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US Politics Hamsterwheel v2.0

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US Politics Hamsterwheel v2.0

Old 18th Aug 2018, 13:34
  #15401 (permalink)  
 
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I struggle to understand why a FORMER government official of any political stripe, once retired from his position, maintains a top level security clearance.
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Old 18th Aug 2018, 15:36
  #15402 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by obgraham View Post
I struggle to understand why a FORMER government official of any political stripe, once retired from his position, maintains a top level security clearance.

Money. Money. Money. It is a perk of former service, allowing the retireds and fireds to make huge sums of money from contractors doing business with the government. Essentially, having sensitive information others don’t, the holder of the clearance can get insider information, sell it and make millions. Millions.

Nothing to do with anything but the insider deep State monetizing a feature of government impropriety, for their buds, family, and or partner(s).

James Comey. Lockheed. Six million dollars.
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Old 18th Aug 2018, 15:39
  #15403 (permalink)  
 
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Old 18th Aug 2018, 15:58
  #15404 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by obgraham View Post
I struggle to understand why a FORMER government official of any political stripe, once retired from his position, maintains a top level security clearance.
It is accepted practice for the Government of the day to access former top level intelligence officials on an UNPAID basis to act as consultants in providing historical information regarding critical intelligence matters. This provides continuity of intelligence between administrations and supports detailed studies and inquiries with individuals who are fully cognizant of the material facts. Retention of security clearances allows this to happen immediately without adding delays for reclearing individuals.

This is a well trodden path employed on a non-partisan basis over many years by both parties.
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Old 18th Aug 2018, 16:14
  #15405 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Two's in View Post
It is accepted practice for the Government of the day to access former top level intelligence officials on an UNPAID basis to act as consultants in providing historical information regarding critical intelligence matters. This provides continuity of intelligence between administrations and supports detailed studies and inquiries with individuals who are fully cognizant of the material facts. Retention of security clearances allows this to happen immediately without adding delays for reclearing individuals.

This is a well trodden path employed on a non-partisan basis over many years by both parties.
Let’s see how long Brennan lasts at MSNBC without the clearance. A former CIA Director with the clearance working for the Media? What could possibly be wrong with that?
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Old 18th Aug 2018, 17:04
  #15406 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Concours77 View Post


Let’s see how long Brennan lasts at MSNBC without the clearance. A former CIA Director with the clearance working for the Media? What could possibly be wrong with that?
Fresh out of the Military/Govt with just an active secret clearance you will have companies falling all over you.

With the level of access these folks bring, pure gold

Curious as to who pays the costs to maintain those clearances and in whose box they are held, do all the restrictions and reports, who, when, where, what did you talk about, why, still apply?


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Old 18th Aug 2018, 17:17
  #15407 (permalink)  
 
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“...Curious as to who pays the costs to maintain those clearances and in whose box they are held, do all the restrictions and reports, who, when, where, what did you talk about, why, still apply?...”

See, that’s the problem. It’s like a general of the Air Force retires, and gets to take an F-16 with him.

The clearance, utilized well, is worth more than the fighter jet. If it isn’t, why did sixty old farts step up to protect the concept?

Brennan’s “supporters” might see this differently if people start losing their bread and butter.

Trump, like it or not, is Commander in Chief. His is the power to make these calls. I for one am thrilled he is opening up the concept to scrutiny. Maybe Brennan should have kept his trap shut? “You can say anything you like about me, but don’t Screw with my “retirement”.”

The Clintons have made two billion dollars in the last twenty, thirty years. They both have the clearance. They wouldn’t take advantage of “classified” would they?

Last edited by Concours77; 18th Aug 2018 at 17:33.
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Old 18th Aug 2018, 17:27
  #15408 (permalink)  
 
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That these very high level people have security clearances at these levels indicates long histories of trust and dedication to the service of the country, generally speaking. And they do need that rainbow of clearances. You ever try to get into Room 231b on sub-level 9H of the Pentagon without them lately?
And when you move on they do look golden on the old resume.

These are relatively "the good times".
Come "the hard times", critical times, the best leaders have ensured that all the best available resources are always at their disposal.

To contaminate or incapacitate those valuable resources because some disagree with some of your policies and your ego cannot possibly tolerate that........
is not in the best interests of National Security.
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Old 18th Aug 2018, 19:32
  #15409 (permalink)  
 
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I understand the responses here, as to why ex-security-cleared people like their continued ability to trade their experience for cash. Long standing tradition it might be.

However, it really is simply political payola. If you retire from government service, then spend your retirement trashing the current government, you should not expect to keep the cash cow to remain productive. I’m glad Trump has started to reign it in.
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Old 18th Aug 2018, 22:50
  #15410 (permalink)  
 
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“You ever try to get into Room 231b on sub-level 9H of the Pentagon without them lately?”

No, but I have accessed many areas of the funny shaped building in the past (+10 years) and briefed at several installations since with equivalent or higher SAP/SAR requirements after I did not renew.

Clearences are funny things, aren’t they.
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Old 18th Aug 2018, 23:16
  #15411 (permalink)  
 
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I don't actually have a problem with Brennan losing his clearance. A clearance is not "property," simply a designation - "We've checked this person and we believe they are trustworthy to handle the classified information needed for them to do a job, or help others do their jobs." Always granted or withheld by government decision.

Once the initial investigation and background check for a clearance has been done, there is not much additional "cost" to the clearance remaining in effect, for years or decades - how much does two inches of file space cost? If a question arises as to whether a person is still trustworthy, a new investigation will cost money - but those are not done without cause, and certainly, in a sane society, not necessarily just because political power changed hands.

There is, however, often a value in being able to pick the brains of someone from a previous administration, in regard to matters that may have classified aspects. The current CIA director calls in the previous CIA director, and asks, "You met with Foreign Leader Z in 2010, and I've never met him - what's your opinion on how he would react if X or Y happens?" Or the current SecDef wants to ask the previous SecDef, "What about this aspect of weapons system X - what was the reasoning for including it?" And X or Y may involve classified information, so it is - convenient and useful - to be able to include that in the discussion.

Cooperation between professionals in aspects of statecraft, even when of different political persuations, or in or out of current power, is normal. And useful. And is how the U.S. remains a world power. I realize that that is an "alien world" to those who think everything must be viewed through tribal glasses - but it really is how most of government has to work, or it would be even more inefficient and expensive than it already is.

Obviously, as an individual, Brennan's political comments have made him less useful than he was (he did visit with Pompeo a couple of times over a year ago). I'm not aware that he has actually revealed any classified information, which would make him less trustworthy. Except, again, in the view of those who think we are in a "cold civil war" where political reliability trumps (hah!) anything else. Perhaps they'd like to install a "political commissar" in every government office - Soviet-style. Just to make sure everyone is "reliable."

Regardless, a security clearance is the government's to bestow or remove, as it finds useful. There is normally a rational "due process" of temporary suspension, investigation, and a final decision. But that is not required. It is, however, fair to ask "What was the emergency that required bypassing the normal procedures?"
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Old 19th Aug 2018, 00:10
  #15412 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Concours77 View Post
“...Curious as to who pays the costs to maintain those clearances and in whose box they are held, do all the restrictions and reports, who, when, where, what did you talk about, why, still apply?...”

See, that’s the problem. It’s like a general of the Air Force retires, and gets to take an F-16 with him.

The clearance, utilized well, is worth more than the fighter jet. If it isn’t, why did sixty old farts step up to protect the concept?

Brennan’s “supporters” might see this differently if people start losing their bread and butter.

Trump, like it or not, is Commander in Chief. His is the power to make these calls. I for one am thrilled he is opening up the concept to scrutiny. Maybe Brennan should have kept his trap shut? “You can say anything you like about me, but don’t Screw with my “retirement”.”

The Clintons have made two billion dollars in the last twenty, thirty years. They both have the clearance. They wouldn’t take advantage of “classified” would they?
Oh I seeee!!!!
It's all about the moolah.
In the case of Bubba - possibly.
But all of the rest of them??
What a splendid little Alex Jones fever dream.
Well - to add credence to your argument - let me share a little classified transcript that's come into my possession.
It's from the last conference call of the SSVFIPWCSC (that's the Secret Society of Venal Former Important People with Current Security Clearances).
"Gentlemen - is everything on the call?"
Various mumbles etc.
"I think we have a quorum - what's the first item on the agenda?"
"Well sir, that loon Brennan is going to goddamn wreck everything - the President's revoked his security clearance!!!"
"Holy shite - no clearance means everything from them lucrative Goldman Sachs speakin' invitations to fully paid membership of the PTJSFPC (that's Prolong the Joint Strike Fighter Problems Committee)....
"...SIR, can I remind you that particular body is an SCI Program - strictly need to know basis only...!"
"I'm sorry - please continue."
"I think there's only one thing we can do - write a strongly worded letter speaking out against this outrage in support of Brennan!"
"Agreed?"
Various noise of agreement from conference call.
"Erm, sir?"
"Yes?"
"What about that goddam eagle scout McRaven - he's actually ASKED the President to revoke his clearance?"
"Well we all know McRaven was paid off by Osama - who isn't really dead and is living in an Alabama trailer park, so McRaven can afford to say that - he's got no money worries at all!"
"SIR - that is the second SCI program disclosure you've made...!"
"Goddammit - there's so many of these damn things - I'm strugglin' to keep track...!"
"Right, we'll assign the letter writing - this is to be actioned immediately. I will make the final mandatory threat about black Chevy Suburbans with concealed mini-guns and guys with buzz-cuts, Raybans and earpieces turning up outside your house if this call is revealed..."

Now - before you all send said guys round to my house in sunny suburban Sydney - repeat slowly.
The above transcript is not real.
You've heard of Occams Razor?
Maybe the simplest explanation here is the right one?
Maybe the various people who put their name to that letter were worried about their country, rather than their wallets?
Yeah I know - how could I be so naive.
That's a pretty damn radical concept in Donald Trump's America, but...
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Old 19th Aug 2018, 00:30
  #15413 (permalink)  
 
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Old 19th Aug 2018, 00:47
  #15414 (permalink)  
 
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McRaven.

As to McRaven, if I were Trump, I would cancel his certificate immediately.

His smarmy request to have his clearance extinguished amounts to a political statement, a purpose not allowed in the best practice of the need for security. Politicizing the issue is not consistent with the purpose of his clearance.

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Old 19th Aug 2018, 00:53
  #15415 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by fltlt View Post
...er, yes, ok, tell me something I don't know.
Once you've finished up working for Uncle Sam in a position where you have TOPSECRET and/or SCI clearance - you can go and work for the private sector.
Many do... and often for military industrial or allied organisations (my bro bumped into one William S. Cohen in such circumstances, but that's another story).
Some make a lot of money.
You're revetted every five years.
Veeeery long draw of the bow though to say that's why all those folks put their name to a letter saying Trump's an idiot (metaphorically speaking).
And McRaven?
Yep - a political statement by a brave warrior and patriot - no doubt about it.
Coming from that background, training and culture, imagine how concerned you'd have to be to make a call like that.
Publicity seeking - I don't think so.
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Old 19th Aug 2018, 01:42
  #15416 (permalink)  
 
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“Once you've finished up working for Uncle Sam in a position where you have TOPSECRET and/or SCI clearance - you can go and work for the private sector.
Many do... and often for military industrial or allied organisations (my bro bumped into one William S. Cohen in such circumstances, but that's another story)”

Yes, but someone has to hold your clearance to maintain it, and that requires Govt. approval at some level to transfer, and a good reason why.
Eventually the costs associated with transfer are billed back to the Govt, under the appropriate CLIN.
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Old 19th Aug 2018, 02:06
  #15417 (permalink)  
 
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Some folks might not like that the Govt., not Trump, have been re evaluating the number of folks that hold clearences and why.
It takes a lot of manpower to continually do background checks, interviews, all the paperwork that accompanies clearences, obviously the higher you go the more it requires.
A lot of people want the aura of a clearence because it falls under the “I know something you don’t mantra” and there is a lot more of that than you would think.
I have no problem with folk that have to have them for the line of work they are in.

Mantra from my day:

A Secret clearance tells you where the bathrooms are, but you need a TS to get the toilet paper.

There are many ways for the agencies to “read people in” that don’t require a full blown clearance
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Old 19th Aug 2018, 02:08
  #15418 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by fltlt View Post
“Once you've finished up working for Uncle Sam in a position where you have TOPSECRET and/or SCI clearance - you can go and work for the private sector.
Many do... and often for military industrial or allied organisations (my bro bumped into one William S. Cohen in such circumstances, but that's another story)”

Yes, but someone has to hold your clearance to maintain it, and that requires Govt. approval at some level to transfer, and a good reason why.
Eventually the costs associated with transfer are billed back to the Govt, under the appropriate CLIN.
I'm sorry - I don't understand your point.
What's the issue with Uncle Sam eventually being billed for the re-vet?
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Old 19th Aug 2018, 04:31
  #15419 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by tartare View Post
I'm sorry - I don't understand your point.
What's the issue with Uncle Sam eventually being billed for the re-vet?
Primarily because there are a considerable number of folks that have no need to have access at any level, and that includes folk that are no longer in positions that require them.
Add to that the costs involved in the ancillary support requirements, transmission, storage, access, reporting, all the fluff that goes hand in hand.

But that’s just my personal opinion, why I declined renewal. If not directly involved in the restricted activity any longer, why would you need a clearance, sign The relevant I won’t disclose anything paperwork, move on.
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Old 19th Aug 2018, 10:10
  #15420 (permalink)  
 
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I remain somewhat puzzled.
A quick Google search of cost of security clearances USA shows the cost of a TOPSECRET clearance ranging from $3,000 to $15,000 depending on circumstances.
Now, even though there are roughly 5 million of your countrymen who have some kind of clearance, from SECRET upwards - and noting that there is at least a years wait or more in some cases because of the backlog - surely the total cost still amounts to a rounding error on the Federal budget?
Moreso, how many of those 5 million will have ex CIA Director/DNS level clearance?
Happy to be proved wrong if there is something I'm missing... but I just can't see how this `secret clearance rort, licence to print money at the Feds expense and a massive cost to John and Jane Doe taxpayer' argument holds water...
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