Between the Mexican-American War and the start of the Civil War, men like Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman — two of the greatest military leaders in American history — found themselves living rather dull civilian lives. As tensions heated up between the Union and the Confederacy, both Grant and Sherman were initially on the sidelines (though this did not last very long). No one in Washington consulted these two relative unknowns. What’s more, those in Washington among the military command structure could have cared less about their opinion. They were, after all, no longer in uniform.
Today, when one retires either from the uppermost echelons of America’s bloated intelligence services or from the United States Armed Forces, depending on one’s rank, that ex officio is allowed to maintain his or her security clearances. We have been told by the “experts” that this is to help with institutional memory. What memories are the national security institutions trying to preserve anyway?
Folks like John Brennan and James Clapper have a track record of unmitigated failures under their proverbial belts. Why do they get to keep their clearances? Who would want to consult with them? From 9/11 to the Iraq War to the supposed Russian-backed cyberattack on the U.S. presidential election in 2016, these men have presided over one disaster after another. Not only should people like Brennan lose their security clearances — but they should probably be investigated for gross incompetence!
Recently, retired Admiral William McRaven wrote a scathing op-ed in the Washington Post excoriating President Donald Trump for having terminated former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance. The former admiral is trading on his fame of having been the commanding officer at the United States Special Operations Command during the Bin Laden Raid in May of 2011 as proof that his opinions should be heeded.
They should not be.
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