Democracy Dies in Darkness

Opinions

Revoke my security clearance, too, Mr. President

August 16, 2018 at 2:44 PM

Navy Adm. William McRaven, right, and U.S. Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis in 2013. (Gary Cameron/Reuters)

William H. McRaven, a retired Navy admiral, was commander of the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command from 2011 to 2014. He oversaw the 2011 Navy SEAL raid in Pakistan that killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Dear Mr. President:

Former CIA director John Brennan, whose security clearance you revoked on Wednesday, is one of the finest public servants I have ever known. Few Americans have done more to protect this country than John. He is a man of unparalleled integrity, whose honesty and character have never been in question, except by those who don’t know him.

Therefore, I would consider it an honor if you would revoke my security clearance as well, so I can add my name to the list of men and women who have spoken up against your presidency.

Like most Americans, I had hoped that when you became president, you would rise to the occasion and become the leader this great nation needs.

Watch more!
William H. McRaven, a retired four-star admiral and former Navy SEAL, called President Trump’s denunciation of the media as “the enemy of the American people” the “greatest threat to democracy” he’s seen in his lifetime during a speech at UT-Austin's Moody College of Communication. (The University of Texas at Austin)

A good leader tries to embody the best qualities of his or her organization. A good leader sets the example for others to follow. A good leader always puts the welfare of others before himself or herself.

Your leadership, however, has shown little of these qualities. 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.

If you think for a moment that your McCarthy-era tactics will suppress the voices of criticism, you are sadly mistaken. The criticism will continue until you become the leader we prayed you would be.

Read more:

David Ignatius: Trump just took us another step closer to the abyss

Greg Sargent: Trump’s punishment of Brennan is actually all about the Mueller probe

John Brennan: I will speak out until integrity returns to the White House

Jennifer Rubin: Republicans allow attacks on dissent at their own peril

The Post’s View: John Brennan isn’t the real victim

Ann Telnaes: Trump distracts whenever he feels threatened

Post Recommends
Outbrain

We're glad you're enjoying The Washington Post.

Get access to this story, and every story, on the web and in our apps with our Basic Digital subscription.

Welcome to The Washington Post

Thank you for subscribing
Keep reading for $10 $1
Show me more offers