In this memo, VIPS tells the news media that the revocation of John Brennan’s security clearance is falsely being portrayed as an assault on the freedom of speech of the deeply flawed, former CIA director.
August 29, 2018
TO: The Media
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
SUBJECT: Support for Brennan Far From “Unanimous”
As former members of the intelligence community, we feel compelled to add our voice to the public debate surrounding President Trump’s revocation of former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance. This action is being falsely portrayed as an assault on Mr. Brennan’s right to free speech.
We note that some of our former colleagues, a number of whom have held prominent intelligence posts, joined the protest against the President’s actions — a phenomenon that provides stark reminder that the United States intelligence community is not a monolith but rather a collection of diverse individuals with a range of opinions on many issues, including what is right and wrong, We the undersigned veteran intelligence professionals agree with President Trump’s decision to strip Mr. Brennan of his clearance.
We also note with irony that several of the former officials protesting the President’s action have themselves been associated with significant misconduct. David Petraeus, who was convicted of sharing highly classified material with his mistress/biographer, is a case in point. As experienced intelligence officers, we believe security clearances should be granted as a sacred trust and not simply a permanent entitlement that comes with a high level job.
Anyone who has read VIPS memos knows we have often expressed opposition to this President’s actions — as we have to those of previous Presidents — on important substantive issues when the intelligence was faulty.
The issue for us is broader than the clearances of Mr. Brennan. We are appalled by the willful misreading by pundits and much of the media of the nature of security clearances. They are certainly not a constitutionally protected right, but a a highly conditional privilege. Its granting comes with personal acceptance of…