July 24, 2018
|

It seems that almost daily, the presidency of Donald Trump has brought some previously unexamined issue of government protocol into public focus, and today is no exception. 


POLL: Would President Trump be right to revoke the top-secret security clearances of those who misuse classified information?


Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky has been questioning the propriety of allowing former government officials to continue benefiting from their top-level security clearances, which, in the manner of Supreme Court appointments, typically and somewhat surprisingly last for life.  He said last week he was going to speak to the President specifically about revoking John Brennan’s clearance.  The continuing security clearances of former government officials is something we as Americans hadn’t really questioned, but now that the issue has been raised, let the debate begin!

Predictably, Trump’s political opponents and the media (but I repeat myself) went immediately into hysterics when White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders –- full disclosure, well...you know –- simply floated the idea that President Trump was “exploring the mechanisms” for revoking the full security clearances enjoyed by the likes of former CIA Director and new media darling John “Trump is a traitor” Brennan; similarly vicious former FBI Director and admitted leaker James “no reasonable prosecutor” Comey; fired deputy FBI Director Andrew “Andy’s office” McCabe (whose office is responding that his clearance has ended); former Director of National Intelligence James “we don’t wittingly collect information” Clapper; former National Security Advisor Susan “Benghazi was caused by a video” Rice; and former CIA Director Gen. Michael “Trump is a threat to the intelligence community” Hayden.



 

What are these people, now out of government, doing with top-level security clearances?

The President absolutely has the power to take it away, though just for saying he’s looking into it, he’s already being slammed by Democrats with accusations of using a “Nixonian” strategy to punish his political enemies.  But in some cases, there’s legitimate reason to do this.  It seems to me that if anyone leaves government service under a cloud, specifically for leaking classified information or using it for political purposes, that person should automatically lose his or her access.  Period, case closed.

 

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/07/23/trump-looking-into-revoking-security-clearances-for-brennan-other-top-obama-officials.html

     

 LEAVE ME A COMMENT BELOW BY CLICKING HERE. I READ THEM!

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Comments 26-50 of 65

  • Bryan K. Moody

    07/24/2018 04:40 PM

    What is good for the rest of us deplorables should be good enough for the leakers. If I am not in a job that requires me to have a clearance I can't just have one because I have "always had one."

  • David

    07/24/2018 04:25 PM

    Secret information should be disclosed on a need-to-know basis. Since these people are no longer working for the government, they have no need for the information. If they need to be consulted on a specific issue, there can a be waiver for info related to that issue.
    Whether they left service under a cloud is irrelevant.

  • Richard Davidson

    07/24/2018 04:14 PM

    I do not understand why these EX Government employees still have their clearances. As a retired government employee who had secret clearance, as soon as I retired and even when I changed jobs within the government, I lost my clearance, period. Why do these people keep theirs? Because they are the important people? No, it's because they are the people that MAKE the rules and so they do not have to abide by the rules. It is the same throughout the government. Only the pions are held accountable and we the people are sick and tired of it. Take their clearances and prosecute the guilty!

  • Kevin Schwinkendorf

    07/24/2018 04:06 PM

    This is beyond ridiculous! I worked as a nuclear engineer in the Department of Energy (DOE) nuclear weapons complex (Hanford, Nevada Test Site, and Los Alamos) for 25 years, and held a "Q" clearance ("Top Secret, level 3") for 17 of those years. At least within the DOE, NOBODY holds a clearance without a "Need to Know" - that means you have to be working in an area that requires access to that information. When you leave your job, your clearance disappears THAT DAY! I'm not saying these guys' clearances should be "revoked" as that implies to me that you did something to deserve losing your clearance (like being "fired for cause"), but when you no longer have a Need to Know, your clearance is cancelled (more like being "laid off" - not "fired"). There is NO EXCUSE for these FORMER government employees to have a government security clearance without the Need to Know - PERIOD! When I left Los Alamos (budget cuts), my "Q" clearance was cancelled THAT DAY!!!

  • Stephen Russell

    07/24/2018 03:55 PM

    Revoke any & ALL clearances for those abusing power & degrade Pay accordingly & pensions IF tied to said clearances alone, Govt wide. NO exceptions from GS 1 to GS8

  • Marty Alexander

    07/24/2018 03:44 PM

    They should cancel those clearances - no need for them to know! I worked for the Army for 20 years and though I had no security clearance, they took all my government ID when I retired. Those top guys who have been fired definitely need to have their clearances pulled!!
    You're doing a great job, Mike!! Keep it up!!

  • Richard E. Nance

    07/24/2018 03:30 PM

    I held a security clearance as a Navy consultant and as a Navy contractor for many years. The "bottom line" in my understanding for being granted a security clearance is "the need to know" information or to have access. No longer being in the positions they held (Brennan, Clapper, Comey, Rice and all others no longer in such positions), their security clearances SHOULD be revoked. They no longer have the need to know or access to documents, files, sites, etc. Continuing their security clearance "as a government protocol" is shocking to me and completely indefensible.

  • Frank Braun

    07/24/2018 03:29 PM

    I was an employee of the Department of Defense Army Corps of Engineers then Naval Facilities Engineering Command. While with NAVFAC I was a GS-12 Electrical Engineer and held a Secret Clearance because I had additional assignment involving physical security issues. I assume my clearance lapsed when I retired. I certainly believe that should have been the case for I no longer had responsibilities that required such a clearance. In my view, all clearances should end when an employee leaves the position that required the clearance unless they are immediately transferring to a different position that also requires that level of clearance. From a security standpoint, I feel that the fewer people with access to such information the less opportunity for leaks and mishandling.

    By the way, a clearance is not all that you need to obtain classified information. You Must also have a "need to know". That is critical and must be enforced.

  • Dan Klein

    07/24/2018 03:25 PM

    Anyone leaving government service should lose their security clearance. Someone who needs to help their replacement understand the information and the process involved in the continuation of the position should only hold that clearance for a predetermined period of time. Then, their clearance should be lifted.
    In the case of John Brennan, his name has come up several times as someone who is deeply involved in the trashing of our President and the undermining of his administration. I would hope that someone can find out where our Attorney General is hiding out and somehow convince him that there is work to be done in defending this President.
    Wouldn't Trey Gowdy make a great AG?

  • Carrie Teague

    07/24/2018 03:11 PM

    I think these people should have their security clearance revoked the minute they leave office and this includes former Presidents. I think this is where the fake news is getting their information from to try and run President Trump out of office.

    Thank you Mike for keeping us up to date and for being so honest.

  • Bob Boynton

    07/24/2018 03:10 PM

    do it now! Brenner and friends are not welcome in our house and neither are their un-American comments

  • Cindy Wermske

    07/24/2018 03:07 PM

    While we are questioning things we’ve never questioned before, how about we question why all past presidents retain Secret Service protection.
    They have made millions off the backs of US Taxpayers. Let them pay their own security after, let’s say, 2 yrs.

  • Steven Wilcox

    07/24/2018 02:58 PM

    I served in the United States Navy for 20+ years as a Radioman with duties that required me to have a Top Secret security clearance. My last active duty assignment was with the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) in Wash. D.C. in which I had a special background investigation in order to have access to the type of classified information I was required to have access to. There were and are many like me in the military that required these levels of security clearances. Once we retired or were no longer working with classified material, our clearances were administratively pulled but we were still held accountable by law to protect that information we knew to be classified. Any type of mishandling of this information, would have resulted not only our clearance being revoked, but a courts martial as well. None of those mentioned in this article deserve to have their security clearance as they are no longer in positions that require it, but they are showing by their actions, that they can no longer be trusted to protect subject material. A security clearance should never be considered a privilege for any person.

  • Jan Kennedy

    07/24/2018 02:51 PM

    When my husband retired from the Marine Corp, he gave up his clearances.
    If you are no longer in a govt capacity then you should not have a clearance.

  • Bill Crow

    07/24/2018 02:47 PM

    While in the Air Force in the mid to late 60s, I had a Top Secret Crytographic clearance. The minute I walked out of the building as a civilian, that clearance was revoked, as I well expected it would be. Later, as a civilian employee in DOD, I had to be recleared. And, again, when I retired, that clearance was revoked. So why do these people that they deserve a clearance when they no longer are employed by the government? I guess they feel “privileged” since they worked for Obama. Revoke the clearances now!

  • Stephen Dunbar

    07/24/2018 02:40 PM

    I am glad we finally have an alpha male in charge of this country who also respects the law of the land. Pull their clearance and go for the jugular vein.

  • Scott Baker

    07/24/2018 02:37 PM

    It showed that there were zero comments before I left mine but I see that there were several others that feel the same exact way about WHY anyone keeps their clearances after they're out of the position they held. Glad to know I'm not the only one BAFFLED by this. :-)

  • Donna Kleister

    07/24/2018 02:34 PM

    After listening to the hub-bub on security clearance revocation, it never fails to amaze me how far out of touch government employees are in terms of appropriate process/procedures. If these officials can not properly handled their government issue cell phones, can not manage their tongues in a civil unbiased manner; why on earth would they expect to retain their security clearance. I only hope that they do not have computer access or other access after leaving service. Every position I held access was discontinued. I am a retired from the healthcare industry where confidentiality and privacy is a high priority. Missteps violate law and criminal / civil penalties can occur. In watching all this Russia/DOJ/FBI/ Mueller witch hunt, I have no trust in equal justice under the law. I have come to believe that we do not need attorneys hired to public office to bastardize our Constitution / Declaration of Independence and " rule of law ( if such a thing exists). There are no more rules, laws don;t seem to matter and it all smacks of anarchy. Stop the investigation, do not give immunity to Pedesta unless you do same for Cohen. Stop the cover up process and clean of the corruption in that swamp! The American people are not that ignorant- we clearly see the only we the people matter is when election rolls around. These people have become so twisted by unchecked power - they are our worst enemy for getting America back on track.

  • Scott Baker

    07/24/2018 02:33 PM

    WHY on Earth would ANYONE be allowed to keep top-security clearances once they're out of office or the position they were in that required the clearance? I don't care who it is or what position they held. Even President Trump (after he finishes his EIGHT years :-) should have it revoked. Maybe I'm missing something but it makes no sense to me.

  • Bob Leeper

    07/24/2018 02:28 PM

    Good Morning,
    I need to comment on this security clearance issue.
    First I was Navy from 1966 to 1974, then worked as a contractor for the Navy from 1974 to 2015.
    During that time I held multiple clearances up to and above top secret.
    My issue here is anyone issued a clearance retains that issue until it is revoked. leaving a job is not grounds for losing a clearance, it just goes inactive.
    That clearance is only valid when a person is employed in a position that requires that clearance, and the person has a need to know in specific areas. once a person leaves a position, that clearance is put on hold until a new employer requests that clearance be reinstated.
    I don't agree with a lot of statements coming out of our various senior people, but the first amendment still gives them the right to make them. revoking a clearance based on those statements, to me is unjustified.

  • Kendra Strecker

    07/24/2018 02:27 PM

    Mike I don't believe for one minute that these folks, LEFT or RIGHT should get to KEEP their security clearances, especially given the fact that "they" can do soo much damage having them.. Just look at what OBAMA has been pulling in some of our foreign countries.. take them away I say!!

  • Gary L Koch

    07/24/2018 02:20 PM

    When I was in the Navy I had a security clearance. Every time I transferred, I lost that clearance until the next command re-instated it. Upon detachment from the service I lost it entirely. In other words, if the employer changes all clearances are revoked and everything starts anew upon request of new employer, including background check if a certain amount of time has passed. These supposed loyal, upstanding Americans cannot take clearances with them just because they were upper echelon of government. About Hillary's server, any classified material left unattended, not in certified secure space, is considered compromised. Has nothing to do with intent as Comey said of Hillary.

  • Cecil Elmore

    07/24/2018 02:12 PM

    Mike..... WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD ANY NEW PRESIDENT CONTINUE CLEARANCES FOR THOSE WHO ARE BLATANTLY OPPOSED TO HIS ADMINISTRATION????? In the business world, every employee that resigns, or is fired, gathers their personal belongings under security control and then gets walked to his or her car..... by the time they reach their car, ALL of their clearances and passwords ARE GONE!!! How stupid is our government to allow leakers and liars to retain their clearances? Why ask their opinion on anything? They are the ones who created the mess that the new administration has to clean up!!! DAMN IT!!! WHEN DO OUR GOVERNMENTS BECOME ACCOUNTABLE??

  • Harold Levi

    07/24/2018 02:09 PM

    Well, I have been living in the dark. I have always assumed that when a person leaves a position requiring a high security level that security level would be replaced by the same security level of a common citizen. This should be standard operating procedure!! Anyone who challenges this procedure should be charged with being a Domestic Enemy. Please support an Article V Convention of States to amend the Constitution. If you can not do this, then please pray to God to help rid our country of the Domestic Enemies.

  • Alan Warren

    07/24/2018 02:01 PM

    It is interesting Mike that the only beneficiary of a security clearance should be the our government. Security clearances are not for the one who is granted one. I had one. When I left the Navy my clearance expired. Not one of these former officials should be cleared to receive classified information because they do not have a 'need to know'. The 'need to know' is an important requirement of access to classified information. Even though I had a top secret clearance, I was not privy to all top secret information. Now that they have left government service, they have no say in the government and no 'need to know' anything. If the current government needs something from them then something could possibly be arranged. I read your newsletters faithfully. Thank you for your service.

July 24, 2018
|

It seems that almost daily, the presidency of Donald Trump has brought some previously unexamined issue of government protocol into public focus, and today is no exception. 


POLL: Would President Trump be right to revoke the top-secret security clearances of those who misuse classified information?


Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky has been questioning the propriety of allowing former government officials to continue benefiting from their top-level security clearances, which, in the manner of Supreme Court appointments, typically and somewhat surprisingly last for life.  He said last week he was going to speak to the President specifically about revoking John Brennan’s clearance.  The continuing security clearances of former government officials is something we as Americans hadn’t really questioned, but now that the issue has been raised, let the debate begin!

Predictably, Trump’s political opponents and the media (but I repeat myself) went immediately into hysterics when White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders –- full disclosure, well...you know –- simply floated the idea that President Trump was “exploring the mechanisms” for revoking the full security clearances enjoyed by the likes of former CIA Director and new media darling John “Trump is a traitor” Brennan; similarly vicious former FBI Director and admitted leaker James “no reasonable prosecutor” Comey; fired deputy FBI Director Andrew “Andy’s office” McCabe (whose office is responding that his clearance has ended); former Director of National Intelligence James “we don’t wittingly collect information” Clapper; former National Security Advisor Susan “Benghazi was caused by a video” Rice; and former CIA Director Gen. Michael “Trump is a threat to the intelligence community” Hayden.



 

What are these people, now out of government, doing with top-level security clearances?

The President absolutely has the power to take it away, though just for saying he’s looking into it, he’s already being slammed by Democrats with accusations of using a “Nixonian” strategy to punish his political enemies.  But in some cases, there’s legitimate reason to do this.  It seems to me that if anyone leaves government service under a cloud, specifically for leaking classified information or using it for political purposes, that person should automatically lose his or her access.  Period, case closed.

 

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/07/23/trump-looking-into-revoking-security-clearances-for-brennan-other-top-obama-officials.html

     

 LEAVE ME A COMMENT BELOW BY CLICKING HERE. I READ THEM!

Leave a Comment

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BBML accepted!
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Comments 26-50 of 65

  • Bryan K. Moody

    07/24/2018 04:40 PM

    What is good for the rest of us deplorables should be good enough for the leakers. If I am not in a job that requires me to have a clearance I can't just have one because I have "always had one."

  • David

    07/24/2018 04:25 PM

    Secret information should be disclosed on a need-to-know basis. Since these people are no longer working for the government, they have no need for the information. If they need to be consulted on a specific issue, there can a be waiver for info related to that issue.
    Whether they left service under a cloud is irrelevant.

  • Richard Davidson

    07/24/2018 04:14 PM

    I do not understand why these EX Government employees still have their clearances. As a retired government employee who had secret clearance, as soon as I retired and even when I changed jobs within the government, I lost my clearance, period. Why do these people keep theirs? Because they are the important people? No, it's because they are the people that MAKE the rules and so they do not have to abide by the rules. It is the same throughout the government. Only the pions are held accountable and we the people are sick and tired of it. Take their clearances and prosecute the guilty!

  • Kevin Schwinkendorf

    07/24/2018 04:06 PM

    This is beyond ridiculous! I worked as a nuclear engineer in the Department of Energy (DOE) nuclear weapons complex (Hanford, Nevada Test Site, and Los Alamos) for 25 years, and held a "Q" clearance ("Top Secret, level 3") for 17 of those years. At least within the DOE, NOBODY holds a clearance without a "Need to Know" - that means you have to be working in an area that requires access to that information. When you leave your job, your clearance disappears THAT DAY! I'm not saying these guys' clearances should be "revoked" as that implies to me that you did something to deserve losing your clearance (like being "fired for cause"), but when you no longer have a Need to Know, your clearance is cancelled (more like being "laid off" - not "fired"). There is NO EXCUSE for these FORMER government employees to have a government security clearance without the Need to Know - PERIOD! When I left Los Alamos (budget cuts), my "Q" clearance was cancelled THAT DAY!!!

  • Stephen Russell

    07/24/2018 03:55 PM

    Revoke any & ALL clearances for those abusing power & degrade Pay accordingly & pensions IF tied to said clearances alone, Govt wide. NO exceptions from GS 1 to GS8

  • Marty Alexander

    07/24/2018 03:44 PM

    They should cancel those clearances - no need for them to know! I worked for the Army for 20 years and though I had no security clearance, they took all my government ID when I retired. Those top guys who have been fired definitely need to have their clearances pulled!!
    You're doing a great job, Mike!! Keep it up!!

  • Richard E. Nance

    07/24/2018 03:30 PM

    I held a security clearance as a Navy consultant and as a Navy contractor for many years. The "bottom line" in my understanding for being granted a security clearance is "the need to know" information or to have access. No longer being in the positions they held (Brennan, Clapper, Comey, Rice and all others no longer in such positions), their security clearances SHOULD be revoked. They no longer have the need to know or access to documents, files, sites, etc. Continuing their security clearance "as a government protocol" is shocking to me and completely indefensible.

  • Frank Braun

    07/24/2018 03:29 PM

    I was an employee of the Department of Defense Army Corps of Engineers then Naval Facilities Engineering Command. While with NAVFAC I was a GS-12 Electrical Engineer and held a Secret Clearance because I had additional assignment involving physical security issues. I assume my clearance lapsed when I retired. I certainly believe that should have been the case for I no longer had responsibilities that required such a clearance. In my view, all clearances should end when an employee leaves the position that required the clearance unless they are immediately transferring to a different position that also requires that level of clearance. From a security standpoint, I feel that the fewer people with access to such information the less opportunity for leaks and mishandling.

    By the way, a clearance is not all that you need to obtain classified information. You Must also have a "need to know". That is critical and must be enforced.

  • Dan Klein

    07/24/2018 03:25 PM

    Anyone leaving government service should lose their security clearance. Someone who needs to help their replacement understand the information and the process involved in the continuation of the position should only hold that clearance for a predetermined period of time. Then, their clearance should be lifted.
    In the case of John Brennan, his name has come up several times as someone who is deeply involved in the trashing of our President and the undermining of his administration. I would hope that someone can find out where our Attorney General is hiding out and somehow convince him that there is work to be done in defending this President.
    Wouldn't Trey Gowdy make a great AG?

  • Carrie Teague

    07/24/2018 03:11 PM

    I think these people should have their security clearance revoked the minute they leave office and this includes former Presidents. I think this is where the fake news is getting their information from to try and run President Trump out of office.

    Thank you Mike for keeping us up to date and for being so honest.

  • Bob Boynton

    07/24/2018 03:10 PM

    do it now! Brenner and friends are not welcome in our house and neither are their un-American comments

  • Cindy Wermske

    07/24/2018 03:07 PM

    While we are questioning things we’ve never questioned before, how about we question why all past presidents retain Secret Service protection.
    They have made millions off the backs of US Taxpayers. Let them pay their own security after, let’s say, 2 yrs.

  • Steven Wilcox

    07/24/2018 02:58 PM

    I served in the United States Navy for 20+ years as a Radioman with duties that required me to have a Top Secret security clearance. My last active duty assignment was with the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) in Wash. D.C. in which I had a special background investigation in order to have access to the type of classified information I was required to have access to. There were and are many like me in the military that required these levels of security clearances. Once we retired or were no longer working with classified material, our clearances were administratively pulled but we were still held accountable by law to protect that information we knew to be classified. Any type of mishandling of this information, would have resulted not only our clearance being revoked, but a courts martial as well. None of those mentioned in this article deserve to have their security clearance as they are no longer in positions that require it, but they are showing by their actions, that they can no longer be trusted to protect subject material. A security clearance should never be considered a privilege for any person.

  • Jan Kennedy

    07/24/2018 02:51 PM

    When my husband retired from the Marine Corp, he gave up his clearances.
    If you are no longer in a govt capacity then you should not have a clearance.

  • Bill Crow

    07/24/2018 02:47 PM

    While in the Air Force in the mid to late 60s, I had a Top Secret Crytographic clearance. The minute I walked out of the building as a civilian, that clearance was revoked, as I well expected it would be. Later, as a civilian employee in DOD, I had to be recleared. And, again, when I retired, that clearance was revoked. So why do these people that they deserve a clearance when they no longer are employed by the government? I guess they feel “privileged” since they worked for Obama. Revoke the clearances now!

  • Stephen Dunbar

    07/24/2018 02:40 PM

    I am glad we finally have an alpha male in charge of this country who also respects the law of the land. Pull their clearance and go for the jugular vein.

  • Scott Baker

    07/24/2018 02:37 PM

    It showed that there were zero comments before I left mine but I see that there were several others that feel the same exact way about WHY anyone keeps their clearances after they're out of the position they held. Glad to know I'm not the only one BAFFLED by this. :-)

  • Donna Kleister

    07/24/2018 02:34 PM

    After listening to the hub-bub on security clearance revocation, it never fails to amaze me how far out of touch government employees are in terms of appropriate process/procedures. If these officials can not properly handled their government issue cell phones, can not manage their tongues in a civil unbiased manner; why on earth would they expect to retain their security clearance. I only hope that they do not have computer access or other access after leaving service. Every position I held access was discontinued. I am a retired from the healthcare industry where confidentiality and privacy is a high priority. Missteps violate law and criminal / civil penalties can occur. In watching all this Russia/DOJ/FBI/ Mueller witch hunt, I have no trust in equal justice under the law. I have come to believe that we do not need attorneys hired to public office to bastardize our Constitution / Declaration of Independence and " rule of law ( if such a thing exists). There are no more rules, laws don;t seem to matter and it all smacks of anarchy. Stop the investigation, do not give immunity to Pedesta unless you do same for Cohen. Stop the cover up process and clean of the corruption in that swamp! The American people are not that ignorant- we clearly see the only we the people matter is when election rolls around. These people have become so twisted by unchecked power - they are our worst enemy for getting America back on track.

  • Scott Baker

    07/24/2018 02:33 PM

    WHY on Earth would ANYONE be allowed to keep top-security clearances once they're out of office or the position they were in that required the clearance? I don't care who it is or what position they held. Even President Trump (after he finishes his EIGHT years :-) should have it revoked. Maybe I'm missing something but it makes no sense to me.

  • Bob Leeper

    07/24/2018 02:28 PM

    Good Morning,
    I need to comment on this security clearance issue.
    First I was Navy from 1966 to 1974, then worked as a contractor for the Navy from 1974 to 2015.
    During that time I held multiple clearances up to and above top secret.
    My issue here is anyone issued a clearance retains that issue until it is revoked. leaving a job is not grounds for losing a clearance, it just goes inactive.
    That clearance is only valid when a person is employed in a position that requires that clearance, and the person has a need to know in specific areas. once a person leaves a position, that clearance is put on hold until a new employer requests that clearance be reinstated.
    I don't agree with a lot of statements coming out of our various senior people, but the first amendment still gives them the right to make them. revoking a clearance based on those statements, to me is unjustified.

  • Kendra Strecker

    07/24/2018 02:27 PM

    Mike I don't believe for one minute that these folks, LEFT or RIGHT should get to KEEP their security clearances, especially given the fact that "they" can do soo much damage having them.. Just look at what OBAMA has been pulling in some of our foreign countries.. take them away I say!!

  • Gary L Koch

    07/24/2018 02:20 PM

    When I was in the Navy I had a security clearance. Every time I transferred, I lost that clearance until the next command re-instated it. Upon detachment from the service I lost it entirely. In other words, if the employer changes all clearances are revoked and everything starts anew upon request of new employer, including background check if a certain amount of time has passed. These supposed loyal, upstanding Americans cannot take clearances with them just because they were upper echelon of government. About Hillary's server, any classified material left unattended, not in certified secure space, is considered compromised. Has nothing to do with intent as Comey said of Hillary.

  • Cecil Elmore

    07/24/2018 02:12 PM

    Mike..... WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD ANY NEW PRESIDENT CONTINUE CLEARANCES FOR THOSE WHO ARE BLATANTLY OPPOSED TO HIS ADMINISTRATION????? In the business world, every employee that resigns, or is fired, gathers their personal belongings under security control and then gets walked to his or her car..... by the time they reach their car, ALL of their clearances and passwords ARE GONE!!! How stupid is our government to allow leakers and liars to retain their clearances? Why ask their opinion on anything? They are the ones who created the mess that the new administration has to clean up!!! DAMN IT!!! WHEN DO OUR GOVERNMENTS BECOME ACCOUNTABLE??

  • Harold Levi

    07/24/2018 02:09 PM

    Well, I have been living in the dark. I have always assumed that when a person leaves a position requiring a high security level that security level would be replaced by the same security level of a common citizen. This should be standard operating procedure!! Anyone who challenges this procedure should be charged with being a Domestic Enemy. Please support an Article V Convention of States to amend the Constitution. If you can not do this, then please pray to God to help rid our country of the Domestic Enemies.

  • Alan Warren

    07/24/2018 02:01 PM

    It is interesting Mike that the only beneficiary of a security clearance should be the our government. Security clearances are not for the one who is granted one. I had one. When I left the Navy my clearance expired. Not one of these former officials should be cleared to receive classified information because they do not have a 'need to know'. The 'need to know' is an important requirement of access to classified information. Even though I had a top secret clearance, I was not privy to all top secret information. Now that they have left government service, they have no say in the government and no 'need to know' anything. If the current government needs something from them then something could possibly be arranged. I read your newsletters faithfully. Thank you for your service.

July 24, 2018
|

It seems that almost daily, the presidency of Donald Trump has brought some previously unexamined issue of government protocol into public focus, and today is no exception. 


POLL: Would President Trump be right to revoke the top-secret security clearances of those who misuse classified information?


Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky has been questioning the propriety of allowing former government officials to continue benefiting from their top-level security clearances, which, in the manner of Supreme Court appointments, typically and somewhat surprisingly last for life.  He said last week he was going to speak to the President specifically about revoking John Brennan’s clearance.  The continuing security clearances of former government officials is something we as Americans hadn’t really questioned, but now that the issue has been raised, let the debate begin!

Predictably, Trump’s political opponents and the media (but I repeat myself) went immediately into hysterics when White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders –- full disclosure, well...you know –- simply floated the idea that President Trump was “exploring the mechanisms” for revoking the full security clearances enjoyed by the likes of former CIA Director and new media darling John “Trump is a traitor” Brennan; similarly vicious former FBI Director and admitted leaker James “no reasonable prosecutor” Comey; fired deputy FBI Director Andrew “Andy’s office” McCabe (whose office is responding that his clearance has ended); former Director of National Intelligence James “we don’t wittingly collect information” Clapper; former National Security Advisor Susan “Benghazi was caused by a video” Rice; and former CIA Director Gen. Michael “Trump is a threat to the intelligence community” Hayden.



 

What are these people, now out of government, doing with top-level security clearances?

The President absolutely has the power to take it away, though just for saying he’s looking into it, he’s already being slammed by Democrats with accusations of using a “Nixonian” strategy to punish his political enemies.  But in some cases, there’s legitimate reason to do this.  It seems to me that if anyone leaves government service under a cloud, specifically for leaking classified information or using it for political purposes, that person should automatically lose his or her access.  Period, case closed.

 

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/07/23/trump-looking-into-revoking-security-clearances-for-brennan-other-top-obama-officials.html

     

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Comments 26-50 of 65

  • Bryan K. Moody

    07/24/2018 04:40 PM

    What is good for the rest of us deplorables should be good enough for the leakers. If I am not in a job that requires me to have a clearance I can't just have one because I have "always had one."

  • David

    07/24/2018 04:25 PM

    Secret information should be disclosed on a need-to-know basis. Since these people are no longer working for the government, they have no need for the information. If they need to be consulted on a specific issue, there can a be waiver for info related to that issue.
    Whether they left service under a cloud is irrelevant.

  • Richard Davidson

    07/24/2018 04:14 PM

    I do not understand why these EX Government employees still have their clearances. As a retired government employee who had secret clearance, as soon as I retired and even when I changed jobs within the government, I lost my clearance, period. Why do these people keep theirs? Because they are the important people? No, it's because they are the people that MAKE the rules and so they do not have to abide by the rules. It is the same throughout the government. Only the pions are held accountable and we the people are sick and tired of it. Take their clearances and prosecute the guilty!

  • Kevin Schwinkendorf

    07/24/2018 04:06 PM

    This is beyond ridiculous! I worked as a nuclear engineer in the Department of Energy (DOE) nuclear weapons complex (Hanford, Nevada Test Site, and Los Alamos) for 25 years, and held a "Q" clearance ("Top Secret, level 3") for 17 of those years. At least within the DOE, NOBODY holds a clearance without a "Need to Know" - that means you have to be working in an area that requires access to that information. When you leave your job, your clearance disappears THAT DAY! I'm not saying these guys' clearances should be "revoked" as that implies to me that you did something to deserve losing your clearance (like being "fired for cause"), but when you no longer have a Need to Know, your clearance is cancelled (more like being "laid off" - not "fired"). There is NO EXCUSE for these FORMER government employees to have a government security clearance without the Need to Know - PERIOD! When I left Los Alamos (budget cuts), my "Q" clearance was cancelled THAT DAY!!!

  • Stephen Russell

    07/24/2018 03:55 PM

    Revoke any & ALL clearances for those abusing power & degrade Pay accordingly & pensions IF tied to said clearances alone, Govt wide. NO exceptions from GS 1 to GS8

  • Marty Alexander

    07/24/2018 03:44 PM

    They should cancel those clearances - no need for them to know! I worked for the Army for 20 years and though I had no security clearance, they took all my government ID when I retired. Those top guys who have been fired definitely need to have their clearances pulled!!
    You're doing a great job, Mike!! Keep it up!!

  • Richard E. Nance

    07/24/2018 03:30 PM

    I held a security clearance as a Navy consultant and as a Navy contractor for many years. The "bottom line" in my understanding for being granted a security clearance is "the need to know" information or to have access. No longer being in the positions they held (Brennan, Clapper, Comey, Rice and all others no longer in such positions), their security clearances SHOULD be revoked. They no longer have the need to know or access to documents, files, sites, etc. Continuing their security clearance "as a government protocol" is shocking to me and completely indefensible.

  • Frank Braun

    07/24/2018 03:29 PM

    I was an employee of the Department of Defense Army Corps of Engineers then Naval Facilities Engineering Command. While with NAVFAC I was a GS-12 Electrical Engineer and held a Secret Clearance because I had additional assignment involving physical security issues. I assume my clearance lapsed when I retired. I certainly believe that should have been the case for I no longer had responsibilities that required such a clearance. In my view, all clearances should end when an employee leaves the position that required the clearance unless they are immediately transferring to a different position that also requires that level of clearance. From a security standpoint, I feel that the fewer people with access to such information the less opportunity for leaks and mishandling.

    By the way, a clearance is not all that you need to obtain classified information. You Must also have a "need to know". That is critical and must be enforced.

  • Dan Klein

    07/24/2018 03:25 PM

    Anyone leaving government service should lose their security clearance. Someone who needs to help their replacement understand the information and the process involved in the continuation of the position should only hold that clearance for a predetermined period of time. Then, their clearance should be lifted.
    In the case of John Brennan, his name has come up several times as someone who is deeply involved in the trashing of our President and the undermining of his administration. I would hope that someone can find out where our Attorney General is hiding out and somehow convince him that there is work to be done in defending this President.
    Wouldn't Trey Gowdy make a great AG?

  • Carrie Teague

    07/24/2018 03:11 PM

    I think these people should have their security clearance revoked the minute they leave office and this includes former Presidents. I think this is where the fake news is getting their information from to try and run President Trump out of office.

    Thank you Mike for keeping us up to date and for being so honest.

  • Bob Boynton

    07/24/2018 03:10 PM

    do it now! Brenner and friends are not welcome in our house and neither are their un-American comments

  • Cindy Wermske

    07/24/2018 03:07 PM

    While we are questioning things we’ve never questioned before, how about we question why all past presidents retain Secret Service protection.
    They have made millions off the backs of US Taxpayers. Let them pay their own security after, let’s say, 2 yrs.

  • Steven Wilcox

    07/24/2018 02:58 PM

    I served in the United States Navy for 20+ years as a Radioman with duties that required me to have a Top Secret security clearance. My last active duty assignment was with the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) in Wash. D.C. in which I had a special background investigation in order to have access to the type of classified information I was required to have access to. There were and are many like me in the military that required these levels of security clearances. Once we retired or were no longer working with classified material, our clearances were administratively pulled but we were still held accountable by law to protect that information we knew to be classified. Any type of mishandling of this information, would have resulted not only our clearance being revoked, but a courts martial as well. None of those mentioned in this article deserve to have their security clearance as they are no longer in positions that require it, but they are showing by their actions, that they can no longer be trusted to protect subject material. A security clearance should never be considered a privilege for any person.

  • Jan Kennedy

    07/24/2018 02:51 PM

    When my husband retired from the Marine Corp, he gave up his clearances.
    If you are no longer in a govt capacity then you should not have a clearance.

  • Bill Crow

    07/24/2018 02:47 PM

    While in the Air Force in the mid to late 60s, I had a Top Secret Crytographic clearance. The minute I walked out of the building as a civilian, that clearance was revoked, as I well expected it would be. Later, as a civilian employee in DOD, I had to be recleared. And, again, when I retired, that clearance was revoked. So why do these people that they deserve a clearance when they no longer are employed by the government? I guess they feel “privileged” since they worked for Obama. Revoke the clearances now!

  • Stephen Dunbar

    07/24/2018 02:40 PM

    I am glad we finally have an alpha male in charge of this country who also respects the law of the land. Pull their clearance and go for the jugular vein.

  • Scott Baker

    07/24/2018 02:37 PM

    It showed that there were zero comments before I left mine but I see that there were several others that feel the same exact way about WHY anyone keeps their clearances after they're out of the position they held. Glad to know I'm not the only one BAFFLED by this. :-)

  • Donna Kleister

    07/24/2018 02:34 PM

    After listening to the hub-bub on security clearance revocation, it never fails to amaze me how far out of touch government employees are in terms of appropriate process/procedures. If these officials can not properly handled their government issue cell phones, can not manage their tongues in a civil unbiased manner; why on earth would they expect to retain their security clearance. I only hope that they do not have computer access or other access after leaving service. Every position I held access was discontinued. I am a retired from the healthcare industry where confidentiality and privacy is a high priority. Missteps violate law and criminal / civil penalties can occur. In watching all this Russia/DOJ/FBI/ Mueller witch hunt, I have no trust in equal justice under the law. I have come to believe that we do not need attorneys hired to public office to bastardize our Constitution / Declaration of Independence and " rule of law ( if such a thing exists). There are no more rules, laws don;t seem to matter and it all smacks of anarchy. Stop the investigation, do not give immunity to Pedesta unless you do same for Cohen. Stop the cover up process and clean of the corruption in that swamp! The American people are not that ignorant- we clearly see the only we the people matter is when election rolls around. These people have become so twisted by unchecked power - they are our worst enemy for getting America back on track.

  • Scott Baker

    07/24/2018 02:33 PM

    WHY on Earth would ANYONE be allowed to keep top-security clearances once they're out of office or the position they were in that required the clearance? I don't care who it is or what position they held. Even President Trump (after he finishes his EIGHT years :-) should have it revoked. Maybe I'm missing something but it makes no sense to me.

  • Bob Leeper

    07/24/2018 02:28 PM

    Good Morning,
    I need to comment on this security clearance issue.
    First I was Navy from 1966 to 1974, then worked as a contractor for the Navy from 1974 to 2015.
    During that time I held multiple clearances up to and above top secret.
    My issue here is anyone issued a clearance retains that issue until it is revoked. leaving a job is not grounds for losing a clearance, it just goes inactive.
    That clearance is only valid when a person is employed in a position that requires that clearance, and the person has a need to know in specific areas. once a person leaves a position, that clearance is put on hold until a new employer requests that clearance be reinstated.
    I don't agree with a lot of statements coming out of our various senior people, but the first amendment still gives them the right to make them. revoking a clearance based on those statements, to me is unjustified.

  • Kendra Strecker

    07/24/2018 02:27 PM

    Mike I don't believe for one minute that these folks, LEFT or RIGHT should get to KEEP their security clearances, especially given the fact that "they" can do soo much damage having them.. Just look at what OBAMA has been pulling in some of our foreign countries.. take them away I say!!

  • Gary L Koch

    07/24/2018 02:20 PM

    When I was in the Navy I had a security clearance. Every time I transferred, I lost that clearance until the next command re-instated it. Upon detachment from the service I lost it entirely. In other words, if the employer changes all clearances are revoked and everything starts anew upon request of new employer, including background check if a certain amount of time has passed. These supposed loyal, upstanding Americans cannot take clearances with them just because they were upper echelon of government. About Hillary's server, any classified material left unattended, not in certified secure space, is considered compromised. Has nothing to do with intent as Comey said of Hillary.

  • Cecil Elmore

    07/24/2018 02:12 PM

    Mike..... WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD ANY NEW PRESIDENT CONTINUE CLEARANCES FOR THOSE WHO ARE BLATANTLY OPPOSED TO HIS ADMINISTRATION????? In the business world, every employee that resigns, or is fired, gathers their personal belongings under security control and then gets walked to his or her car..... by the time they reach their car, ALL of their clearances and passwords ARE GONE!!! How stupid is our government to allow leakers and liars to retain their clearances? Why ask their opinion on anything? They are the ones who created the mess that the new administration has to clean up!!! DAMN IT!!! WHEN DO OUR GOVERNMENTS BECOME ACCOUNTABLE??

  • Harold Levi

    07/24/2018 02:09 PM

    Well, I have been living in the dark. I have always assumed that when a person leaves a position requiring a high security level that security level would be replaced by the same security level of a common citizen. This should be standard operating procedure!! Anyone who challenges this procedure should be charged with being a Domestic Enemy. Please support an Article V Convention of States to amend the Constitution. If you can not do this, then please pray to God to help rid our country of the Domestic Enemies.

  • Alan Warren

    07/24/2018 02:01 PM

    It is interesting Mike that the only beneficiary of a security clearance should be the our government. Security clearances are not for the one who is granted one. I had one. When I left the Navy my clearance expired. Not one of these former officials should be cleared to receive classified information because they do not have a 'need to know'. The 'need to know' is an important requirement of access to classified information. Even though I had a top secret clearance, I was not privy to all top secret information. Now that they have left government service, they have no say in the government and no 'need to know' anything. If the current government needs something from them then something could possibly be arranged. I read your newsletters faithfully. Thank you for your service.