by Jack Watts
COMMON SENSE: The media and former CIA Director, John Brennan, have been relentlessly criticizing President Trump for revoking Brennan’s national security clearance. But the question needs to be asked, was this a fair thing for Trump to do, or wasn’t it?
The media’s primary criticism is that this was a mean-spirited and petty attempt by Trump to silence one of his harshest critics. Millions of Americans agree with this assessment, but is it accurate?
To begin with, Trump’s actions have nothing to do with taking away Brennan’s 1st Amendment rights. He remains free to say whatever he pleases. In fact, he is freer now than he was when his national security clearance was intact.
If you have a national security clearance, you do have access to information others do not, but you are not allowed to share this information with others. In this sense, those who have a clearance do have their freedom of speech constrained. They are duty bound to keep our national security secrets to themselves, and to behave in a way that does not conflict with the Commander-in-Chief’s foreign policy.
By calling President Trump a “traitor,” Brennan violated his sworn duty, so rescinding his clearance for cause was perfectly justifiable. Additionally, Brennan is being paid by MSNBC as an analyst. By having an intact security clearance, this would give MSNBC greater access to information than other networks, which obviously provides them with a competitive advantage, even if Brennan never divulged national secrets. The perception that he “knows more than the rest of the analysts” is there, and it’s an accurate one.
For the same reason, James Clapper, who is an analyst at CNN, should have his national security clearance revoked. It would be the same for John Bolton, if he returns to Fox News after Trump leaves office. His clearance should be revoked as well.
None of this requires the drama we have been exposed to for the past week. Trump was right to revoke Brennan’s clearance, but it certainly could have been handled better. After all, Brennan was in charge of the CIA when Osama Bin Laden was taken out. If, for no other reason than that, the revocation should have been done quietly and discretely.