During the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s annual conference, Sept. 14-18, 2016, CIA Director John Brennan admitted to supporting the Communist Party in the 1976 election.
As reported by CNN, during a panel discussion at the conference about diversity in the intelligence community, Brennan was asked about barriers to recruiting diverse candidates for the intelligence fields, including whether past records of activism could hurt someone applying for a clearance later in life.
In response, Brennan recalled being asked a standard question for a top security clearance at his early CIA lie detector test: “Have you ever worked with or for a group that was dedicated to overthrowing the US?”
Brennan told the conference, “I froze. This was back in 1980, and I thought back to a previous election where I voted, and I voted for the Communist Party candidate” — Gus Hall.
“I froze, because I was getting so close to coming into CIA and said, ‘OK, here’s the choice, John. You can deny that, and the machine is probably going to go, you know, wacko, or I can acknowledge it and see what happens.’”
So Brennan told the CIA polygrapher that he was neither Democratic, Republican nor Communist, and that voting for the Communist Party candidate was his way of “signalling” his “unhappiness with the system, and the need for change.”
The polygrapher looked at Brennan and said, “OK”.
To Brennan’s surprise, he “soon got his admission notice to the CIA.”
Brennan told the conference that this shows how broad-minded the CIA was in regards to freedom of speech, although he thinks the CIA still has a long way to go in accepting homosexual and minority recruits.
In 1980, the United States and the Soviet Union had begun a “Second Cold War,” when tensions between the major powers greatly increased, with both sides becoming more militaristic. Given that, the “tolerance” of the CIA polygrapher toward Brennan’s admission of voting for the Communist Party is certainly noteworthy.
Writing for FrontPage Mag, Daniel Greenfield observes:
“If he [Brennan] had admitted to voting for the Nazi Party, he would have been hounded out of everywhere. And rightly so. What’s wrong is that voting for a mass murdering totalitarian ideology is just considered a whimsical act of a passionate young man. This is the pernicious double standard that has allowed the left to evade its moral responsibility for the crimes of the left.
Communism and its fellow travelers have never been held accountable. That is unfortunately still the case.
It’s very telling that voting for the Communist candidate wasn’t disqualifying. […] But you can have a Communist past and still become the CIA Director.
And final question, who really won the Cold War when America’s highest offices are run by people whose essential ideas and politics are far closer to Lenin than Eisenhower.”
No wonder Barack Obama appointed Brennan as CIA director: