Jim Terry
The credibility of political hacks
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By Jim Terry
July 24, 2018

James Clapper is offended that President Trump has threatened to remove Clapper's security clearance. John Brennan said President Trump committed treason in his meeting with Vladimir Putin. What do these two opponents of Trump have in common? Both are political hacks.

Clapper is the ex-Director of National Intelligence; Brennan is the ex-Director of the CIA. Both were political appointees of Barack Obama.

Brennan was a member of the Communist party; Clapper lied to Congress under oath, and has admitted as much.

What credibility do either of these political hacks have?

For eight years, I had unlimited access twenty-four hours each day, seven days each week, and 365 days each year to the building where my court was located because I had a key. However, on the last day of my service to the people of Dallas County, Texas, I had to relinquish the key. I had no standing to enter the building except during regular business hours as a litigant or witness or juror.

Clapper's situation now begs the question: why should anyone who is not in current service to the United States government have clearance for classified information?

As I understand, presidents lose their security clearance upon leaving office. So, why should ambassadors, members of congress, directors of intelligence agencies, or anyone else who no longer serves the American people – on the payroll, under an oath of office with a designation as an employee of the United States of America – continue to have a security clearance.

Clapper said of President Trump's proposed action, "If he chooses to do it for political reasons, I think that's a terrible precedent, and it's a really sad commentary and it's an abuse of the system."

He also said, "It's a very petty thing to do."

I don't view protecting the people of the United States from political hacks and their potential for destroying this nation as petty – it is the responsible thing to do.

As a practical matter, party affiliation should not make a difference, although Democrats have provided sufficient evidence they should not be trusted with matters of national security: Hillary Clinton's possible exposure of classified documents because she didn't want to comply with the rules; Sandy Berger, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs when he worked for Bill Clinton, who stole classified documents from the National Archives two years after he left public service, to cover up his mistakes. Berger subsequently pleaded guilty, was fined, placed on parole for a period of time, and, this is where our system fails – he was stripped of his security clearance for three years.

Clapper and the news community are offended that a president, particularly this president, would make what they believe to be such a harsh move against political opponents. They believe politics wouldn't be a reason for anyone to use classified information to harm a political opponent. That may be the case. But if a sitting president, Barack Obama, would use government agencies to punish his political opponents, why do we need the added exposure of former Obama officials nosing around in areas where they have no authority, using government secrets for any reason. Loss of security clearance upon termination from government service should be our policy.

To reduce the possibility that classified information is ever used politically, Congress should step in and pass legislation to terminate an individual's security status upon that individual's termination from government service. That legislation should include any and all regardless of party affiliation or level of the job.

If, at some future date, one of these political hacks should re-enter government service in a position which requires security clearance, we have a system already in place to provide that clearance.

The quick, vitriolic response to President Trump's proposal from Clapper, Democrats, and the media reminds me of the Ralph Waldo Emerson quote: "The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons."

© Jim Terry

 

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Jim Terry

Jim Terry has worked in Republican grassroots politics for 40 years. Terry was an administrative assistant to a Republican elected official in Dallas for twenty years. In 1996, he ran for and was elected to Justice Court 2 in Dallas County where he served eight years. Contact Jim at tr4guy62@yahoo.com

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