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Why are security clearances needed for Federal Government jobs?

  1. dianetrotter profile image71
    dianetrotterposted 2 months ago

    BREAKING: More than 130 political appointees working in white house didn't have permanent security clearances as of November 2017, including Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner and Don McGahn, according to internal documents obtained by NBC News

    1.  Should the president have a security clearance?  What about presidential candidates?
    2.  Have you gone through a security clearance process?
    3.  Oher than fodder for social media, what danger is there for non-cleared personnel to view classified material?  Blackmail?  What else?

    1. Ivan Tod profile image60
      Ivan Todposted 2 months agoin reply to this

      Hey Diane, In reality one's "clearance" is simply what level of classified information they are allowed access to. The fact that "employees" come and go, even the president and his "men", and the fact that clearances have to be re-certified every so often, negates any such access as automatically "permanent". Once a person is cleared through a backround investigation they have "security clearance" based on how extensive the investigation was which is in direct relation to the information they will need access to. However, this does not automatically give them "access" to any and all classified material. What they are allowed to see or know depends on their "need to know". This being the case, no one really needs nor will actually have permanent security clearance. That "news" story is nothing more than sensationalism and the desire to put those people in a suspect light.
      My own security clearance was TS/SCI, or Top Secret, Sensitive Compartmented Information, which granted me access to every bit of classified information in the Special Activities Office even though the majority of people at the facility had no need to know or the appropriate clearance level to even be in the same room as that information. My job required that level of access for database maintenance purposes and for mission planning research, hence, my need to know. Once I separated, my clearance was no longer re-certified and my access was no longer intact. I could have maintained my clearance by paying for the re-certification myself, but that would not justify my need to know such classified material. What good is a security clearance when you have access to nothing?
      Any way;
      1-Should the president have a security clearance?  Absolutely, even though they don't. The president is not subject to a security clearance even though he has access. Most presidential candidates have something in their backround that would most likely disqualify them from getting cleared. 
      2-What about presidential candidates? See question 1.
      3-Have you gone through a security clearance process? Yes, a very extensive one.
      4-Oher than fodder for social media, what danger is there for non-cleared personnel to view classified material? Secure information breaches are put into classifications, depending on the sensitivity of the information or its collection method, from serious to grave damage.
      That being said, blackmail and the like are very real actions one could take, but whether or not someone is "cleared" to view the information is not relevant as many secrets have been bought, sold and publicly revealed by those WITH security clearances. Needless to say, many of those people were caught and either executed, sent to prison or have fled the country. So, there are parallell dangers regardless of clearance or lack thereof. Besides, most people wouldn't know what part of what they are seeing is actually sensitve, classified information. An entire "classified" document may only have one or two words or sentences that actually indicate the sensitivity of the information yet the entire document gets the specific classification.
      5-What else? It could present problems for the government isnomuch as they would need to engage in some damage control, but other than that, nothing much.

      A security clearance is like the fiat American dollar; There's really nothing concrete that gives it value, you just have to have faith in its worth.

      Have a nice day, Diane!

      1. dianetrotter profile image71
        dianetrotterposted 2 months agoin reply to this

        Hi Ivan, You are so right no one knows what they are seeing/hearing to be "secret or classified."  When TRump talked to the Russians in his office, he revealed information that ticked off the Israelis; however, we don't know what it was.  The Israelis do.

        I heard an explanation from a former CIA person:  If you mention that Martha was eating chocolate peanut butter with a spoon, it could lead to revelation that that info came from a close family member.  This would involve the family (possibly get them harrassed or kidnapped).

        Good to hear from you.

    2. dianetrotter profile image71
      dianetrotterposted 2 months agoin reply to this

      If Trey Gowdy grills John Kelly and McGahn anything like he did HRC, they are in for a real treat.