Tag Archives: John Brennan

Once again: What damage has Brennan done?

A few congressional Republicans have joined their Democratic colleagues in criticizing Donald Trump for revoking the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan.

The president’s reason? Brennan has acted “erratically” with his criticism of the administration.

I need to pose this question one more (and perhaps final) time: What has the ex-CIA boss said that has damaged national security?

The Hill has reported on the reaction. Read about it here.

Yes, he’s been harsh. And, yes, he has been vocal in his criticism of the president. Perhaps he should dial it back a bit, but he need not go silent just because Donald Trump dislikes the nature of his criticism.

The president’s reaction is, in the words of some Democratic members of Congress, the stuff of a “banana republic.”

Trump vs. Brennan: Gloves come off

I have no idea whether this Twitter exchange had anything to do with Donald Trump revoking former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance …

But I wouldn’t be surprised if there is some linkage.

The president has exhibited a shameful display of petulance and idiotic pique at a man whose expertise on vital national security matters he has just tossed into the crapper.

And I have to ask: Why in the world would the president do this?

Oh, I know. It’s because he is a thin-skinned narcissist with delusions of grandeur/godhood.

Brennan’s tweet speaks to the equally idiotic language he used to dismiss Omarosa Manigault Newman, the former White House aide who chief of staff John Kelly fired.

Don’t misunderstand me here. I do not trust Newman, either. However, the presidency used to demand that its occupant demonstrate some level of dignity, decorum and “probity,” a term that Brennan used.

Whatever her beef with the president — or his with her — she didn’t deserve to be talked about in that tone by the head of state of the world’s greatest nation.

And this circles back — every single time — to the issue of whether Donald Trump is morally or intellectually fit to hold the office to which he was elected.

He is unfit at every level imaginable.

Brennan has been denied a security clearance. That, by itself, is a shame. The good news is that Trump’s petulance won’t silence this erudite critic.

Trump revives concept of ‘enemies list’

The sometimes-sinister spirit of Richard M. Nixon apparently has returned from the dead to whisper in the ear of Donald J. Trump.

The current president mirrored the former president’s enemies list by revoking the top security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan. In a remarkable fit of petulance, pique and piggishness, the president did this to punish Brennan for what he called “erratic behavior.”

Did the former CIA boss reveal any national security secrets? Did he blab classified information to enemy states? Did he in any way compromise our ability to defend ourselves against foreign foes?

No to all of the above.

Brennan’s “sin” is to criticize the president.

What is wrong with that? Oh, nothing at all. It’s protected speech, according to the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. But you see, Donald Trump just won’t have any of that. He just cannot stomach the idea of a former CIA director, a man with immense national security chops — who could be of invaluable assistance to the president’s national security team — speaking negatively about administration policy.

The New York Times reported: In a tweet this week, Mr. Brennan criticized Mr. Trump for the language that the president used to attack Omarosa Manigault Newman, his former top aide, who he called a “dog.”

Mr. Brennan wrote, “It’s astounding how often you fail to live up to minimum standards of decency, civility, & probity. Seems like you will never understand what it means to be president, nor what it takes to be a good, decent, & honest person. So disheartening, so dangerous for our Nation.”

Years ago, President Nixon developed an enemies list comprising members of the Democratic Party, radical left-wing protest groups, certain members of the media and, frankly, damn near any prominent American who spoke ill of him in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Nearly five decades later, his most recent presidential descendant has resurrected that notion by revoking the security clearance of a dedicated public servant and a man with tremendous knowledge of all things relating to protecting this great nation.


Brennan drops another bomb

Former CIA Director John Brennan spent some time today testifying before the U.S. House Intelligence Committee.

Then he said something that didn’t get a lot of attention during the 2016 presidential election. It was that the CIA knew this past summer of contacts between the Donald J. Trump presidential campaign and the Russian government, which Brennan said was “brazenly” acting to influence the outcome of the election.

This revelation produces a key question: Why didn’t the public know of these contacts in real time?

Brennan told committee members that he was concerned enough about the news about Trump-Russia contacts that he passed the information on to the FBI.


Gosh. Do you think there just might have been a different electoral outcome had we known about this as it was occurring?

And the drama continues to expand. To what conclusion remains anyone’s guess.

Ex-CIA boss ‘deeply saddened and angered’

John Brennan believes the new president of the United States conducted a “shameful” display in a most inappropriate place.

I happen to agree with him.

Brennan is the former CIA director who reportedly is “deeply saddened and angered” that Donald J. Trump would stand before the CIA Memorial Wall to chastise the media for its reporting of the crowd size at the president’s inaugural ceremony.


The Hill reported this, quoting former CIA deputy chief of staff Nick Shapiro: “Former CIA director Brennan is deeply saddened and angered at Donald Trump’s despicable display of self-aggrandizement in front of CIA’s Memorial Wall of Agency heroes. Brennan says that Trump should be ashamed of himself,” Shapiro said in a pair of tweets.

Yep, that’s the president.

The Memorial Wall contains 117 stars that memorialize the CIA agents who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty for the United States. They are heroes. It’s a place of honor and dignity. It is not the place for anyone — even the president — to make patently political statements.

Yet there he was today. He virtually ignored the sacrifice made by the individuals honored on that wall. The president chose instead to make cheap political points.

The former CIA director is correct. The president’s actions were a “despicable display of self-aggrandizement.”

Trump continues scorched-Earth rhetorical policy

We’ve been wondering around our house for, oh, the entire length of the election season and now as the new president gets ready to take office.

It is this: Is Donald J. Trump seeking to undermine his presidency the way he seemed to inflict damage on his candidacy?

You’ll recall the campaign. He offended Hispanics right off the bat; he denigrated Sen. John McCain’s record as a Vietnam War hero; he criticized a Gold Star couple; he mocked a disabled New York Times reporter; he admitted to Billy Bush that he’d groped women by grabbing them in their private parts.

None of that mattered. Trump won the election, despite his seemingly deliberate effort to torpedo himself.

Now he’s getting ready for the inauguration. What does he do?

He continues to disparage intelligence professionals who insist that Russian spooks launched a cyberwar to influence the election; he keeps tweeting idiotic messages in response to criticisms great and small; he declares war on the media; he declines to say he trusts German Chancellor Angela Merkel more than he trusts Russian President Vladimir Putin; he fires back at a legendary member of Congress, John Lewis, who questioned Trump’s legitimacy as president, saying Lewis is “all talk, no action”; he accuses CIA Director John Brennan of possibly leaking classified information about alleged Russian hacking.

Sheesh, man!

What’s this guy doing?

He’s got to work with the intelligence pros beginning the moment he takes his hand off the Bible on Friday, shakes the hand of Chief Justice John Roberts and becomes president. How in the world does he work with the dedicated intelligence staffers who will remain after John Brennan leaves to make way for Trump’s pick to be CIA director?

How is he going to work with African-Americans after labeling Lewis — Congress’ most venerated member and a champion of civil and voting rights marches — be an “all talk” kind of individual?

And how is this individual going to assure staunch and trusted allies, such as Chancellor Merkel, that he trusts her implicitly and really and truly doesn’t equate her trust level with that of the former head of the KGB in Moscow?

Let’s all get ready, dear reader, for the roughest ride imaginable.

CIA boss issues stern, correct warning to Trump

The time will arrive, possibly quite soon after Donald J. Trump becomes president of the United States, when the new president will ask for advice from his intelligence network.

What will he think when the spooks tell him that, oh, the Russians are about to launch an attack on Ukraine, or on the Baltic States, or on Georgia? How might he respond to reports from the CIA that Russians are killing civilians in Syria?

CIA Director John Brennan said today that Trump is treading onto some dangerous territory with his continued dismissal and disparagement of the CIA over its findings that Russian hackers sought to influence the 2016 presidential election.

He needs to make peace with the intelligence professionals who work in the trenches of the CIA, of the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency and the FBI.


Brennan said this — among other things — on “Fox News Sunday”: “What I do find outrageous is equating intelligence community with Nazi Germany,” said Brennan, who served in the administrations of Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. “I do take great umbrage at that, and there is no basis for Mr. Trump to point fingers at the intelligence community for leaking information that was already available publicly.”

Trump’s continual dismissal of the intelligence apparatus goes directly against traditional Republican orthodoxy, which historically has sided with the spies when questions arise about foreign threats to the nation. Indeed, Trump’s tweet tirades against the CIA have drawn pointed criticism from GOP officials as well as from Democrats.

Then we have Brennan, who served Republican President George W. Bush and Democratic President Barack Obama weighing in with stern words of warning for the next president.

As Bloomberg News reported about Brennan’s “Fox News Sunday” appearance: Brennan admonished Trump, who’s recently suggested he might lift sanctions on Russia, “to be mindful that he doesn’t yet, I think, have a full appreciation/understanding of what the implications are of such a move” amid Russia’s actions in Ukraine, Syria and online. He added that Trump “needs to be very, very careful.”

Does the new president have an appreciation or understanding of anything having to do with national security?

This is the kind of thing that frightens the daylights out of millions of Americans.

I am one of them.

Hey, the Taliban really are terrorists!


Consider this an open letter to CIA director John Brennan.

Dear Mr. Brennan:

You need to rethink your cockamamie notion that the Taliban is not a terrorist organization. Now!

Have you heard the news? The Taliban exploded a bomb in a park in Lahore. It killed 65 Christians who were gathered there. Most of the victims were women and children.

Attack aimed at Christians

Let’s see. The attack occurred on Christianity’s holiest holiday. The Taliban actually stated it that it was targeting Christians. The victims were defenseless against the attack.

I do believe, Mr. Director, that the act committed today constitutes a bona fide act of terror. It was aimed precisely at non-combatants and its aim now is to put other such individuals or groups of individuals on notice that they may be next.

This is worth bringing up because of the exchange negotiated with the Taliban that brought about the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who’d been held by the Taliban for five years after he walked off his post in Afghanistan.

I’m sure you recall that White House press flack Josh Earnest said the United States “negotiated” the release because it doesn’t consider the Taliban to be a terrorist organization. We don’t “negotiate with terrorists,” Earnest told us.

Fair enough.

Except that the Taliban for decades has terrorized women and children. Yes, it has resorted to violence against those who oppose its repression.

Now we have this incident of terror in the park in Lahore, Pakistan.

It was committed by the Taliban. The group sought to terrorize innocent people.

If this is not the action of a terrorist organization, then no such organization exists anywhere on the planet. We all know that’s not the case.

The Taliban needs to be treated as the terrorists they are — and always have been.