Paul Conrad, perhaps the greatest political cartoonist in American history, was furious when he found out he wasn’t on Nixon’s infamous enemies list. It turned out he actually was when the second list was revealed. A second list? Nixon hated a lot of people. Conrad later said being included was his greatest distinction, and he won three Pulitzers. Can you imagine if Nixon had Twitter?
Trump, who is not a student of history, gets off having an enemies list. He’s even made it public and had White House spokesgoon Sarah Huckabee Sanders read it from the podium. Like Nixon, this is probably just Trump’s first list.
This list targets people with security clearances who have criticized Trump. Wednesday, Trump surprised everyone by revoking the clearance of former director of the CIA, John Brennan. Brennan has been highly critical of Trump and Baby Twittler Cheeto face doesn’t like that.
Why do former officials have security clearances? It’s not for them, it’s for us. There may be situations where current officials need feedback from their predecessor. They will often have to update them on current events to get a fair judgement. These former officials are not receiving daily briefings. Trump has decided his ego is more important than national security.
Brennan is an analyst now for MSNBC, and the White House accuses him of using his clearance to get that job, as though he’s going to dish classified information on Rachel Maddow. They issued a statement from Trump about “the risks posed by his erratic conduct and behavior,” Brennan’s, not Trump’s. They also accused Brennan of having “leveraged his status as a former high-ranking official with access to highly sensitive information to make a series of unfounded and outrageous allegations, wild outbursts on the internet and television about this administration.” They didn’t specify any unfounded or outrageous allegations.
Of course, the current administration doesn’t know the difference between national security clearances and non-disclosure agreements, as though ISIS locations being targeted are as vital to national security as Trump’s hemorrhoids.
Later, to the Wall Street Journal, Trump stated that he pulled the clearance, and is thinking of pulling others because of the Russia investigation saying, it’s a “sham,” and “these people led it.” We know he doesn’t like to read, but could he at least read the official statement he supposedly wrote?
Other officials on the enemies list are former FBI Director James Comey (who was fired for the Russia investigation), James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence; former CIA Director Michael Hayden; former national security adviser Susan Rice; and Andrew McCabe, who served as Trump’s deputy FBI director until he was fired in March.
Also, on the list: fired FBI agent Peter Strzok, who was removed from the Russia investigation over anti-Trump text messages; former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, with whom Strzok exchanged messages; and senior Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, whom Trump recently accused on Twitter of “helping disgraced Christopher Steele ‘find dirt on Trump.'”
Michael Flynn fired for lying to the FBI and who was in secret contact with Russians, and Jared Kushner, who sought a back channel of communications with the Kremlin so the CIA couldn’t monitor them, still have their clearances.
The statement to revoke Brennan’s clearance was dated July 26, which shows they were holding it as a distraction for when something big hit the White House. Enter Omarosa. Unfortunately for the White House, Omarosa has more secret tapes, the latest revealing the Trump train had tried to pay her $15,000 a month to remain silent. Trump is using national security clearances for political leverage. When asked why they didn’t revoke the clearance last week, the White House cited Trump’s busy schedule, which consisted of golf in New Jersey and Trump rallies.
Republicans in Congress were quite pleased with this and are supporting the president. Apparently, they believe any criticism of the president is a threat to national security. Louisiana Senator John Kennedy even called Brennan a “butthead.” Republicans are forgetting they won’t hold power forever. Can you imagine how many kittens would come shooting out of their manginas if Obama had done this?
In an extraordinary maneuver, twelve former CIA chiefs issued a joint statement critical of Trump’s revocation of security clearances and in defense of Brennan. They said the accusations from Trump are “baseless” and this is “an attempt to stifle free speech.”
Brennan wrote in The New York Times that this was a move to end the Russia investigation and Trump’s claim of no collusion by Trump was “hogwash.” He also wrote, “The only question remaining is whether the collusion amounts to a “constituted criminally liable conspiracy.” I’m going to say yes.
William H McRaven, the retired Navy admiral who oversaw the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, called Trump’s moves “McCarthy-era tactics”, adding he would “consider it an honour” if Mr Trump revoked his clearance as well.
“Through your actions, you have embarrassed us in the eyes of our children, humiliated us on the world stage and, worst of all, divided us as a nation,” McRaven wrote in an opinion piece for The Washington Post.
Quite frankly I’m going to feel jilted if I never make Trump’s enemies list. For now, I’ll have to settle for his sycophants on social media calling me the “enemy of the American people.”
Trump, his sycophants, and those in Congress supporting his politicizing of security clearances are all buttheads.
Your support in the form of donations is appreciated. I am fully independent as I’m not employed by a newspaper or with a major syndicate (leaving one to be independent). It does take a lot of work to provide you with cartoons, columns, and videos almost every day (more than any other political cartoonist), and I don’t charge my clients much at all. If you can, please consider making a financial contribution to keep the fun flowing, or purchase a signed print for $40. Whether you can help support, can’t, or just choose not to, please continue to enjoy and keep reading my work. Thank you!!!
Watch me draw.