Fred Barber: Security clearances

August 21, 2018


There is a lot of noise in D.C. about “executive” security clearances. I had the honor of obtaining a Secret-Atomic in the late Fall of 1950 during the Korean War. When I left the last intelligence agency in 2011 my top secret clearance and my secret NATO clearance went dormant after two years — it is an automatic event.

The way it works is if you are working for an entity that requires a secret or top secret or a NATO clearance or a NASA domestic or a Department of Energy Q-clearance, your background is investigated and once you have been “vetted” you are granted a clearance but only on a need-to-know basis. If you do not need to know something, you are not allowed into the locked room (or in a ‘vault’) to see the secret data.

The access to secret or top secret data is very narrow. I had an EBI (extended background investigation). I was restricted to data on just a need-to-know. I also had an SAR (special access required). Again, I only needed to know certain things in order to do my job.

When I left the last program that I needed a top secret clearance, my clearance went dormant after two years. During that two years if I required a clearance on a new job, I filled out a Form 86 and in a short time I had an active secret or a top secret clearance but still limited to need to know. The Form 86 just brought my file up to date; it asked if I had moved, gotten divorced, gotten married, etc. Simple everyday stuff.

Now there are a few people at the top of the food chain that have “executive special status.” An example is the former CIA director who just lost his clearance. He has no need for a clearance. He has no job requiring a clearance. He has no badge to get into the CIA offices so he can’t see secret stuff anyway. These top men and women are left with intact clearances only to “help” the new administration in the turn-over of power. They were and are of no help anyway — they are all from the Obama years and are anti-Trump. Besides almost all of them have lied to Congress or the courts. Brennan voted for a communist a few years ago so he should have been relieved of duty a long time ago as a risk to our national security.

There is nothing in the Constitution about clearances— so the blather about freedom of speech is hogwash. There are several dozen more in Washington that need to have their clearances pulled. I hope our president acts quickly.

Fred Barber

Lake Havasu City

Update hourly