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Old 10-27-2007, 05:13 PM   #21
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In short, it doesn't matter at all what you think of the person as a boss, his lack of people skills, etc. That's a problem for those doing the hiring. All an investigator cares about is whether this person is a security risk.
I can't go into the details that'd make him immediately identified by his co-workers, but I can say that it took me a long time to realize how whacked-out he was on prescription painkillers. It also bothers me that someone with so much pension money (and free healthcare for his medical issues) would choose to keep working a job that lends itself to stress, long hours, and difficult tasking. What's his motive? What's he hiding? But that's the most I could offer about my security-clearance concerns.

Unfortunately the in-depth knowledge you acquire of someone after working for them in cramped enclosed spaces through obscene hours over months also has the effect of making your stories seem the unbelievable rants of disgruntled subordinates.

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They need x number of individuals, as long as they get them, they're done. If you don't talk to them, they will get someone else. If they don't get enough directly, they have to get names from those who do talk to them.
Yeah, they seemed to be struggling with this-- especially by calling guys like me who've been out of the loop for years. I'm not even supposed to remember what we were working on together.

I guess my question was the dilemna of whether more harm would come from my inaction than from my direct action. But I'm resting easier on that.

I did take the opportunity to forward the investigator's name & number to another shipmate while seeking his counsel. He has even more reason to volunteer and has seen way more ugliness than I have, so I'll go with his advice.
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Old 10-27-2007, 05:23 PM   #22
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Here in MegaCorp land, the code of conduct reflects the law, which is if you don't pass on information of wrongdoing, real or otherwise, to the ombudsperson's office which is supposed to be anonymous. Of course, the one case I hear of getting reported was the claim that the VPs were rigging the office lottery for covered parking spaces.
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Old 10-27-2007, 07:17 PM   #23
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As a current holder of an active (since 1977) U.S. Govt. Top Secret/SCI security clearance, here's what I think. The purpose of a background investigation is to determine an individual's suitability for a clearance that would give him/her access and/or place them in proximity of classified information and/or sensitive equipment possibly including dangerous material (nuclear weapons, for example). Nords, I know you know the COMSEC/OPSEC and other drills etc. etc. If I were approached by an investigator about someone I had specific knowledge of, and who I truly believed was a security risk, either having observed that person behaving irrationally, or strangely, I would probably have to mention that info to the investigator. If I knew specifically that person had been engaged or involved in some shady activities, or if I even slightly suspected it, I would have to divulge that as well. If I just didn't like the guy, thought he was an azzhole etc. I might even mention that too, but would specify that it was just my personal opinion, not necessarily indicative of the person's trustworthiness with classified materials. However, it's up to the investigative body to determine whether the person is or isn't up to the standards of the clearance, so I guess all you can do is tell them what you think about the guy. I just had my investigation re-done a few months ago. For a TS clearance, they re-do it every 5 years. Back in the 70's when my initial investigation was happening, somebody told them I smoked pot in my teens (which was true). The thing is, I had already admitted as much to the Air Force recruiter, and again to somebody asking questions in basic training and my initial technical school, so I wasn't hiding anything. They tried to scare/BS me into fessing up to more than I had actually done, but I stuck to my story of merely being a recreational user, not some big dealer guy, and eventually the smoke cleared (pun intended) and I got my clearance. Like I said, that was 30+ years ago and I still have it. I just got back from a Weapons and Tactics conference where I got to sit in on several classified/secret briefings, so I guess they still trust me. Nobody ask me any questions though, so I won't have to kill yas!
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Old 10-27-2007, 07:37 PM   #24
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And yes, I've been interviewed on some real losers as workers/bosses, but have never had anything negative to say about their being a security risk.
I grieve for my country.
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Old 10-27-2007, 07:43 PM   #25
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I grieve for my country.
Yes, aren't real losers a security risk? :confused:
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Old 10-27-2007, 08:32 PM   #26
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Martha, the only thing going for us is that the other guys are human, too. Same dementia.
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Old 10-27-2007, 09:05 PM   #27
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Several years ago I was contacted for a TS investigation for my EX. I had no knowledge of any negative input and would never lie about such; but I did feel a guilty thrill when the interviewer said that EX was displeased that I would be contacted.
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Old 10-27-2007, 09:51 PM   #28
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Hi Nords,

From your description of the man, (of which I have dealt with a few like him), you were at the mercy of your typical run of the mill psychopath. The world has more than their share of them. I'm not sure I would trust the Nation's secrets with a dysfunctional. I would be honest. What goes around...comes around.

Just my opinion...
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Old 10-27-2007, 10:06 PM   #29
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Yes, aren't real losers a security risk? :confused:
Why? It's not security's job to be personnel managers, that's the job of those who hire and fire. Security's job is only to ensure whomever you hire can keep whatever classified material they are cleared into. There are incompetent people at work who would never divulge classified, then there are extremely intelligent and competent individuals who become spies. Security investigators have absolutely nothing to do with the hiring and firing process, in fact, they are not even part of the organization, they are completely independent of it.
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Old 10-27-2007, 11:16 PM   #30
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Their only responsibility is to determine whether the individual might pose a security risk either because of previous actions or associations, or some potential risk due to activity they are involved with at the present. I'm pretty sure alleged mental/emotional stability suspiscions might prompt a bit more thorough examination, though. At least, I would hope so. In my 30+ years, I've come in contact with more than one person that made me wonder if there was any kind of screening going on at all anymore. When I was on active duty in the Air Force, I was in charge of a weapons load crew. We were trained to handle tactical nuclear weapons, and to load those weapons onto NATO-assigned aircraft. Which we did. After about a year of being on my load crew, and handling the nuke bombs, I was called into the boss's office. I was informed that my "2 man" was being relieved of duty and discharged from the Air Force immediately. The reason? After a year of working hands on with live missiles, ammo, conventional and nuclear weapons, it was discovered that he had been a resident in a local mental facility. He spent time there because he was an LSD user and his parents committed him to the facility. LSD was a big no-no for nukes, even though they let my pot use slide. I always wondered why it took them so long to find out about his nut house time. He had a Secret clearance up till that time. So apparently there is still some investigation going on even after a clearance is issued. Of course, that was quite a while ago. I'm sure they have all the bugs worked out by now....
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Old 10-27-2007, 11:31 PM   #31
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The reason? After a year of working hands on with live missiles, ammo, conventional and nuclear weapons, it was discovered that he had been a resident in a local mental facility.
Marty, that sounds like the old Human Reliability Program (HRP), which should never have allowed him in. I don't know if that's still used, but when I was handling nukes in SAC we had the security clearance guys and the HRP guys, and they did things their own way, though I'm sure they shared some data. Socializing with a Soviet citizen would have been a security problem, acting loony would have been a HRP problem. I had to get rid of one guy through HRP when he told me he would get an urge every now and them to pull his gun and shoot the nuke. I have a feeling he wanted a ticket out, though.
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Old 10-28-2007, 01:29 AM   #32
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... it was discovered that he had been a resident in a local mental facility.
Sounds to me like someone dropped the dime on him.

My best & brightest were usually also the most curious-- the ones who'd experimented with marijuana five or six times, not "just once". ("Hey, this time let's fill the bong with Budweiser!!") I remember waiting with bated breath as the Navy's PRP geniuses debated for months how many times was "experimental" and how many times was "habitual". I think they finally realized how many people they'd have to pull out of the program and made it a big number... if it had been a stupid number like "three" then we would've had to remove all our boat's nuke weps handling supervisors.
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Old 10-28-2007, 04:19 AM   #33
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Nords.

IMHO - I would not say anything negative on a security related review unless there was a justifiable comment related to security. Plus I would stick to the security line of Q/A. Keep personal opinion out of it. However, if this guy has exhibited some behavior that you believe would make him a security risk... I think you have an obligation to speak up.
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Old 10-28-2007, 06:55 AM   #34
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Of course, that was quite a while ago. I'm sure they have all the bugs worked out by now....
Unfortunately they do not.
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Old 10-28-2007, 09:56 AM   #35
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I guess what we need is two things:

1) Anyone who will receive classified information needs to be so incompetent that they couldnt disseminate the information even if it comes with a travel handle and prepaid postage attached

2) Everyone that has access to classified information needs to be able to look at it and then distribute information that is so completely different from what they read that anyone who evaluates it will come to a totally wrong conclusion.
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Old 10-28-2007, 10:18 AM   #36
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I hadn't realized more posts had been made before I posted my last comment.

Retire--I find your states interesting. I currently work on the security side of the equation. I find it irritating to grill someone over a DUI that occurred on base while active duty 9 years ago. Their chain of command knows about the incident, but the person has not lost their clearance had access to classified for 9 years. OPM feels it is a big deal and wants it investigated to the fullest. It seems like a waste of time to me.

The other thing I see often is new recruits coming in with waivers for whatever. Normally the recruiter does not include the item on the SF-86 and the recruit gets to be raked over the coals because of it. Also seems to be a waste of time. The military and the OPM side of things do not talk.

Nords--Your assessment is probably correct. Medical records are not normally checked, because the search would not be financially feasible. There are a lot of shrinks out there.
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Old 10-28-2007, 10:49 AM   #37
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I hadn't realized more posts had been made before I posted my last comment.
lets, if you work security, you have the most current and accurate info. I'm a bit dated and going by personal recollection. As far as the DUI, seems to me the relevant line of questioning would be whether there is a history of drug/alcohol abuse that is ongoing. If it was a one time thing in the past, I agree, it's a waste of time to keep digging into it, especially if the command has all the info.

What I was primarily responding to is the misunderstanding about the difference between security investigations and work performance. I can't recall ever having been asked whether someone was a good worker or not as part of a security investigation. And if I was asked that, I would refuse to answer the question. I might respond with "on the basis of my observations of his/her work performance, I see no reason for denial of a clearance." If we begin using clearances for job performance investigations, we may as well start using managers to clear people.
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Old 10-28-2007, 11:22 AM   #38
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I guess what we need is two things:
1) Anyone who will receive classified information needs to be so incompetent that they couldnt disseminate the information even if it comes with a travel handle and prepaid postage attached
2) Everyone that has access to classified information needs to be able to look at it and then distribute information that is so completely different from what they read that anyone who evaluates it will come to a totally wrong conclusion.
We practiced that all the time in the submarine force. In fact when anyone came up with a particularly creative screwup, we used to tell everyone else about it and sit through hours of training in admiration of their accomplishments.

It frustrated the heck out of the Germans in WWII, and to some extent the Russians in the Cold War, how frequently American military commanders felt free to disregard their tactical publications whenever deemed necessary. After all, when you've gone to all that trouble to obtain the enemy's latest classified info and design your responses to counter their tactical guidance, you'd like to think that they're studying it too...
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Old 10-28-2007, 01:02 PM   #39
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It frustrated the heck out of the Germans in WWII, and to some extent the Russians in the Cold War, how frequently American military commanders felt free to disregard their tactical publications whenever deemed necessary. After all, when you've gone to all that trouble to obtain the enemy's latest classified info and design your responses to counter their tactical guidance, you'd like to think that they're studying it too...
The quotes are:
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"The reason that the America army does so well in wartime is that war is chaos and the American army practices chaos on a daily basis." -- A German General Officer
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"One of the serious problems in planning against American doctrine that the Americans do not read their manuals nor do they feel any obligations to follow their doctrine." -- From a Russian military document
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Old 10-28-2007, 02:47 PM   #40
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Marty, that sounds like the old Human Reliability Program (HRP), which should never have allowed him in. I don't know if that's still used, but when I was handling nukes in SAC we had the security clearance guys and the HRP guys, and they did things their own way, though I'm sure they shared some data. Socializing with a Soviet citizen would have been a security problem, acting loony would have been a HRP problem. I had to get rid of one guy through HRP when he told me he would get an urge every now and them to pull his gun and shoot the nuke. I have a feeling he wanted a ticket out, though.
I was in TAC under the old HRP. A few years dowh the road, they quit calling it HRP and changed it to PRP (Personnel Reliability Program). I didn't notice any difference, probably just a name change. I'm not under that stuff anymore, but I guess it's still in place. So...were you a loader, ammo, nuke specialist or what? What was your AFSC?
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