President Trump has finally gone and done it: the “Unforgivable Sin.” No, he didn’t shoot his wife any of his children. He didn’t curse God. And he didn’t accuse New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady of being a sissy. What did he do? He terminated the security clearance of former CIA Director John O. Brennan: and that’s NOT “Fake News!”
The response in the Mainstream Media to his taking such unthinkable action has been brutal, albeit based on the most ludicrous of allegations. According to pretty much everyone in America on the Left, Donald Trump has attacked the First Amendment: the guarantee of Free Speech!
How could a sitting U.S. President be so unscrupulous in thumbing his nose at the U.S. Constitution? How corrupt really is this president?
Imagine the shock and surprise of this journalist when I heard what happened. Getting that news flash on my iPhone made me sink to my knees in shock and horror. I’ve supported “Donald” and then “President” Trump since before the first debate. I was certain he would guide our floundering nation back to the path of “Truth, Justice, Equality, and Fairness” for all that President Obama established to save the nation from the depths of depravity. And here he goes throwing all my dreams of American might and goodness away for something so trivial, so insignificant, and so shocking by terminating the national security clearance of the former Director of the CIA! I cannot believe he did it.
How bad is it? Really, really bad. Let’s look at what those who are in the “know” had to say about President Trump’s actions:
Don Lemon of CNN
“What the President did today is straight out of a dictator’s playbook. Revoking the security clearance of former CIA Chief John Brennan is nothing but a blatant attempt to silence a critic, to take away his right to free speech, to purge him.
The New York Times
“To all those supposed constitutional conservatives out there, consider this your call to arms: The First Amendment is under direct attack and this time from a much more powerful foe than misguided college freshmen. By whom I mean: the ostensible leader of the free world. Again and again, President Trump has used the weight of his office and the broader federal government to inflict financial damage upon critics, whistleblowers, journalists and peaceful protesters for exercising their rights to free speech.”
John O. Brennan Himself
“This action is part of a broader effort by Mr. Trump to suppress freedom of speech & punish critics. It should gravely worry all Americans, including intelligence professionals, about the cost of speaking out. My principles are worth far more than clearances. I will not relent.”
Arc Digital’s Nicolas Grossman
“Brennan, now a private citizen, is an outspoken critic of the president. More than any other former national security or intelligence leader, he’s attacked Trump’s patriotism and character, using the president’s favorite mediums: television and Twitter. Ex-officials retain clearance so that, if current officials ask them for help, they can access classified information. But they’re not active intelligence consumers, receiving daily briefs or directing assets. Trump is the first president to cut a former CIA Director out of that network.
It provoked quite a reaction. Retired Admiral William McRaven, a former leader of Joint Special Operations Command, defended Brennan in the Washington Post, warning Trump: ‘If you think for a moment that your McCarthy-era tactics will suppress the voices of criticism, you are sadly mistaken.’
13 retired intelligence leaders — including CIA Directors and Deputy Directors who served under Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Reagan — offered a similar criticism: ‘The president’s action,’ they wrote in an open letter, ‘has nothing to do with who should and should not hold security clearances — and everything to do with an attempt to stifle free speech.’
President Trump has been tagged as “a dictator, a Nazi, a Stalinist, a Communist, and ‘another Hitler.” And to ALL those who make that charge, listen closely to what you are about to hear. This has all happened while you slept:
On May 13, 2013, the Associated Press announced telephone records for 20 of their reporters during a two-month period in 2012 had been subpoenaed by the Justice Department. AP reported the Justice Department would not say why it sought the records, but news sources noted the US Attorney’s office for the District of Columbia was conducting a criminal investigation into May 7, 2012, Associated Press story about a CIA operation which prevented the Yemeni terrorist Fahd al-Quso’s plot to detonate an explosive device on a commercial flight. The DOJ did not direct subpoenas to the Associated Press; instead, the subpoenas were issued to their telephone providers, including Verizon Wireless.
On May 17, 2013, the Washington Post reported the Justice Department had monitored reporter Rosen’s activities by tracking his visits to the State Department, through phone traces, the timing of calls and his personal emails in a probe regarding possible news leaks of classified information in 2009 about North Korea. In obtaining the warrants, they labeled Rosen a “possible co-conspirator” with Stephen Kim.
In a written statement, the Justice Department said it had followed “all applicable laws, regulations, and longstanding Department of Justice policies intended to safeguard the First Amendment interests of the press in reporting the news and the public in receiving it.”
Some analysts have described the Justice Department’s actions as “aggressive investigative methods” that have a chilling effect on news organizations’ ability to play a watchdog role. Fox News contributor Judge Andrew Napolitano commented: “This is the first time that the federal government has moved to this level of taking ordinary, reasonable, traditional, lawful reporter skills and claiming they constitute criminal behavior.”
Days prior on May 15, 2013, Attorney General Holder had testified under oath in front of the House Judiciary Committee that he had recused himself from the leak investigations to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest. Holder said his Deputy Attorney General, James M. Cole, was in charge of the AP investigation and would have ordered the subpoenas. When questioning turned to the possibility of journalists being charged under the Espionage Act for reporting classified material, Holder stated: “With regard to the potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material, that is not something that I’ve ever been involved in, heard of or would think would be a wise policy.”
On May 23, 2013, NBC confirmed with the Justice Department that Holder had personally signed off on the Rosen case. The Justice Department defended their decision and spoke about a balance between protecting national secrets and the 1st Amendment, stating: “After extensive deliberations, and after following all applicable laws, regulations, and policies, the Department sought an appropriately tailored search warrant under the Privacy Protection Act.” The revelation brought into question whether Holder was being intentionally misleading during his previous testimony when he denied knowing of or being part of possible prosecutions of journalists. House Committee members sent an open letter to Holder, saying: “It is imperative that the committee, the Congress, and the American people be provided a full and accurate account of your involvement.”
Perception is Reality
Members of Congress and media figures have questioned the motivations behind the Justice Department’s actions, and if they were even warranted: “For five days, reporters at the Associated Press had been sitting on a big scoop about a foiled Al-Qaeda plot at the request of CIA officials. Then, in a hastily scheduled Monday morning meeting, the journalists were asked by agency officials to hold off on publishing the story for just one more day. The CIA officials, who had initially cited national security concerns in an attempt to delay publication, no longer had those worries, according to individuals familiar with the exchange. Instead, the Obama administration was planning to announce the successful counterterrorism operation that Tuesday. AP balked and proceeded to publish that Monday afternoon.”
On June 19, 2013, while giving a speech at the National Press Club, President and CEO of the Associated Press Gary Pruitt said: “Some longtime trusted sources have become nervous and anxious about talking with us — even on stories unrelated to national security. In some cases, government employees we once checked in with regularly will no longer speak to us by phone. Others are reluctant to meet in person… And I can tell you, that this chilling effect on newsgathering is not just limited to AP. Journalists from other news organizations have personally told me, that it has intimidated both official and nonofficial sources from speaking to them as well.”
Trump or Hitler?
Let’s be honest: comparing President Trump to Hitler or calling him a Nazi is as ridiculous as ANTIFA — that is nothing more than a far-left fascist terrorist club that really should be labeled “domestic terrorists — showing up with weapons at free speech rallies saying they are there to fight Fascism! Is Trump a Nazi? Does he imitate Hitler? Is the President working to abolish the First Amendment?
Let’s dig deeper: is the termination of John Brennan’s security clearance in any way an attack on free speech? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Brennan can (and does) say anything he wants with impunity. Nothing the President has said or done as infringed upon that or any other Constitutional right of John Brennan — or anyone else for that matter.
There are those that say his calling some Mainstream News individuals and organizations “Fake News” are attacks on free speech. First, let’s clarify what the President says: he does NOT call members of the press OR news “Fake News.” He specifically very clearly calls those who are purveyors of lies and misrepresentations that THEY call news “Fake News.” What other name is more appropriate for those members of the media who broadcast and write false stories, often from “anonymous sources” with no proof or evidence of verification of those being factual, than “Fake News?” That’s what it is. Is that something Hitler did?
Let’s look at Hitler’s treatment of the Press.
Hitler’s Press Treatment in WW II
When Adolf Hitler took power in 1933, the Nazis controlled less than three percent of Germany’s 4,700 papers. The elimination of the German multi-party political system not only brought about the demise of hundreds of newspapers produced by outlawed political parties; it also allowed the state to seize the printing plants and equipment of the Communist and Social Democratic Parties, which were often turned over directly to the Nazi Party. In the following months, the Nazis established control or exerted influence over every independent press organization.
During the first weeks of 1933, the Nazi regime deployed radio, press, and newsreels to stoke fears of a pending “Communist uprising,” then channeled popular anxieties into political measures that eradicated civil liberties and democracy. SA (storm troopers) and members of the Nazi elite paramilitary formation, the SS, took to the streets to brutalize or arrest political opponents and incarcerate them in hastily established detention centers and concentration camps. Nazi thugs broke into opposing political party offices, destroying printing presses and newspapers.
Sometimes using holding companies to disguise new ownership, executives of the Nazi Party-owned publishing house established a huge empire that drove out competition and purchased newspapers at below-market prices. Some independent newspapers, particularly conservative newspapers and non-political illustrated weeklies, bowed to Hitler’s regime through self-censorship or initiative in dealing with approved topics.
John Brennan has continuously attacked this President making all sorts of salacious allegations and veiled threats against him. He has accused Mr. Trump of treason: a crime if verified that carries a death sentence! He accuses the President of all manner of things and attacks him personally and also members of the President’s family. NOTHING THE PRESIDENT HAS SAID OR DONE HAS IN ANY WAY INFRINGED UPON BRENNAN’S 1ST AMENDMENT RIGHTS.
Further, Brennan nor any person who has a security clearance holds that clearance under the 1st Amendment or any law. BY LAW, they hold that privilege at the discretion of the Top Dawg of the Justice Department, which is part of the Executive Branch of the Government. The “Top Dawg” is Donald Trump! He has the legal authority at any moment to terminate any security clearance of any person.
In closing, I ask this one question: HAVE I EVER TOLD YOU I HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THIS MEDIA? Why don’t they simply TELL THE TRUTH?!?!