Anti-Trump obsessives in government and media gave a vivid illustration of “Apoplectic Instant Meltdown” (AIM) Wednesday when White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said President Donald Trump yanked John Brennan’s security clearance.
“Mr. Brennan’s lying and recent conduct characterized by increasingly frenzied commentary is wholly inconsistent with access to the nation’s most closely held secrets and facilities,” Trump said in a statement read by Sanders concerning the former CIA director.
“Such access is particularly inappropriate when former officials have transitioned into highly partisan positions and seek to use real or perceived access to sensitive information to validate their political attacks.”
Brennan has called Trump every evil name in the book since the 2016 election, up to and not excluding “traitor,” and having a security clearance lends a false patina of credibility to his insults. The clearance also increases his dollar value in negotiating his contract as a senior national security and intelligence analyst for NBC and MSNBC.
So Trump is clearly justified in withdrawing Brennan’s privileged access in order to end the former CIA chief’s partisan politicizing of classified national security information and to prevent his profiting on what amounts to insider information. On Wall Street, this is called “insider trading,” and people routinely go to jail when convicted of it.
But such common sense is as far away from them as the East is from the West among Trump’s critics. Here, in ascending order, are five obvious sufferers of both Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) and “Apoplectic Instant Meltdown” (AIM):
5.) Juan Williams, Fox News: “I think [Brennan] has a great track record, I think he’s a patriot … Politicizing intelligence gathering. He doesn’t consult with Jim Clapper about this.”
Fact: Brennan’s “track record” includes doing nothing about Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election except for peddling the “salacious and unverified” anti-Trump Steele dossier to Sen. Harry Reid to, in turn, peddle it to the former Senate majority leader’s many liberal friends in the mainstream media.
Fact: Webster’s definition of “politicizing intelligence gathering” should now include a photo of Brennan handing Reid the Steele dossier.
Fact: Name one sane reason why Trump should consult “with Jim Clapper” about Brennan’s security clearance? Should the cops “consult” with bank robbers about how they are to be arrested?
4.) Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.): “This is a striking move towards authoritarianism. This is what dictators do. They shut down the press, they shut down dissent, they jail their opponents. Or in this case, they steal their security clearance.”
Fact: As former CBS investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson pointed out in a tweet:
“‘Silencing’ @JohnBrennan would mean — well — making it where he couldn’t be a TV personality or removing him from Twitter and social media or hitting him with an injunction. I don’t think that’s happened (nor should it). He isn’t silenced.”
Perhaps Beyer should go back to selling Volvos to his many Northern Virginian liberal friends.
3.) Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.): Not to be outdone by his home state’s most famous former Volvo dealer, Virginia’s most famous former cellphone salesman — See “The Man With the Golden Phone” — said Trump’s pulling Brennan’s security clearance “smacks of Nixonian practices, trying to fire anyone that is willing to criticize this president.”
Fact: Sorry, senator, but the vast majority of millennials have no clue what you are talking about when you roll out those old reliable ad hominem Watergate references.
Fact: Watergate was about “a third-rate burglary” and the world’s most incompetent attempted coverup of a crime. Pulling Brennan’s security clearance is a tiny step toward depoliticizing the intelligence process.
2.) Gen. (Ret.) Michael Hayden: “But over here, I mean, the way that Sarah Huckabee Sanders rolled this out was almost in a tone to be threatening to the rest of us.”
Fact: Uh, General, if you feel threatened by a White House press secretary …
And now the award, won by a huge margin, for the looniest reaction goes to …
1.) Sen. Richard Blumenthal: “Also, to use this kind of punishment is a violation of the First Amendment. It is the reason why we have the First Amendment.”
Fact: The First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, freedom of petition, and freedom of assembly. It does not guarantee John Brennan’s “right” to have a security clearance because there is no such right.
Fact: Really, senator, have you never read the First Amendment?
Fact: Senator, Lincoln was right — “Tis better to be silent and thought a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt.”