Once a secret-keeper, always one

In his letter to the editor, “Former government employees should not have security clearances” (Aug. 17), Steven Pinson makes some valid points concerning the automatic revocation of security clearances upon termination of government service. There are also several points to consider making the case to maintain them.

Can having a security clearance be monetized? Of course, look at the job fairs that are only for cleared people. Companies that deal with classified information either need to hire previously cleared people or get them cleared, an expensive and time-consuming process. The one point I would make is that when we take our annual security clearance review, we sign a document that essentially says secrets are secret for life whether you hold the clearance anymore or not. Maintaining your clearance keeps you in the review and self-reporting process. If I, as a clearance holder, declare bankruptcy, am arrested or attend a rehab program, I need to report that to my security manager so that any impact it could have on my clearance and susceptibility to blackmail or coercion can be evaluated.

Mike Johnson, Easton

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