August 16, 2018

You’d think nobody had ever lost a security clearance before.

Former CIA Director John Brennan, who served under President Obama and is now the darling of the anti-Trump media as a contributor on MSNBC, can’t stop fuming publicly about what he perceives as punishment for disagreeing with President Trump:  losing his top-secret clearance.  He says Trump is trying to intimidate him and interfere with his freedom of speech, and he says it, and says it, and says it some more, whenever  he wants, with no threat of repercussion, because nobody is interfering with his freedom of speech.

No one has the right to a security clearance.  CIA directors have traditionally been allowed to keep theirs after they leave; it’s renewed every five years as a courtesy and also in case current staff wish to rely on their expertise in a given situation.  There’s a condition, however:  that former CIA directors “behave like current CIA employees.”  Brennan has failed spectacularly to fulfill that requirement.

He’s also shown himself to be so heatedly partisan and deranged that he simply can’t be trusted on national security issues.  And after he went so far as accusing the President of committing treason (a death penalty offense) simply for holding a press conference with Vladimir Putin, it’s hard to imagine a situation in which the current administration would wish to call upon him for anything, except maybe to do the opposite of what he says.

But if for some unfathomable reason they did need him, his security clearance could be reinstated.  Peter Strzok’s was reinstated before his recent testimony before congressional oversight committees.  (I assume it was yanked again right afterwards but don’t know for sure.)  So, hypothetically, if the next administration were a bunch of “progressive” Democrats who were so “inclusive” they’d want to give a security clearance to a mouthy ex-spook who admitted during a polygraph when he joined the CIA in 1980 that he'd voted for the Communist Party in the ‘70s --- how did this man get to be in the CIA at all, let alone end up running it? --- they could always (shudder) give it back to him.

The anti-Trump media have gone wild, nonstop, over this.  It was “authoritarianism in its purest form” (that from Ben Rhodes on MSNBC), “a brazen act of intimidation,” and "something you might see out of a dictatorship or authoritarian regime."

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The intelligence community has been ridiculously free with security clearances, seemingly handing them out like candy.  An estimated 4 million Americans have them, including an unbelievable 1 million with top-secret clearance.  (I think about half of those people are now contributors on CNN and MSNBC.  No wonder there are so many leaks.)  And is it any wonder we’re uncovering so much inappropriate –- and illegal –- political activity going on in our intelligence community when John Brennan has shown himself to be “Exhibit A”?  All of those involved need to lose their clearances.

Former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino pointed out on “Tucker Carlson” Wednesday that Brennan was the one who, on August 25, 2016, briefed Sen. Harry Reid about elements in the Christopher Steele “dossier” that were then put in an open letter to James Comey at the FBI, providing a pretense for the FBI investigation into then-candidate Trump.  He’s bound to have been up to his eyeballs in the attempt to take down Trump, and it’s easy to agree with Bongino that he’s “a disgrace and a stain on the United States whose legacy will only be as a cautionary tale told to future CIA leaders about how not to act.”

But back to my original point.  This certainly isn’t the first time a security clearance has been revoked, and Rowan Scarborough writing in the WASHINGTON TIMES has come across an interesting and very timely one.  This is the story of Adam Lovinger, a 12-year strategist in the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment who complained to his superiors in the fall of 2016 about “sweetheart” contracts given to Stefan Halper, whom we now know was an FBI informant who spied on the Trump campaign.  (Lovinger blew the whistle on some other contracts, too, given to a close friend of Chelsea Clinton).  On May 1, 2017, his security clearance was revoked and he was relegated to clerical duties.

 According to Lovinger’s complaint, Halper had been contracted by James Baker, who ran the Office of Net Assessment, to conduct “foreign relations” when that task was supposed to be confined to government officials.  Halper had also been awarded contracts totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Pentagon support agency called the Washington Headquarters Service and, according to Lovinger’s attorney, was being paid “astronomically more than others similarly situated.”

As the attorney tells it, the people around the office had no idea what he was doing.  The work they knew about seemed to be subcontracted; he was just acting as the middle man.

Halper’s name should ring a bell; he’s the “confidential human source” (SPY) who approached George Papadopoulos and also contacted Carter Page.  For daring to speak up about the odd arrangement his bosses had with this man and other examples of what he saw as cronyism, Lovinger lost his security clearance.  Ironically, he seems like just the sort of person who should have one.


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Comments 1-25 of 36

  • Debra Walker

    08/17/2018 11:34 AM

    As a non-Washington outsider I (and several of my friends and family members) were shocked to learn that for a government official obtaining a security clearance is for life! Only in our government, ruled by our government with little accountability is this the case! Try leaving a job in corporate America, or any other position that grants a security clearance and one of the first things that happens is your clearance is discontinued. And it makes sense if you are no longer employed there that you will not have clearance to come and go as you please or access any records. If you are called back to help on a special assignment then a temporary clearance is granted for the duration of the project to access only relevant facilities and data associated with that project.

    President Trump took one more measure in ensuring the security of our country and in draining the swamp.

    The government officials live in their own walled off world if they think this is so egregious! This should apply to ALL government officials going forward. Keep up the great work Mr. President!

  • Alvin Dunnegan

    08/17/2018 01:26 AM

    I too do no know what the big deal is about losing your security clearance. First if John Brennan had access to classified information, he would be forbidden by law to reveal that information to anyone without the "need to know." At least that's the way it was when I was in the U.S. Navy. I possessed a clearance and as soon as I changed duty stations and no long had the "need to know" certain classified information, my security clearance was downgraded to a lower classification. When retired from the service my security clearance was removed entirely, but upon discharged signed a non-disclosure agreement forbidding me from disclosing any of the classified information I had been privy to. Keep up the good work Mike, I love hearing your prospective.

  • lonn hendren

    08/16/2018 07:02 PM

    It doesn't have to be soon as one leaves the agency-as in retired or let go,he/she no longer is entitled to security clearance.

  • Mike Grayson

    08/16/2018 06:39 PM

    I worked in the intelligence community during the Reagan Administration and here's the thing about knowing who is working on what. Well run projects are highly compartmentalized. You know what is happening in your piece of the operation, but unless you are a top dog, you don't, and shouldn't, have the big picture. For example: my group provided the surveillance equipment during the operation to catch a mole in the FBI working with the Russians. I had no idea that is what they were using it for until years later - and the mole turned out to be Robert Hanssen who was working with the KGB.

    It seems like things have drastically changed in the past 20-30 years and everybody knows everything. Which means hardly anything is a secret. Which also is a tremendous threat to national security. Imagine if a lot of people knew Hanssen was being monitored, I'm sure it would have leaked and he would never have been caught.

    The fact that Brennan - and others - leaked information to the press, and others, should be IMMEDIATE grounds for pulling their clearances. In the old days if you did that, your chances of taking a perp walk was pretty high.

    And FYI - no, you are not allowed to call your Senator or Congressman to discuss a classified project - period. Unless they are read-in on the project, and when they are there is no doubt in your mind.

  • Lee Marks

    08/16/2018 03:29 PM

    I have a military top secret clearance from 1956 and I haven’t been notified that its been pulled. LOL

  • EDWARD Mitchell Jr

    08/16/2018 03:21 PM

    Hello Mr. Huckabee,
    I am truly amazed at your concept of what President Trump is doing! While no one has a guarantee to have a security clearance for an indefinite period of time, it has never been done before for such petty reasons. This is the same president or candidate that berated you and anyone that does not agree with him. There is such a double standard with bullying, to the point that people that have been bullied, such as yourself by him are blind to the fact! As a believer we are to confront wrong and not call it right. I would venture to say if Hillary had won and took away a security clearance for a Republican, would you have commented that it was right or wrong? Instead of taking sides give the same judgment that Jesus would give, wrong is wrong whether everyone is for it and right is right when everyone is against it! I am an independent so I am not trapped by agreeing with one side if they are wrong or right! GOD placed him in the White House and I accept that and I pray for his salvation. Also I pray for Sarah's strength to recognize the truth! GOD Bless You!

  • Phil Hocott

    08/16/2018 03:16 PM

    After Mueller has aired his investigation findings, I would hope the Congressional Committee would ask him if he would be willing to investigate the DNC and the Clintons involvement in the Russian probe! If he declines, we'll know where he stands. If he accepts, he'll already have all of the nefarious details from his last investigation and should then expose those to the public. Fake news would of course claim he was biased and was a Trump supporter! It might create a perfect list of FBI, CIA and NSA people for Trump to fire and take off of security clearances! Makes sense!

  • John eastlund

    08/16/2018 03:12 PM

  • Anne turner

    08/16/2018 02:44 PM

    Liberals truly are deranged. Their are always disagreements with administrations, as well there should be. But to blame Mr. Trump every time you break a nail is nothing short of creepy. There is no reasoning with them. Never have I, in all my 78 years, seen such vitriol. With very few exceptions the are unable to accept truth. I believe there is a lot of guilt going on for being a prosperous country. These people truly believe that our country is not a great country but a vile corrupt republic. But then I am not sure most of them even understand the definition of a “republic”.

    I am a dog lover and I belive that our President is insulting dogs when he compares some people to them. In general dogs do not attack just for the sake of meaness and vitriol. The do so only to protect themselves or others. The ones that Mr. Trump are calling dogs are mean and vicious just for the sake of hating one person. It matters not that they make up things. But then the end justifies the means. Hmmm, where have I heard that before? Oh, yes Communist philosophy.

  • Gregory Isakov

    08/16/2018 02:36 PM

    Your articles are brilliant! Thank You, Gregory

  • Michael Galloway

    08/16/2018 02:14 PM

    John Brennan 100% loyal to that phony Obama (two peas in a pod!) and Brennan is 100% anti-Trump. Brennan can not and should not ever be trusted. Security clearances are a privilege, not a right. Brennan being a spokesperson on MSNBC speaks volumes. He is just one more of the corrupt ones standing in the deep swamp. The only thing better than revoking his security clearance would be if he would just leave the country. President Trump should have revoked the security clearances of all the others he is considering, all at one time. The left wing fake media that also can't be trusted, could then cry about all of them at once, not just their buddy Brennan !!!!

  • jack macdonald

    08/16/2018 01:59 PM

    You cannot deal rationally with irrational people. People who think it is a big deal to pull Brennan's clearance have no idea what a big deal is. These people have obviously missed out on what actual life involves. With help from our educational system, the media and the Progressives more than half of our population now live in a world of delusion. God help this country.

  • james randolph

    08/16/2018 01:54 PM

    Thank you.
    Another excellent (but lengthy ) article that you might summarize for your readers...
    I would appreciate your comments on this conspiracy expose`.

  • David Konieczny

    08/16/2018 01:48 PM

    Its unbelievable to me that when people live their job they get to keep any kind of security clearance, especially a government employee. Its just an extremely stupid and reckless policy that probably only exits in the swamp of Washington D.C. and nowhere else in the world. With security policies like this, its no wonder the government gets hacked so much, its truly beyond belief that politicians can be so ignorant and careless with the security of this country.


    08/16/2018 01:48 PM

    Governor Huckabee:
    I agree with President Trump to take away the security clearance from Brennan, he also should remove everyone's clearance of those
    who are not working in government. When I had a clearance and left the company, the clearance stayed there and I no longer had access therefore the same should apply. I also feel strongly that all the EX-government employees should not be allowed to write "tell all" books, I know we have freedom of speech, but how many of these books are "real"? Omarosa is a woman scorned plain and simple and she just wants to be the center of attention like Stormy and the "Creepy Porn Lawyer"! Go away................all of you, move!
    Carmen Price

  • Sega

    08/16/2018 01:28 PM

    Imagine a time when good is called evil, while evil is called good .. welcome to the Twilight Zone, aka Isaiah 5:20 coming true.

  • rodney Burke

    08/16/2018 01:14 PM

    Brennan is a disgrace to the intel community as Comey is to the FBI. He is not entitled to a clearance, although he thinks he is. As a communist, he never should have been appointed to the CIA. but then Barry didn't care what he did since he is a communist and a slime rolled into one. this is pathetic as it is comical. you are right we have too many clearances out there that are NOT in the proper hands. I think it's time a bunch MORE clearances by pulled by those who are "former" The corruption of those who were in Barry's administration is awful to say the least, they do NOT deserve one. It is NOT a mandatory thing, it's a privilege which all have blatantly abused.

  • Fred Lutz

    08/16/2018 01:13 PM

    Security clearance is only half of the gateway to classified material access. The other requirement is need to know. Why does a former CIA Director and critic of the administration have a need to have access to classified information?

  • Deborah Chesterfield

    08/16/2018 01:06 PM

    When they leave no more security clearance!! If you leave a job do you still no what is going on in the company?

  • Gloria Botts

    08/16/2018 12:45 PM

    It is so blatantly obvious it is their usual smoke screen,when they want to distract us from the truth. Brennen should be worried because someone wants to out him. I don't rest very well at night thinking people like him were the ones who were in charge of keeping America safe.

  • Duke Burnett

    08/16/2018 12:36 PM

    I may have sent this before. I do not understand why security clearances are not revoked immediately on retirement, resignation or termination. We must have thousands of ex-government employees whose clearances are still effective. WHY? Enjoy your comments.

  • Carol Black

    08/16/2018 12:26 PM

    I would like to forward your newsletter to some of my friends but it does not work. Is there a way I can pass on this great information?

  • Duke Burnett

    08/16/2018 12:17 PM

    I may have sent this before. I do not understand why security clearances are not revoked immediately on retirement, resignation or termination. We must have thousands of ex-government employees whose clearances are still effective. WHY? Enjoy your comments.

  • Frank Chavez

    08/16/2018 12:14 PM

    What most of America does not know and John Brennan should know is that having a clearance is not a privilege, it is granted by the US government to perform duties that MAY require access to information. Normally when one is fired from a position their clearance should be revoked. Losing a clearance is not permission to disclose any classified information he had access to. My opinion is that any political appointee should have their clearance revoked once they leave their position.

  • Carolyn Prater

    08/16/2018 11:56 AM

    Brennan's behavior before and after his security was taken away, is DISGUSTING! I would not be calling attention to mysef, if I were him. Not only do these cluster of people from the FBI, DOJ, and others, in my opinion, commit criminal acts, they are arrogant enough to boost about themselves. President Trump should remove clearence from the top dogs, and also remove most of the others with top secret security permission!