Why should people out of power have clearances, anyway?
Years ago, I remember hearing the story of President Nixon's final flight from the White House to California. The president took off on Air Force One, but it changed to a military flight as soon as President Ford was sworn in. In other words, the president of the U.S. was no longer on board!
The principle is that when it comes to matters of state, once you're out, you're out.
Put me down as someone who does not understand why former Obama officials have security clearances anyway. Why do we do that? You are either in or out, or so I understood.
President Trump should pull the security clearances. It's even more imperative, given that many of these Obama officials are now partisan commentators, as Jim Hanson points out:
There is a longstanding tradition of granting former officials continued clearance to allow them to be consulted about actions they took and insights they might have. There is no requirement to do this but when all, regardless of party affiliation, are supposed to be working toward our security it provided a continuity of the institutional knowledge. That is no longer the case with these individuals.
Image by Donkey Hotey via Flickr.
The article points out one example:
John Brennan has become increasingly unhinged and has called President Trump treasonous. How can he be allowed anywhere near the inner workings of the Trump administration as it works to conduct our nation's foreign policy? Another person likely to lose his clearance is Former CIA Director Michael Hayden who publicly warned people not to work for President Trump. That is not compatible with offering any kind of help at all to that same administration.
Does anyone seriously think President Trump would consult Mr. Brennan for anything? I don't think so.
Frankly, it's dangerous to have a man like Mr. Brennan looking at information that he could leak to a friendly reporter.
So let future presidents make the call. At the same time, a former official who is now calling the president a "traitor" is not someone who merits a clearance.
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