, 12 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
THREAD: @PressSec/@WhiteHouse/@realDonaldTrump are banking on people knowing little abt security clearance retention to mask what is clearly a #1A free-speech chilling threat via the media to folks President Trump (or his base) view as political enemies. #securityclearance /1
First, most retain security clearances (active or inactive status) after we depart jobs. For rank and file, retained clearance (for set period of time) allows for return to Government service w/o cost and inefficiency of re-clearing every time jobs change. Standard practice. /2
So, it's not a "special" privilege for anyone--22-yo contractor or top official--to retain clearance for a time after departing cleared job. Also doesn't mean we can still see classified information. ALL CLASSIFIED INFO IS NEED TO KNOW, and when out of Gov't, you don't. /3
(That's another fun fact: You can have a TOP SECRET/SCI clearance and never get to see most classified info. You're only allowed to see the things relevant to YOUR job, no matter how senior, no matter how high your clearance. I know a lot, but can't get the Roswell files.) /4
As such, top formers like @JohnBrennan, @Comey, #SusanRice, #AndrewMcCabe, and other former top officials aren't getting unfettered access to top secret info and using/misusing it. They simply retain--for an appropriate time--the ability TO be brought in and read in. WHY? /5
There's a VERY good reason @JohnBrennan, @Comey, #SusanRice, former presidents, directors, and other former TOP natsec, law enforcement, etc. officials retain clearance and it ain't profesional or political courtesty. I'll explain... 6/
How many people have ever held the job of President? National Security Advisor? FBI, DoD, or CIA chief? How many people have EVER been read in at the comprehensive, 100,000-feet level, know those briefs, and have worked those issues daily? Turns out, the answer matters... 7/
Foreign policy, military threats, terror hotspots, and emergent concerns don't reset when party control, administrations, or the person holding the jobs do. They continue and it's incredibly important to be able to access background, context for immediate decision making. /8
There may literally be as few as ONE OR TWO ACTIVE PEOPLE who've been in the same chair, seen the 100,000-foot view, and fully understand the nuances, interests, and concerns. When private insight is sought, real ADULTS in those jobs don't care abt politics or party bullshit. /9
Having full an unfettered access to your recent predecessors, able to quickly read them in (in a limited way) and get background, context, and advice from people who actually KNOW is an essential tool in the toolkit for any leader in any party that can save American lives. /10
President Trump revoking Obama-era NATSEC and LEO (even Republican ones) top officials would remove the instant access (if and when needed) by leaders currently doing the actual work to those who know the brief and can contexutalize "what came before" putting the US at risk. /11
Trump's using ignorance of security clearance dynamics to justify naked political hits, all at the expense of our national security--abuse of executive power to craft a new, chilling "punishment" threat to silence his most credible critics. Don't fall for it. /12
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