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July 12, 2013

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It would certainly have been wiser for him to thoroughly investigate possible exile locations BEFORE he decided to use his leftover security clearance to get a contractor job in order to expose secrets.

Also, I mention for your readers' interest (you already know this) that it is much more straightforward for the military to grant security clearances to 21-year-old guys who never left their home state before joining the service. The form would be four pages long. My experience as a 42-year-old is that the printout of my e-QIP security clearance renewal, with every place I've lived, worked, or gone to school in the past 10 years, along with a list of foreign nationals I count as friends, comes to 60 pages. For someone like Noel, who travels outside the US extensively, it would probably run to 80 pages.

Oh gosh yes. OPM is thorough.

But there is something backwards about a system that investigates young blank slates less completely than old open books. I do not know how to fix that, though.

Obviously anyone can be "turned" and become a spy; the point of having a security clearance system is to point out the most sheeplike of the population. Those folks can be safely trusted with "secrets" because in nearly all cases they are already being paid off by the government, both in salary and in future pension guarantees.

I think the idea of recruiting the young blank slates is excellent, and far more economical than going through the eQIP reports of old graybeards like you and me.

Of course, the authorities just have to keep the selected kids away from subversive literature and ideas.

Not to make an argument one way or the other here, but it's worth pointing out that Ellsberg himself thinks Snowden's decisions were reasonable.

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