Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

John Brennan’s Security Clearance

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

Scarier than former CIA chief John Brennan losing his security clearance is the idea that he ever had one in the first place.

Perhaps to avoid the appearance of partisanship in pulling the security clearances of former intelligence chiefs, the Trump administration should now abide by some sort of universal nonpartisan standard. I suggest that the following sort of improper conduct, either during or after one’s tenure, might result in the loss of a security clearance:

1) Lying to Congress. Brennan lied to Congress on at least two occasions (cf. his denial of CIA surveillance of Senate staffer computers and the claim of an absence of collateral damage in drone attacks), and perhaps three (his absurd denial of knowledge of the seeding of the Steele dossier among government agencies). Democrats used to be outraged by Brennan’s deceit, and a few in the past had called for his resignation. Note that James Clapper, former director of National Intelligence, has also misled Congress, concerning NSA surveillance of American citizens. Clapper has admitted such (e.g., “the least untruthful” answer). Not lying to Congress is a pretty low bar to meet.

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About Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services. He is also the Wayne & Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History, Hillsdale College, where he teaches each fall semester courses in military history and classical culture.

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