The Latest Rants on the topic of internet censorship.

Talk about articles posted on The Fedora Chronicles main site.
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Eric Renderking Fisk
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Re: The Latest Rants on the topic of internet censorship.

Post by Eric Renderking Fisk » Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:37 am

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Trump is accused of using the power of his office by censoring his critics, such as revealing ex-CIA director John Brennan's security clearance.

THIS is an example of censorship. A government official - either elected or appointed - doing something to someone else to keep that someone else quiet.

The screenshot above is from Senator Shaheen's Facebook post, the very same woman who has a "hit list" of her own, an enemies list of people whom she would silence in the media who have criticized her on numerous occasions.

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n11pilot
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Re: The Latest Rants on the topic of internet censorship.

Post by n11pilot » Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:14 pm

While the goal of stripping away Brennan's clearance may well be to punish him the fact is that as a former government official his continued clearance and access is a matter of courtesy. Much of access to classified information is based on the "Need to know". There is actually a definition of "Need to know" in regulations that involve the use of classified material and being a former anything is not contained in that definition.

I doubt that this action will actually silence Brennan but will probably make him more vocal. The only real downside to pulling Brennan's legacy clearance is that it will make it a bit more difficult for him to land a cushy consulting job with government contractors down the road.

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Cousi
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Re: The Latest Rants on the topic of internet censorship.

Post by Cousi » Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:04 pm

n11pilot wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:14 pm
While the goal of stripping away Brennan's clearance may well be to punish him the fact is that as a former government official his continued clearance and access is a matter of courtesy. Much of access to classified information is based on the "Need to know". There is actually a definition of "Need to know" in regulations that involve the use of classified material and being a former anything is not contained in that definition.
Most people - even folks who have held a security clearance - either don't know or forget that.
n11pilot wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:14 pm
I doubt that this action will actually silence Brennan but will probably make him more vocal. The only real downside to pulling Brennan's legacy clearance is that it will make it a bit more difficult for him to land a cushy consulting job with government contractors down the road.
Which I think was Trump's point. Although anyone who was a fan of the Obama administration has no ground to stand on for complaining about this. Various offices in Obama's administration used their power to silence or punish their political opponents all the time throughout his "controversy free" time in office. The uncomfortable truth is that folks were more open about it during Obama's term, it's been happening quietly for decades.

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AeroDillo MkII
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Re: The Latest Rants on the topic of internet censorship.

Post by AeroDillo MkII » Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:47 pm

Not to say there isn't a political slant to this, but I've wondered about that before. I'll admit to not understanding why a clearance of any kind isn't revoked upon retirement, resignation, or getting crossways with management and getting fired, strictly as a security matter. More lines in and out means more opportunities for leaks, slips, or other general misfortunes on the way to catastrophe.

Then again, I'm not of a mind to shed tears for former government heavies suddenly finding themselves unable of grabbing that snazzy post-retirement gig. Guess the empathy portion of my brain is still radio silent.

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Cousi
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Re: The Latest Rants on the topic of internet censorship.

Post by Cousi » Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:45 am

As I was given to understand, and Pilot can correct me if I'm wrong as he understands these things much better than I do, the clearance is not revoked until something happens to warrant it or a certain amount of time has passed, but the access is when they leave the position. For example, when I was in the USCG I had a Top Secret clearance because of my work with the weaponry. I held that level of clearance for a few months after I left the service but I no longer had any access to Top Secret materials because I no longer had any 'need to know'. I believe the "standard" time-frame for how long a clearance is considered active is 3 years but that may have changed in the two plus decades since I was in.

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n11pilot
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Re: The Latest Rants on the topic of internet censorship.

Post by n11pilot » Sun Aug 19, 2018 1:21 pm

Cousi, you are essentially correct. If I remember correctly since it has been a bit since I've had to deal with this. At the level of Brennan's former position his clearance was based on a "Special Background Investigation" or SBI this is an extensive check and can cost up to 25K to conduct. Generally your background is painstakingly searched back to your 18TH birthday or back 15 years whichever is shorter. An SBI is good for five years at the end of which a "Bring up" is required and it usually examines the past five years since the last SBI or bring up. Brennan not only had a TS clearance he was also cleared for further access programs that have arcane initials or even names. "SCI" etc.

When you leave a job that requires a clearance you are usually read out and made aware that what you know is still classified and cannot be divulged by you. At this point your access to that material is ended, you no longer have a need to know any of it. Now since your SBI and subsequent bring ups are damn expensive your clearance is inactive but intact until such time as another bring up is required then it is no longer intact and just disappears. In this period you do not have access to anything and if you were say, called back to active duty your clearance would be activated in that you would need access. Usually the Special Security Office (SSO) of the facility would want a simple BI based on a Local Agency Check and national Agency Check before letting you slide back into access. Such a check LAC and NAC, cost very little and is very quick.

In the case of Brennan, Susan Rice, and others they maintain what used to be called a legacy clearance in that while they had no need to know, their clearance was kept active with the requisite bring ups in near perpetuity. I looked in my old manuals and could not find a reason for this or even a reg that covered it. I was told once by an SSO chief that high ranking individuals had this as a courtesy for the public reason that they could be needed quickly to use their experience to help current administrations but the real reason was to help them land consulting jobs with contractors. Of course the fact that the contractors would not have to pay for the SBI or bring ups made hiring them more attractive.

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Cousi
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Re: The Latest Rants on the topic of internet censorship.

Post by Cousi » Mon Aug 20, 2018 3:37 pm

That makes sense. I saw an article recently stating that Brennan was threatening to sue. I sincerely hope he does because as I understand it, he doesn't have a legitimate legal leg to stand on. "Courtesy" ranks and privileges can be revoked for any reason whatsoever - even a very bad personal one - and there should be no expectation of receiving them. The elites in our government consider them to be sacrosanct and iron-clad. Maybe our entire society needs a little dose of reality.

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