Wednesday, March 28, 2007

No Clearance Required

You might want to sit down for this one. Do you know that members of Congress and their staff are not required to go through security background checks before receiving Top Secret Clearance and sometime even SCI clearance (even higher than Top Secret) which allows them to view classified information? Did you also know that they are not even required to have any training on how to handle sensitive information at all???

Every single person in the White House and the Pentagon that has access to classified information has to have at minimum a Secret Clearance which involves an FBI background check and interview, yet members of Congress and staff are given clearance with no check whatsoever.

Any wonder how so many of national security documents are being leaked to the media. You have members of Congress like Jefferson and Hastings who couldn't even qualify for my position yet they are automatically cleared to view highly sensitive national security documents if they are on the right committees.

This has to be fixed. Chuck Muth has three great proposals to fix this very dangerous problem.

10 comments:

Speechie said...

How did you find out about this--maybe I have been in a shell but you'd think I'd have heard about seeing as my family is all caught up in the government...

While I concur that something must be done about the problem, why do we need THREE proposals for how to fix it??? Why don't we just change the rule and run background checks on everyone who works there now and who will work there in the future? It's not like that would be a violation of their privacy. And even if it was, they violate the privacy of the American public enough...it's about dang time we went through their underwear drawers.

Stan said...

What do you know about the clearance process in the House and Senate? You do, in fact, go through a background check in order to get a clearance.

Little Miss Chatterbox said...

Wow!!!!!! No wonder we have so many problem with leaks. Great find Shane!!

Cajun Tiger said...

Speechie...from the article I linked. Each proposal addresses a differnt concern. One is for clearances, one is for training on how to handle classified info, and the other is for storage of classified, all three of which should be implemented immediately...however, don't hold your breath.

Stan...is it done by the FBI as all other clearances are done? And even if staffers have some level, Members definitely don't which isn't good either.

LMC...kudos go to Chuck Muth who wrote the article. =)

Stan said...

Yes, to get a clearance on the Hill staffers go through all the regular channels that everyone else does.

Cajun Tiger said...

Stan...according to some staffers I've talked to that isn't always the case and it definitely isn't as tight as in the Admin. Also a major issue is the handling of classified material around people who definitely have no clearance. And also the possibly bigger problem is that Members are giving Top Secret and even SCI with absolutely no background check.

Stan said...

In every case I have seen on the Hill, extensive checks are done. You must have been talking to staff assistants.

Cajun Tiger said...

nope...a couple of Chiefs of Staff actually...but let's say for this argument you are right...we still have the fact that Members aren't screened whatsoever and some are given very high levels of clearance to be on some of the Committees. Very problematic and needs to be changed.

Stan said...

Who are you to question Members of Congress?! They are elected to an honorable position and are the leaders of our country. Who are you to question what nearly 500,000 constituents have decided for each of their Representatives and their two Senators?! Yeah, you are just some guy with a blog.

Cajun Tiger said...

First off, I have right to question them because I too am one of those constituents.

Second, I never said they shouldn't be in Congress. If they are elected and if their constituents want to elect a man who was found with $90K cash in his refrigerator while under an FBI investigation or a judge who was impeached, that is definitely their right.

However, that doesn't mean the have the right to see classified information and serve on committees that require that. There are plenty of committees that have no classified material and certainly doesn't mean that someone has a God given right to serve on the Intellegience committee when they couldn't even qualify to work at any of the agencies they are overseeing.