• How to Keep/Lose Your Security Clearance at the State Department

    May 5, 2012 // 10 Comments »

    As an aid to all current and future State Department employees, here are examples of how to keep/lose your security clearance. These example are important, because the Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS), which grants and withdraws clearances, operates as a type of black hole: information goes in and decisions come out, but nothing that happens inside is visible. One never knows why a decision was made, or on what basis.

    With DS, facts can be hidden from Freedom of Information Act requests and even court-ordered discovery in the name of “security,” and thus manipulated to document pre-determined outcomes. What is called an investigation can morph into an indictment, where the goal is to keep fishing until something, anything, comes up. Actions by Diplomatic Security at the State Department occur without any independent review, and are largely not appealable to the Courts. Diplomatic Security, unlike its counterparts at the Department of Defense and other agencies, even refuses to use the “substantial evidence standard” mandated by the Administrative Procedures Act.

    Here is how to keep your security clearance:

    Commit rape. Tracy Barker, who says a State Department employee sexually assaulted her in Iraq in 2005 has won $2.93 million in arbitration from KBR, the military contracting company that employed her. KBR denies a rape occurred while Ms. Barker remains clear that State Department employee Ali Mokhtare assaulted her in Basra, Iraq. Investigators asked that the State Department suspend Mokhtare’s security clearance, but that request was denied. Clearance remains.

    Here is how to lose your security clearance:

    Write a blog. You can read more here. Clearance suspended.

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    Posted in Embassy/State, Iraq