At war with current and former intelligence officials since before he was elected, Donald Trump on Wednesday moved to strip Barack Obama’s CIA chief of his security clearance, though worse may be in store for John Brennan, says Ray McGovern.
By Ray McGovern
Special to Consortium News
There’s more than meets the eye to President Donald Trump’s decision to revoke the security clearances that ex-CIA Director John Brennan enjoyed as a courtesy customarily afforded former directors. The President’s move is the second major sign that Brennan is about to be hoisted on his own petard. It is one embroidered with rhetoric charging Trump with treason and, far more important, with documents now in the hands of congressional investigators showing Brennan’s ringleader role in the so-far unsuccessful attempts to derail Trump both before and after the 2016 election.
Brennan will fight hard to avoid being put on trial but will need united support from from his Deep State co-conspirators–a dubious proposition. One of Brennan’s major concerns at this point has to be whether the “honor-among-thieves” ethos will prevail, or whether some or all of his former partners in crime will latch onto the opportunity to “confess” to investigators: “Brennan made me do it.”
Well before Monday night, when Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani let a small bomb drop on Brennan, there was strong evidence that Brennan had been quarterbacking illegal operations against Trump. Giuliani added fuel to the fire when he told Sean Hannity of Fox news:
“I’m going to tell you who orchestrated, who was the quarterback for all this. … The guy running it is Brennan, and he should be in front of a grand jury. Brennan took … a dossier that, unless he’s the biggest idiot intelligence agent that ever lived … it’s false; you can look at it and laugh at it. And he peddled it to [then Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid, and that led to the request for the investigation. So you take a false dossier, get senators involved, and you get a couple of Republican senators, and they demand an investigation—a totally phony investigation.”
The Fix Brennan Finds Himself In
After eight years of enjoying President Barack Obama’s solid support and defense to do pretty much anything he chose—including hacking into the computers of the Senate Intelligence Committee—Brennan now lacks what, here in Washington, we refer to as a “Rabbi” with strong incentive to advance and protect you. He expected Hillary Clinton to play that role (were it ever to be needed), and that seemed to be solidly in the cards. But, oops, she lost.
What needs to be borne in mind in all this is, as former FBI Director James Comey himself has admitted: “I was making decisions in an environment where Hillary Clinton was sure to be the next president.” Comey, Brennan, and co-conspirators, who decided—in that “environment”—to play fast and loose with the Constitution and the law, were supremely confident they would not only keep their jobs, but also receive plaudits, not indictments.
Unless one understands and remembers this, it is understandably difficult to believe that the very top U.S. law enforcement and intelligence officials did what documentary evidence has now demonstrated they did.
So, unlike his predecessors, most of whom also left under a dark cloud, Brennan is bereft of anyone to protect him. He lacks even a PR person to help him avoid holding himself up to ridicule—and now retaliation—for unprecedentedly hostile tweets and other gaffes. Brennan’s mentor, ex-CIA Director George Tenet, for example, had powerful Rabbis in President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, as well as a bizarrely empathetic establishment media, when Tenet quit in disgrace 2004.
The main question now is whether the chairs of the House oversight committees will chose to face down the Deep State. They almost never do, and the smart money says that, if they do, they will lose—largely because of the virtually total support of the establishment media for the Deep State. This often takes bizarre forms. The title of a recent column by Washington Post “liberal” commentator Eugene Robinson speaks volumes: “God Bless the Deep State.”
Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. During his 27-year career as a CIA analyst, he served under nine CIA directors and seven Presidents. He is a member of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).