Allen West Old School Patriot Security Clearances

It’s Past Time to Revoke Obama-Era Security Clearances

In National Security, News by Allen West4 Comments

The topic of this missive is obviously apparent, and it is quite topical at this moment. President Trump announced earlier this week that his administration would be assessing the revocation of security clearances of some Obama administration officials. As to be expected, it has, again, sent the left into a Star Trek type of warp-drive mania. They are accusing President Trump of punishing his “political enemies.” Hmm, funny, the left is actually admitting that they are political enemies of the President. But, there is a real question that we should be asking: what is the purpose of a security clearance?

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As reported in Fox News:

“President Trump is considering the entirely proper move of pulling security clearances from a number of former government officials including disgraced former FBI Director James Comey,  former CIA Director John Brennan,  former DNI James Clapper and several others. These are all people who have been abusing the credibility gained by their previous positions and potentially their continued access to our secrets in a partisan political manner. There is a longstanding tradition of granting former officials continued clearance to allow them to be consulted about actions they took and insights they might have. There is no requirement to do this but when all, regardless of party affiliation, are supposed to be working toward our security it provided a continuity of the institutional knowledge. That is no longer the case with these individuals. They seem to be wholly invested in undermining the national security priorities and policies of the Trump administration. And in some cases, it seems they were likely to have been undermining the Trump campaign while still members of the Obama administration.

A security clearance is based on trust and no one should trust James Comey with continued access to our national secrets when he wrote in his own book that he improperly took classified information with him after he was fired.  John Brennan has become increasingly unhinged and has called President Trump treasonous. How can he be allowed anywhere near the inner workings of the Trump administration as it works to conduct our nation’s foreign policy? Another person likely to lose his clearance is Former CIA Director Michael Hayden who publicly warned people not to work for President Trump. That is not compatible with offering any kind of help at all to that same administration. 

Taking security clearances from those who have professed to be actively hindering the president’s lawful conduct of the country’s business is a sad, but necessary, step. It is not a political move of itself, it is a reaction to the political moves of those acting against him.”

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Let me put this into perspective: once upon a time I possessed a Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) clearance when I was an active duty Army officer. I had to undergo the extensive background check to ascertain my qualifications and character. I had to fill out the Standard Form (SF) 86 to formally apply for my clearance, and yes, I was interviewed, along with several who knew me. However, as of my retirement from the US Army, August 1, 2004, my clearance was revoked. Why? It’s simple: I no longer had the “need to know” and I was no longer serving this nation in uniform. I was no longer fulfilling the duties and responsibilities that warranted having a TS/SCI clearance. I certainly didn’t need it as a high school teacher in South Florida. I was no longer providing any value to the national security or foreign policy of these United States, so I lost my clearance.

However, when I served as a defense contractor, deployed to Afghanistan as a civilian/military adviser, I was granted a security clearance. It was necessary for my required duties and, once again, I underwent training certification to explain my responsibilities in safekeeping the various levels of classified information. Later, as a member of Congress, I was granted a security clearance, which was necessary, especially since I served on the House Armed Services Committee, and would attend classified briefings. Again, I was briefed and underwent mandatory training on the proper handling of classified information.

The absurd, progressive, socialist, leftist assertion that President Trump is punishing political enemies, or opposition, is just another example of the leftist hysteria. Click To Tweet

The absurd, progressive, socialist, leftist assertion that President Trump is punishing political enemies, or opposition, is just another example of the leftist hysteria. These individuals no longer have a “need to know,” and they do not represent a needed purpose for having security clearances. Also, when it comes to “character,” several of those mentioned have lost the trust, and confidence, necessary to provide them with classified information access. James Comey, James Clapper, John Brennan, Susan Rice, and Andrew McCabe are individuals who have evidenced a lack of character when it comes to integrity, and telling the truth. Clapper lied before the US Senate about wiretapping the American people. Susan Rice — well, most of the time that she is talking, she is lying — lest we forget the five Sunday shows on Benghazi, or Bowe Bergdahl having served with “honor and distinction.” Andrew McCabe, a DOJ-IG investigation addressed his alleged lying, and he is a disgraced, fired, former Deputy Director of the FBI.

Why should any of these individuals still hold a security clearance? No, being a CNN commentator is not a valid reason to possess a United States security clearance.

There are still others who should be included on this list: Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin, Cheryl Mills, Loretta Lynch, Eric Holder, and John Koskinen, for starters. If you are honest, you realize why each of these individuals have forfeited their privilege to possess a security clearance.

I am happy to debate with any leftist — or anyone — that possessing a security clearance is not a right, it is a privilege, just as it is a privilege to serve the United States. All of these individuals have a right to free speech and expression, that’s not being revoked. Any, and all, of these individuals have a right to criticize President Trump, regardless of how delusional that criticism is. But, there is nothing that entitles them to have a security clearance ad infinitum.

While we are at it, just food for thought: Barack Obama would have never qualified for a security clearance if he were required to fill out an SF 86. Obama would have been disqualified due to his associations with individuals who has supported subversive activities against the United States — the names Bill Ayres, Bernadette Dohrn, and Louis Farrakhan come to mind.

Possessing a security clearance in the United States must be a very prestigious item, just like American citizenship. Having a security clearance is not a right, but an honored privilege. It is a privilege that some have forfeited, due to their own lack of honor, integrity, and character.

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During his 22 year career in the United States Army, Lieutenant Colonel West served in several combat zones and received many honors including a Bronze Star, three Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals, one with Valor device, and a Valorous Unit Award.

In November of 2010, Allen was elected to the United States Congress, representing Florida’s 22nd District.

He is a Fox News Contributor, Director of the Booker T. Washington Initiative at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Senior Fellow at the Media Research Center, contributing columnist for Townhall.com, and author of Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Family, Faith and Freedom. His forthcoming book, Hold Texas, Hold the Nation: Victory or Death, is due fall 2018 from Brown Books Publishing Group.