Mark Greenberg
Life-long Progressive Who Got Woke

Brennan: Progressive Spymaster/Trump: Populist McCarthyite

It’s the evening of 26 August 2018 in toasty Austin.

Donald Trump has revoked the security clearance of the former Director of CIA, John Brennan, and the left wing media is up in arms that Trump is trying to “silence” him, strip him “for political reasons”, has created a Nixonian “enemies list”.

The US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, still riding on the coattails of Teddy Roosevelt, but considered to most reasonable Americans as partisan at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, has been “blessed” by Robert Mueller and his team to pursue the affairs of the Trump Organization, which they have been itching to do since the Inauguration.

By washing his hands of this of this investigation, the promulgation of immunities and whatever prosecutions the SDNY chooses to pursue, the Special Counsel has divorced these proceedings from his pursuit of “Russian Collusion” which was the basis upon which Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein authorized this investigation.

Who could ever have imagined a time when Progressives would defend the CIA, the NSA, the Justice Department, the FBI and the rest of our secretive intelligence community which – at a point in time not too distant from memory – conducted a secret war in Southeast Asia exposed by Dr. Daniel Ellsberg, conducted surveillance on Dr. Martin Luther King and the Kennedy family, and illegally intercepted the domestic communications of American citizens, a fact we would have never discovered without the illumination of Edward Snowden.

But the hatred for Donald Trump is so intense, so visceral, that the men and women who controlled every intelligence agency under Barack Obama, who, presumably, could have – should have – brought any Russian interference or collusion to the President’s attention, now tell us that they have “proof” that Donald Trump has acted treasonously and should be removed from office.

Denying these people security clearances does nothing to prevent them from continuing to make these outrageous charges. No one’s ability to speak freely is abridged, as attested to the fact that John Brennan’s outrage was immediately featured in an op-ed in The New York Times.

I wrote the following in my blog in The Times of Israel on January 10, 2017:

James Clapper lied to Congress and the American people about the nature and extent of daily surveillance regularly conducted by the NSA. Edward Snowden seemed to be in possession of information that contradicted Clapper’s testimony. We would never have known that without him.

As arrogant and sanctimonious as Clapper appears, he pales in comparison to John Brennan. Brennan, of course, succeeded General David Petraeus after he was found to have mishandled classified information. Prosecuted by Eric Holder, father of “Fast and Furious”, only Attorney General to be held in contempt of Congress. Brennan was CIA station chief in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia when the Khobar Towers were bombed. He is fluent in Arabic. He voted for Gus Hall of the US Communist Party for President. In 2010 he accused Republican lawmakers of using “national security issues like terrorism as a political football”.

But his shining moment was his 2010 address to the Islamic Center at NYU where his remarks seemed eerily similar to those of his future boss. He said Islam “helped to shape my own world view”. That “like the President…I came to see Islam [as] a faith of peace and tolerance…” He spoke in Arabic for a portion of the speech and referred to Jerusalem as “Al-Quds” which is only used in the Arab world because Muslims refuse to call it by the name the city has had since 4500 BCE.

He objects to the use of the word “jihadist” to describe terrorists who act in the name of Islam. “They are not jihadists for jihad is a holy struggle, an effort to purify, for a legitimate purpose.” I cannot tell you the sense of relief I feel that our Director of Central Intelligence is there to help me with the nuance of Islamic dogma. Perhaps he can also help me understand why they hand out candies when 20-year-old girls get run over by trucks.

People in Israel know that John Brennan is no advocate of theirs. He advocated for Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. How does a man who supports the Communist Party even become an employee of CIA, let alone Station Chief in Saudi Arabia and successor to Gen. David Petraeus after having been accused of “mishandling classified information”?

And under what conceivable circumstances would Petraeus sign a letter supporting Brennan’s loss of his security clearance as “inappropriate” and “deeply regrettable”? Petraeus was Director of CIA when the infamous Benghazi incident occurred, but, oddly, he was conspicuously absent when the Administration lamely explained away the accidental reasons for the death of four Americans at the diplomatic compound. Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice were the spokespeople for the President, and their absurd explanation that the murders were caused by an anti-Muslim video has been uniformly discredited.

But Brennan, through an intermediary, of course, took the four surviving heroes of the Benghazi disaster into a private room during a memorial service at CIA Headquarters in Langley, VA, to honor the deceased and required them to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement regarding the events of that September 11 – for what conceivable purpose?

Today, I watched an assortment of political toadies actually appear on TV to defend the actions of John Brennan in Eisenhower-like or Churchillian fashion. It was absolutely nauseating. Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral McMullen, equated Brennan’s loss of his security clearance as “Nixonian” and made a bizarre reference to “McCarthyism”.

That last phrase holds a very special and dear meaning to Americans who have even a vague recollection of what occurred during that period in history. Short of hurling the pejorative “racist” at an opponent, nothing can cut any deeper than when one raises the sword of “McCarthyism”. It is generally understood to mean making accusations of treason or subversion without regard for evidence.

So, consider this delicious irony: Adm. McMullen is accusing the President of the US of making accusations of treason against the former Director of CIA who has called the President “treasonous”! We are truly living in Kafka’s world. I can only conclude that the esteemed Admiral does not have a clue what the meaning is of the charge he is leveling.

I would suspect that maybe – maybe – one in ten people in the US know who Joseph McCarthy was.

Joe McCarthy was a Senator from the rather liberal state of Wisconsin who charged in 1950 that there were members of the Communist Party working in the State Department. Hearings were held in the House Un-American Activities Committee (can you imagine someone proposing a panel with such a name today?), spurred on by President Truman’s (Democrat) Executive Order signed in 1947 ordering that Federal Employees be screened for membership in organizations “to alter the form of Government in the United States by unconstitutional means.” It specified “Totalitarian, Fascist, Communist or subversive” organizations.

Now, we know we live in a completely different world now, though one could make a very compelling case that it is just as dangerous, given weapons proliferation, then it was during the Cold War. One could make the case, however, that these fallen Obama figures are in fact trying to “alter the form of Government in the United States by unconstitutional means” by weaponizing the FBI, the Justice Department, and the “Intelligence Community”.

But we have surely reached a level of rhetorical excess when Donald Trump, despite his inability to keep bringing attention to Twitter, is compared to Joe McCarthy. Do the former Obama flacks he has leveled accusations against who retain the privilege of a security clearance have clean hands? Have they played no role in the propagation or attempted legitimization of a “dossier” that formed the nucleus of these collusion charges? Are there no consequences for failing to disclose the source of the dossier when presenting it before a FISA court for the purpose of surveilling a political opponent?

It is alleged that James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Sally Yates and Rod Rosenstein signed off on the four applications and renewals to the FISA court without revealing that the Fusion GPS dossier was paid for by Hillary Clinton through a third party, that the allegations were never verified, and that Christopher Steele, the discredited MI6 agent and primary source for the dossier, received his gossip from Russian Intelligence.

The Special Counsel is looking into none of these allegations. The SDNY is looking into none of these allegations. Jeff Sessions and the Justice Department are not exploring these allegations. The FISA court judges do not seem to be outwardly concerned about having issued surveillance warrants against Carter Page based upon spurious Russian Intelligence that was not vetted, supplied by a discredited for-hire foreign agent, paid through a third party by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

The only rational reason to eavesdrop on Carter Page was to be able to collect intelligence on those with whom he came into contact. Not Russians, members of the Trump campaign. Comey, McCabe, Yates, and Rosenstein lied to the FISA court. They authorized the spying of a political opponent based upon “kompromat”, as Rep. Adam Schiff loves to say, and their actions should be presented to a grand jury by prosecutors from a jurisdiction other than the SDNY to determine their criminal culpability.

About the Author
Professionally, Mark Greenberg comes out of the world of New York Media. He was a member of the management team that started MTV. He turned down a job at ESPN to move to Austin to raise his family of four boys in a more rational atmosphere. He was also a member of the bicoastal media elite that he critiques on a regular basis.