Letter to the editor: Security clearance 101

September 8, 2018

A security clearance is issued because a position requires the designated person to have access to a specified level of classified information in order to perform the duties assigned to that specific person.

It is issued in the name of the individual performing such duties but does not “belong” to the individual.

The clearance is valid only for the specified duties and does not entitle the individual to other information, even within the same security level, if there is no legitimate need for the person to have such additional information.

The clearance exists only when and while the person’s duties require it.

The clearance terminates when the person no longer has responsibility for performing such duties, i.e., the person’s position terminates for whatever reason or the person changes to a different position not requiring the clearance.

Again, a clearance is not a personal possession and does not “belong” to the person

If former CIA director John Brennan, and anyone else, no longer have specific, responsible duties requiring the clearance, then their clearances are therefore terminated and they have no clearance to revoke.

President Trump need not “revoke” anyone’s clearance under these circumstances unless these individuals are still having appropriate, specified duties requiring a specified clearance level.

I have had two security clearances myself. It was not necessary to notify me of the revocation when my security responsibilities terminated.

George Wandell


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