John Brennan: Give It a Rest Already

John Brennan's security clearance has finally been revoked.  Now he is playing the victim card, but per usual, there is more than meets the eye.  American Thinker interviewed a number of former CIA directors while Obama was president.  Although they may have vehemently disagreed with policy, they did it in a civil manner, without the disgusting hyperbolic language and name-calling.  Brennan should take his own words and reflect upon them.

The argument by a former CIA operative: "Traditionally, since 1947, former directors have kept their security clearances with the idea that the seniors could provide advice, counsel, and become red teams for the current director.  The benefit comes with the different perspectives as they sit in a room together offering a diversity of opinions about any strategic issues.  The only way they could have these conversations is having their clearance maintained." 

Brennan served as President Obama's chief counter-terrorism adviser from 2008 until he was confirmed as CIA chief in 2013, holding that position until 2017.  Yet, since he did not do a very good job in keeping Americans safe, who would really want to consult with him?  Taking a stroll down memory lane, there were numerous terrorist attacks and attempts in the U.S. under his watch.

June 1, 2009, Little Rock, Arkansas: Abdulhakim Muhammed, a Muslim convert from Memphis, Tennessee, is charged with shooting two soldiers outside a military recruiting center.

December 25, 2009: The Underwear Bomber attempts to ignite an explosive on a flight landing in Detroit.

May 1, 2010, New York City: A car bomb is discovered in Times Square, New York City after smoke is seen coming from a vehicle.  The bomb is ignited but fails to detonate.

April 15, 2013, Boston: Multiple bombs explode near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people, including an eight-year-old boy.

October 3, 2014, New York City: Zale H. Thomson, also known as Zaim Farouq Abdul-Malik, attacked four New York policemen in the subway with a hatchet, severely injuring one in the back of the head and injuring another policeman in the arm before being shot to death by the remaining officers.

December 2, 2015, San Bernardino, California: Fourteen people are killed and more than 20 wounded when two jihadists open fire at a holiday party at the Inland Regional Center.

June 12, 2016, Orlando, Florida: A mass shooting by an Islamic extremist at an Orlando nightclub leaves 50 people dead, including the gunman, and more than 50 injured.

Although not in the U.S., this is also relevant: on December 30, 2009, a suicide bomber kills eight Americans civilians, seven of them CIA agents, at a base in Afghanistan.  It's the deadliest attack on the agency since 9-11.

Recently, on July 17, 2018, Brennan stated, "When I use the term, this is 'nothing short of treasonous,' I equate it to the betrayal of one's nation, aiding, abetting, giving comfort to an enemy."  He tweeted that President Trump's statements at the Helsinki press conference "rise[ to] and exceed[] the threshold of 'high crimes and misdemeanors.'"

There are two points to be made here.  First, Mr. Brennan should look in the mirror when speaking of betrayals.  Former CIA director Michael Hayden, in an earlier interview, told American Thinker how Brennan and those in the Obama administration threw CIA employees under the bus by attempting to change the legal and political landscape.   Two months after becoming CIA director, Brennan did not stand by Gina Haspel, the current CIA director, as controversy swelled around her; rather, he replaced her as the head of the National Clandestine Service.  Brennan said on 60 Minutes and at his confirmation hearing that he had misgivings and concerns about the Enhanced Interrogation Program.  When asked previously about Brennan's comments, Hayden referred to the Showtime documentary Spymasters, which quotes George Tenet, his boss, saying Brennan had never raised concerns, never expressed discomfort, and never said it should be stopped.  In another instance, Hayden also previously commented, "The administration's release of the interrogation memos was a betrayal of trust and fundamental dishonesty."

Regarding the other point of Brennan's quote, that President Trump aided, abetted, and gave comfort to an enemy, Brennan was referring to President Trump and Russia – but what about the Clintons?  Did he ever protest and accuse them of aiding the enemy?  Because these were all under his watch: The Clinton Foundation does business with horrible autocrats that have atrocious human rights records.  In 2010, a Russian company was allowed to buy the business Uranium One.  This was after the new chairman donated two million dollars to the Clinton Foundation, which was never reported, and Bill Clinton was also paid $500,000 for a Moscow speech.  Ultimately, 20% of U.S. uranium was basically transferred to the Russian government.  Maybe someone also needs to remind Brennan that during his tenure, his boss, President Obama, said in 2012, over a hot microphone, to President Dmitri Medvedev of Russia that he would have "more flexibility" to negotiate with Putin after the election.

Brennan also said President Trump deceives and manipulates others and is "small, petty, and banal."  He has a revisionist memory, considering how he attempted to garner favor with the American people over the Obama administration's handling of the underwear bomber.  This self-serving action blew the cover on a vital covert operation and exposed CIA agents to serious danger.  The transcript obtained by Judicial Watch has Brennan addressing the top terror consultants for ABC, NBC, CNN, and CBS to soft-pedal the thwarted terrorist attack.  First at the outset of the call, then as the conference draws to a close, Brennan twice exposes the covert operation, where the U.S. and its allies had successfully inserted Western spies into AQAP, al-Qaeda's most creative and lethal affiliate.  As a result of his leaks, the undercover operation had to be shut down.

John Brennan is no longer a government employee, and it is laughable to think he would use his national security clearance to advise and help the Intelligence Community.  He is basically a TV talking pundit, using the outlet as his bully pulpit to mislead Americans.  A tweet of his tells it all: "to allies and friends: Be patient, Mr. Trump is a temporary aberration."  Actually, in looking at the CIA directors over the past twenty years, including Ms. Haspel, Brennan is the anomaly.

The author writes for American Thinker.  She has done book reviews and author interviews and has written a number of national security, political, and foreign policy articles.

John Brennan's security clearance has finally been revoked.  Now he is playing the victim card, but per usual, there is more than meets the eye.  American Thinker interviewed a number of former CIA directors while Obama was president.  Although they may have vehemently disagreed with policy, they did it in a civil manner, without the disgusting hyperbolic language and name-calling.  Brennan should take his own words and reflect upon them.

The argument by a former CIA operative: "Traditionally, since 1947, former directors have kept their security clearances with the idea that the seniors could provide advice, counsel, and become red teams for the current director.  The benefit comes with the different perspectives as they sit in a room together offering a diversity of opinions about any strategic issues.  The only way they could have these conversations is having their clearance maintained." 

Brennan served as President Obama's chief counter-terrorism adviser from 2008 until he was confirmed as CIA chief in 2013, holding that position until 2017.  Yet, since he did not do a very good job in keeping Americans safe, who would really want to consult with him?  Taking a stroll down memory lane, there were numerous terrorist attacks and attempts in the U.S. under his watch.

June 1, 2009, Little Rock, Arkansas: Abdulhakim Muhammed, a Muslim convert from Memphis, Tennessee, is charged with shooting two soldiers outside a military recruiting center.

December 25, 2009: The Underwear Bomber attempts to ignite an explosive on a flight landing in Detroit.

May 1, 2010, New York City: A car bomb is discovered in Times Square, New York City after smoke is seen coming from a vehicle.  The bomb is ignited but fails to detonate.

April 15, 2013, Boston: Multiple bombs explode near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people, including an eight-year-old boy.

October 3, 2014, New York City: Zale H. Thomson, also known as Zaim Farouq Abdul-Malik, attacked four New York policemen in the subway with a hatchet, severely injuring one in the back of the head and injuring another policeman in the arm before being shot to death by the remaining officers.

December 2, 2015, San Bernardino, California: Fourteen people are killed and more than 20 wounded when two jihadists open fire at a holiday party at the Inland Regional Center.

June 12, 2016, Orlando, Florida: A mass shooting by an Islamic extremist at an Orlando nightclub leaves 50 people dead, including the gunman, and more than 50 injured.

Although not in the U.S., this is also relevant: on December 30, 2009, a suicide bomber kills eight Americans civilians, seven of them CIA agents, at a base in Afghanistan.  It's the deadliest attack on the agency since 9-11.

Recently, on July 17, 2018, Brennan stated, "When I use the term, this is 'nothing short of treasonous,' I equate it to the betrayal of one's nation, aiding, abetting, giving comfort to an enemy."  He tweeted that President Trump's statements at the Helsinki press conference "rise[ to] and exceed[] the threshold of 'high crimes and misdemeanors.'"

There are two points to be made here.  First, Mr. Brennan should look in the mirror when speaking of betrayals.  Former CIA director Michael Hayden, in an earlier interview, told American Thinker how Brennan and those in the Obama administration threw CIA employees under the bus by attempting to change the legal and political landscape.   Two months after becoming CIA director, Brennan did not stand by Gina Haspel, the current CIA director, as controversy swelled around her; rather, he replaced her as the head of the National Clandestine Service.  Brennan said on 60 Minutes and at his confirmation hearing that he had misgivings and concerns about the Enhanced Interrogation Program.  When asked previously about Brennan's comments, Hayden referred to the Showtime documentary Spymasters, which quotes George Tenet, his boss, saying Brennan had never raised concerns, never expressed discomfort, and never said it should be stopped.  In another instance, Hayden also previously commented, "The administration's release of the interrogation memos was a betrayal of trust and fundamental dishonesty."

Regarding the other point of Brennan's quote, that President Trump aided, abetted, and gave comfort to an enemy, Brennan was referring to President Trump and Russia – but what about the Clintons?  Did he ever protest and accuse them of aiding the enemy?  Because these were all under his watch: The Clinton Foundation does business with horrible autocrats that have atrocious human rights records.  In 2010, a Russian company was allowed to buy the business Uranium One.  This was after the new chairman donated two million dollars to the Clinton Foundation, which was never reported, and Bill Clinton was also paid $500,000 for a Moscow speech.  Ultimately, 20% of U.S. uranium was basically transferred to the Russian government.  Maybe someone also needs to remind Brennan that during his tenure, his boss, President Obama, said in 2012, over a hot microphone, to President Dmitri Medvedev of Russia that he would have "more flexibility" to negotiate with Putin after the election.

Brennan also said President Trump deceives and manipulates others and is "small, petty, and banal."  He has a revisionist memory, considering how he attempted to garner favor with the American people over the Obama administration's handling of the underwear bomber.  This self-serving action blew the cover on a vital covert operation and exposed CIA agents to serious danger.  The transcript obtained by Judicial Watch has Brennan addressing the top terror consultants for ABC, NBC, CNN, and CBS to soft-pedal the thwarted terrorist attack.  First at the outset of the call, then as the conference draws to a close, Brennan twice exposes the covert operation, where the U.S. and its allies had successfully inserted Western spies into AQAP, al-Qaeda's most creative and lethal affiliate.  As a result of his leaks, the undercover operation had to be shut down.

John Brennan is no longer a government employee, and it is laughable to think he would use his national security clearance to advise and help the Intelligence Community.  He is basically a TV talking pundit, using the outlet as his bully pulpit to mislead Americans.  A tweet of his tells it all: "to allies and friends: Be patient, Mr. Trump is a temporary aberration."  Actually, in looking at the CIA directors over the past twenty years, including Ms. Haspel, Brennan is the anomaly.

The author writes for American Thinker.  She has done book reviews and author interviews and has written a number of national security, political, and foreign policy articles.