I’m sending out my prayers for all my dear friends down in South Florida with the approaching Hurricane Irma. As well, my wife Angela and daughter Austen were not able to get out in time, so they’re hunkering down in our Plantation Florida home. I just flew back to Dallas on Tuesday. And the following missive will be the last from me until Hurricane Irma passes Florida, so nothing from me over the weekend. And to the folks down in Houston, you are not forgotten; prayers continue for y’all.But I needed to share this very disconcerting story…
When I attained my TS/SCI clearance you can rest assured every single stone was examined. That’s the highest clearance one can acquire and I knew the responsibility which accompanied that level of security clearance. Over the past year, it seems there’s less emphasis being placed on holding a security clearance. If we objectively assess the case of Hillary Clinton, that speaks for itself. The fact that former National Security Adviser, Susan Rice, an avowed liar, still holds a top-level security clearance should give us pause. However, that which I am about to share with you should, well, freak you out…it did me.
As reported by McClatchy, “Under a crushing backlog in the issuing or renewing of security clearances, federal authorities have given interim clearances to people they later discovered were murderers and pedophiles, a senior government official said Wednesday.
“This is very, very dangerous,” said Daniel E. Payne, head of the Defense Security Service, a federal office that oversees the granting of temporary clearances. Payne said roughly 100,000 people hold interim clearances while working for companies with Defense Department contracts or at 13,000 cleared facilities and plants around the country and as they await a full comprehensive background investigation.
“This is very, very dangerous,” said Daniel E. Payne, head of the Defense Security Service, a federal office that oversees the granting of temporary clearances. Payne said roughly 100,000 people hold interim clearances while working for companies with Defense Department contracts or at 13,000 cleared facilities and plants around the country and as they await a full comprehensive background investigation.“I’ve got murderers who have access to classified information. I have rapists. I have pedophiles. I have people involved in child porn,” Payne said. “This is the risk we are taking.” Payne spoke on a panel about the backlog in security clearances at the Intelligence & National Security Summit in Washington. The backlog “grew precipitously” in 2015 and 2016, and stands at near record levels today, said Charles S. Phalen, director of the National Background Investigations Bureau, a federal service provider under the Office of Personnel Management. The backlog encompasses roughly 700,000 cases, but only 300,000 or so people are seeking a first-time clearance to enter government service, Phalen said.”
You want to talk about a threat to our national security? I just have to ask, how did we get to the point that there are murderers, rapists, and pedophiles with access to classified information in the United States? Can you just imagine the salivating of foreign intelligence agents who may possibly have knowledge of these individuals and their felonious offenses? And these are obviously the worst case offenses – I’m quite sure there may be countless other instances of criminal behavior for which individuals have interim security clearances. How can something like this even happen?
One would think a simple background check would yield this information, and if there are multiple aliases someone has previously used, that should be a clear indicator and warning. The other question one has to ask is simple: what are the security checks being conducted by defense contractor firms in their hiring processes? This is such a grave and serious concern, and represents a clear and present national security threat for our nation. We’ve previously reported about the Hose GOP bill by Rep. Denham of California to allow illegal immigrants to enlist into the military. We shared the several concerns there with violations of standing U.S. statute regarding providing arms to those in our country illegally. That almost seems like small fries considering this massive revelation.And why is it that we got to such a backlog in the first place? Shouldn’t we have sought to hire, on a temporary basis, individuals who had previously served with the Defense Security Service in the last five years, and retired? I’d hate to think we would contract this out, only to find out that those we contracted to conduct background investigations had felonies themselves! Or is it possible to work with local law enforcement agencies in order to reduce this backlog? Why was the flag not raised on this issue back in 2015?
We have an issue with security clearances in our nation, and it must be rectified immediately. We can ill afford to have vulnerable people with questionable moral character holding security clearances. This, if not corrected, can have grave consequences for the safekeeping of our national secrets.[Learn more about Allen West’s vision for this nation in his book Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Faith, Family and Freedom]