John Brennan and James Clapper are back in the Biden administration

In the satirical 1956 musical Li’l Abner, one of the songs is entitled “The Country’s In The Very Best of Hands,” and it makes the point that incompetents are in charge. Now, we’ve gone beyond incompetence into anti-constitutionalists and liars. I mention this because that song has turned into an earworm since I read that DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has announced that he has established a “Homeland Intelligence Experts Group.” Gracing this group are two names everyone should recognize: John Brennan and James Clapper, two career bureaucrats who used their power for partisan purposes and lied to Congress and the American people.

The press release from the DHS explains that a collection of “private sector experts…will provide their unique perspectives on the federal government’s intelligence enterprise to DHS’s I&A [Intelligence and Analysis] and the Office of the Counterrorism Coordinator.” We’re assured that this group will help make Americans safer from “foreign nation-state adversaries, domestic violent extremists, cyber criminals, drug-trafficking cartels and other transnational criminal organizations.” Well, that would indeed be nice, but I’m not optimistic.

I don’t recognize most of the names on the “Experts Group members,” but two certainly caught my eye:

Image: John Brennan and James Clapper. YouTube screen grab (cropped).

  • John Brennan, Distinguished Fellow, Fordham University School of Law and University of Texas at Austin (Former Director, Central Intelligence Agency)
  • James Clapper, CNN National Security Analyst (Former Director of National Intelligence)

Yeah, those two. Most recently, they signed onto the letter from 51 national security “experts,” all assuring the American people that Hunter Biden’s hard drive was Russian disinformation.

It’s beyond dispute that the letter was wrong, as Hunter Biden himself has admitted. Given that we always knew the provenance of the hard drive, and given the remarkably personal nature of its contents, it’s reasonable to believe that at least some of the signatories were engaging in actual fraud: as in, they were knowingly lying to cause the American people to change their conduct in reliance on the lie.

Of course, I’m not accusing anyone specific of fraud. It’s just that those signatories who weren’t defrauding the American people were, quite obviously, painfully stupid.

But Brennan and Clapper aren’t just problematic because of the letter. There are a whole lot more problems attached to them.

It was Brennan who established the FBI team that used grossly unethical means to investigate Trump’s campaign based upon manifestly, provably fake charges of Russia collusion. As part of his efforts to use his incredibly powerful, theoretically non-partisan government position to keep Trump from the White House and, as of January 2017, to boot Trump from the White House, Brennan openly lied to Congress. One could write books, not paragraphs, about Brennan’s political corruption.

James Clapper is no better. Clapper lied to Congress on several occasions. He also conceded in 2017 that he had no knowledge about alleged Russian collusion—but that didn’t stop him from pushing it, including saying in 2019 that Trump was a possible “Russian asset.”

I have no words for the disrespect in which I hold these two men, both of whom are proven liars who are blinded by partisan animus. And yet, under Biden, they are again being elevated to positions of prominence with power attached.

What do you bet that they’ll help that group conclude that the real threat to America doesn’t come from military-aged men storming our southern border from across the world? Or from China’s open spying, technology theft, drug importation, etc.? Instead, expect to hear that everything that’s wrong with America would be fixed if we just removed conservatives’ legal rights and civil rights protections—kind of like a mass, nationwide January 6 sweep—all in the name of “national security” and “our democracy.”

Oh, and here’s that Li’l Abner song. Back then, it was just about incompetence and graft, not hostility to the Constitution, America’s institutions, and the well-being of the American people:

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