Sunday, March 19, 2006

Sacrificing National Security for Ideology

Hat tip to Pandagon, Battlepanda.

Security clearance rules about the eligibility of gays to get clearances have been revised. The old rule said
sexual orientation “may not be used as a basis” for denying clearances or determining whether individuals should be eligible to access classified information unless it could make them vulnerable to coercion or exploitation.

The new rule says
security clearances cannot be denied “solely on the basis of the sexual orientation of the individual.”

If sexual behavior is “strictly private, consensual and discreet,” that could lessen security concerns, according to the regulations that came as part of an update to clearance guidelines distributed in December.

It doesn't look that different, but you have to remember who the Repuglican base is. They don't like gays. The base is deeply religious, conservatives like Robert Hanssen. (Yes, I like to throw Robert Hanssen in the faces of conservatives who accuse me of being unpatriotic)
The reason why sexual preference should not be the only reason to deny a security clearance is,
Information on motivation is broken down by categories commonly used when describing espionage offenders, although it is always difficult to know what was really going on in a person’s head. One individual may have more than one motivation, so the following percentages do not add up to 100%.

Money (either need or greed) was a motivating factor in 69% of the cases, and it was apparently the sole motive in 56%. Disgruntlement or revenge toward employer or some other person or situation was a motive in 27%, and ideology a motive in 22%. Ideology includes beliefs and sympathies resulting from cultural affinity (common ethnic or national background). A desire to please a friend or family member was a motivating factor in 17% of cases, many of them cases in which the spy was recruited by the friend or family member. Twelve percent were attracted by what they perceived as the thrills or excitement of becoming a spy, while 4% were drawn by a compelling need to be recognized and feel important. Only 5% were coerced. Thrills or excitement and need for recognition were, in most cases, supporting rather than primary motivations. Information is available for all 150 cases.Source:

As far as blackmail is concerned,
Sixty-four percent of the spies took the initiative in volunteering their services to a foreign intelligence service. Fifteen percent were recruited by a friend or family member, most of whom had themselves volunteered, while only 22% were recruited on the initiative of a foreign intelligence service. These percentages differ for different groups. For example, 71% of all military offenders were volunteers, versus 57% for civilians. Seven of the 12 women spies were recruited by a spouse or boyfriend. Information is available for 148 cases.
Notice that blackmail was not a reason for committing espionage.

The bottom line: Sexual behavior is not indicative of behavior of a security risk. The following are - alcohol and drug abuse, bad financial management and foreign interests. The security rules concerning homosexuality as a security risk were probably changed on the basis of faith and not reality.


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