A Few Steps Closer to Despotism
The president has revoked the security clearance of former CIA director John Brennan in another display of despotic tendencies.
Back in June, the president claimed the absolute right to pardon himself. It was the first real indication that Trump fancied himself all-powerful.
Since then, Trump has nominated a man to the Supreme Court who has said that presidents should be immune to investigation while in office, has told his attorney general to end an investigation into his dealings with Russia, and has fired an FBI agent who criticized him.
Now, he has revoked the security clearance of one of his most vocal detractors — former CIA director John Brennan.
The president had threatened to revoke the security clearances of multiple former staffers, and reaffirmed his threat to revoke the clearance of former FBI director James Comey Wednesday.
Brennan claims that his firing is a direct result of his criticism of the president, and the president’s own comments seem to back that up.
While the White House attempted to deny that there was any connection between the revocation of Brennan’s clearance and his involvement in the Russia investigation, the president’s own words appear to confirm what most of us already knew to be true.
“I call it the rigged witch hunt, (it) is a sham. And these people led it! So I think it’s something that had to be done.” — Trump in an interview with the Wall Street Journal
He also listed former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA director and National Security Agency chief Michael Hayden as potential targets for similar action.
“I don’t trust many of those people on that list. I think that they’re very duplicitous. I think they’re not good people.” — Trump
Democrats have likened the “list” to former President Richard Nixon’s “enemies list,” which specified which of Nixon’s political opponents would be punished.
In a display of solidarity and support, retired four-star Admiral William McRaven penned an open letter in the Washington Post in which he requested that the president revoke his security clearance, too.
“I would consider it an honor if you would revoke my security clearance as well, so I can add my name to the list of men and women who have spoken up against your presidency. Few Americans have done more to protect this country than John. He is a man of unparalleled integrity, whose honesty and character have never been in question, except by those who don’t know him.” — McRaven
McRaven is the man who orchestrated the mission to take down Osama Bin Laden.
“Through your actions, you have embarrassed us in the eyes of our children, humiliated us on the world stage and, worst of all, divided us as a nation.” — McRaven
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