Branco Cartoon – Can You Hear Me Now?
Monday, August 20, 2018 at 07:00am 36 Comments
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If his free speech restriction can be construed as he will no longer have access to classified material to leak out then everybody should have access based on his argument. I still don’t understand why anybody that is no longer in government service still has a clearance.
You keep misconstruing his claim. He is NOT claiming that he needs security clearance in order to exercise his freedom of speech. NOBODY claims that, and it’s a complete strawman to mock it as if anyone were saying that. Everyone acknowledges that Trump has the right to remove anyone’s clearance at any time; the issue here is the reason he did it.
Just because you have the right to do something does not mean you can do it for an illegitimate reason. For instance, suppose an incoming president were to revoke the security clearances of all the black officials from the previous administration, because of their race. That would obviously be a problem.
Here Brennan is claiming that the reason Trump took his clearance was not because he is an untrustworthy and dishonorable person, whose access to classified information endangers our national security (which is completely true), but rather because he exercised his first amendment right to criticize the president. That is the alleged assault on freedom of speech. He claims that even in exercising the powers that are completely at his discretion, the president is not allowed to use them in order to punish people for saying things he doesn’t like.
That’s a serious argument. It’s well-established that it’s illegal to withdraw government funding from anyone in order to punish them for exercising their constitutional rights, even though such funding is not a right, and even if it can be withdrawn for almost any other reason. No court has yet considered whether the same applies to security clearances.
As for why former officials customarily keep their clearances, it doesn’t matter. The fact is that this is the usual practice, and that even Brennan, with his suspect loyalties, kept his clearance until he opened his mouth against Trump, and if he hadn’t done that he’d still have it. That may not be right, but it’s the truth. Perhaps Trump should change the practice, and cancel all such courtesy clearances, and if he were to do so Brennan would no longer have any claim. But unless he does so, Brennan’s claim is plausible.
That stance will completely eviscerate the President’s role in overseeing the executive branch.
Trump is not withdrawing government funding. Brennan is leveraging his active “insider knowledge” to financial benefit. He can accuse as he wishes knowing there is no rebuttal without spilling secret info to counter. Suppose during the 1964 election where Johnson accused Goldwater of militarism…if the knowledge that Johnson was actively planning on bombing North Vietnam was outed by a Brennan character. Brennan can reapply for clearance if his real job needs that..being a talking head at CNN doesn’t.
Do keep up. I didn’t say Trump withdrew government funding from Brennan. But he did withdraw another privilege that Brennan had, and he did it to punish him for his speech. It’s well-established that it’s illegal to withdraw government funding for such a reason, even if the recipient had no right to it in the first place. Tell me why it’s so obvious that security clearances are different.
Does anyone else get a kick out of this goofball shooting down his own argument in flames?
Dude. “At any time” does not mean “for any reason”.
I happen to disagree with Milhouse on this one, but at least represent his arguments fairly.
Dude. Milhouse does not support arguments very well and by “very well” I mean “at all.” I’m not sure why The Say-So Of Milhouse trumps what the Supreme Court has already said about this subject:
Dude. That’s another way of saying “for any reason”.
For any reason except those prohibited by law. Could he do it because of the person’s race? No, the fourteenth amendment forbids it. So tell me exactly why the first amendment doesn’t forbid doing it to punish him for his protected speech. Be sure to explain how this is different from cutting off a government grant, which is completely discretionary, and yet may not be withdrawn as punishment for protected speech.
You’re the goofball, obviously incapable of following a logical argument, let alone formulating your own.
Perfect cartoon depicting the stupidity of Brennan’s claim his free speech is in any way affected by his losing his access to classified material.
Mr.Branco again says in one cartoon what many cannot explain in thousands of words. Well done sir!
It is not a stupid claim. It may in the end prove incorrect, and I suspect it will, but it’s a serious and plausible claim. He has been punished for his speech, by the loss of a privilege he used to enjoy, and which he would still enjoy were it not for his speech. That is generally illegal. The first amendment requires that people must be free to say whatever they like without any government retaliation whatsoever. Withdrawing a privilege is retaliation, even if the government had no obligation to grant it in the first place. Whether this applies to security clearances is uncertain, and I suspect it doesn’t, but it definitely applies to other privileges.
I’m under this very silly impression that people acquiring security clearances sign documents that bind them to certain restrictions on the right to speak they otherwise enjoy as American citizens. Commissioned military officers labor under similar restrictions, ones that cannot by law be applied to enlisted men. I was also under the impression that these documents are signed by the signer’s free will.
Perhaps I have been mistaken all this time.
Not really. The kicker is that most of Brennan’s public speech hasn’t been classified. You can get your clearance revoked for a number of reasons, but at least on paper, pissing off the current administration isn’t one of them.
On paper. In reality, you get your clearance yanked for the most bizarre things. Basically nothing more logical than “someone in charge thinks you don’t deserve it”. I’ve seen weirder reasons than pissing off the current administration.
Among the president’s reasons for stripping Brennan’s clearance were: “erratic conduct and behavior” and “a history that calls into question his objectivity and credibility.”
There is a document called the Adjudicative Guidelines for Determining Eligibility for Access to Classified Information, which spells out various standards you must adhere to in order to retain your security clearance.
If you screw up Guideline E (which includes “questionable judgement, lack of candor, dishonesty”) – goodbye clearance.
There is so much crap being thrown around and virtually no one is going to the sources that show how the president is doing exactly what he is allowed to do.
And if those really were his reasons there would be no dispute or controversy. But almost nobody believes him. If it were true why didn’t he do it immediately on taking office? Everyone including you knows that this was retaliation for his political speech, and that is at least troubling and possibly illegal.
No, they don’t. They agree only not to reveal the secrets they learn on the job, which is no different from anyone who signs an NDA. Military members (regardless of whether they have security clearances) are not allowed to make public political statements. But civilians are not and can’t be restricted in expressing their opinions.
Well, it looks like I am behind, a bit. Brennan is on the front page of the San Diego Union-Tribune for running his mouth in NBC’s “Meet the Press.” He has threatened to file a lawsuit over having his security clearance revoked.
Today I learned that some people think a security clearance is an entitlement.
No, they do not. Nobody thinks that and nobody is claiming it. And so long as you pretend that is what he is claiming you can’t address his actual claim.
You may not. Brennan obviously does, as do people who purport to support him.
No, Brennan does not think it’s an entitlement, and nor do any of his supporters. None of them have claimed it and none of them think it. It’s a strawman that you and other blind Trump supporters have invented so you can avoid addressing the actual issue.
Are you seriously claiming to actually know what Brennen thinks? How close are you to him and when was the last time you discussed it with him?
Also his supporters couldn’t give a damn about Brennen or his clearance they are afraid that they are next on the list to lose their clearances. Which I sorely hope is the case.
Does the President even need a reason to revoke a security clearance? Answer: No. End of argument.
Also, there exist more than ample reason for the revocation of Brennan’s clearance, not to mention many others.
Lastly, it is a moronic in the extreme that clearances are not revoked when they people leave their jobs in the first place. It should be just like the military, when you muster out you lose your clearance.
No, he doesn’t need a reason. That doesn’t mean he can do it for an illegitimate reason. Again, tell me how this is different from cutting off government funding, which can be done for almost any reason but not in retaliation for protected speech. It seems to me that it is different, but it’s not clear why.
Simple if you misuse government funding or use it in a way inconsistent with the agreement you sign to receive the funding then you lose it. Brennen misused is clearance for his personal gain and as a weapon against the current administration, not to mention providing that information to persons not cleared to have it.
Also in response to your assertion that;
“They agree only not to reveal the secrets they learn on the job, which is no different from anyone who signs an NDA.”
If you actually believe this (Frankly I just think you like to be the foil and argue) then you are uneducated about Clearances and Compartmentalization.
I have signed multiple agreements for clearance and I can tell you that you are just flat wrong. Not to mention that the information itself indicates what level of clearance is needed to have that information and handling. So while the “agreement” (I actually can’t remember the name of the document you sign) may not stipulate all of the claims the rules and regulations surrounding classification of information are very well defined and he blatantly violated those.
Just because he happened to be speaking out against trump at the same time doesn’t forgive his mishandling of information.
Whether the current custom of letting officials keep their clearances is wise is a completely separate question. Trump is free to cancel that custom and withdraw all former officers’ clearances, except for those he specifically wants to keep theirs; if he were to do so this would make Brennan’s complaint moot. But he hasn’t done that, so Brennan has a case. I suspect it’s a losing case, but it is a plausible one.
Another great ‘toon from Mr. Branco. I might suggest adding an MSNBC logo, or, alternately, the words “Mainstream Media,” to the body of the megaphone, to further underscore that this self-aggrandizing twit, Brennan, is receiving more amplification of, and, attention paid to, his self-serving views, courtesy of the water-carrying, gleeful propagandists of the Leftist media, than any CIA boss in American history.
President Trump is stifling his post Government job contracts with government suppliers – THANK YOU Mr. President!
Yes, that is a good thing, but not if it’s in retaliation for his expressing his opinions. It should have been done on Day One of the administration, because he’s an untrustworthy person whose loyalty to the US is suspect. If it had been done then, and for that reason, he’d have no claim now.
The only criticism I have of the President’s action is that he didn’t pull the clearance from everyone who leaves the government and no longer has a need to access anything.
The next to be pulled should be everyone that signed the letter in support of Brennen, as well as Admiral McRaven’s.
*snort* *chuckle* heheheheheheheheheheheheheh!
And he did not even mention taking Brennan’s deposition.
Brennan violated the agreement he signed when he first obtained a security clearance, an agreement that remained in force as long as he held any clearance. He is now subject to the penalties that come with that violation. And yes, this violation really is a Big Deal!
Hopefully he’ll find the FBI on his doorstep, setting him up with some beautiful stainless steel bracelets.
In what way did he violate it?