Military leaders denounce Trump’s assault on democracy

I have renewed faith in our military and intelligence services after reading comments regarding Trump’s revocation of security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan.

Admiral William McRaven, former head of all U.S. special forces and director of the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden said “few Americans have done more to protect this country than John. He is a man of unparalleled integrity and honesty, whose character have never been in question...” He further addressed Trump “Through your actions you have embarrassed us in the eyes of our children, humiliated us on the world stage and, worst of all, divided us as a nation.”

And that from a man that didn’t use five deferments, including faking a bone spur, to avoid military service. I know which man I would throw my lot in with when push comes to shove.

Anyone with a clear mind would realize that Trump is using his power to revoke security clearances in order to stifle free speech, and that fact should strike fear into Americans who value free speech and the free press.

Admiral McRaven was joined by 60 other intelligence officials, including 12 former intelligence directors and deputy directors, in condemning this assault on the principles of American democracy.

Each person who has the courage to speak out makes it harder for those to justify their silence when our democracy has never been so threatened in our lifetime.

Greg Barbre

Idleyld Park

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(6) comments

American

larsington: I understood Berbre's point perfectly; I simply disagree with the assessment he made that former CIA director John Brennan was 'punished' for criticizing President Trump by having his security clearance revoked. As I said in my comments, a security clearance goes with the job, not the person. The majority of persons who have it, lose it once they retire or are out of the job or office that required it (including high ranking officials and generals). Those that are allowed to retain it have a reason to do so. Often that reason is one of convenience, so that those still in office can consult with them easily, if they want or need to. It is a purely a political maneuver, however, since a security clearance can be re-instated at any time that it is important to consult with that person who needs to see 'sensitive' information. Furthermore, the practice of allowing persons to retain their security clearance after they retire (supposed to be the exception; not the rule), has been (mis)used by some to promote personal and professional 'clout' in their private lives, outside of government. This 'self-promotion' tactic implies that they have 'inside' information which gives the impression that their opinion is more valuable than others...whether their opinion actually reflects hidden truthful facts, or they just want their opinion to appear that way, they just can't reveal 'the truth' either way. We're just supposed to believe them without any way to verify the truth of what they say. Personally speaking, I'm sick of all the 'disinformation' being put out there, all the crooked dealings of our politicians and the illegal maneuverings the deep state bureaucrats, that has been going on for years/decades. Lastly, I will say again, that the ability of John Brennan to exercise his right of free speech to give his 'opinion' on anything (including President Trump) was and remains unfettered. He can criticize away as much as he likes. He just can't monetize his 'security clearance' status for all he can get, anymore.

Tdmartin7

FAKE NEWS. I am a veteran and spend a lot of time at the VA hospital. This article leaves the impression that the military is against Trump. Not true. I would say it's 90% pro Trump down there. Why does this article not mention the 90%? That's why I label this FAKE NEWS.

Ian Campbell Staff
Ian Campbell

This is an opinion piece known as a letter to the editor. It was submitted to the newspaper by an Idleyld Park resident. This is not a news article written by a journalist. Please take your accusations of "fake news" elsewhere.

Thanks for reading.

American

A little common sense here, please. "...Trump is using his power to revoke security clearances in order to stifle free speech..." is an incorrect assumption and does not follow logically, based on the facts of how a security clearance works. First of all, while a security clearance allows an individual to receive and review SECRET & TOP SECRET information, it does NOT entitle that person to disseminate that secret information to the general public under their 'freedom of speech' rights. Indeed, they are bound by laws and regulations NOT to divulge secret information to anyone that is not qualified to receive it. Therefore, when a person's security clearance is revoked, it does not interfere with their 'right of free speech' in the least, in all things that are NOT secret. It does, however, prevent them from receiving access to NEW secret information that they no longer need access to, after they have left office, or are serving in a government position that does not require it and there is no good reason for them to continue to have it. Security clearance was never a 'right' or 'entitlement'; it was always a 'privilege of necessity' that went with the job position, not the person. BTW, those that no longer have their security clearance for access to FUTURE secret information are still duty bound NOT to divulge any PAST secret information that they have until it is de-classified. So, you can see why the author's 'opinion piece' does not accurately reflect the facts, and only reveals his bias.

larsington

I believe that Tdmartin and American are missing Mr. Berbre's point. First of all Tdmartin, your Roseburg VA is a very small demographic population of veterans. I suggest that if you questioned a larger, less RED area such as Seattle area as I have, you would find the opposite results. As to your remarks American, I believe Mr. Berbre's point was that using your free speech to criticize Trump could cost you plenty, including your security clearance. I don't think he indicated anything about the use of the clearance to divulge secret information as free speech.

bohica13

Sounds like a Hillary Clinton suspense novel!

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