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Hand grasping at $100 bills
Talk about going after a symptom.
A bipartisan group of senators announced Wednesday they are introducing the Security Clearance Oversight and Reform Enhancement (SCORE) to reform the security clearance procedure in the wake of the leaks made by National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. According to a statement from the senators, the bill "improves oversight of the security clearance process, calls for the government to fire background check investigators and suspend others—including contractors—who falsify reports, and forces the government to update its policy determining which positions require a security clearance."
By all means, yes, somebody needs to be keeping better track of the 5 million people with security clearances, but what about the $56 billion/year private intelligence industry that's employing them? That's the big problem here—the intelligence/industry complex.

We've hired out the intelligence business through the revolving door of a lot of very powerful people who have a foot in both government and the intelligence industry. They just keep coming back to the trough, which they can rely upon their buddies to keep filling.

That's the story behind a guy like Snowden with his security clearance. That's the problem that Congress should be dealing with. It's the grift.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 03:45 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (16+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 03:45:31 PM PDT

  •  Privatization equals corporate control (3+ / 0-)

    of governmental functions with no public accountability, which sounds a lot like fascism to me, at least at some extreme point.

    Now that we've privatized prisons, intelligence gathering, water distribution, highways, and much of the military, why not the courts and the cops while we're at it, seeing as we're already in the midst of privatizing education.

    “I’m able to fly, do what I want, essentially. I guess that’s what freedom is — no limits.” Marybeth Onyeukwu -- Brooklyn DREAMer.

    by chuco35 on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 04:16:02 PM PDT

  •  And a big chunk of that 56 mil bought us our own (4+ / 0-)

    phone books and web surfs. These contractors also lobby for laws to expand data collection so they can get more contracts to collect more useless data for more millions.

  •  Also too, overclassification (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sceptical observer, JerryNA

    Is it not part of the classification laws that someone who egregiously classifies things that shouldn't be can face legal consequences? Has that ever happened?

    Was anyone under the old FISA provisions, which are still in effect for government officials, ever been prosecuted for spying beyond what the law provided?

    Add to that the fact that whole court cases can be thrown out over "state secrets," when they should be heard, with appropriate redactions and in-camera sessions as necessary. In the first court case to be thrown out that way, the government lied. Is there no review of precedent if the case upon which it is based is faulty?

    Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

    by Simplify on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 07:50:15 PM PDT

  •  But, but, but (0+ / 0-)

    that poor intern worked so hard on coming up with a cool acronym for it.

    SCORE.

    America, fuck yeah.

    Sure, they could solve the real problem. Or try.

    But.

    SCORE.

    (chills)

    They could even use Futura Bold, 120 pt, and extra bold, on the cover.

    I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

    by LeftHandedMan on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 08:02:52 PM PDT

  •  One problem... (0+ / 0-)

    Clearances are not something you are given. They are something you build over time. A clearance is a piece of paper. It's a promise that you will keep with the government. Just like your wedding vows, they are only good as long as you keep them.

    A background check doesn't prove that you won't break your promise. Just that you have "so far" proven to not be a liability. That you are someone we "might" be able to trust. But the moment you break that trust then you lose your clearance.

    You can make people investigate every little thing in someone's past. But that doesn't mean that they won't break that trust in the near future. The real issue is how to limit the damage if someone breaks their oath. The government already has mechanisms to do that. But it would be good to make sure everyone is abiding by those rules.

    "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." -- George Carlin, Satirical Comic,(1937-2008)

    by Wynter on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 09:15:09 PM PDT

  •  I want the job (0+ / 0-)

    of coming up with those cool acronyms.

    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. Frank Zappa

    by Da Rock on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 09:31:04 PM PDT

  •  Uh... (0+ / 0-)

    that's the problem? Not the spying itself, not the surveillance itself? The should government make sure these corporations are more accountable and the process is "better"? Or that this kind of work - domestic spying and "intelligence" gathering on American citizens - should be done by the government only? Maybe I'm missing something here...

    Never be deceived that the rich will permit you to vote away their wealth. - Lucy Parsons

    by cruz on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 07:27:53 AM PDT

  •  The whole budget is such a large grift hole.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW

    it's a wonder anything ever actually gets accomplished by the government.  

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