More than a dozen former intelligence officials sign letter rebuking Trump for pulling Brennan’s security clearance


In a striking rebuke to President Trump, more than a dozen former senior U.S. intelligence officials have signed a letter sharply criticizing him for what they call his “ill-considered” decision to revoke the security clearance of former CIA director John Brennan.

The signers — who served in Democratic and Republican administrations — say in their joint letter that Trump’s decision this week was a blatant attempt to curb free speech and sent an “inappropriate and deeply regrettable” signal to other public servants.

“We all agree that the president’s action regarding John Brennan and the threats of similar action against other former officials has nothing to do with who should and should not hold security clearances — and everything to do with an attempt to stifle free speech,” said the letter, whose signers include former CIA directors who served under Presidents Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

Robert M. Gates — who served as secretary of defense under presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and director of central intelligence under President George H.W. Bush — also signed the letter after it was first released late Thursday…

Besides Gates, those signing the letter included former CIA directors William H. Webster, George J. Tenet, Porter Goss, Michael V. Hayden, Leon E. Panetta and David H. Petraeus; former director of national intelligence James R. Clapper Jr.; and former deputy CIA directors John McLaughlin, Stephen Kappes, Avril Haines, David Cohen and Michael Morell.

“This action is quite clearly a signal to other former and current officials,” the letter says. “That signal is inappropriate and deeply regrettable. Decisions on security clearances should be based on national security and not political views.”


how many threads on this same topic are you going to create?


This is explicable only as “the club” protecting its own supposed sanctity. They’re defending a man who has committed perjury, who abused his office in spying on congressmen, and has a relationship with the owner of Fusion GPS and was instrumental in getting the Russian “dossier” to the FBI. Furthermore, he has leaked secret information in order to serve political purposes.

But then, I guess Trump is not only not a member of “the establishment”, he’s a threat to it.

If these people think it threatens “free speech” to cancel Brennan’s security clearance, then maybe there shouldn’t be any security at all, and all citizens should have access to every secret the government has, no matter what it is. And frankly, I don’t think a single one of these people are sufficiently “special” for them to have this privilege that other citizens don’t have, unless the government needs it. I agree with this statement:

Given that BRennan has leaked in the past, that alone should be enough to cancel his clearance. And it’s ridiculous to suppose that all residual holders of security clearances are vital to national security.


Sometimes this happens when the absurdity of it appears clear on other threads. Just start another one.


Donald Trump merely says something about employing torture and he’s vilified as evil. John Brennan actually did it, and the liberals all defend him.


Who knew so many supported illegal leaking and perjury.



I would characterize this letter as very knowledgeable, accomplished people putting aside their partisan viewpoints to speak out about behavior that they all agree is “inappropriate”. and “deeply regrettable.”


Is this the same CIA whiz-bang Brennan who was unable during Obama’s presidency to stop Russian penetration?


He’s a torturer too, but his “insiders club” and fellow anti-Trumpers think that’s okay because he hates Trump.


As a citizen, I don’t have to agree with any of those insiders. That’s one of the reasons I voted for Trump. I have had it with the elites demanding that they be privileged beyond even what their wealth brings them.


I think that you have taken it upon yourself to attack John Brennan’s character only because he has dared to criticize Trump.


Well, he worked for Obama and failed to detect and report and counter Russian intrusion … [unless there wasn’t any].

Brennan hacked into Congress’ computer system… and lied about it to Congress.

Isn’t that treason?


Those are specious claims, and I think that you know that.


You are the only one who thinks so.


I may well be the only one who thinks that you know better, but I am hardly the only one who thinks that the claims that you make about John Brennan are specious.


No. My disdain for him began with his spying on congress. As I recall, Diane Feinstein first brought that to my attention. She was bitterly critical of him for doing it and for lying about it. I did know he was involved in deliberately bombing civilians from drones, and lying about that, and when it was found out I criticized it at the time.

My disdain was further exacerbated by his having been found out to have been the source of the Russian “dossier” or at least the producer of it for the FBI. The man was playing politics just as much, if not more, than Strzok and Comey were. He’s just a political hack now, whatever he might have been before.

His recent, incontinent, criticism of Trump put a few sprinkles on the cake, but wasn’t even the icing.


The president is the decision maker on who has clearances. I really don’t understand why all of these former folks still have clearances unless they’re working as government contractors. If not, they all need to have their clearances revoked - just like anyone else with a clearance that leaves the government.


I can imagine that a very few specialists ought to keep their clearance so they can meaningfully discuss more recent events within their specialty with someone engaged in them presently. But that would be very few, and the longer the person was out of government service, the less likely it would be to have any use in the national interest.

For the individual, though, people presently in government can “leak” information in the course of a “discussion” which keeps the out-of-office person “in the loop” and a “go to” source.


Doesn’t anyone find it strange, the more people need to be demonized in order to support the fiction that Brennan is a terrible guy? No matter who comes to his defense, you people seem to find some way to discount that support. Let me pose a hypothetical question. Is there any degree of support that would make you consider the possibility that you are wrong? Or is denigration of Brennan a matter of dogma? I ask this of all Trump supporters, not just Rr.

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