Where’s My National Security Gold Card?
Donald Trump, an unprincipled idiot, has revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director and advisor to Barack Obama, John Brennan. Naturally, the progressive media is citing this as a shocking abuse of power. Many on “the right,” however, also seem to find this action disturbing, for reasons I cannot fathom.
For the record, although I imagine this hardly needs to be stated at this point, I am skeptical of Trump’s personal motives for absolutely everything he does. But this decision, whatever its motivation, really isn’t about Trump in the long run.
Barack Obama’s administration was a neo-Marxist subversive community organizing racket bent on “fundamentally transforming” America. I’m not suggesting that every person who ever had a significant position within that administration was as ideologically driven and anti-American as the top leadership level – not to mention the behind the scenes “advisors” and “mentors” such as Bill Ayers and Rashid Khalidi – but many of them certainly were. And the rest were, at best, fellow travelers.
Why should any of those people have security clearances at this point? Because they wear ties and look like any other “former government official” on TV? John Brennan voted for the Communist Party presidential candidate in 1976, when the Democrat was socialist Jimmy Carter, who nevertheless was apparently too mainstream for the college student who, four years later, would apply for (and get) a job at the CIA.
During that application process, in 1980, he was subjected to a standard polygraph test, in which he was asked, “Have you ever worked with or for a group that was dedicated to overthrowing the US?”
Here is how he explained his reaction to that question, years later, as reported at PJ Media:
Remarking on this last week during a panel discussion at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s annual conference, Brennan said: “I froze…. This was back in 1980, and I thought back to a previous election where I voted, and I voted for the Communist Party candidate.” Brennan was responding to a question about barriers to recruiting diverse candidates for the intelligence agencies, including whether past records of activism could hurt someone applying for a clearance later in life.
Brennan called his support of the Communist Party a mere “indiscretion,” and reminded his audience that the Constitution grants free speech. He then remembered that he said to himself he could either lie and the polygraph machine would “go wacko” or tell the truth and face the consequences, including possibly being rejected for employment. He told the audience he voted for Gus Hall because while in college he was unhappy “with the system” and saw the “need for change.”
Notice that he is explaining his reaction to this question in the context of speaking to a group of Democrats known to be hard leftists about the problem of getting a U.S. intelligence job with a history of hard leftism. And notice, further, that in his personal reflections, he says that at that moment he actually stopped to weigh the options: lie and risk setting off alarm bells or tell the truth and face the consequences. What is this, other than an admission that he would certainly have lied about his recent partiality to the openly pro-Soviet CPUSA if he had thought he could conceal it successfully?
He was, in other words, a perfect fit for the Obama administration: a man who while in college enjoyed a serious fling with communism, but then consciously set himself onto a more “mainstream, respectable” path as an adult. Take off the hammer and sickle, put on the suit and tie, and suddenly you’re as American as apple pie.
So he has lost his security clearance, and the compromised or confused are up in arms about the injustice of it all. “But what if he is needed during an ongoing intelligence investigation?” say the critics. I understand the argument for continuity of government and the national security apparatus. And that argument would be profoundly persuasive under normal circumstances – i.e., were we not talking about a neo-Marxist subversive community organizing racket bent on fundamentally transforming America.
But, to state the case bluntly, no one from the upper echelons of the Obama administration should be working in the United States government today, or have access to secret federal government information. I’m not even sure why this is confusing to anyone who isn’t a Democrat. Everything isn’t about Trump, whatever the left vs. right propaganda services want you to believe. The Obama administration, top to bottom (or at least middle), ought to be wiped from the U.S. Federal Government landscape forever. (Don’t worry, leftists, Trump won’t really do this, because he has neither the principles nor the guts. But that’s what a real president would do.)
A few days ago, I criticized the folly of Trump’s attacks on private companies (such as Harley Davidson), partly on the grounds that they establish a dangerous precedent for any future progressive administration to go full Maoist on private businesses or individuals.
Does this choice to revoke Brennan’s clearance also set a dangerous precedent? Yes, it does. It sets a precedent for the next group of quasi-Maoists who infiltrate the White House to revoke the security clearances of their Republican predecessors. But unlike the previous case of using the presidential bully pulpit to attack the free market, I believe this very different case — using legitimate executive authority to sweep subversive dust from the corners of the White House — sets a precedent conservatives can and should be prepared to live with. Or better yet, stave off the problem altogether by not allowing quasi-Maoists to infiltrate your damn government again in the first place. A dream, I know, but wouldn’t it be nice?