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How Did The Anti-Israel Guy Who Set Himself On Fire Get A Security Clearance?

Aaron Bushnell was assigned to the 70th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing at Fort Meade in Maryland.

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The Air Force member who set himself on fire Sunday in front of the Israeli embassy in Washington D.C. chanting “Free Palestine” may have had a national security clearance.

Aaron Bushnell, 25, immolated himself in the nation’s capital to protest American support for Israel’s war against Hamas terrorists. Someone close to Bushnell reportedly told The New York Post that Bushnell claimed to have knowledge of U.S. troops fighting the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas inside underground tunnels.

“The 25-year-old airman — who served in the Air Force’s 70th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing, but also interacted with radical anarchist groups online — ranted that he had ‘top-secret clearance’ for military intelligence data in the call to his friend Saturday night,” the Post reported. “‘He told me on Saturday that we have troops in those tunnels, that it’s U.S. soldiers participating in the killings,’ claimed the pal.”

Bushnell was involved with far-left domestic terrorist networks online. A Reddit account reportedly belonging to Bushnell shows the deceased airman “mocking deceased U.S. military members and supporting intimidation of elected officials,” according to investigative journalist Andy Ngo, who posted screenshots of Bushnell’s Reddit activity on X.

“He was also a booster of the Atlanta terrorist ‘Stop Cop City’ movement,” Ngo added. “61 members of that network have been indicted on [the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act], terrorism and/or money laundering charges.”

Yet Bushnell was assigned to the 70th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Wing at Fort Meade in Maryland. J. Michael Waller, a senior analyst for strategy at the Center for Security Policy, wrote on X that Fort Meade “is considered a euphemism or shorthand for [National Security Agency (NSA)], though it has yet to be reported officially that he was assigned to NSA proper.”

“What kind of vetting process is there that entrusts people like him with security clearances? Who up the chain is responsible?” Waller wrote on X.

Bushnell’s D.C. protest came after another pro-Palestinian demonstrator set himself on fire in front of the Israeli consulate in Atlanta two months ago.

In December, Capitol Hill lawmakers approved a clean four-month extension of warrantless surveillance through the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The 2008 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which remains authorized for another two months, was abused by the surveillance state to spy on Democrats’ opponents, including former President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign. Lawmakers are still trying to push through an authorization of warrantless surveillance laws without significant reform.

“The FBI has used Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to conduct warrantless ‘backdoor’ searches of the private electronic communications of American citizens,” wrote Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah in a The Blaze op-ed last December. “It has done so, moreover, not just sporadically and by accident but quite deliberately and on hundreds of thousands of occasions.”


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