Former Officials Band Together, Say Trump Revoking Brennan’s Clearance Stifles ‘Free Speech’

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Virginia Kruta Associate Editor

A dozen former intelligence officials — among them CIA directors and deputy directors and one former Director of National Intelligence — joined together on Thursday to release a statement condemning the Trump administration for revoking the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan.

The statement reads, in part:

We all agree that the president’s action regarding John Brennan and the threats of similar action against other former officials has nothing to do with who should and should not hold security clearances — and everything to do with an attempt to stifle free speech.

You don’t have to agree with what John Brennan says (and, again, not all of us do) to agree with his right to say it, subject to his obligation to protect classified information.”

Twelve former officials whose service spanned several administrations — both Republican and Democrat — signed off on the statement, including former CIA Directors William Webster, George Tenet, Porter Goss, Michael Hayden, Leon Panetta and David Petraeus; former CIA Deputy Directors John McLaughlin, Stephen Kappes, Michael Morel, Avril Haines and David Cohen; and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

Most notable, perhaps, are Clapper and Hayden — who are among the former officials named by the White House as having their own security clearances under review.

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