American Resistance To Empire

The Quite Rational Basis for North Korea’s Japan Overfly

The Quite Rational Basis for North Korea’s

Japan Overfly



With each new missile test, Pyongyang shakes Tokyo’s confidence in Washington, while accruing valuable data on its own capabilities.

A missile launch.
A missile is launched during a long and medium-range ballistic rocket launch drill in this photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency in Pyongyang on August 30, 2017. KCNA

Ankit Panda

This week, North Korea launched a missile designed to carry what it has described as a “large-sized, heavy nuclear warhead” over Japan. Following the launch, North Korea made clear its intentions for future tests. Kim Jong Un called for “more ballistic rocket launching drills with the Pacific as a target,” according to a paraphrase of his order by North Korean state-run media. That’s an important first, and represents North Korea’s single-most provocative ballistic missile test since it began testing its first-generation Scuds in the 1980s.For observers of North Korea’s ballistic-missile program, the spate of long-range missile system tests over the past 30 months comes as no surprise. If there was a surprise, it’s the rate at which Pyongyang has been crossing various technical milestones. Over a matter of months, North Korea has shown off new high-performance missiles that will eventually form the core of its burgeoning nuclear forces—Kim Jong Un’s ultimate insurance policy against the fate of Saddam Hussein and Muammar Qaddafi.

Every North Korean ballistic missile test is provocative and illegal. The overfly was certainly both, but for North Korea, it was about far more than theatrical provocation. Launches like the one of this week are set to become more common because they both provide North Korea with key technical information about its deterrent, and serve an important strategic purpose in improving its position should it ever end up at the negotiating table with the United States.This recent overflight of Japan wasn’t North Korea’s first: In 1998, 2009, 2012, and 2016, North Korea overflew its territory with projectiles. None were designed to serve as strategic nuclear-delivery systems; all were satellite-launch vehicles, designed to deliver payloads into low-earth orbit and not reenter the atmosphere. Some analysts had long worried that the underlying technologies of these vehicles would eventually form the basis of an ICBM, but the large and unwieldy designs Pyongyang showed off had major shortcomings. For one, none of those designs would allow for the kind of  mobility that North Korea’s much smaller KN17 and KN20 systems enjoy. (Without mobility, the missiles would be sitting ducks at fixed launch sites during wartime—an invitation to preemption by the United States.)

Nonetheless, the first of those launches in 1998 was regarded as an exceptional provocation, giving Japan a glimpse of a terrifying future in which North Korean missile overflies could become a fact of life. The launch sparked Japan’s ongoing interest in ballistic-missile defense, spurring investments in sea-based interceptors like the Standard Missile-3 Aegis interceptors and the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 system as a hedge against that possible future. (Only the former has the capability to intercept a missile like the one North Korea just flew over Japan, and only under particular conditions.)

As of this week, Japan’s terrifying future has merged with its present. Even as a clearly agitated Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reacted to North Korea’s launch on Tuesday morning, saying that his country would take “all possible measures” to ensure the safety of its people, he no doubt knew what lay ahead for Japan.Earlier this year, Japan began ballistic-missile-attack evacuation drills for its citizens living near likely North Korean target areas. The Japanese government is also seeking earmarked funds in its 2018 budget request for new ballistic missile defense systems. Tokyo may also look to acquire the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system—the defensive system that has been at the center of domestic and international controversy in South Korea—though this may be less cost effective. Finally, the inexorable growth of the North Korean threat toward Japan may well accelerate plans in Abe’s right-wing Liberal Democratic Party to revise the country’s pacifist constitution, allowing Tokyo to formally wield precision-strike weapons for potential use against North Korea.

Even as Tokyo reckons with the arrival of its long-feared nightmare, it’s important to recognize that there are important reasons for Pyongyang—which remains rational despite the metronymic exhortations of many analysts to the contrary—to continue to overfly Japan with its missiles.

On a technical level, a ballistic missile flown at the kind of trajectory North Korea demonstrated this week experiences physical and temperature stresses more in line with what it would see during operational use. North Korea’s “lofted” tests, which fly the missile to immense altitudes, keeping its range contained to the Sea of Japan, provide some useful data in this regard. However, a launch like this week’s gives North Korean scientists a chance to observe how the missile may perform in a real attack. (There are outstanding questions, though, about how North Korea would have gathered telemetry data from this missile in the northern Pacific Ocean, where it is thought to have splashed down.)

On a strategic level, Pyongyang hopes that these kinds of tests get Japan and South Korea to question the utility of their respective alliances with the United States. North Korea made clear it undertook this launch because Washington ignored its previous overture—yes, the Guam saga was actually an invitation to negotiations—and carried on with the Ulchi-Freedom Guardian exercise with South Korea.

Pyongyang didn’t mention Japan’s recent military drills with the United States, curiously enough. The implication was clear anyway: Tokyo is facing adverse security outcomes because of activities the United States is carrying out with South Korea. North Korea’s new long-range missiles allow it to make the stakes very real for Japan, and it may hope to drive a wedge between it and the United States.In this case, the technology and strategy work together to rattle America’s allies’ confidence in Washington’s security commitments in Northeast Asia—the cornerstone of what Pyongyang calls its “hostile policy” in East Asia. This is precisely why U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson released a rare readout of a post-launch phone call with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts, emphasizing that the alliances remained “ironclad” despite North Korean provocations.

What will be difficult for the United States, Japan, and South Korea to accept, however, is that Kim Jong Un will likely get away with continued launches over Japan. Missile defense, while enticing, is at best imperfect, with the costs of a swing-and-a-miss potentially too great. Sanctions—the default answer to new and greater provocations from Pyongyang—have failed to stall Kim. He introduced his current generation of long-range missiles based on advanced composite materials and, most likely, engines manufactured at home despite an extensive international sanctions regime. (China’s imperfect implementation and enforcement of existing sanctions is unlikely to change anytime soon.)

hat choices does that leave? Well, there is the military option—part of what’s currently “on the table,” as several U.S. officials, including most recently President Donald J. Trump, remind us. Based on the capabilities North Korea has already demonstrated, however, the risks of preemptive military action against Kim Jong Un are unacceptably high. (Again: that’s why Kim has his nukes in the first place.)With none of these options providing a compelling way out, North Korea will continue testing its missiles—seeking to credibly demonstrate that it deters the United States. Its state media described this week’s launch as a “prelude to containing Guam.” With each launch, Pyongyang, however, has left a way out: it wants to talk to the United States.

As difficult as it is for Washington to acknowledge the reality of North Korea’s capabilities, Kim knows that it’s precisely his new nuclear-tipped missiles that give him the ability to bargain coercively with mighty America. Just recently, Tillerson and U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis modified Washington’s precondition for talks with North Korea from a bona fide gesture toward denuclearization—now an outmoded pipe dream—to just “the immediate cessation” of its weapons tests.

Yes, North Korea has a long and unpalatable list of demands of the United States and its allies. And no, Washington should not capitulate or offer unlimited concessions for what may ultimately be unreliable and duplicitous assurances from Kim Jong Un. But as long as North Korea sees no reciprocal interest in Washington, it will keep testing bigger, better, and more powerful missiles at longer and longer ranges.

The unfortunate consequence of this is that if U.S. policymakers decide that there is no good reason to even enter noncommittal exploratory talks with North Korea under their terms, the alternative will be to accept uncapped North Korean technical progress on its increasingly impressive nuclear forces. That shouldn’t be acceptable and that’s why talks are the only realistic option on the table and the least bad out of the alternatives.

About the Author

  • Ankit Panda is a senior editor at The Diplomat, covering Asia-Pacific security and North Korea’s ballistic-missile and nuclear-weapons programs.

Has Pentagon Been Orchestrating the Terrorism From Giant US Embassy In Islamabad?

Has Pentagon been orchestrating the

terrorism roller coaster from the US

embassy in Islamabad?



One must wonder what could be the motive behind engendering such a gigantic embassy in Islamabad. Without a doubt one can say that it can’t be built to oblige American vacationer or cookout exercises

Has Pentagon been orchestrating the terrorism roller coaster from the US embassy in Islamabad?

The Good People of Alabama Uphold Their God-Given Right To Honor Their Dead Ancestors


BRANTLEY, Ala. (AP) — As cities across the country are tearing down and relocating Confederate monuments, a county in southern Alabama on Sunday unveiled a new one.

Several hundred people attended a dedication ceremony for the “Unknown Alabama Confederate Soldiers” at Confederate Veterans Memorial Park in Crenshaw County, Alabama, 55 miles (88 kilometers) south of Montgomery.

The memorial park’s owner and developer, David Coggins, said the groups in attendance weren’t white nationalists or racists, but were acknowledging their heritage and honoring Confederate soldiers everywhere.

“It’s important that we remember our heritage and it’s very important we remember our history, for those people that forget their heritage … are doomed to repeat it again,” he said.

The monument was surrounded by a black metal fence and flanked by two other monuments. As a red cloth was pulled to reveal it, five cannons were fired.

Confederate flags were flown throughout the park and several attendants were dressed in Confederate garb.

The Daughters of the Confederacy and the Sons of Confederate Veterans attended the ceremony, along with re-enactors dressed in period clothing.

Coggins said the ceremony was not planned in response to recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier this month, when white nationalists who objected to the proposed removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee clashed with counter protesters. A woman was killed and several others injured when a car plowed into the counter-protesters. Two state troopers also died when their helicopter crashed.

The Alabama ceremony was scheduled months ago and the monument was ordered last year, Coggins told The Associated Press.

Debbie Weir, a retired attendee, said the monument stands for everything her ancestors endured, adding that she enjoyed people from different states coming together “to prove that we are one nation.”

“It’s always a good day when Confederates come together,” Weir said.

Shutting-Down the ISI/CIA Jihadi Academy–The Key to Winning in Afghanistan

Ending Pakistan’s Export of Jihadists: The

Key to Win in Afghanistan

A policy to win in Afghanistan requires undermining the Taliban’s strategic base – the external support and sanctuary that Pakistan continues to provide.

Credit: TanyaRozhnovskaya














“I have seen much war in my lifetime and I hate it profoundly. But there are worse things than war; and all of them come with defeat.” (Ernest Hemingway)

U.S. stated policy is now to win in Afghanistan. The senior leadership has opted for victory over defeat. What does this mean and how does the Coalition get there?

A win is an Afghanistan that does not fragment and endures as a state that is inhospitable to al-Qaeda, the Taliban, the Islamic State-Khorasan and other Islamists groups. There will still be violence and poverty, but stability without a continuous existential threat is success.

Victory, then, is a relatively resilient Afghan state, with the government, the security forces and the population aligned against a marginalized Taliban.

But as S. Paul Kapur, Professor in the Department of National Security Affairs at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, helpfully reminds us: “Jihad has become a central component of Pakistani grand strategy.”

Therefore, a policy to win in Afghanistan requires a regional strategy that aligns political will and capacity to defeat the enemy’s strategy. This means undermining the Taliban’s strategic center of gravity – the external support and sanctuary that Pakistan continues to provide.

Pakistan prevents victory

Pakistan’s strategic malice is the main reason why the United States and its partners still face a stalemate in Afghanistan after almost 16 years. The sanctuary in Pakistan is the most significant strategic impediment to a win in Afghanistan.

Almost every U.S. DOD report on progress in Afghanistan over the years has stated that Pakistan’s sanctuary and support prevent the defeat of the Taliban. The reduction of this sanctuary and stopping the sources of support of the Taliban in Pakistan is a strategic imperative to ending the war.

However, Pakistan has failed to alter its strategic calculus. It continues to incubate and guide the regeneration of murderous Islamist zealots.

The fresh candor about Pakistan in the Trump administration’s recent Afghanistan policy announcement should mean that the United States will desist in the illusion that Pakistan, one of the foremost ideological and physical incubators of Islamist terror, Inc., is an ally and a friend. It is neither.

Pretending that Pakistan was an ally in the war against Islamist militants, one that would act in ways to help defeat Islamist networks in the tribal areas, made the West complicit in Pakistan’s malicious strategic conduct.

No strategic momentum

Years of tactical and operational gains in taking away the Taliban’s capacity have been fleeting because defeating an enemy means taking away its capacity and its will.

Strategic momentum has been absent because the will of the Taliban and the Haqqanis rest in their senior leadership, regenerative potential and resources, which reside in and emanate from Pakistan’s sanctuary.

Pakistan has created this contradiction to prevent the defeat of the Taliban, protract the war and erode the Coalition’s will. Its likely ultimate goal is to make the capacity of the Coalition irrelevant because it could ultimately depart the fight without achieving its strategic aims.

Why does Pakistan continue to support its Islamist proxies that are clearly enemies of the Coalition and Afghanistan? And, what is to be done?

Pakistan’s proxies

From its inception, Pakistan’s perceived existential mandate was to oppose India and to revise the regional status quo through the export of Islamist militant proxies. The incubation and export of Islamist militants provided the purpose and meaning for Pakistan, its security establishment and its people.

To be certain, the emergence and size of murderous Islamists in South Asia is the result of the decades that Pakistan’s security establishment deluded itself in supporting some of the most virulent strains of Islamist proxies.

Now 20 designated terrorist organizations operate in the Pakistan-Afghanistan region alone. These groups have perpetrated barbaric acts of violence in Afghanistan, Kashmir, India and ultimately — like the proverbial genie that gets out of the bottle — in Pakistan itself. In the end, this perfidy has been to the detriment of Pakistan’s security.

For the first two and a half decades of Pakistan’s existence, its senior leaders pursued policies that were disastrous for Pakistan’s security. These policies bankrupted its economy and diverted resources from development.

Catastrophic wars

In addition, Pakistan started three major wars with India and suffered draws or defeats in all of them. The 1971 War, or Bangladesh War, was the singularly most traumatic war of the three full wars with India. It reduced Pakistan to a rump of its former territory and it further ingrained a permanent paranoia about strategic depth and encirclement by India in Afghanistan.

For the next three decades after 1971, as a consequence of its catastrophic defeat in the Bangladesh War and the loss of East Pakistan, the Pakistani security establishment shifted even more discernibly from conventional confrontation with India, to relying more on Islamist militants for strategic advantage and depth in Afghanistan, and to fully pursuing the nuclear weapons option.

Pakistan has supported proxies to pursue objectives in Afghanistan, India and Kashmir with the rationale that its strategic weapons would serve as a deterrent.

For the last almost 16 years, Pakistan has employed irregular warfare to promote its illusory notion of strategic depth by supporting the Taliban and other lethal proxies in Afghanistan. This war will not end, or it will end badly if Pakistan does not cease its support to the Taliban.

Pakistan’s strategic double game

Until now, the United States of America and its friends have not devised a regional strategy that employs its full weight and that of other regional actors to alter Pakistan’s strategic double game.

The fact that the United States paid in excess of $33 billion to Pakistan in the first 16 years of war — and that Pakistan continued to incubate and export Islamists into Afghanistan — is abominable.

Moreover, U.S. promoters of relations with Pakistan since at least the 1950s were key in supporting Pakistan’s mythological narrative that Pakistan was a stalwart anticommunist bulwark during the Cold War and a genuine ally in the war against al Qaeda, the Taliban and Islamist terrorists.

But the reality was that U.S. and Pakistani interests only aligned during the Soviet-Afghan War. And even then, Pakistan’s behavior still revealed duplicity with the United States and malign use of America’s generous funding of that war to defeat the Soviets through mujahideen proxies.

Pakistan’s Inter Service Intelligence Directorate (ISI) has maintained links between Al Qaeda, its longtime Taliban allies and a host of other Islamists inside and outside Pakistan.

Putting pressure on Pakistan

The Coalition cannot win in Afghanistan without a regional approach that brings the full weight of the United States and other regional actors to bear on Pakistan to stop it from aiding the Taliban and the Haqqani Network.

Since the days after 9/11, the United States has essentially stipulated that Pakistan

– must curb all domestic expression of support for terrorism against America and its allies
– show a sustained commitment to and make significant efforts towards combating terrorist groups
– cease support, including by any elements within the Pakistan military or its intelligence agency, to extremist
and terrorist groups; and
– dismantle terrorist bases of operations in other parts of the country.

Pakistan’s proxy jihadists cannot be defeated with half measures. And yet, we have coddled Pakistan as an important ally in the war against Al Qaeda and the Taliban, even though it is essentially an enemy that has acted in ways fully inimical to the Coalition’s troops, its Afghan allies and the aims of the Afghan state.

A strategic menu

A strategic menu that levers regional actors and relies more on sticks than carrots is necessary to tap into Pakistan’s fear, honor and interests in unprecedented ways. The following eight steps should merit consideration:

1) stop paying for malice;
2) end Pakistan’s major non-NATO ally status;
3) state intention to make the line of control in Kashmir permanent;
4) shut down the ground lines of communications via Pakistan;
5) declare Pakistan the state-sponsor of terrorism that it is;
6) issue one last ultimatum for Pakistan to help end the sanctuary and to not impede success;
7) invite the Indian Armed Forces into Afghanistan for security operations in the Pashtun east and south;
8) and, as a last resort, reciprocate Pakistan’s malice and perfidy via cutout proxies.

A trans-regional strategy

To influence or modify Pakistan’s malign strategic calculus requires a trans-regional strategy that impinges on and appeals to Pakistan’s pathologies and perceptions. A viable strategy cannot address Pakistan without addressing India.

Likewise, a trans-regional strategy cannot address India without weighing some degree of cooperation and reciprocity with China, Russia, Iran and the Central Asian states.

And, since Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were the only countries besides Pakistan that recognized the repugnant Taliban regime, they would likely warrant some role in the negotiated end to the war — as would Qatar.

The Coalition and its Afghan partners need to be ruthless, creative and coercive. This film has run before, and it had a bad ending. The incubation and export of Islamist militants for the purpose of jihad has been a preferred modus operandi of Pakistan since its inception.

Uncontested sanctuary in Pakistan contributed to the Soviet Union’s defeat in Afghanistan.

It is only possible for Pakistan to become a genuine strategic partner to the United States if it changes, and eschews its support of proxy terrorists and insurgents. The sine qua non for a win is to shut down the sanctuary and the external support from Pakistan.


About Robert M. Cassidy

Robert M. Cassidy, Ph.D., Colonel (Retired), USA, is the author of three books and a number of articles about irregular warfare and Afghanistan. He has served in Afghanistan and Iraq. The views in this article are his own and do not represent the views of the institutions with which he affiliates.

Does resurgeance of Brit. SAS in Afghanistan mean that Trump has gone w/Blackwater Solution?

[Would a resurgeance of the British SAS forces indicate that Trump is turning towards the Eric Prince option of privatizing the Afghan war, considering British history in covert warfare?]

[SEE:  British SAS—Terrorists Or Storm-Troopers?British SAS and the Privatization of Covert Action ]




Brit elite troops, drones and warplanes to be deployed to support US build-up amid fears the Islamic fundamentalists could topple the moderate Afghan government

BRITAIN’S SAS is gearing up to return to Afghanistan to destroy the Taliban as part of Donald Trump’s planned military surge, it’s claimed.

The special forces are about to be given the green light to hunt down Taliban leaders as well as ISIS and al-Qaeda militants they’re sheltering, senior military sources say.

 SAS troops are returning to Afghanistan in a big way, sources say

Getty – Contributor


SAS troops are returning to Afghanistan in a big way, sources say

It comes after it emerged British intelligence helped persuade the US about the need to curb the resurgent Taliban.

The extremists were toppled in 2001 after it was linked to the 9/11 attacks in New York just months before.

Despite arguing for a quick withdrawal in his election campaign, US President Donald Trump announced last week he was sending another 4,000 troops because he now fears quitting too quick could create a power vacuum.

Donald Trump commits for an increase in US troops in Afghanistan, vowing he would ‘fight to win’

NATO has 12,000 troops in Afghanistan but the Taliban has been regaining large swathes of the war-torn country after a draw down of its troops from 2011.

No formal request has been received from the Americans, according to The Sunday Times.

But the paper reports ministers expect the Pentagon to ask for the SAS to use its prized expertise to help with the surge in US special forces.

It also reveals that the elite troops along with the Special Boat Service operatives are already playing a key role in a “scoping exercise” to consider what NATO assets could be sent to Afghanistan.

A senior Whitehall official said: “The special forces are clearly a key element of our military capability in this kind of operation.”

Britain could also send drones and aircraft to help identify targets for raids.

Some 454 UK troops have died in the war, mostly between 2006 and 2011 with 2,188 wounded.

The US lost 2,271 troops.

Two Devious, Deceitful Spy Chiefs Show Why Swamp Must Be Drained



Devious, Deceitful And Anti-Trump, Two

Deep-State Spy Chiefs Show Why Swamp

Must Be Drained



Espionage: The remarks made in recent weeks by two former spy chiefs go well beyond anything ever uttered by previous espionage leaders, calling into question the commander in chief’s competence and sanity. In politics, when considering such vituperative criticisms, it’s always wise to consider the source.

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Director John Brennan have both weighed in with scathing remarks about President Trump in recent days and weeks. To be blunt, Clapper and Brennan were political partisans of President Obama, and neither did exactly a bang-up job while in their posts.

Speaking on CNN to left-leaning anti-Trump host Don Lemon this week, Clapper said, “I really question his ability, his fitness to be in this office. And I also am beginning to wonder about his motivation for it. Maybe he is looking for a way out.”

“How much longer does the country have to, to borrow a phrase, endure this nightmare?” he asked, suggesting concern over Trump’s access to nuclear codes.

There’s an awful lot to unpack there.

For one, should a former intelligence chief who admitted to lying before Congress about the extent of National Security Agency spying on average Americans be passing judgment on any politician?

And should we trust the judgment of someone who, laughably, claimed that Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood was “largely secular,” as Clapper did, and who predicted during Libya’s civil war that Moammar Gadhafi would “prevail” in the end, just months before his dead body was dragged through the streets?

And yet, we’re supposed to take his criticisms of Trump seriously.

As for also suggesting that Trump is “looking for a way out,” that’s by now an old fantasy peddled and re-peddled by angry Obama-ites.

“It’s shocking that a former director of national intelligence takes the discredited ‘Trump wants out’ theme one step further at this late date,” as Paul Mirengoff of the PowerLine blog put it. “What does Clapper mean when he says Trump may be ‘looking for a way out’ by giving what Clapper considers over-the-top speeches? Does he think Trump, for whom winning means everything, wants to be impeached? That he wants to be institutionalized?”

Or, perhaps, is he just trying to sow more confusion, more anger, more inchoate hatred for the president among those who didn’t vote for him, thus obstructing Trump’s ability to govern?

We’d opt for the latter.

Then there’s former CIA chief John Brennan, who has also stepped out of his supposedly apolitical role as a spymaster to make highly charged political comments about Trump.

After Trump’s comments about Charlottesville, Brennan ripped into Trump for making “dangerous” and “ugly” comments.

He’s entitled to his opinion, of course. But it has long been a part of our tradition of government service that former officials serving in a nonpolitical capacity would leave the criticisms of other administrations to the elected politicians. To ignore this tradition runs the risk of tainting the professionalism of the agencies they once headed, and provides evidence that the heavily politicized, entrenched, progressive “deep state” that many Americans believe poses a danger to our republic really does exist.

By the way, Brennan in remarks made last July that can only be called highly questionable suggested that it’s “obligation of some executive branch officials” to refuse to fire Robert Mueller, who is heading up the open-ended investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia and its hacking of the 2016 election.

Let’s be clear: Trump, should he want to do so, would be absolutely within his rights as president to seek Mueller’s firing. Whether it would be politically wise to do so is a separate question.

And Brennan’s remarks are incredibly self-serving, since he is the one who initiated the investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia last summer, in the heat of the campaign. The Obama loyalist did so, apparently, thinking it would fatally damage Trump’s campaign.

“It was then-CIA Director John O. Brennan, a close confidant of Mr. Obama’s, who provided the information — what he termed the ‘basis’ — for the FBI to start the counterintelligence investigation last summer,” wrote Washington Times national security correspondent Rowan Scarborough last May. “Mr. Brennan served on the former president’s 2008 presidential campaign and in his White House.”

Brennan, by the way, also aided in making up the bogus talking points used by the Obama administration to lie about what happened in Benghazi, Libya, where four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were murdered. Whose interests was Brennan serving?

Far from being a disinterested intelligence official, Brennan is in fact a highly partisan political operative with a far-left background. By his own admission (it came out in a CIA polygraph test administered early in his career), he voted for Communist Party hack Gus Hall for president in 1980.

A mere youthful indiscretion? According to the authoritative “Black Book Of Communism,” Communist nations in the 20th century slaughtered more than 100 million people around the world. They did so in a (fortunately) failed attempt to impose that inhuman, totalitarian system on free people everywhere. Yet Brennan voted to have that same murderous, totalitarian system imposed on us here in the U.S. And was still given the keys to our nation’s secrets.

Anyone can criticize the president. That’s America. But not everyone should. Neither Clapper nor Brennan have distinguished themselves in recent years, either professionally or politically. America’s intelligence agencies were deeply dysfunctional during the Obama years.

By inserting themselves so dishonestly into a partisan political dispute, Clapper and Brennan have not only damaged the agencies they once headed, but the democracy they once claimed to serve. They serve as Exhibits A and B in why the swamp must be drained, and drained thoroughly.