Saturday, September 21, 2013

Our idiotic security clearance system

We have a few stories in the news about security clearances. These annoying unnecessary and useless procedures get highlighted when an employee goes haywire.

 Much of the information is useless and stupid. The interviews are carried out typically by recent college grads with zero life experience and James Bond fantasies. Asking close family friends if one would betray their country is not likely to get a response if real.

There is a great fascination with blackmail and contact by foreign governments. In reality questions in this area are rather amusing. If person A has a romantic relationship with a green card holder they are less likely
to be blackmailed then a person carrying on an adulterous affair. In general applicants who have liaisons with coworkers and contractors are more apt to be problems then a foreign born romantic interest. Thus your married boss with multiple affairs in the office flies under the radar for serious ethical lapses and a person with an exotic romantic interest gets undue attention.

The government could get better results by simply drug and alcohol testing and running finger prints. Talking to coworkers a decade ago makes little sense. Spending more time in the current job makes sense.

There is a fascination with mental health care that is deranged. Is it better to have untreated mental health conditions. Given the prevalence of work place bullying this treatment is in many times a reaction to an unhealthy work atmosphere. There is a great difference between general depression and cognitive types of mental illness.

This type of investigation is a waste of time and money.


BB-Idaho said...

I suppose the clearance process is sort of like collecting a dossier
and bouncing it through a 'profiling' algorithm. Knew a
guy back in the day who was refused a clearance because his
father was born in the Ukraine.
An Oppenheimer, of semi-communist
background was cleared, led the
production of the atomic bomb,
then stripped of any clearances
during the McCarthy hearings. The
entire concept probably needs review in this day of instant
communication and zillions of
bytes of information encrypted and unencrypted. I agree, though, the
process seems flawed.

beakerkin said...

The process is indeed like collecting
a dossier. The fact that one has relatives with issues alone should not be the end all. How close is this person with the relatives.

One could achieve better results by

1) Drug and alcohol tests. These are more serious then going to a shrink
about depression
2) RAP sheets
3) Credit checks
4) Current Coworkers last five years
5) Personal interview by retired law enforcement officers.
6) Examination of all EEO complaints. A manager with multiple
complaints has far greater exposure
to blackmail then a foreign born spouse.

The system is a joke, but the joke is on the American people.