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About those security clearances.

August 16, 2018

With all the hullabaloo about the President revoking John Brennan’s security clearance, we thought we’d ask:

Why does anyone no longer employed by the government get to keep their security clearance for a lifetime?

According to what we’ve been shown on the tube, separated intelligence agents have their clearances renewed ad infinitum, in five-year increments. Perhaps that’s true for other departments as well.

Why, and unless they are being updated with new information, what good is it?

Perhaps for the first year or two of any new administration, their knowledge of operations might be useful, and having a clearance means they can waltz into the government offices at will. But after that their value is purely historical, and the longer they are out of office, the less useful their memories will be, assuming they aren’t privy to all the new stuff too.

If they do have something useful to contribute after five,  ten or twenty years, why can’t they just get a one-time pass, be interviewed in a SCIF (sans unauthorized recording devices), and then go away again?

With that in mind, are former CIA, Homeland Security, FBI and the other spooks all being updated on new investigations and operations periodically?

The thought of that is a lot scarier than revoking one MSNBC commentator’s clearance.

From → op-ed

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