James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, once told a Senate hearing committee that the National Security Agency had not collected data on millions of Americans. Later on, Clapper revealed that he misspoke. After denying the claims, John Brennan, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, apologized for improperly searching several Senate staffer’s computers. Questions have also been raised about the veracity of CIA involvement in torture, drone missions and Benghazi. So how reliable are Clapper and Brennan?
Considering the same air of doubt hovers over CIA Director Clapper and DNI Brennan, two Obama nominees, anything they have to say has to be taken with a grain of salt and that includes comments about President-elect Trump. With regard to leaked information about unfounded reports accusing Trump of being a minion of the Kremlin, who knows whether Clapper is telling the truth when he announced, “I do not believe the leaks came from within the IC.” He didn’t seem keen on tracking them down either.
Somehow word spread last week that the intelligence community in Washington believed the Russians had a dossier containing scandalous information about Donald Trump. But the rumors proved to be false. When Trump fired back, Brennan replied “there is no basis for Mr. Trump to point fingers at the intelligence community.” Former NSA and CIA Director Michael Hayden previously said in a bit of irony that he was “very concerned” by Trump’s views on cybersecurity. Meanwhile, a Russian news site gained control of the C-SPAN television feed for nearly twenty minutes last Thursday and Trump has not even been sworn in.
From a distance, Clapper, Brennan and Hayden seem to have an agenda that does not include being truthful with the voters. Why would they? Clapper and Brennan have already proven to be less than honest while under oath. What’s more, being retired and not having a dog in the race, why would Hayden get involved in the mudslinging? It all comes down to politics. Each of them has their allegiances and none are to the incoming president. That much is clear. Trump famously declared he intends to drain the swamp in Washington including the intelligence community. His point is well taken.
Photos: James Clapper – Jay Godwin/public domain/Creative Commons (CC); John Brennan – CIA photo/public domain/CC; Michael Hayden – CIA/public domain/CC; usage of photographs s does not constitute endorsement by the authors/sources.