Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Monday’s I try to focus on issues. This week I am taking a look at Should Security Clearance be Controlled.
A Shocking Revelation
Lost amidst the controversy of President Trump’s removal of Brennan from receiving security clearance is something that most Americans are surprised to learn. What is it? That former employees of the government are granted the extension of their security clearance.
To put this in perspective, let’s say you were formerly a high official in a large company. Your job involved a security clearance enabling you to access any classified information pertinent to your responsibilities. You retire and when you do the company extends to you that security clearance.
What Company Would Do That?
None that I know of and for very good reasons. Information is classified to keep unauthorized people, like competitors, from seeing and, potentially, using that information. A former employee may someday be employed by a rival because of his or her former job. After all, knowledge is money.
Well, the same thing is true with government officials. They are often hired by companies doing business with the government or reporting on the government. Having an employee with security clearance opens a treasure chest of classified information to unauthorized people and entities.
The only reason Brennan and others need the security clearance is to maintain their employment or consulting fees. It’s all about money.
But Information is Classified for a Reason
That’s right. We live in a world of dishonest people. Not just foreign governments but even our own citizens who want the information for nefarious reasons. The Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) exists to provide classified information to approved people and for approved purposes. But that is not an issue here. Brennan and others are simply accessing this information to provide a platform for their own occupations.
What About First Amendment Rights?
Let’s take a look at that issue.
- Brennan, and others, retains the same basic rights he had before being stripped of clearance.
- Brennan can still say whatever he wants to say.
- Brennan can still use his knowledge and experience gained from his years of service.
- There is no right to know government secrets except as permitted by the FOIA.
How Should Clearances be Handled?
I believe that the entire process of handling clearances needs to be overhauled. There needs to be a blanket of security that protects the government from foreign interests as well as domestic interests. The FOIA protects the inquirer, but we need an act or something like it to protect the government, while Congress can subpoena information from the government agencies, thus protecting the citizens.
Security Clearances should:
- always be on a ‘need to know’ basis. Otherwise information is not really classified.
- be automatically rescinded when a government employee leaves his position.
What about cases where whistleblowers reveal information?
This comes under a Whistleblower law and has little, if anything, to do with this issue.
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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.