When I was in the Navy, I was an Intelligence officer and was once responsible for the IT department of a major intelligence center. However, I always knew that the key to having a secure intelligence infrastructure was the proper vetting of individuals, not necessarily having a “bulletproof” network. (Note to world: All the hacking that occurs against DoD systems are done on unclassified networks. All Secret and Top Secret Networks have industrial strength, modern digital encryption. When they (the encrypted networks) fail, it meant somewhere, humans have actively and consciously betrayed their nation – See the Walker case).
When an individual is given a security clearance by the United States of America, it means John and Jane Taxpayer have placed their faith on this individual personally. They are entrusting these individuals with a sacred obligation to keep information secure which help keeps John and Jane’s families safe at night. Lives, literally, depend on our nation’s intelligence team keeping their mouths shut.
I have seen good men’s careers ruined due to a moments’ carelessness or an honest mistake in handling classified material. No mercy was shown, nor was it expected. They knew the rules when they accepted the clearance. In the Top Secret world, you have no privacy. Your finances, your social life, your family connections are all fair game. You can be told to take a polygraph at any time, and if you refuse, your clearance is revoked, period. It also means that your life is then put under a microscope and what once passed for your “career” is finished.
If you are caught handing over material to non-authorized parties (a la Private Manning or Jonathan Pollard), you go to jail for life. (My opinion, Manning should face the firing squad, but I digress)
Make no mistake, crimes have been committed by the most senior members of our National Security team. If it had been limited to a low level military members or the equivalent civilians, those people would have been thrown in jail within hours of being accused of leaking info on the Bin Laden raid or the Stuxnet virus.
However, there seems to be a double standard when it comes to the members of the Obama administration.
That is not fair, that is not right, that is not the American way. We are supposed to be equal before the law. We violate this principle at our peril. Remember this when you cast your vote in November.
Free till Midnight Thursday PST : Cold Pulp Trio by E. R. White, Jr
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Here’s the link: Scrambled Hard-Boiled by E. R. White, Jr.