Joe Biden shreds more democratic and national security norms
President Biden wants to revoke Donald Trump's access to intelligence briefings normally available to previous presidents
The punishment of Donald Trump for defeating the establishment at their own game and becoming President of the United States continues, as President Biden has announced that he does not believe that Trump should continue to receive intelligence briefings. From Newsweek:
Biden gave his first network TV interview to CBS Evening News' Norah O'Donnell on Friday and she asked him directly about his predecessor continuing to have access to classified intel.
"Let me ask you, then, something you do have oversight of as president. Should former President Trump still receive intelligence briefings?" O'Donnell asked the president.
"I think not," Biden said and O'Donnell asked why he thought that way.
"Because of his erratic behavior, unrelated to the insurrection," Biden said.
"You've called him an existential threat. You've called him dangerous. You've called him reckless," O'Donnell went on.
"Yeah, I have, and I believe it," he replied.
"What's your worst fear if he continues to get these intelligence briefings?" O'Donnell asked.
"I'd rather not speculate out loud," the president said. "I just think that there is no need for him to have the intelligence briefing. What value is giving him an intelligence briefing? What impact does he have at all, other than the fact he might slip and say something?"
They continue, regarding the practice of former presidents receiving intelligence briefings in general, “Former presidents receive intel briefings as a courtesy but there is no requirement for them to do so. If Biden believes Trump's access to classified information is inappropriate, it can be withdrawn.”
And yet, they were singing a fairly different tune back in 2018 when it was reported that Trump had looked into removing Barack Obama’s access to intelligence briefings when he became President, and had to be talked out of it by his National Security Adviser. When Trump’s regime was in power, Newsweek thought it was a horrible idea for reasons of national security to revoke the intelligence briefings for former officials and presidents, explaining:
Why do former presidents and officials continue to receive intelligence?
In addition to meeting with foreign leaders, former presidents and intelligence officials are expected to receive intelligence briefings for a number of other reasons.
According to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, more than 4 million people had some level of security clearance in 2016.
One of the most obvious reasons is so that they can continue to advise the sitting administration and officials on incidents that may either be ongoing or reflect those of the past.
"Having former senior officials hold active security clearances can be critically important for those currently charged with defending our nation," Jamil N. Jaffer, who was associate counsel to President George W. Bush and founder of George Mason University's National Security Institute, told The Washington Post in a recent interview.
"It allows them to turn rapidly to people with significant experience, context and contacts to help interpret the activity of our opponents and to provide wise counsel and guidance, whether that's in the terrorism, foreign policy or any national security context," he said.
The newspaper also notes that former officials may also join governmental advisory boards on which they are able to provide more formal advice to the sitting administration.
It’s almost boring at this point, despite Biden having been President for less than a month, to note media and Democratic / Never-Trump partisan hypocrisy as they bend over backwards to defend and celebrate the Biden regime’s adoption of Trump policies that they previously attacked or his “assaults on democratic norms” that they spent four years endlessly accusing the Trump regime of perpetrating such as denying previous presidents access to intelligence briefings. This is, as Michael Malice always says, the difference between having a bias and having an agenda.
The corporate media’s agenda, being a part of the political establishment, was to destroy Donald Trump, and now it’s to prop up Biden as being the anti-Trump, or savior-figure, no matter what he does. This is a problem, and why we need an adversarial press regardless of who the president is, because Biden has a long history of making bad decisions: He voted in favor of the Iraq War, he was one of the principle senators behind the 1994 crime bill that led to mass incarceration of African-Americans, he supported TARP which bailed out Wall Street and big banks in 2008, and he was reportedly personally responsible for getting Edward Snowden stranded in Russia when he was a part of the Obama regime.
Those are just a few examples from the career of a lifelong politician who has spent over four decades at the highest rungs of political power in the United States; a person whom the corporate media now largely refuses to report on critically to put across the illusion that it’s “Morning In America” now that Trump is gone. Without oversight, what other calamities might President Biden’s judgement get us into now that he’s in the most powerful position in the most powerful government on the planet?
The issue at hand is the political establishment coming together to snooker the American people and keep a tenuous hold on their own power, but that doesn’t mean that the issue of whether previous presidents, or even previous government officials, should receive intelligence briefings isn’t a real one in and of itself. From my perspective, there’s no legitimate reason for most of these people, especially the presidents, to continue to receive intelligence briefings for national security purposes.
In reality, these intelligence briefings are largely exploited to enrich the people who receive them on the speaking circuit or in jobs with the corporate media. How many former “national security” or “intelligence” officials are now on the payrolls of MSNBC or CNN commenting on the news of the day?
As far as previous presidents go, their so-called expertise is largely non-existent, and their experience is of dubious value. The Iraq War, let alone the War on Terror generally, is the biggest calamity perpetrated by a U.S. president on the world since at least the Vietnam War, so should we really value the experience or advice of George W. Bush? Not in the slightest, or, perhaps, in the sense of what we probably want to avoid doing at all costs. Even Barack Obama’s judgement and experience told him to fund and support the Saudi dictatorship in committing genocide in Yemen, a policy which, to his credit, President Biden is at least signaling his intent to end.
As far as former professional, allegedly non-partisan, national security and intelligence officials go, I suppose it depends. There’s an argument to be made that their continued clearance may be of benefit to current officials and politicians, but if they’re using that clearance for their own material benefit then I’d say that it should be immediately revoked and I would err on the side of simply revoking it automatically more than I would on giving them the benefit of the doubt.
Put simply, former politicians and former government officials maintaining security clearance and exerting influence over the current government is, in my opinion, against what America is supposed to stand for as a free republic. The United States is not supposed to have lifelong apparatchiks exerting power over the citizenry, but rather to have the interests of the citizenry represented by their current elected officials.
In the American republic, a politician is elected for a set period of time to represent the views of their district, their state, their county, or whatever it is. Once their term is over, in theory at least, they’re supposed to step down and return to their life as a private citizen. Roman dictator Cincinnatus is the example most often cited as the model for America’s government officials to emulate, as he took complete control of the Roman state during a crisis and then voluntarily gave up all of his power and returned to his farm when his job was done. That’s what we’re supposed to want from our elected and un-elected officials: When your job in government is done, you return to your private life and exert no further influence or power over your fellow citizens.
What we have, unfortunately, is a class of people, elected and unelected, who maintain permanent influence and power over American citizens long after their terms have ended, directly or indirectly, and use their access to enrich themselves for the rest of their lives. This should be intolerable in a free society.
So yes, President Biden should revoke Donald Trump’s access to intelligence briefings, but Trump should have done the same to Obama, who should have done the same to Bush, who should have done the same to Clinton, and on and on. This should be considered part of the vaunted “peaceful transfer of power” that we expect from our former and current presidents upon leaving and taking office. The problem is in the agenda of the establishment in praising Biden for the very thing they vilified Trump for and expecting us to simply accept their narrative uncritically.