Okay, I agree with Donald Trump – on pulling security clearances.
THE LEAD STORY - A MATTER OF NATIONAL SECURITY OR REVENGE? - President Trump is looking into revoking the security clearances of several top Obama-era intelligence and law enforcement officials, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Monday, accusing them of having "politicized" or "monetized" their public service ... She made the announcement at Monday's press briefing, after Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., called on the president to specifically revoke Trump critic and former CIA Director John Brennan's clearance. In an interview with Fox News' "The Story" Monday night, Paul told host Martha MacCallum that Brennan "should not get anywhere within 10,000 yards of the government. He should have a restraining order."
Sanders said Trump is also looking into the clearances for other former officials and Trump critics, including former FBI Director James Comey; former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe; former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper; former National Security Adviser Susan Rice and former CIA Director Michael Hayden (who also worked under President George W. Bush). Sanders said the former officials "politicized and in some cases actually monetized their public service and their security clearances in making baseless accusations of improper contact with Russia.” (Brennan is an analyst for NBC and MSNBC while Clapper has been working for CNN.)
First off, if you’re no longer director of the CIA, for example, you do not need a security clearance. If you have left the government, you do not need a security clearance.
Second, the government’s so worried about leaks. Why would you allow someone to have a clearance who did not need it if you were worried about leaks?
At FOX NEWS, Jim Hanson argues:
President Trump is considering the entirely proper move of pulling security clearances from a number of former government officials including disgraced former FBI Director James Comey, former CIA Director John Brennan, former DNI James Clapper and several others. These are all people who have been abusing the credibility gained by their previous positions and potentially their continued access to our secrets in a partisan political manner.
There is a longstanding tradition of granting former officials continued clearance to allow them to be consulted about actions they took and insights they might have. There is no requirement to do this but when all, regardless of party affiliation, are supposed to be working toward our security it provided a continuity of the institutional knowledge. That is no longer the case with these individuals.
They seem to be wholly invested in undermining the national security priorities and policies of the Trump administration. And in some cases, it seems they were likely to have been undermining the Trump campaign while still members of the Obama administration. A security clearance is based on trust and no one should trust James Comey with continued access to our national secrets when he wrote in his own book that he improperly took classified information with him after he was fired.
So that’s third. There is no need at all. They should surrender their security clearance when they leave the government. If they need to be brought in for some aspect of some issue, they can have a limited clearance. If they’re doing work with the government that is ongoing, they can be granted some other type of clearance. I’m sure people think it’s prestigious and would like to hold onto them but, no, if you leave the government, you should leave your security clearance behind. If you’re needed for additional work, they can provide you with a limited one of some form.
"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Tuesday, July 24, 2018.
Let's start with stupidity because it needs to be challenged and called out.
Let's start with stupidity because it needs to be challenged and called out.
Obama untangled us from Iraq, Afghanistan Wars, and ISIS. And the Iran Deal would have kept Iran stable for 15 years. Instead we are headed to greater instability in Iran.
Barack Obama did not untangle the US from Iraq. Or from ISIS but we're focused on Iraq.
Before we recount the realities, let's go to a Tweet which notes continued US military action in both Iraq and Afghanistan and maybe even stupid Randy can grasp reality this go round since the Tweet is from the US military.
Get it, stupid Randy?
US troops remain in Iraq. Randy is a stupid lying idiot.
Barack did what he said he would do in 2008.
No, not that "We want out of Iraq!" cry. He said he'd pull troops out and then send them back in. He said that to Michael Gordon and Jeff Zeleny of THE NEW YORK TIMES. But the paper was really busy whoring for Barack so they failed to include that pertinent detail in the published article.
When the transcript went up online, we covered reality. See the November 2, 2007 "Iraq snapshot," and, at THIRD, "NYT: 'Barack Obama Will Keep Troops In Iraq'." If others didn't, too bad. Randy's an idiot.
All US troops did not leave Iraq at the end of 2011. Some left. It was a "drawdown" not a "withdrawal" -- DoD understood the difference even if idiots like Randy didn't.
Not only were some US troops left in Iraq but a large number were left in Kuwait. Senator Kay Hagan grasped that. We covered that hearing [see the November 11, 2011 snapshot for one example and the hearing was also reported on in the November 15, 2011 snapshot, and "At Trina's site last night, Ava covered an exchange with "Scott Brown questions Panetta and Dempsey (Ava)," at Rebecca's site, Wally covered economic concerns expressed over the use of contractors "The costs (Wally)" and Kat offered a look at various claims about the administration's negotiating goals and what Iraqi leaders supposedly sought with "Who wanted what?""]. Maybe if idiots like Randy had paid attention, Hagan would still be in the Senate instead of losing to a Republican?
In 2012, Barack ran for re-election as president on the false claim that he had ended the Iraq War and pulled all US troops out of Iraq. In October the so-called presidential debates -- actually the Democratic and Republican debates -- began.
September 26, 2012 (print, it was online September 25, 2012), the New York Times' Tim Arango reported:
Iraq and the United States are negotiating an agreement that could result in the return of small units of American soldiers to Iraq on training missions. At the request of the Iraqi government, according to General Caslen, a unit of Army Special Operations soldiers was recently deployed to Iraq to advise on counterterrorism and help with intelligence.
As Ava and I noted the day after the 2012 election:
Days later, October 3rd, Barack 'debated' Mitt Romney. Again October 16th. Again October 22nd.
Not once did the moderators ever raise the issue.
If Barack's sitting before them and he's flat out lying to the American people, it's their job to ask. They didn't do their job. Nor did social menace Candy Crowley who was apparently dreaming of an all-you-can-eat buffet when Barack was babbling away before her about how he wouldn't allow more "troops in Iraq that would tie us down." But that's exactly what he's currently negotiating.
Maybe Candy Crowley missed the New York Times article? Maybe she spends all her time pleasuring herself to her version of porn: Cooking With Paula Deen Magazine?
That is possible.
But she was only one of the three moderators. Bob Schieffer and Jim Lehrer also moderated. Of course, they didn't foolishly self-present as a fact checker in the midst of the debate nor did they hit the publicity circuit before the debate to talk about how they were going to show how it was done.
In 2012, while few paid attention, Barack began sending US troops back into Iraq (just as he promised he'd do in that NEW YORK TIMES interview in 2007). By June of 2014, he was sending more troops in openly. US troops remain in Iraq. They are there to prop up the rulers the US government imposes and to maintain oil production. They are not there for freedom or democracy.
Which is why Nouri al-Maliki could and did attack and kill protesters and reporters and the US looked the other way. Barack only gave a damn a few years later when Nouri's action had led to the rise of ISIS and ISIS had seized control of Mosul. The secret prisons and jails, the torture carried out by Nouri? Never mattered to the US government.
For weeks now, Iraqis have been protesting the current US puppet Hayder al-Abadi. And the US government doesn't care. His response to the protests was to send the Iraqi military to attack them. And the US government doesn't care.
Last week, Emily Burchfield (Atlantic Council) observed:
It is telling that the most recent press release from the US Department of Defense regarding Iraq—on July 17, the same day Iraqi security forces were beating protesters with rubber hoses—concerned the clearing of ISIS militants in northern Iraq.
Meanwhile, when asked about on the Iraq protests during a State Department Press Briefing, Spokesperson Heather Nauert called the protests an “internal” issue and affirmed the right of the Iraqi government to maintain the security of public property. She also deferred questions about tackling corruption. The United States could benefit from a broader strategy for stabilization and peace building in Iraq that addresses the socioeconomic conditions underlying violent conflict and unrest outside of the counter-ISIS fight.
That's the US government's abuse as the protests continue. Elijah J. Magnier (MIDDLE EAST POLITICS) explains:
People are struggling for basic needs. Demand these needs and risk death.
Those are the faces of 8 who have been killed. They had lives, they had friends and family. Standing up for basic needs cost them their lives. In what world is that fair?
And the number killed has continued to increase.
14 killed in two weeks of Iraq protests...
Protests against corruption, unemployment, and a lack of basic services in Iraq’s southern cities have left at least 14 people dead since they began two weeks ago, according to a member of Iraq’s human rights commission.
Security forces have used tear gas, water cannons, and live fire to break up protests that have raged across southern Iraq for over two and a half weeks.
Suffering under high unemployment and lack of water and electricity, angry protesters say they have had enough of government corruption and politicians’ failure to serve the people.
Fadel al-Gharrawi of Iraq’s rights commission, who was appointed by the Iraqi parliament, said there had been fatalities in Basra, Samawah, the Shiite shrine cities of Najaf and Karbala, and in the provinces of Diwaniyah and Babylon, according to Anadolu news agency.
Stupid Randy hasn't Tweeted once about the Iraqi protests. The Iraqis don't matter to people like Randy, they never have. Self-absorbed, sick individuals who thrive on lies and deceptions and look the other way while people suffer because of the direct actions of the US government.
A volunteer lawyer was killed to defend protesters in #Basra
Amnesty International has already called out the attacks on the protesters (they called out the attacks last week). Today, Human Rights Watch calls for an investigation into the use of force against the protesters and notes:
Iraq: Security Forces Fire on Protesters
The following community sites -- plus BLACK AGENDA REPORT and PACIFICA EVENING NEWS -- updated: