes.

                      Not a good sign, and I think this is a direct result of the erosion of checks and balances in our government.

              2. “So, lying to Congress isn’t a thing.”

                It is when your boss can revoke your security clearance for it.

                1. But only if you say bad things about him.

                  If you think the lying to Congress was the reason, you probably believe that Comey was fired for mistreating Hillary.

                  Having the lawyers add a fig leaf doesn’t make putting a loyalty test any better.

                  Government officials pledge to defend the Constitution, not the President. If he was fired for torture, or spying, or lying, I’d cheer it, and expect the rest to face the same fate, not just the ones who don’t support Trump.

                  1. Chandler, you could save a lot of time if you just wrote “Trump is a big poopy head”. Then you could just copy/paste that.

                    It would be about as insightful.

            4. Maga

      2. Be a Communist.

      3. Spied on the Senate and lied about it.

        Supported the Muslim Brotherhood taking over Egypt

        Ordered the assassination of an American Citizen

        Used the intelligence community to spy on Donald Trump when he was a candidate

        I think number 4 would make Trump a bit angry at Brennen if nothing else.

        1. Can you really tell me, with a straight face, that you think Donald Trump is above using the CIA to spy on the Senate, especially if the Senate is run by the opposition party?

          1. Can you really tell me, with a straight face, that you think Donald Trump is above using the CIA to spy on the Senate,

            Sure. He never has. And until he does, any claims that “he really would” are just bullshit wish fulfillment.

            Can you really tell me with a straight face that you wouldn’t ass fuck a child Jeff?

            That is pretty much your level of argument here. You never seem to get any better at this do you?

            1. Yeah sure, Donald Trump is such an ethical paragon he would never ever consider drone-murdering American citizens if he thought they were treasonous terrorists. Uh huh.

              Trump is not some moral blank slate, you know.

              1. Donald Trump has never once misused the intelligence community while in office. Your claims that “he would” are utterly meaningless. You hate Trump, therefore, he for sure would do something he never has. You are making a really stupid fucking argument.

                1. Why do you think it is beneath Trump to misuse the intelligence community in the way Obama did? Because Trump is such a paragon of moral virtue? Is that it?

                  1. Well Little Jeffy, Trump has definitely been above usurping congressional authority via executive orde, unlike your hero, Barack Obama. Who had a phone and a pen!

                2. This isn’t about “hating Trump”. I never said that he DID spy on the Senate. I said that I don’t see a reason why he wouldn’t, considering that he is not exactly a moral paragon in any sense of the word. This is about you desperately wanting to give the benefit of a doubt to a man who doesn’t deserve it, just to maintain some sort of fiction that he can’t possibly be as bad as that horrible evil Obama was.

                  Obama did a lot of terrible things, and I am not at all defending his espionage or his drone-murders. But it’s also not some unique fault of Obama that those happened. Anyone with a great deal of power and a great deal of ‘moral flexibility’ is capable of the same level of evil. You want to pretend that Obama was uniquely evil. News flash: he wasn’t.

                  1. If Trump does use these powers, and does go that route, lets bash him then shall we? If he doesn’t, will you then compliment him on it? It seems unlikely given that you’re already saying that he’s a bad guy even if he doesn’t use the powers given to him by Obama to murder American citizens.

                    The disconnect here is that most Americans think Obama was a great guy despite him doing those things, and here people say Trump is bad despite not doing those things.

                    What should the takeaway lesson be there, Jeff-o? Obviously it is that actions don’t matter, only words. That seems rational of you, as always.

                    1. Trump’s ACTIONS have demonstrated that he has been a moral reprobate for a long time now. Would you agree on that?

                    2. I think that Trump being a moral reprobate is immaterial since most of our former Presidents were, in fact, moral reprobates. So what is your point? That only moral men should hold office?

                      If so, I have a bridge in Brooklyn that you might like to buy.

                    3. My point is that Trump, like every other politician, is capable of abusing his power. Obama was not uniquely evil in that way. Every president is capable of doing the same things that Obama did. Trump is no exception.

                    4. So Obama wasn’t uniquely evil for doing uniquely evil things, but Trump is uniquely evil for saying immoral things.

                      It occurs to me that you’re probably in high school if this is the level of thought you’re capable of. At least for your sake I hope that’s your age, because if you’re in your twenties you have a lot of growing up to do.

                      This in no way excuses Trump for future abuses he might undertake, you sophomoric loon. You’re the only person here who seems to think that it would, which should make you wonder who the idiot in this conversation really is.

                    5. But Obama had the intel community on his side.

                      Trump does not.

                      So Trump is far more unlikely to do it than Obama.

                    6. I think that Trump being a moral reprobate is immaterial since most of our former Presidents were, in fact, moral reprobates. So what is your point? That only moral men should hold office?

                      Like five minutes before this you were arguing that Trump was indeed going to be magically different from all other presidents.

                    7. No he wasn’t. Smoke less crack you fucking pedo.

                    8. Try conjugating the copula correctly. He was arguing that trump has not abused power the way Obama has. You are free to provide evidence otherwise, or you and Jeff can keep beating on that strawman to make sure he never gets up again.

                    9. Be specific Jeff, which actions?

                  2. You are literally exposing your child like arumentive skills in this chain Jeff. You’re arguing against trump based on assertions that you haven’t even backed up with actual instances of trump abusing his power. There is no way to counter your imagination. You’re a child. Argue what is, not what you dream. This is how all your arguments are. You refuse to face reality.

                    1. Yes or No: Do you believe Trump is *capable* of abusing his power?

                    2. I was wondering when you were going to pull this act, it seems like your go to when you’ve made a fool of yourself.

                    3. Obviously he is. So what? Anyone is capable of abusing their power. Obama did it for eight years and received a standing ovation. George W. Bush did it for 8 years and was run out of the public eye entirely.

                      So again, what is your point?

                    4. That Trump is no different than Obama in their propensity to abuse presidential power.

                      But this evidently is triggering to the Trumpbots around here who persist in their narrative that Obama’s abuse of power was uniquely awful. It really wasn’t.

                    5. So doing is exactly the same as not doing, got it Jeff. You make total sense.

                      I think we’re done here.

                    6. Trump does not want to be a corrupt authoritarian in government.

                      He has had over 1.5 years to do so and has not. Not once. Not a single time.

                    7. Yes or No: Do you believe chemjeff is *capable* of raping small children?

                      I have no idea, cannot reach the depths of irrationality that it would take, how you think the question you posed is in any way, shape, or form an argument.

                    8. I’ve recently been convinced not to give him the benefit of the doubt because of his other behavior.

                    9. Yes or No: has he?

                  3. Obama is infinitely more evil than Trump will ever be. For all his character flaws, Trump is something of a patriot. Now an anarchist like yourself can’t understand patriotism except as something to snigger at. However, those of us who are intelligent adults often see things differently, and have a profound respect for our constitutional republic.

                    Is any of that getting through Little Jeffy?

                3. You defend Trump because he embraces the bigotry that animates the deplorable residents of our can’t-keep-up backwaters.

                  Or, as you describe it, because you are a libertarian.

                  1. Stop trying to be relevant.

                  2. Arty, I hope you finally see logic, and realize suicide is the answer for you.

          2. Until he, you know, actually DOES IT, your hypothetical is about as pointless as my open invitation for date night with Giselle Bundchen.

            1. Sure. Let’s give the benefit of the doubt to the guy who has flip-flopped on every single issue in his life.

              1. Abandon due process. That’s a good argument; I’d stick with it.

              2. Jeff… Please continue to show your child like arumentive skills. This is priceless.

                1. It really is.
                  One of the best displays of going full retard I’ve ever seen.

                  1. Well, he is fighting a rear guard action.

                2. Jesse, we need to coddle a delicate little snowflake like our Jeffy here. All these things tug on his widdle heartstrings, amd he is such an emotional simple minded little tyke.

          3. No actual argument so go with Whataboutism!

          4. This would be a good time for one of those “both sides do it.” Once your hands uncramp from the pearl clutching, of course.

            On the other hand we have documented evidence of Barry’s admin doing this and surveilling reporters against trump’s bad words(tm). Those two ARE difficult to separate.

            1. I didn’t say that Trump IS guilty of spying on the Senate. I said that I wouldn’t put it past him. Why should I?

              1. You mean besides the fact that unlike barry he has abided by all court decisions and faithfully executed the laws of the US?

                1. Wait wait wait I thought Trump was using his ‘pen and phone’ to roll back all of Obama’s regulations and that was a good thing. Right? Right?

                  So given Trump’s vast history of questionable behavior, you really want to argue that Trump is a more moral human being than Obama is? Really?

                  Quite frankly they are both immoral pieces of shit. They are both capable of great evil because they have no scruples and a great deal of power and a strong motivation to use that power to further their narrow interests instead of a broader ethical principle. And if Trump had a (D) behind his name you would say exactly the same thing. But he doesn’t, so you must bend over backwards to pretend that people in positions of power must be given the benefit of the doubt.

                  1. So now you want to argue that rolling back illegal EOs is ALSO illegal? That’s a special kinda stupid right there.

                    I don’t care how moral trump is. His actions have been far more legal than his predecessor. And if he had a (D) after his name your pants wouldn’t be making that squishy sound right now.

                    1. Where have I defended anything that Obama did with regards to his CIA? Anywhere? I haven’t. This isn’t a D/R thing with me. This is about not giving the benefit of the doubt to ANYONE who wields power over me. I’m going to assume that their motives are bad and that they are only interested in getting re-elected.

                      YOU are the one being the partisan asshole about this. You want me to ignore Trump’s history and pretend that he should be given the benefit of the doubt with presumed good intentions, a standard that you would never ever ever ever apply to any Democrat.

                    2. And a standard you would apply to most democrats. You literally equated trump’s legal EOs to barry’s illegal ones. Right? Right?

                    3. Family separation was illegal. The administration missed dates to reunite families per court order.
                      Ending DACA was illegal.
                      Muslim Ban 1 & 2 were illegal.
                      Sanctuary City defunding was illegal.

                    4. “Ending DACA was illegal.”

                      No. The courts haven’t settled that. There are split decisions on that front. It depends on whether or not the administration wants to appeal.

                      “Muslim Ban 1 & 2 were illegal.”

                      I doubt that since the Supreme Court upheld the third effort and put a hold on an injunction against the second one.

                      “Sanctuary City defunding was illegal.”

                      Again. The courts are split on that. It depends on whether or not the administration wants to appeal

                    5. “Family separation was illegal.”

                      That’s not even accurate, since the previous administration did the exact same thing and was ordered by a court to do that.

                      This again depends on whether or not the administration appeals

                    6. The closest thing you have to something there is that his administration missed a deadline. Which was known to be impossible to hit when it was assigned.

                      It’s like you’re trying to make one case and inadvertently maoing the other.

                    7. http://www.sacbee.com/news/loc…..74499.html

                      Contempt orders

                      http://www.nbcnews.com/storyli…..om-n899691

                      Only following court orders under threat of contempt.

                    8. And? That doesn’t change anything anyone said.

                      Do you actually speak English?

                    9. I see what you’re doing Happy, you’re trying to equate things that were temporarily ruled by judges to be illegal is the same as knowing they were illegal in advance.

                      Are you really that fucking stupid?

                      And… You don’t seem to understand how contempt works either.

                      Why are you even discussing this? You’ve been proven a liar multiple times in just the last few days.

                    10. Family separation was not illegal.
                      The admin made good faith efforts to comply (unlike barry)
                      Ending DACA is hardly illegal (even barry previously admitted that he didn’t have the power to create it… and then he created it), but trump is complying with the insane district court ruling that it must be reinstated because ponies.
                      The travel ban was ultimately upheld by SCOTUS, so, um sorry.

                    11. Deporting women, children, and/or men together or not is legal.

                      DACA was an Executive Order by Obama, so it can be ended by Trump [period]

                      Muslim ban was deemed legal by SCOTUS.

                    12. Skippy, I know Little Jeffy is a moronic turd, but is he REALLY this fucking stupid?

                  2. “And IF Trump had a (D) behind his name you WOULD say exactly the same thing.”

                    Psycho

                    1. Don’t fall in chemjeff progressive internationalist thought patterns, Skippy.
                      Be careful

                    2. ???

                    3. I’ll ask you the same thing.

                      True or False: Do you think Trump is *capable* of abusing his power?

                    4. That’s it jeff, deflect from your shame.

                    5. Shut up, Tulpa.

                    6. Or what jeff? You’ll cry more?

                    7. False.

                      Trump does not want to abuse his presidential position.

                      Trump would rather help America and Americans and be the best president in over 100 years.

                    8. True or false: chemjeff is *capable* of murder.

                      This is how the game is played isn’t it?

                    9. Anyone is capable of abusing power. What a meaningless question to ask.

                      So of course Little Jeffy asks it.

                      After all, if Trump could theoretically do soemthing bad, and we can’t comprehensively prove he never ever did it, that’s just like proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt……….

                      In Little Jeffy’s mushball he calls a brain.

                    10. I mistook your post, Skippy, for chemjeff’s because it was a hypothetical – characteristic for cj, not so for yourself from what I’ve seen.

        2. Oh it’s so comically amusing. Of course NOW, we are supposed to give the benefit of the doubt to the guy with all the power. A standard they would never apply to a Team Blue member, ever.

          1. Saying something didn’t happen when there is no evidence that it did is not giving someone the benefit of the doubt, you half wit. You have to have some reason to believe it is true before giving a benefit of the doubt is necessary.

            Again, you really never get any better at this .

            1. ” You have to have some reason to believe it is true”

              Gee, how about Trump’s long history of violating just about every ethical standard known to man? Plus, the tremendous amount of power that he now has?

              Does Lord Acton’s warning suddenly not apply in the case of Trump?

              1. Repeating the same fallacy over and over again doesn’t make it any less invalid. You have no evidence has done anything.

              2. “Gee, how about Trump’s long history of violating just about every ethical standard known to man? ”

                No. No, he hasn’t. The guy has a number of character flaws and has done a few things that have been in bad taste, but you’re going to see a certain amount of that from a New Yorker that has liver over forty years of a seventy year life in the public eye.

                The real problem is that you’re just a fucking dummy Little Jeffy.

          2. Jeff,
            You’re literally psychotic.
            Fantasy is not reality, yet you take your fantasy as fact juxtaposed to actual reality.
            Seek treatment, because that is the definition of psychosis.

            1. No no, I get it.

              I’m supposed to assume presidents have good motives, right?

              Except when they have a (D) behind their name. Then they hate America.

              1. No, just try being sane.

                1. Shut up, Tulpa

                  1. Or what Jeff? You gonna shitpost up the thread some more?

                    1. “I just KNOW Trump would do those things” – jeff doing his John mindreading act

              2. Trying to avoid mistaking your assumptions of what WOULD happen for things that ACTUALLY happen(ed) would be a good start

                1. Nowhere did I say that I believed Trump actually did spy on the Senate or drone-murder Americans like Obama did. Nowhere did I say that.

                  You all however got triggered when I dared to suggest that Trump might just be *capable* – CAPABLE – of the same types of evil behavior that EVERY OTHER president has engaged in, including Obama.

                  If it turns out Trump’s CIA is spying on the Senate right this very fucking minute, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least. Because that is what people in positions of power do. They abuse that power.

                  1. You have repeated yourself several times, maybe you should get the hint that the problem os on your end.

                    1. “No one gets it! and… I’ll throw in a ” triggered ” because even though I claim not to be a troll, I have to troll” – MUCH shorter chemjeff

                    2. Fuck off, Tulpa

                    3. You see how he escalated to “Fuck off” from “shut up” !

                      He’s obviously very very triggered.

              3. Democrats DO hate America you moron. From their own lips they say how America is nothin g special and must be ‘fundamentally trasnformed’. When Trump talks about America he is expresses pride, and love for America. So did the Bushes, Reagan, etc..

                De ocrats used to do that. Decades ago. Now democrats hate America and the constitution.

                How do you not know this Little Jeffy.

        3. Define spy.

          1. The Chinese national working undercover in Senator Diane Feinstein’s office.

            1. Wonderful. He was a driver in San Francisco. There were no sensitive documents there.

              How about the foreign agent who was the NSA?

              The government did not, at any time, spy on the Trump campaign.

              1. Wonderful. He was a driver in San Francisco. There were no sensitive documents there.

                ZZZIIIINNNGGG go the goalposts!

            2. Maga

  3. KMW: Alright. We need you to defend John Brennan’s security clearance

    Shack: Fuck no

    Gillespie: I’ll do it. Revoking Brennan’s security clearance is really a debate between those who accept modernity and those who oppose it. All other political allegiances are rendered meaningless as we escape the politics of the Boomer generation and enter a new 21st Century paradigm.

    KMW: What does that mean?

    1. Jacket: It means that Trump is a poopie head.

      1. Napolitano: What if the boomers were actually the greatest generation? What if their bad decision-making was a consequence of an increasingly expansive government? What if John Brennan is still a Communist? What if the Trump administration is no different than its predecessors? What if Reason were to relocate its offices to Kenosha, Wisconsin? What if Nick Gillespie were to become a vegan? What if Ayn Rand had been born in China? What if the sequels to Avatar were to be cancelled? What if Uber and Lyft were to become one entity? What if Twitter revoked my membership? What if TV had never been invented? What if bananas were purple instead of yellow? What if the Libertarian Moment were actually the Libertarian Millisecond? What if Freedom Watch were to be simulcast in Portuguese? What if…

      2. Shikha: A RACIST poopie-head!

        Robbie: To be sure, Trump may or may not be racist.

        Boehm: His tariffs are probably intended to hurt black and brown people the most.

        ENB: And sex workers of all colors.

        Suderman: Whatever the case, Trump’s poopie-headedness will surely cause an increase in healthcare costs.

  4. “This is an administration under investigation, and Trump is clearly using his powers against those who support the investigation.”

    Can you define exactly what that investigation is and what has come to light to support any of Brennan’s wild accusations that he’s made?

    1. What’s that got to do with it? He’s under investigation, no?

        1. And that’s why I’m asking the question. Because this whole “investigation” is convoluted and literally nothing related to collusion of any sort has been uncovered about anyone. Everyone who has been brought to trial has been charged with “lying to the FBI” or campaign violations or tax evasion that occurred before the campaign.

          1. Yes, exactly. The opposing side of that coin is ‘we’re clearing out the administration of a bunch of malcontents that refuse to accept the outcome of a fair and legal election’ yet, somehow, this is never mentioned.

            I’m not saying I know one way or the other what is going on, but frankly I honestly fail to see any evidence of collusion with Russians outside of the DNC and the Clinton campaign that bought information through a cut-out British spy from Kremlin sources.

            To date, that is quite literally the only concrete case of collusion we have yet we are told that doesn’t count. Sorry, but if that doesn’t count than the odd’s Trump did anything that does count is vanishingly small since outright purchasing of information from the Kremlin clearly does not qualify.

        2. It may be a fake investigation, it may be politically inspired, it may be ramped up and pushed by a biased media, but geez, what the heck is controversial about the statement that he is under investigation?

          1. Whether or not he’s under investigation

        3. There’s a difference between being a target and being under investigation.

          Trump was under investigation.

          Trump was not a target of the investigation.

          1. Splitting hairs to defend the intelligence community

            Someone told me you’re a registered Green Party guy. Sad that Greens are pro-intelligence community now. Won’t vote for them again

            1. I wasn’t aware that just by registering with them, I became the emperor of the party!

              Jill Stein is also linked to Russia, so you should like them again.

              And I’m not defending the intelligence community. I just saw what happened when they are used for political ends. Kissinger, Iran/Contra, Iraq WMD.

              Bad things happen when they are used for politics.

            2. But, it’s not splitting hairs.

              Target means that the information has been gathered, they’ve sent you a letter, and the indictment is coming within days. Under investigation means you might be indicted. That’s why it’s called an investigation.

            3. Maga

  5. Nothing about removing his security clearance prevents him from shooting off his dicksucker.

    1. God damn it, stop making me agree with you.

    2. The issue is now he can’t use his clearance to make money. It most certainly won’t hurt the bozos ability to go on MSDNC, and CNN shooting it off.

      1. “The issue is now he can’t use his clearance to make money. ”

        I’m aware of that. It isn’t an issue.

        1. It is if you are Bennen or some other former official who wants to be able to be part of the “RESISTANCE” while still keeping you clearance.

  6. We can welcome the outcome here and still be concerned about the downstream consequences of tying security clearances to personal loyalty.

    Meh. I don’t know that keeping former employees in the loop has the value those suddenly out of the loop claim it has.

    1. Brennan’s career since leaving office is a perfect example of the swampy DC insider-Media inbreeding that normally would give libertarians cause for alarm, but because Trump canned him Reason is having a hard time mustering a significant amount of outrage.

      Hence Shack’s attempt to cover both sides.

  7. To maintain your security clearance, you are supposed to act like an active duty intelligence officer. Not go on MSNBC and peddle conspiracy theories and spout off about Treason

    1. In that case, Brennan is acting like an active duty intelligence officer… at least by his own prior standard of behavior.
      The entire Russia meddling/collusion is BRENNAN’S FUCKING INVENTION FROM THE START

    2. No, you’re supposed to go on RT and spout conspiracy theories. Then you can be NSA!

      1. So why isn’t your argument for takimg away more clearances?

        1. My argument is you can take away clearances, but you can’t do it on a political basis.

          You can’t punish Brennan and promote Haspel and call it anything but political.

          1. My argument is you can take away clearances, but you can’t do it on a political basis

            Sure you can.

        2. Maga chanandler.

  8. How is he silencing his critics? Is Brennen no longer free to criticize Trump?

    This is the dumbest argument. The only reason ex-officials like Brennen are allowed to keep their clearances is because it allows them to provide advice to their successors if needed. When you run around claiming that you hate the President and will do anything to undermine his administration, it is hardly unreasonable for said administration to conclude that they really don’t have a need to call you for advice thus alleviating the reason for you to have a security clearance.

    Brennen’s need to have a clearance is entirely dependent upon the government’s need to call on him for institutional knowledge and advice. Brennen has made it very clear, as is his right, that he has no interest in providing such advice. Revoking his clearance is therefore entirely appropriate.

    To say that doing so is “silencing critics” is to say that not asking people who openly hate you for advice is “silencing them”. Shackford is just repeating the media talking points here.

    1. Hey now, Brennan may have some thoughts on how the Proles can overthrow the Bourgeoisie or ways to improve the Secret Police.

    2. The CIA does not work for the president. They work for the country. One can oppose the president and support and aid the country.

      Having a political test for security clearance is wrong.

      1. The CIA works for the President dumb ass. The work for the country but they are answerable to the country in the form of answering to the elected President.

        And one can do a lot of things. But that doesn’t change the fact that the only reason Brennen was allowed to keep his clearance was so that he could advise and assist his successor, something he has made clear he has no plans of ever doing.

        At some point you might try not dying on every hill no matter how stupid.

      2. You’re a bag of dicks, Chandler Bing. Anyone desperately attempt to rehab the intelligence community because it suits their political objectives is by definition a “bag of dicks”

      3. The CIA does not work for the president. They work for the country

        Fuckin LOL at a progressive defending the integrity of the CIA as an organization of integrity.

        1. I literally don’t know to say to someone that thinks that intelligence agencies should be ‘independent’ other than fuck you, and I hope you take a long walk off a short pier.

          That’s something a dyed-in-the-wool communist would say when they’re sure that the ‘intelligence community’ were all communists simply waiting for the coup.

          I mean, fuck, would you say the military is ‘independent’ from the President? I doubt it, since he’s literally the commander in chief of the military.

          You don’t need to like that fact, but at least acknowledge that your version of how that works is literally worse than reality.

          1. Also, thread fail. My bad.

      4. “The CIA does not work for the president.”

        Chanandler, you are so dumb.

        The Director of National Intelligence (DNI) is the United States government Cabinet-level official?subject to the authority, direction, and control of the President of the United States.

        The Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (D/CIA) is appointed by the President with Senate confirmation and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence (DNI).

      5. This single post indicates you are unable to make sound arguments. You may be safely ignored.

        1. Point and laugh would be the proper response.

  9. In a statement, Trump accused Brennan of leveraging 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.” Trump added that “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.”

    Which is to say, Trump doesn’t like Brennan’s very vocal criticism of him.

    More like Trump would have never even paid attention to Brennan if it hadn’t been for the mentally disturbed ramblings of an ex-government employee who needs their clearance revoked before they gain more classified information that can then hurt the USA.

    This is clear instance of Brennan exposing himself as the very reason that ex-government employees should have their clearances revoked. Trump didnt think of this until Brennan showed all of America why revoking is a good idea.

    1. If there was a question that classified information was improperly used, charge him for that. It was never even alleged.

      Trump is not the USA. Opposing Trump is no more opposing the USA than opposing Obama was or than opposing Hitler was opposing Germany.

      1. Trump determines classification and classification policy. Its an Executive Power under Commander-in-Chief enumerated power.

  10. Brennan was awful and defended the indefensible, but Trump is clearly trying to silence critics.

    If President Paul is ever elected, and he really starts draining the swamp by firing “awful” people at the top levels of government, am I silencing my critics when they inevitably bitch about me?

    1. Security clearances are valuable. Having one allows Brennen to do all kinds of lucrative consultant jobs with government contractors. As I explained above, he only is allowed to keep it out of courtesy. Big wigs get to keep their clearances when they leave office on the pretense that the next administration might need their advice or help with something. It is a pretty sweet deal but it is contingent upon the said bigwig not being such an asshole that the current administration can at least claim they might talk to him at some point. Brennen, needless to say, has managed to be just such an asshole.

      1. Wrong. On all counts.

        All employees with a security clearance keep it for the duration unless there is a reason to cancel it. It’s not a courtesy to them, it’s for efficiency of the government. If every time a person changed jobs, or went public to private or vice versa, they needed to reapply, that would cost the government money. Even if the contractor has to pay for it, where does that money come from? It’s billed back to the government.

        To repeat work the government already did.

        It is illegal to take politics into account for security clearances.

        1. All employees with a security clearance keep it for the duration unless there is a reason to cancel it. It’s not a courtesy to them, it’s for efficiency of the government

          You are wrong. If you leave government service, the government can and does cancel your security clearence. No longer having a need to know is a perfectly valid reason to cancel your clearance. The government is under no obligation to allow it to just run out. Yes, they don’t generally do that because it is convient to let people keep them in case they want to come back to government service. They do not have to. And in a case where the person makes it clear they will not, there is no reason not to.

          It is illegal to take politics into account for security clearances.

          Sure it is. But it is not illegal to take the security clearance from someone who no longer has a reason to have one, regardless of their politics.

          Please stop polluting the thread with your tiresome stupidity and inability to grasp basic lines of logic.

        2. All employees with a security clearance keep it for the duration unless there is a reason to cancel it.

          No they don’t. TS clearances expire after 5 years and Secret clearances after 10 years, unless a reinvestigation is conducted prior to the expiration date.

          Unless Brennan’s clearance was renewed in 2016, Trump didn’t even need to cancel it; he simply could have let it expire and told the OPM or the CIA security manager to reject the application for a renewal.

          1. This is better because IIRC, application fo clearances ask if you have ever had a clearance revoked for any reason.

            Brennan would have to answer “yes” now.

            1. I suspect that Brennan having his clearance revoked by Trump will be a badge of honor for him, and to the left.

              I mean, that’s already how they’re acting so this really doesn’t take any great skill to suss out.

              1. Hah, as if. Brennan’s marketable value just dropped 50%. I wouldn’t be surprised if a Hawaii judge attempts to stay the revocation of his clearance. They protect their own.

                1. Brennan’s marketable value just went up, since he can now write a book about it and get his own show on CNN just for having his clearance revoked. People will simply memory hole his gross abuse of authority because he’s useful right now.

              2. Maybe for a fee weeks and then the Left will dump him. you dont hear shit from or about comey anymore.

        3. Well, the other guys shot you down with the facts. I am here to make a point. Endless security clearances are part of the swamp. The great central backbone of the county voted for this guy Trump to drain the swamp. He is chief of the executive branch. He is boss of all who are not legislative or judicial. He is perfectly justified in revoking anyone’s clearance. Don’t like it? Change the constitution or field a better candidate next time.

    2. And, by the way, revoking Brennan’s security clearance was Rand’s idea in the first place. He suggested doing so in either late June or late July. Probably wouldn’t have occurred to Trump otherwise if Paul didn’t bring it up with him.

      1. A happy trend, Trump listening to Paul. It just might lead to peace in our time.

  11. So The President, the COO of the Federal Government, is hurting the “career” of an employee of the Federal Government? And I should be concerned exactly why?

    This is some pretty weak sauce here, Shack.

    1. Brennen isn’t an employee. He is a former employee who makes it clear nearly every day that he has no desire to be a part of the current government. Yet, somehow we should be worried about him losing his clearance to see government secrets.

      1. Sandy Berger stole and destroyed embarassing government records.

        Tell me why the hell former employees have ANY clearance.

        1. They should not. The only reason they do is comity among top men. That is it.

  12. The fucker probably makes more money in a month than most of us make in ten years, but I’m supposed to cry for him? Shit.

    And wailing about his “free speech rights being taken away from him” is really fucking rich, coming from people who on an average day will argue that there’s no such thing as individual rights.

  13. One of the few positive outcomes of a Trump presidency is the fact that he’s cleaning house as far as SOME neoconservatives go. Unfortunately, he’s given Haley and Bolton and Mattis cushy positions in his administration, so it all evens out.

    1. If he were actually doing that, it’d be great. But he’s not, he’s merely punishing people for political reasons.

      The message to all employees now is not that illegal torture will hurt you, or spying on civilians. The message is that, if there’s a choice between Trump and the truth, choose Trump or you’ll be punished. That’s how we ended up with Iraq. Cheney made it clear that supporting the cause over the truth was the way for advancement. Providing honest intel was a way to get sacked.

      1. The message is that, if there’s a choice between Trump and the truth, choose Trump or you’ll be punished.

        No the message is that if you want to have any influence in the administration, don’t be critical of it. The only reason he has the clearance is for convenience if the government ever wants his advice. Considering that he has made it clear he would never do that, why would he need or want the clearance? How is losing the ability to advise an administration he claims to hate a punishment?

        1. Because he didn’t swear to uphold the administration. He swore to the constitution

          Trump wants yes men working for him. That’s dangerous. You need the opposition working for you or you get blind spots.

        2. Brennan is a communist and was a failure in his job multiple times.

          The deep state protects its own.

          1. He wasn’t a communist. That’s insane, but standard here. Whatever.

            He was a terrible CIA director. He should be in jail.

            There shouldn’t be a political test to the intelligence agency. Haspel should be in jail too. Trump doesn’t give a shit about torture or spying. He thinks they serve him. They don’t. They serve the country.

            1. He voted for a Communist.

              Its like a guy that sucks a dick- he’s gay.

              All intel agencies report to President.

  14. So about googtwatbook banning speech that they don’t like…

    BUT THAT’S NOT THE GOVERNMENTZ!

    And this isn’t silencing brennan.

  15. Brennan is a fucking communist who laughably accuses other people of being disloyal to America when he despises America more than 99% of the population. Oh, and he also conspired with his buddy the Negro Nixon to engage in the most blatant and illegal abuse of power since the original Watergate.

    Fuck John Brennan, and also fuck you.

  16. >>>We can welcome the outcome here and still be concerned about the downstream consequences of tying security clearances to personal loyalty.

    We can practice coming to proper conclusions too. What WCR said ^^

  17. I’m really supposed to feel sad that this parasite is going to have to pump his CIA cronies for info to leak now, rather than being able to walk in through the front door and directly ask for it himself?

    1. Nobody is defending him.

      Intelligence shouldn’t be politicized. That’s how Vietnam, Iran Contra, and Iraq all happened.

      1. Vietnam happened because of Democrats getting us attached to a Vietnam civil war.

        Iran Contra happened because Democrats in Congress did not want the USA to arm Contras because the Sandinistas were the Socialists.

        Iraq happened because a RINO BOoosh listened to BUreaucrats that were Democrats and the media that are propaganda piece for Democrats.

      2. Nobody is defending him.

        Bullshit.

  18. Silence? Bloody hell, you can’t get them to shut up.

    So he doesn’t have access to new classified info. He isn’t part of the admin or security apparatus. This is silencing?

    Some people need to get fix their cranial – rectal inversion and realize that not everything Trump does it ‘The End of the World !!!111!!1’

    1. Trump has this magical ability to make his opponents completely irrational. Imagine if day one in office Obama had pulled the security clearances of every former Bush Administration official. No one would have said a damn thing. Even Republican media would have just bitched and moaned about Obama being petty and nasty but would never have made the absurd claims that he was “silencing his critics”. And Reason would not have written a single word about it unless it was to criticize any Republicans who complained.

      Trump takes the security clearance of one of the most notoriously corrupt and incompetent senior US officials this century and the media, reason included, is all concerned about the dreaded “silencing of critics”. Will they never understand how ridiculous they sound?

      1. He didn’t do it. Because it wouldn’t help the country.

        Trump did it. Because it will help him personally.

        1. He didn’t do it because Bush officials were not shitbags who tried to undermine his administration.

          And there are few greater services Trump could do for the country than helping to ensure John Brennan never holds a position in government again.

          1. IIRC to get a clearance, they specifically ask if you have ever had your clearance revoked for any reason.

            Brennan is done in government employment that requires a clearance.

            1. Nah, if they need him, he’ll say yes, for political reasons. They’ll say okay.

              These things can all happen if they need to.

            2. Maga!

  19. Let’s be real, shall we?

    The “investigation” of the Trump administration is a criminal farce. How anyone can call him or her self a “libertarian”, and support the Federal gov’t using FISA to spy on political opponents is beyond reason.

    So, letting the various human cockroaches know that there’s going to be a real price to pay for their criminal activity is a win-win

  20. The stock market is up like 600 points since the announcement that Brennan’s security clearance was revoked.

    Hilarious.

    1. The USA is safer with Brennan having his clearance revoked.

      Its even safer that Rand Paul grew big balls to attack the deep state like that.

      Its even safer still that Trump fucked with the deep state and put them on notice that once you are not a government employee, your clearance status can be under review for revocation.

      1. One note about the Trump/Rand alliance: I don’t like it, but if Trump truly believes the last person he spoke to we should superglue Rand to Trumps head.

      2. Word

  21. If five years ago you told me that in 2018 Reason would publish an article complaining about John Brennen losing his security clearance, even I, reason’s harshest critic, would never have believed you. This is really amazing even for Reason.

  22. They should lose their clearance once they no longer have government jobs.

  23. http://scrappleface.com/blog/2…..ed-claims/

    Yeah, it’s satire. But is it?

  24. More TDS from Shackford (it’s like herpes at Reason these days). How about this headline: “Trump gets serious about draining swamp, starts with axing most egregious mechanism for dwellers to remain powerful”. There, fixed it for ya’.
    Can’t wait for Clapper and Hillary to get their teats deactivated.

  25. I suggest the radical notion that security clearances be tied to national loyalty, and therefore welcome the outcome whatever Trump’s motives. Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?

    1. National loyalty has nothing to do with Trump loyalty.

      1. Since they dont have national loyalty, Maga!

  26. No Previous administration, or retired, or former employee of government should retain an active clearance – for any reason. If there is some reason to consult with them on a classified matter, they can be ‘read in’ on that matter.

    Having a security clearance is dependent on meeting two qualifications: Having good character (being trustworthy) and having a need to know. Brennan, Stroczk, Ohr, Page, Comey, have no need to know any classified data at this time. And there is certainly justification to question their character and trustworthiness.

  27. Reason: “Brennan was awful”

    Reason Commenters: “Why are you defending Brennan!”

  28. Reason: Brennan was alright but you shoud leave him alone.

    Commentors: why are you defending brennan?

    1. How does Brennan was awful translate to alright?

      1. Racist!

  29. I’m not going to condone what happened to Brennan, but he should not have gone into that bar wearing that short of a skirt.

    Who am I kidding? He was asking for it.

  30. Brennan ‘directed’ the CIA when it armed head-chopping jihadists to destabilize Syria in order to oust its elected government. The resulting so-called ‘civil war’ has killed hundreds of thousands. For that, Brennan deserves life imprisonment in a 5×10 cell with no books, TV, radio or communication with the outside world.

    1. Now do Haspel.

  31. The problem with Clapper and Brennan is not that they “destabilized” foreign governments when they wished, it is that they actively have been seeking to destabilize the US government. They have joined with the likes of Rosenstein, Mueller, Comey, McCabe, Strzrok, the ed boards at the NYT and the WaPo, and the rest of the 90% Democrat media monopoly. Their mission whizzed past lawful criticism to overt sabotage and sedition in a style of political warfare that in 1860 proceeded to open warfare.

    Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller to be the avenging angel for outraged Dems after Nov. 3, 2016. Rod redacts the blue blazes out of all documents relating to how FISA courts were flummoxed and how a “Russia Probe” was initiated that focuses solely on Trump associates and Republicans, turning the blindest of blind eyes to all Democrats and Hillary campaigners who were up to their necks in law-breaking not to mention long histories getting money from Russian lobbyists and entities (for Uranium One and the Iran Nuclear deal, which Putin highly desired.)

    Rosenstein treats requests to un-redact the secret launching instructions of the Mueller probe like they are personal information. He’s got that right!

    Rush Limbaugh speculated yesterday that Nellie Ohr and her lover actually created the salacious content of the Steele dossier in-house at the FBI. If that is true and that work product was used for anything, it gives emergent clarity to just how amok a federal agency can run!

    1. As this piece correctly notes, the real story isn’t that Brennan got his clearance revoked, it’s how in the world did a guy like him ever manage to get a security clearance in the first place?

  32. Fuck Brennan – he deserves every bad fucking thing !!!

    Fuck Brennan and Fuck Obama and fuck the CIA and fuck the NSA !!!

    Fuck all of them ass hole ass hat fuckers !!!

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