Government security clearances have become quite the hot topic of conversation and it has revealed just how little the average American knows about them. Most Americans were unaware that any ex-officials continued to hold clearances after they retired and the controversy has inevitably raised the question why that should be so.
For those that do not know, security clearances are for individuals who need access to classified information and that could be for a variety of reasons. Those individuals undergo a background check and their “personal and professional history affirmatively indicates loyalty to the United States, a strength of character, trustworthiness, honesty, reliability, discretion, and sound judgment,” according to an executive order pertaining to access to classified information.
Aside from allegiance to America, officials also look at sexual behavior, financial situations, alcohol and drug use, mental health and potential foreign influences when making the determination if a person will be granted a security clearance in a complex and detailed process. The form to be filled out requesting such a clearance is more than 100 pages in length, and investigators interview the individual applying as well as friends, family, and other references. Some agencies such as the CIA and FBI can also require individuals to sit for a polygraph test.
But also linked to that security clearance is a “need to know” in terms of what kind of information should or could be accessed. For instance, this means if you are John Brennan and no longer working as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency you do not necessarily need to know anything about China’s spying on the United States. Or do you?
As Zero Hedge notes, “if you transition into a directorship or staff position of a major intelligence or security contractor, which many retirees do, you might need to retain the qualification for your job, which makes the clearance an essential component in the notorious revolving door whereby government officials transit to the private sector and then directly lobby their former colleagues to keep the flow of cash coming.
At top levels among the beltway bandit companies, where little work is actually done, some make the case that you have to remain “well informed” to function properly. The fact is that many top-level bureaucrats do retain their clearances for those nebulous reasons and also sometimes as a courtesy. Some have even received regular briefings from the CIA and the office of the Director of National intelligence even though they hold no government positions.”
It seems the topic of making money off of government security clearances was a source of much contention on Friday when CNN analyst and ex-CIA official Phillip Mudd railed at and publicly berated conservative commentator Paris Dennard. Mudd vehemently objected to Dennard’s assessment that security clearances are a gateway to making money for former government officials.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders originally made the point last month when discussing President Donald Trump’s intentions to review the security clearances of specific individuals and determine whether or not they were being exploited and abused.
The New York Times quotes Sanders, stating – “The president is exploring the mechanisms to remove security clearances because (some holders) politicized, and in some cases monetized, their public service and security clearances.”
Senator Rand Paul (KY-R) made a similar assessment.
Paul states in an op-ed for Breitbart –
“Clear evidence concerning the bias of multiple, high-ranking current and former intelligence community officials should make us think twice about letting retired intelligence officials keep access to classified information, especially if they become talking heads on television after leaving public service.
There is a great danger that vital, secret details may be revealed on television, even inadvertently.
John Brennan is no stranger to this problem.
In 2012, John Brennan leaked information to former counter-terrorism officials, who retained a security clearance, about an underwear bomb-making plot in Yemen.
Brennan revealed to these former officials – turned talking heads – that the underwear bomb plot never threatened the U.S. “because Washington had ‘inside control’ over it,” according to Reuters.
After Brennan’s briefing, one of the call’s participants, Richard Clarke, went on ABC and broadcast the government implying that there was a Western spy inside the Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula bomb-making group.
John Brennan’s careless leak to former intelligence officials turned television commentators helped compromise an operation and risk the life of a double agent, and who knows what other objectives it also hindered or outright prevented. This is exactly why former intelligence officials who are now talking heads on television should not continue to have a security clearance.”
Dennard then appeared on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” on Friday making the same call – for clearances to be taken away from those who profit from them, stating –
“A lot of these people that have these security clearances, and this is the secret in the swampy Washington, D.C., they have them and they keep them because it’s profitable for them after they leave government, because if you a security clearance, especially high-level security clearance, your contracts and consulting gig pay you a lot more money because of the access that you have. I hope the president continues to do this, and I hope he adds Omarosa (Manigault Newman) to the list because if she has a clearance, she too because of her actions should have it revoked,” Dennard said.
Mudd almost immediately lost his temper, sputtering back defensively, stating – “Profitable, Paris? When I am required to sit on an advisory board, let me ask you one question, how much do you think I’m paid to do that at the request of the U.S. government? Give me one answer, and you’ve got 10 seconds? How much?”
Dennard did not concede an inch, responding that whatever the names, the end result was the same — money for former officials, stating – “Consultant and a contractor, the consulting firms that they form and you all get is because you get more money when having a consultant — for having the security clearance. Stop acting like that doesn’t happen.”
Mudd continued to grow ever angrier, stating sharply in response – “That is incorrect. I have zero consulting relationships with the U.S. government. Zero.”
Dennard attempted to clarify that he was speaking about the private sector, but Mudd was having none of it and cut him off.
“I have zero relationships with the private sector that involve my security clearance. Zero. Zero. I get zero dollars from consulting companies that deal with the U.S. government. Are we clear?” Mudd said.
However, Dennard refused to be cowed or silenced, stating – “Well, he will be clear in saying that everybody in Washington, D.C. knows — if you don’t want to be honest about it, that’s on you — but if you have a security clearance and you keep it, you get more money to have it.”
Mudd promptly flipped out, yelling at Dennard – “We’re done. We’re done. Get out!”
Dennard managed to deliver a parting blow, getting the last word. “Don’t be so defensive about this,” Dennard told Mudd. “Your voice is still here. You can still do whatever you want. But the politicization of the intelligence community under this administration with the people coming on here every day tweeting and talking about this administration, you all have made it about politics, not the president.”
Kurt Russel SHOWED Overpaid Celebs To Shut Up About Trump – Hits Them Where It Hurts!
Since the second that Donald Trump was declared as our next president, liberals have not stopped complaining about the outcome, even after more than a year with him in the White House. The despicable display reached the height of annoyance during every ego-stroking awards ceremony since President Trump was elected. All have turned into a Trump-trashing session for pissed of celebrities to get far too much off their chest about our unapologetic leader.
However, not everyone in Hollywood shares the same opinion as the most outspoken offender, Meryl Streep, as Kurt Russell just showed her and all of Trump’s other famous foes that it’s time to shut up about our president.
If you haven’t heard much from Russell lately, it’s because he falls into the rare category of celebrities who isn’t crying over Hillary Clinton’s loss and doesn’t feel that he needs to make his political opinions known. He’s simply doing what he’s paid well to do and wishes others in the biz would too. Since they continue to throw tantrums and trash Trump on a public stage, Russell reached his breaking point and finally fired back hard.
Should President Trump shut the border down now with no more warnings about it or delay?
— Amanda Shea (@TheAmandaShea) November 26, 2018
“This is a business that’s heavily promulgated by people who have a politically liberal bent,” Russell began in his blistering beratement of these overpaid crybabies after what Streep said at the Golden Globes. “I don’t begrudge them that. I’m a libertarian; frankly, I think my liberalness goes far beyond theirs in a lot of ways,” he added, as reported by the American Lookout. “But yeah, we think differently, and maybe that’s cut me out of some things. I don’t care,” he said before dropping a brutal announcement on these Streep and her lemmings that left them burning.
Do YOU think we have the best President and First Lady ever? Follow Amanda Shea on Twitter to get RIGHT daily insight!
Explaining that they’re not empowered in this business by their disgraceful attitudes against our leaders, the badass actor said they better be prepared to put their money where their nasty mouths are since they could be out of work. “People know I get along great with all kinds of directors, all kinds of actors. And I tell you, you hire me, I will show up, 24/7, and I will give you 100%. I will help you fix whatever problems come up. You hire me, I’m your boy. It’s just, it’s all about the work. And when that’s done, I am done.”
Kurt has said recently that “the last thing I like to watch is entertainers or actors get political,” which he just proved by clearly pointing out that nobody cares what celebrities have to say about politics, and that their obnoxious behavior only shows how unemployable they are. They need to just stick to what they are overpaid to do and leave the rest to the adults in charge.
BREAKING: Hundreds Of Raging Migrants Just Stormed US Border Checkpoint (VIDEOS)
(FOX NEWS) Images and videos posted on social media Sunday afternoon appeared to show hundreds of migrants from the leading Central American caravan rushing the border at the point of entry in San Ysidro, Calif., in a major test for both U.S. border authorities and Mexican officials.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials have suspended northbound and southbound vehicle and pedestrian crossings at the San Ysidro port of entry, officials told Fox News. It was not immediately clear if any members of the caravan made it past the point of entry into the United States.
Fox News had confirmed early Sunday through an organizer for Pueblo Sin Fronteras, the group helping organize the leading Central American migrant caravan, that members of the caravan were planning to attempt to cross the point of entry at San Ysidro, Calif., on Sunday afternoon.
In anticipation of the planned effort, U.S. border officials said they had deployed additional personnel to the San Ysidro port of entry on Sunday, including Air and Marine agents.
— emma murphy (@emmamurphyitv) November 25, 2018
The developments come as Mexico’s incoming government denied reports Saturday that it had struck a deal with the White House to keep asylum-seekers in the country while their claims move through U.S. immigration courts. President Trump, for his part, again threatened to close the entire southern border if no deal could be reached between the two counties.
Migrants with children now scrambling up railway siding trying to reach us border thru mountain pic.twitter.com/ZeEZ0NApIx
— emma murphy (@emmamurphyitv) November 25, 2018
On Saturday, the first episode of caravan-related violence directed at U.S. authorities was reported by U.S. Border Patrol in Arizona, as a 31-year-old Honduran man who apparently split off from the caravan threw rocks at agents and a helicopter after setting a tree on fire.
— emma murphy (@emmamurphyitv) November 25, 2018
The prospective deal between the U.S. and Mexico was seen as a way to dissuade thousands of Central American migrants from seeking asylum in the U.S., a process that can take years. The legal bar for claiming asylum is high and generally requires applicants to show a specific risk of persecution based on factors such as race, nationality, politics or religion.
Trump administration officials have characterized the vast majority of asylum claims as fraudulent or legally insufficient, and have taken steps to reduce the backlog of asylum claims that they say are often used by migrants to gain entry into the U.S. and disappear into the country as their claims are adjudicated.
“There is no agreement of any sort between the incoming Mexican government and the U.S. government,” future Interior Minister Olga Sanchez said in a statement.
Hours earlier, The Washington Post quoted her as saying that the incoming administration of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador had agreed to allow migrants to stay in Mexico as a “short-term solution” while the U.S. considered their applications for asylum. Lopez Obrador will take office on Dec. 1.
The Washington Post reported Saturday that the Trump administration has won support from the Mexican president-elect’s team for a plan dubbed “Remain in Mexico.”
The newspaper also quoted Sanchez as saying: “For now, we have agreed to this policy of Remain in Mexico.” Sanchez did not explain in the statement why The Washington Post had quoted her as saying there had been an agreement.
Early Sunday, Trump wrote on Twitter that it would be “very SMART” for Mexico to “stop the Caravans long before they get to our Southern Border” to avoid future logistics challenges at the border.
There were signs last week that the Mexican government has received that message. Mexican immigration agents on Wednesday detained almost all of the Central American migrants on a fourth caravan that recently entered Mexico seeking to reach the U.S., with Mexico’s National Immigration Institute saying 213 migrants were detained and taken to a processing center. Those found to lack proper documents may face repatriation to their home countries.
Other administration officials sounded notes of optimism despite the apparent confusion on how to handle the migrants.
“President Trump has developed a strong relationship with the incoming [Lopez] Obrador administration, and we look forward to working with them on a wide range of issues,” White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said over the weekend.
Approximately 5,000 Central American migrants have arrived in recent days to Tijuana, just south of California, after making their way through Mexico via caravan. But agents at the San Diego port of entry process fewer than 100 claims per day.
On Friday, the mayor of Tijuana declared a humanitarian crisis in his border city of 1.6 million people, saying he was asking the United Nations for aid to deal with the approximately 5,000 Central American migrants, most of whom were camped out inside a sports complex.
The comments by Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum came as city officials and volunteers worked together to assist the 4,976 men, women and children who had arrived after more than a month on the road.
Hundreds of Tijuana residents have protested their arrival, complaining that recent caravans forced their way into Mexico from Guatemala.
Trump threatened Thursday, and again on Saturday, to shut down the border crossing entirely if his administration determines that Mexico has lost “control” of the situation in Tijuana.
Stephanie Leutert, director of the Mexico Security Initiative at the University of Texas at Austin, described the Remain in Mexico plan as a strategy to take away the ability of migrants to live and work in the U.S. while cases are processed.
“The hope is that asylum seekers will not want to live in [Mexico] for months/years and won’t come,” Leutert wrote on Twitter.
She added: “The big question is why would Mexico agree to this? … Mexico has its own migratory enforcement interests and the various caravans have been a huge headache.”
U.S. officials have said for months that they were working with Mexico on possible proposals. One variation, called “Safe Third,” would have denied asylum claims on the grounds that asylum seekers had found haven in Mexico. President Enrique Pena Nieto offered thousands of Central Americans asylum on Oct. 26 if they agreed to remain in southern Mexico. Close to 3,000 migrants took Mexico up on the offer.
Sanchez said Saturday that the next government does not plan for Mexico to become a “Safe Third” country.
Migrants at the Southern Border will not be allowed into the United States until their claims are individually approved in court. We only will allow those who come into our Country legally. Other than that our very strong policy is Catch and Detain. No “Releasing” into the U.S…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 24, 2018
Julieta Vences, a congresswoman with Lopez Obrador’s Morena party who is also president of Mexico’s congressional migrant affairs commission, told the AP that incoming Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard has been discussing with U.S. officials how to handle a deluge of asylum claims at the border.
“They’re going to have to open the borders (for the migrants) to put in the request,” Vences said. “They will also give us dates, on what terms they will receive the (asylum) requests and in the case that they are not beneficiaries of this status, they will have to return here,” Vences said.
She said Mexico needs to examine how to accommodate the migrants without angering locals.
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