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August 16, 2018

Open Thread

I've gotten behind so here's an open thread. I was just doing too many passenger ship icons.

Here's something: CATO Institute now arguing for leaky John Brennan's apparent perpetual property right in a security clearance.*

Pretty much all the Donor Class institutions of Corporate Favor-Banking are now arrayed against us. We're on our own, guys.

But at least the masks have come off.

And Admiral Bill McRaven says, "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...The criticism will continue until you become the leader we prayed you would be."

I say do it. I also say he can voluntarily relinquish it if he wants that honor.

Of course, he won't be able to make bank anymore taking jobs which require that clearance.

Oh, and to be honest, let's face it, a lot of those jobs offered to former senior military/DoD people kind of fake-jobs; people pay them, supposedly, for "consulting," but what they're really paying for is to have someone with connections in the Pentagon to act as a friendly persuader on their behalf.

A lot of times these "consulting" gigs are not really created so that the client can receive the "consultant's" thoughts, but so that the client can send the "consultant" to share the client's thoughts with those currently embedded in decision-making and contract-awarding positions in government.

I don't know much about McRaven, but I do know a lot of retired generals make bank in what are essentially barely-disguised lobbying gigs.

But I guess he's not in the game for that.

Yeah, so, if he doesn't want the security clearance, then he should have it revoked. The only point of letting him keep it is to, hypoethetically, be able to receive classified briefings if Trump needs his advice, but he obviously does not wish to advise Trump, and ergo, there is no interest to the American people in him retaining it. There's a big pecuniary benefit to McRaven in keeping it, but given that he's not animated by such selfish concerns, then it's no skin off anyone's nose to cancel it.


Sad!

This morning, my 4 year old came up to me and said "Dad, living dangerously, I'm scared that Trump's revoking Brenan's security clearance represents his authoritarian tendencies." I just had to shed a tear because I didn't know what to say.

Posted by: joe, living dangerously

* People are taking this "perpetual property right" literally. That's my own snarky characterization of it. They don't really argue that. But the assumption seems to be, deep down, that Brennan has "earned" this thing and has a vested interest in it which apparently trumps the president's estimation of his future value as a trusted security-cleared adviser, or his estimation that he has no such future value.

The president has determined that Brennan is likely a leaker, with very good reason, and that leaving a security clearance in his hands is actually just empowering him to receive leaks and then disseminate them in the future.


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posted by Ace of Spades at 03:06 PM

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