If Jared Kushner couldn't get a security clearance, how could Ben Rhodes?
With all the talk about President Trump's trusted adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner being denied a top-secret security clearance by White House chief of staff John Kelly, it's natural to wonder why this happened and just how tough the standards are. Was it some business dealing? Was he too cozy with Israel? Was it something to do with the nomenklatura-style status game security clearances amount to in the Beltway, and Kushner's status as an outsider? No idea. There doesn't seem to be any reason to think he would be an actual national security threat. The whole thing looks a lot like fallout from the Rob Porter scandal, which put Kelly under fire and must have resulted in an extreme tightening of standards.
Be that as it may, it stands in sharp contrast to a time when there were no standards at all for the issuance of security clearances, and it wasn't long ago.
Exhibit A is Ben Rhodes, President Obama's former "mind meld," sniveling twerp, and eventually Obama's deputy national security adviser for strategic communications. If Jared Kushner couldn't get a fancy security clearance, how could Ben Rhodes?
Rhodes knew nothing of national security and was the only one of 187 Obama officials denied an interim security clearance. Whether it was for heavy drug use, contacts with and loyalties to communist regimes, cozying up to terrorists, or something creepy in his past he could be blackmailed for is unknown, but it had to be something – something big – because the Deep State was already well in President Obama's tree when Rhodes got there and the FBI came to be filled with staunch Obama loyalists, which is probably why he eventually did get one in what would have been a highly politicized process. He shouldn't have been anywhere near top-secret national security documents, given his record of lying and his unusual failure to get even an interim clearance. Interim clearances are given conditionally before real ones, with big investigations into the background, can come. Yet apparently he got the latter, and the questions about it remain. (Dee Dee Myers, by the way, President Clinton's former press secretary, apparently never got one, either, according to former FBI special agent Gary Aldrich, who wrote about it in his book, Unlimited Access.)
According to Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), in an interview with the Washington Free Beacon:
"What did the FBI find that led them to suggest Ben Rhodes be denied a security clearance? Why was Ben Rhodes the only applicant out of 187 to be rejected for an interim security clearance? Why did he go on to become the president's most trusted foreign policy advisor [sic]?" Franks asked. "We need to know this information in order to judge Mr. Rhodes' legacy as a senior foreign policy adviser [sic], and protect the integrity of our security clearance processes."
It's believed that Rhodes eventually got one, though that is ultimately unknown. The news about Rhodes's failure to get so much as an interim security clearance first came to light from the hacked emails of Democratic big John Podesta, which had been secured with the password "password."
According to Law and Crime:
In an email dated October 29, 2008, Obama transition team lawyer Cassandra Butts informed Podesta that the FBI told her they were unlikely to approve a request to provide Rhodes with an interim security clearance.
"The FBI has indicated that they are inclined to decline interim security clearance for Benjamin Rhodes who is OFA senior speechwriter and national security policy person," Butts wrote. "They have not shared an explanation as to why. If his interim status is denied, the FBI will still undertake a full-clearance process review of his application post-election and make a final determination."
She added, "In terms of our options, we could ask the FBI for an explanation on the denial and make a determination if it is worth pushing to obtain an interim status, or we can wait for the full review post-election."
Butts appears to have sent a follow up email to Podesta later that evening informing him the transition team had decided not to challenge the denial.
"Chris can share the details with you tomorrow, but we agree that it would not be worth pushing for Benjamin Rhodes to receive interim status," Butts wrote.
She then seemingly explained that Rhodes was the only person denied a clearance out of close to 200 people who applied.
Security clearance in hand, Rhodes's most famous deeds at his NSC position included writing the false Benghazi talking points spread on U.S. television stations by then-United Nations ambassador Susan Rice and lying contemptuously about the Iran deal for the public. He also engineered the one-way opening to Cuba, spending lots of time with the Castros he adored. Prior to that, he was a ne'er do-well younger brother with a creative writing major and a record as a failed novelist whose only accomplishment was being the brother of CBS president David Rhodes. In short, his role, with the fancy made up title, with "strategic" communications in its national security title, was spreading disinformation to the American public, and he did a lot of it. His other role was apparently in the unmasking of Americans and leaking that information illegally to the press, something he and his minions seem to have done to Gen. Michael Flynn. So the idea of granting him a security clearance seems the opposite of the process's entire nominal purpose.
Rhodes is being shameless in taunting Kushner for the denial of the clearance, and with his fiction-writing wheels turning, he's busy on Twitter, claiming that Kushner is selling our country out for dollars, something he should know a lot about, given his proximity to Hillary Clinton. He tweeted this rubbish:
Trump said in the campaign that he'd stand up to other countries. Latest story on Jared shows (again) that Americans should be worried about whether Trump is selling us out to other countries for financial gain— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) February 28, 2018
He also bragged about his security clearance status that allowed him to read the president's daily brief on intelligence, by complaining that Trump officials were allowed to read it, too, as if he were the only one worthy of such a brief, and demanding that their security clearances be denied. He claimed with amazing chutzpah that they were the ones playing the security clearance-as-status game. Naturally, he cited an anonymously sourced report, making one wonder if Rhodes himself was the one who leaked. I wouldn't put it past him. He tweeted:
As a former recipient of the PDB, it's absurd, unnecessary, and shows a disregard for our national security for 14 WH officials to get it as some kind of perk of the job. https://t.co/1rS1LIjdFI— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) January 21, 2018
His tweet cites Joy Reid of MSNBC, someone he must be close to, and who has been found to be the favorite retweet target of the Russian troll farms for her divisiveness. Rhodes seems to share that Russian mission.
So how again did this weasel get a security clearance when Kushner didn't, and why again is this guy taunting Kushner? It's time to raise the questions again as to why this guy ever got a security clearance and expose once and for all the politicized process by which the Deep State showered its favors.