Why Do Former Government Officials Have Security Clearance?
President Trump is taking a lot of heat because he has threatened to revoke the security clearance of several top Obama administration officials who have fanned the flames of what appears to be the Russian collusion conspiracy theories.
President Trump is reviewing the security clearances of:
- Former CIA Director John O. Brennan
- Former Director of National Security James R. Clapper
- Former FBI Director James B. Comey
- Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe
- Former National Security Adviser Susan E. Rice
- and former National Security Agency Director Michael V. Hayden.
I am a bit surprised and confused why former employees of the federal government would still retain their security clearances. Wouldn’t that be like one of us still having the keys or security badges of our former employer’s?
There were several longtime national news people like Fox’s Brit Hume who was surprised himself that former employees of the government still retained top security clearance.
President Trumps Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was quoted in a Washington Times article stating:
They’ve politicized and in some cases actually monetized their public service security clearances…Making baseless accusations of improper contact with Russia or being influenced by Russia against the president is extremely inappropriate.
I believe that the administration or any administration has to even point to these 6 former federal government employee’s attacks against the current President to justify them having their clearances revoked. They just need to point out that they are no longer in employment of the federal government so they no longer need these clearances.
I could understand former employees of the federal government retaining their top security clearances during the transition of administrations or even perhaps a year into the new administration but certainly not longer than that.
Some say these former government officials retain their clearances in case they are every called upon by the President or other top administration officials for advice. I would ask the question when has that ever happened and why? I would also ask the question, if their advice was ever needed could they not be given security clearances at that time?
A big concern to many of us should also be that many of these former government employees move on to the news industry as “consultants” and could be tempted to give top secret information to their new bosses or release top secret information on air when being questioned by show hosts.
The federal government is no longer their means of making a living but their new bosses, the “news” media are.