In the 72 hours since President Trump revoked the security clearance of former CIA director John Brennan, over 70 former intelligence officers have come forward denouncing Trump’s decision to revoke or threaten to take away security clearances from former government officials.

“All of us believe it is critical to protect classified information from unauthorized disclosure. But we believe equally strongly that former government officials have the right to express their unclassified views on what they see as critical national security issues without fear of being punished for doing so.”

Among the CIA officers named are:

  • Jeremy Bash, former CIA and DoD chief of staff
  • Bob Flores, former CIA chief technology officer
  • Kent Harrington, former national intelligence officer for East Asia and CIA director of public affairs
  • George Little, former chief spokesman, CIA and DoD
  • Phillip Mudd, former CIA analyst
  • John Nixon, former CIA analyst
  • Greg Vogel, former CIA deputy director for operations

“Our signatures below do not necessarily mean that we concur with the opinions expressed by former Director Brennan or the way in which he expressed them. What they do represent, however, is our firm belief that the country will be weakened if there is a political litmus test applied before seasoned experts are allowed to share their views.”

On Friday night, Democratic Senator Mark Warner, the vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said on social media, “I will be introducing an amendment next week to block the president from punishing and intimidating his critics by arbitrarily revoking security clearances.”

Retired Admiral William McRaven, who oversaw the operation to kill terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, on Thursday challenged Trump to revoke his security clearance, saying it would be an “honor.”

“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,” McRaven wrote in a letter published by The Washington Post.

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