Security Clearances… Cleared for What?

Let me first say, I am retired, have no access to any data on current events or specific recent events in DC or intelligence leaks.  With that said I can comment on generic things I have seen dealing with government clearances.

Typically, the lowest level of security clearance is good for 10 years following a rudimentary background check.  This includes a credit check and felony/arrest check. Higher level clearances have a more thorough check and are only good for 5 years.

As you’ve seen in recent articles, these clearances can be reactivated by an employer after a service member or govt worker leaves government service for the remainder of the clearance time.  After the 5/10 year time frame expires, the employer or employee would have to pay for a new background check.

While I never did background checks themselves, it appears from the media reports, and from what I saw on active duty, there are not any annual recheck to make sure a member has changed since the background check was accomplished.  I only saw members lose their clearance when they applied for an extension, and most commonly they lost it for being behind on car payments or credit cards.

Now we have our Washington Navy Yard shooter (former Navy Reservist) who never went higher than E-4.  From 2004 to 2010, which includes time before and during his 4 year tour, he was arrested 3 times in three states – 2 of which were for gun discharges, and ultimately received his SECRET clearance for 10 years in 2008.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered “top to bottom reviews” of the Security clearance System and procedures for gaining access to facilities..  I’ll save him some time and money and propose a few here for clearances:

1. SECRET Clearances good for only 5 years to match TS and higher guidelines.

2. Full background checks for all levels of security clearances (Make SECRET match TS level background checks) No way you should miss an arrest on a background check.

3. Annual computer database checks on members with clearances on Terrorist and Criminal databases.

4. Annual Credit Checks to maintain clearance.

5. Mental Heath checks for members with clearances.  Yes if you hear voices you should not have a weapon or a clearance.

5. If a member leaves the service/govt, a background check must be completed before reactivating a contractors previous clearance.

6. Increase checks on contractors performing background checks. Any violations of policy should lead to termination of their contract.  (Contractor who did Edward Snowden’s background check also failed with the Washington Navy Yard shooter background check.)

7. Review background checks completed by the contractor in number 6 above for errors or incomplete checks.  Suspend any clearances needing a complete check.

8. Review the number of clearances granted to contractors.  As the military downsizes this number seems to grow in proportion, raising our risk.

While these are only a few changes, perhaps they might have helped in the Edward Snowden case and the Washington Navy Yard.  Current clearance procedures are a failure.  With all of the instant computer data available these days, it could be relatively easy to maintain in a Security office.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/navy-yard-shooting-exposes-flawed-security-clearance-process/2013/09/18/b5c4809c-209a-11e3-a358-1144dee636dd_story.html

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

The Frequent Foreigner

Not All Who Wander Are Lost

TIME

Current & Breaking News | National & World Updates

themommytrials

My life as the mom of 3 crazy wonderful kids and the law partner of 1 crazy wonderful husband

The JetHead Blog

... the world from 40,000' at 500 mph.

Heather Poole

An International Affairs site

KPRC Prime Blog

Your home for Houston's take on NBC Prime!

Teambates, Blog

‘Oh yeah, in the next 2 weeks you will know of friends, neighbors, or coworkers who are looking to sell or buy a home or need a mortgage “‘Be sure to tell them about your experience working with us and call me right away with their phone numbers so that I can help them, too.

flightangel

The glamorous lifestyle at 36,000 ft

You Got to be Kidding's Blog

Humor and musings from all around the Internet

Post it Notes from my Idiot Boss

delivered directly to my computer monitor on an all too regular basis...

The Craving Chronicles

I have a sweet tooth and I'm not afraid to use it

Patrons of the Pit

Two Men, Two Pits and a Blog

Books, cupcakes and cats chasing chipmunks...

From Paris, to New York, and Austin

Ray Ferrer - Emotion on Canvas

** OFFICIAL Site of Artist Ray Ferrer **

Pilot Partisan

Advancing a pilot partisan agenda in Washington, D.C. and Ottawa

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: