July 24, 2018

WH Contemplates Revoking Clearances

“The White House on Monday threatened to strike back at critics of President Donald Trump’s contacts with Russia by revoking the security clearances of six former U.S. officials.” (Reuters)

See past issues

The left is highly critical of the idea.

Among other reasons, “Trump would be cutting off an important arm of the intelligence community -- its former employees… one of the main reasons these ex-officials retain their security clearances is so that current intelligence operatives can consult with them, taking advantage of decades of institutional wisdom.”

CNN

Constitutional lawyer Joshua Matz states, “The president properly enjoys great latitude in controlling access to sensitive information, but Trump’s use of that power to retaliate against political critics poses a clear threat to First Amendment values... [This will] cast a chill far beyond the executive branch, leading some of our most savvy experts to fall silent or speak in whispers for fear of presidential retaliation.”

Washington Post

Some point out that “even if Brennan is cleared to receive highly sensitive information, nobody has to give it to him, and if someone in Trump World is doing so

and there’s no actual evidence this is happening), then that might be the problem the White House should look at.”

New York Magazine

The right generally supports revoking the clearances.

The right generally supports revoking the clearances.

“Taking security clearances from those who have professed to be actively hindering the president’s lawful conduct of the country’s business is a sad, but necessary, step. It is not a political move of itself, it is a reaction to the political moves of those acting against him.”

Fox News

People who don’t work at intelligence agencies shouldn’t have clearances. It’s not a free speech issue. Leakers aren’t protected by the First Amendment... A healthy step in stopping intelligence leaks and blocking bureaucratic opposition to our new President will be to carefully evaluate who’s got access to America’s sensitive secrets and take corrective action.”

Power Line Blog

Counterpoint: This “is just retaliation for political criticism... If there’s probable cause to believe any of the Obama officials mentioned in the headline are leaking then arrest them, for cripes sake. If not, just accept that they’re going to say hysterical things like accusing Trump of ‘treason’ and there’s nothing that can be done about it.”

Hot Air

On the bright side...

After making his owner rich, this border collie gets to live in a $500,000 pet mansion in Beijing.

Washington Post

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