A website called Clearancejobs.com includes an article answering the question, “What happens to your security clearance after you’ve been fired, suspended or retired?” The website explains the various procedures based on the circumstances. The website points out that in many cases a clearance may remain in effect or be suspended but easily renewed if necessary. When you consider the politicization of the Justice Department and FBI during the Obama administration, it would seem logical to cancel all of the security clearances of those at the top of those organizations who are no longer employed there. However, as usual with anything involving common sense, this is considered a controversial idea.
Considering the news that surfaced over the weekend about the FISA abuse regarding the spying on Carter Page, anyone who was involved in that escapade should be fired and have their security clearance revoked. Clearly, the government’s ability to spy on American citizens was used for political purposes by the Obama administration. However, the media is not going to let common sense enter into the argument.
Bloomberg posted an article today stirring up the kerfuffle about revoking security clearances.
The article is headlined, “Trump Weighs Revoking Security Clearances for Several Ex-Obama Officials.” It should read, “Some of the people involved in the misuse of intelligence gathering within the United States may face consequences.”
The article states:
The president is “exploring the mechanism” to remove their access to classified information because of criticism the officials have leveled against his conduct of relations with Russia, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Monday.
“They’ve politicized and in some cases monetized their public service and security clearances,” Sanders said. “Making baseless accusations of improper contact with Russia or being influenced by Russia against the president is extremely inappropriate.”
Sanders said Trump also was considering stripping security clearances from James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence; Michael Hayden, former director of the National Security Agency; and Susan Rice, President Barack Obama’s national security adviser.
The article concludes:
The idea of moving to revoke Brennan’s security clearance gained traction recently in conservative media circles. Fox News host Tucker Carlson on July 19 called Brennan an extremist with “a documented history of dishonesty” and said he shouldn’t have a clearance.
Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky said he urged Trump to revoke Brennan’s security clearance at a meeting with the president Monday. Trump is trying to court Paul to vote to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh despite reservations the senator has expressed about Kavanaugh’s commitment to privacy rights.
I have my doubts as to whether anyone will face consequences for misusing FISA for political purposes. However, removing a few security clearances might send a message to those holding those clearances to use them judiciously.