In Consortium News, John Kiriakou, a former CIA officer who went to jail for telling a reporter about the agency’s torture program, argues that security clearances for retired official has “abuse written all over it.”
I think Trump is using the clearance issue as a means to get control the intelligence community, but Kiriakou’s questions are apt.
How is it that former officials who now have no role in government are able to keep their active security clearances? This has abuse written all over it. First, these officials run the risk of exposing classified information in a television interview, either inadvertently or not. Second, and more cynically, what is to keep them from propagandizing the American people by simply spouting the CIA line or allowing the CIA to use them to put out disinformation? What’s to keep them from propagandizing the American people by selectively leaking information known only to the intelligence agencies and Congress? Or to release information passed to them by the FBI?