Read this, please.  These are the words of Garrett Graff,  a journalist and author who writes about politics, technology and national security.  This was originally posted as a thread on Twitter.  Graff explains why we should be so concerned that the nation’s spymasters, who loathe publicity and speaking publicly, are now saying a lot, very loudly.  We need to pay attention.


I want to take a moment to elaborate why we should be so concerned that Jim Clapper, John Brennan, Admiral McRaven, Mike Hayden, and other officials feel it necessary to speak out against Trump:

Lost amid the controversy last week about Trump yanking Brennan’s security clearance is just how unusual it is for any of these officials to be speaking publicly—and that fact alone should be cause for concern.

This is no ordinary political criticism. Do not fall into Trump’s trap that this is just more of the same, more partisan sniping from the Swamp from swamp creatures….

WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 28: United States Navy Vice Admiral William McRaven (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

These officials are not—repeat not—monetizing their security clearances by being on cable TV. In fact, having covered many of these officials for years, I can tell you that they would prefer to be doing anything but being on TV.

What they are doing is offering the clearest warning they can, speaking—as intel officials are supposed to do—truth to power, telling hard truths, that America faces a dire situation.

I spent months profiling Jim Clapper when he was DNI; back then, he went out of his way to say nothing, to avoid controversy, to eschew politics, to focus on the work before him.

All of them would have preferred to sit on the sidelines of politics. They spent their careers avoiding it and would prefer to remain off the public radar.

All Clapper wanted to do when he left office was slip quietly into the night and clean out his basement. He’d been retired before—for six years—and never did TV commentary or cable news before. But those were “normal” years, under Clinton and W.

Altogether, Clapper spent nearly 50 years in public service. Hayden did about 40 years. McRaven 36. Brennan too, more than 30. These are not partisan hacks. They don’t scare easily. They don’t cry wolf.

All of them were trained to keep quiet on politics. So the fact that they’re not silent, that all of them—all of them—are screaming from the rooftops about Trump’s threats to our country, our rule of law, our democratic institutions, should chill us.

I was there last summer at Aspen Security as Clapper and Brennan let loose on Trump. I was gobsmacked. I had read every word Jim Clapper has said in public in a decade. I had never imagined I’d hear him speak as ominously and fearfully as he did.
WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 23: Former Director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) John Brennan. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
I remain stunned by the words and warning that come from Brennan, Clapper, Hayden, McRaven, and others today.
They are telling us this is a dark and dangerous time. And they have spent their lives, devoted their entire careers, to protecting the country from just these sorts of events overseas. That they’re warning us we’re under threat at *home*. That’s a warning worth listening to.

–Garrett Graff