Perhaps John Brennan’s Temper Tantrums Are Cries for Help

P. Gardner Goldsmith | August 20, 2018
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Given former CIA Director John Brennan’s ongoing screech-fest about losing his much-coveted “security clearance”, his geyser-like fountains of self-righteous whining about how he might sue over it, his stunningly hypocritical proclamations that Donald Trump is destroying American “institutions”, and his completely unrealistic claim that Trump is committing treason (then he’s not, then he is), one suspects that either the childlike man needs to grow up and get his nappy changed, or he has grown up and needs an intervention.


On Thursday, August, 16, Brennan released an op-ed in the New York Times in which he made the completely unfounded and unsubstantiated claim that Trump revoked his security clearance because he “has become more desperate to protect himself and those close to him,” when it comes to the “Russia” probe.
The fact that Mr. Brennan is no longer working for the CIA (even as you, the taxpayer, will pay for his pension) or for any US security agency, seems unimportant to him. The lack of any evidence that the Russian government hacked the DNC (in fact, the data transfers were so fast that former NSA specialist William Binney has categorically stated they had to have been moved via flash-drive, from direct connection to DNC computers, not via the web), or that Donald Trump conspired with the Russian government to rig a primary or the general election are not only unimportant to Mr. Brennan’s narrative, they are inimical to it. After all, this is a man who offered lame horn-blasts like this when talking about then-candidate Donald Trump joking that perhaps Russia could find those 30,000 missing Clinton e-mails:


By issuing such a statement, Mr. Trump was not only encouraging a foreign nation to collect intelligence against a United States citizen, but also openly authorizing his followers to work with our primary global adversary against his political opponent.

Actually, John, by issuing such a statement, Mr. Trump was clearly making a pointed joke about 30,000-plus e-mails that were improperly stored on Hillary Clinton’s private server, then were not turned over to the government as requested. Those were later leaked by Wikileaks – an organization you, Mr. Brennan, claimed wasn’t credible, yet has never been proven incorrect -- and those e-mails revealed that Mrs. Clinton had, indeed, sent highly classified information over an unsecured server – contrary to her claims and contrary to the rules under which people like you are supposed to operate when you get your “security clearances”.

Why no op-eds on that, John? Why didn’t you “speak out” on TV?

On Friday, August 17, Brennan joined those unbiased and oh-so challenging “reporters” on MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow Show” to say that he was considering suing the Trump Administration for revoking his security clearance. He was, of course, focused on the principle of it, see, doing it for others, not to salve his own bruised ego and damaged value on the chat show circuit. As he said:

Security clearances are something that’s (sic) very, very solemn and sacred and they never, ever, should be used for political purposes…

This coming from a guy whose rise up the ladder was based on politicians putting him into his slots, whose cache would likely be a lot lower if he didn’t have a clearance when he negotiated with MSNBC to become a paid “expert” for them.

Yeah, “security clearances are very, very solemn and sacred.”

The fatuousness is almost laughable.

Then, on August 19, Brennan appeared on – SURPRISE! – NBC’s “Meet The Press” (remember that kids’ show?), and, between what might have been segments on finger-painting and pointers about looking both ways before crossing the street, he back-tracked on his back-track regarding his proclamation that Trump had committed “nothing short of treason” during his Helsinki, Finland, meeting with Russian President Putin. Indeed, he dropped his soft approach, and got back to overtly claiming Trump is treasonous.

He continually lies to the American people. The type of things that he is doing, I think I need to speak out. 

Sadly, not only does Mr. Brennan not have a firm grasp on the constitutional rule book he supposedly swore an oath to protect and defend, he has been cited for a checkered past when it comes to veracity himself.

Not only was Mr. Brennan chided in 2014 by Senators such as Ron Wyden (D, WY) for misleading them about whether the CIA was hacking into Senate Intel Committee member computers and spying on them without warrants, he was also shown to have been involved with delaying the report on internationally verboten CIA “black site” “harsh interrogation” programs overseas, and has been cited for offering misleading or shockingly mistaken responses to Congress when asked if the Obama drone program he helped oversee as chief counterterrorism advisor had targeted and killed civilians.

As Chris Woods wrote in 2013:

John Brennan, President Obama’s nominee to take over the CIA, had claimed in a major speech in summer 2011 that there had not been ‘a single collateral death’ in a covert US strike in the past year due to the precision of drones. He later qualified his statement, saying that at the time of his comments he had ‘no information’ to the contrary… Yet just three months beforehand, a major US drone strike had killed 42 Pakistanis, most of them civilians. As well as being widely reported by the media at the time, Islamabad’s concerns regarding those deaths were also directly conveyed to the ‘highest levels of the Administration’ by Washington’s then-ambassador to Pakistan.

Indeed, it was widely known at the time that the drone strikes targeted cell phones, not specific people, so the results – the slaughter of innocent wedding parites, and reports of killing kids in school, playing soccer, or badminton – saw 90% of the deaths comprised by innocent civilians. And lest we forget, this is a period in which the US Congress has assiduously avoided declaring constitutional War, a period when no one hit by a drone – not even the supposed “enemies” -- has been given due process. Each life has been taken without any trial at all. From a technical standpoint, they are all innocent civilians.

Yet Brennan, a man who voted for communist Presidential candidate Gus Hall in 1976, has the unmitigated gall to drone on about American “institutions”, even as he exhibits a twisted and sad view of what those “institutions” are. As Senator Rand Paul noted, revoking Brennan’s “security clearance” was appropriate, and about the lightest response to his questionable activity in government one can imagine.

An argument can certainly be made that a guy like John Brennan should be kept as far from the American “institutions” as possible.