According to a federal overseer, murderers, rapists, pedophiles, and others have been given security clearances.
There are often scandalous reports of pedophiles and other criminals in government, but this one has been reported in the mainstream press. Allegedly, due to a backlog, all sorts of people have been granted “temporary” security clearances.
When I read this kind of allegation, I often wonder if it is the truth, or if it is a cover story hiding a truth that is even more unsavory.
McClatchy reports, “Buried in backlog, Feds give top-secret clearances to murderers, rapists.”
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.
“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. The remainder may be federal employees or contractors seeking a periodic renewal of a security clearance or a change in their clearance level, he added. They stay in federal jobs.
This seems to be an ongoing problem. Here’s a story from three years ago: