When retired Navy admiral William H. McRaven, who oversaw the raid which killed Osama bin Laden, wrote the following op-ed in The Washington Post, he appeared to be courageous. In its entirety, it read
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.
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.
In retrospect, McRaven was very courageous. On Friday evening's Real Time, Bill Maher stated (beginning at 5:29 of the video below) to Brennan (who had been booked prior to the recent controversy)
He said about General Clapper- is he a general? (Brennan: "yes, he was, is") that they got to him. Like you could get to a guy like that. He's not on our side. He's not on our side. You're a traitor if you're attacking our generals and admirals and people who are keeping us safe. It's not that much more complicated to me.
The President may not be able to get to James Clapper, and clearly not to Brennan. However, that doesn't mean he can't get his message across. Brennan responded to Maher with "And I'm proud to stand with Bill McRaven and Jim Clapper and Mike Hayden and all those others, the ones who are speaking out."
It turns out that General Hayden is continuing to speak out- but not quite as General Brennan would hope. The Hill reports that appearing on an interview that aired Friday on Hill.TV
“I think impeachment would be a bad idea," Hayden, who frequently criticizes the president, told Hill.TV's Buck Sexton and Krystal Ball on Thursday.
"If President Trump is somehow forced to leave office before the end of his first term, one-third of America will believe it was a soft coup conducted by people, well frankly like everybody here at the table would be their view," he continued.
“I think the only way we move beyond this in any way that’s healthy for our democracy is we vote," he said.
The issue of impeachment took center stage this week after Trump's former fixer Michael Cohen told a judge on Tuesday that he broke campaign finance laws at the direction of "a candidate for federal office," alleging coordination with then-candidate Trump.
Hayden is one of the intelligence officials who signed the initial letter denouncing the President's decision to withdraw Brennan's security clearance and most of his remarks were critical of the President. However, when he publicly denigrates the possibility of impeaching Trump before the end of the President's term- whatever the Mueller report may say- it's a reminder that there usually is method to what (only) appears to be Donald Trump's madness.