Skip to comments.DEFENDING AMERICA: Loose Lips Sink Ships (Monica Lewinsky and TOP SECRET clearance at the Pentagon)
Posted on 09/07/2006 12:40:39 PM PDT by doug from upland
DEFENDING AMERICA David H. Hackworth 17 March 98
LOOSE LIPS, SINK SHIPS..
While at the Pentagon, Monica Lewinsky traveled with Defense Secretary William Cohen, sat in on briefings where the highest secrets were discussed and routinely handled highly classified documents top-secret documents, which, if they fell in the wrong hands, could put America at high risk and cost the lives of our warriors.
But no sweat. Lewinsky had all the appropriate clearances, right?
No doubt her background had been thoroughly checked out by investigators. Or perhaps she'd been given a top-secret clearance in a hurry on order of a high White House official, thus expediting her transfer from the White House firing line to safer turf in the five sided puzzle palace.
Bet on the second scenario and you've got a winner.
A Pentagon source says that Lewinsky was given an instant top-secret clearance, that "they rushed her clearances through and she didn't get the normal fine-toothed security combing."
Another Pentagon security source reports the White House is "spy heaven."
He says "Bill Clinton delegates clearance approval to White House flunkies who waive all sorts of criteria. A standard background investigation would have picked up Monica's promiscuity and devious nature in a heartbeat."
Normally, a security background investigation takes months. Investigators dig into every corner of your life. Did you cheat at marbles when you were 10? Were you a straight arrow in high school? Did you drink too much beer while at college? Were your mother and father stable and all-the-way-with-the-U.S.A.?
Yet, Lewinsky received her top-secret clearance in days. All her dirty laundry was left in the basket. Nothing came out about her college affair with a married teacher who says she "stalked" him using "emotional blackmail" to trap him into continuing their romance or her mailing him White House documents that could have national security implications or her being accused of being a "scheming truth-mangler."
Lewinsky was awarded one of the Pentagon's highest security clearances even though she was considered by White House insiders to be a flake with poor work habits.
And now the same White House gang that got her a quickie top-secret clearance is whispering she's an "unstable air head."
Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., providing the overworked White House Spin team with fire support, said "The poor child has serious emotional problems." He went on to say that she lives in fantasyland. "And I haven't heard she plays with a full deck."
Those in power should have checked out her background and where her head was at rather than where her body had been prior to hiding her in the Pentagon to shuffle through secrets of state like they were pages in her date book.
A former CIA agent says "The Clinton administration has played fast and loose with the rules. Given their politicized approach to intelligence and security matters, it wouldn't surprise me if a lot of people at the White House besides Monica Lewinsky had not been properly vetted for security clearances."
CIA Director George Tenet recently said "The executive branch leaks like a sieve." He told a Senate committee that "there are people all over this executive branch who have violated a trust."
According to former CIA and FBI agents, there are hundreds of security political appointee timebombs inside the Beltway. Take John Huang, formerly of the Commerce Department and now inches away from the slammer. He also had a top secret clearance. During an 18 month period, Huang received 37 personal briefings from the CIA and eyeballed thousands of secret documents. Frequently after a briefing, he was quickly on the phone to Indonesian, the land of his birth. When he was reassigned to the Democratic National Committee to raise money, he set a new record: the only Commerce Department employee ever to retain his top secret clearance after departing.
With such a loose security program, it's no wonder that an Iraqi spy recently passed information from the Pentagon to a senior intelligence official in Baghdad about the planned February U.S. air attack on Iraq or that a well dressed dude popped into an office near Madeline Albright and carted off a briefcase full of secret documents.
Congress should give Sexgate a miss. The real issue should be Securitygate. Right now it's wide open and our secrets are taking a walk.
He cared about national security issues so much that he and Berger hung up on the CIA when they had OBL surrounded. Hey - he was playing golf and had his priorities in order.
Thanks for reminder.
"Loose lips" indeed.
More of the Clinton legacy...
I thought we weren't supposed to worry about the President's private life. Pretty scary to think about--all someone had to do is flash him a little butt and she was in like Flynn.
yup. While I considered the perjury and abuse of office important, it is the way she got access that was the most troubling. ...and the media didn't seem to be the least concerned by her claim to have taken documents from Clinton's desk to prove to another person her access.
Actually Monica had a higher than "Top Secret" clearance. Terence Jeffrey had an article in Human Events detailing this abomination years ago.
"little butt"? Not.
The CIA (and probably other bureaucracies) got used to doing for themselves for 8 years while Bubba played. They had to set policy in the absence of clear direction from above, and this should not have been. It's no wonder that they dug-in there heels when GWB entered office (Plame Affair). GWB decided HE wanted to be president -- imagine that?
Reminds me of the scene in the baggage car of "Mission Impossible".
It would appear that a lot of people were guilty of "Extreme Mentoring" beside Ex-Pres. Clinton.
Hmmm... I don't like X-42 any more than anybody else around here, and I don't know if "that woman, Miss Lewinsky" was a good choice for handling sensitive information.
But... there's nothing to suggest that a background check wasn't done after a provisional clearance was issued, and she most likely would have passed anyway, given that nothing extraordinary was there to be found.
I would suppose that some sort of provisional clearance, especially right after inauguration as offices are being rapidly staffed-up, are not uncommon.
I'm pretty sure the dragged or "drugged" their feet in getting security clearances and back ground checks on staffers when the whole circus came to town in 1992. Tons of staffers "we don't need no stinking background checks!"
I recall that the security at Los Alamos was so bad (thanks to Bill Clinton) that the ChiComs got off with our nuclear weapons secrets.
True. Using holdovers from the previous administration, who already HAVE security clearances, is also not uncommon. Except that for the Clintons political-purity was more important than basic security.
You said it well Doug. You are one of the most educated Americans' when it comes to Bill and Hill!!! GO DOUG!!!
This is too ripe with the title. I'm not even gonna go there.
Roger that... and nothing in my above comment should be construed as suggesting that mister bill's administration was anything other than a security disaster. That place was leaky.
If anything, it was Lewinsky that did a pretty good job of keeping her lips sealed. Most of the time. Well... sealed on something, anyway... oh... heck with it.
Yeah, she can keep a secret allright.
I kinda like the original spelling...
bump for later
LOL! Great Pic!
Hackworth died 2005.
If I am not mistaken, Top Secret is the lowest security clearance, given out rather too easily, IMO.
From the Age of Clinton.
Even before she ballooned up, this pig never had a Little Butt. Bill refereed to it as his cigar holder.
Add poor taste in women to his list of numerous screw-ups.
The woman was being referred to as a troubled stalker. Yet, they gave her the clearance.
And she sent classified documents from a desk in the Pentagon to her former (married) boyfriend to show off.
The Rove Machine's only in second gear. There's still a whole highway ahead.
"Top Secret is the lowest security clearance"
Really? I guess my clearance and 3 month security check (BI) was just a lark.
You don't know what you're talking about.
I NEVER TOOK HACKWORTH SERIOUSLY. He pulled his punches when it came to the Clintons and for a 'foot soldier' who stood up for the enlisted GI's he didn't take seriously enough the goings' on of the upper brass when the grunts were doing the dirty work.
CIA directed in 1995 to seek Video Pirates
CIA directed in 1995 to seek Video Pirates
Race - thanks so much for that ping. And reminder. I'd forgotten that. I do remember that the FBI seemed more concerned with fighting Microsoft than finding sleeper cells in America.
This past week there was a story about high school kids from D.C. spending the summer at the FBI learning all about what they do there. They said they gave all the kids Top Secret Clearance.
Bull. You don't know what you're talking about. I've been there. Obviously you haven't.
You're mistaken. The lowest level of classfication on a document is confidential. Secret is next, then Top Secret. Various "caveats" may be applied indicating the nature and reason for the classication. At the time the clearance is granted, the security officer explains all the penalties for revealing any of the protected information. The range is nominally 10 years in federal prison to execution.
Do you believe everything you read? A TS clearance starts with about 40 pages of detailed forms on everything imaginable. Then the background investigations start. It can take upwards of a year for a TS to go "final" before you are permitted access to any material classified at that level.
You are *quite* mistaken... The lowest security clearance is "Confidential", followed by "Secret", then "Top Secret" (with a few others after that which are Top Secret followed by some special identifier, at various levels). Top Secret isn't at the bottom, but near the top, and *not* handed outout like popcorn...
Sure was handed out like popcorn to the D.C. high school kids embedded in the FBI this summer. To say nothing of the girl in the blue dress getting that same designation.
I had a TOP SECRET Clearance and
1.) I was a more-than-regular pain in the ass in High School. The dean wrote a letter of "non recommendation" to my college.
2.) I drank way too much in college.
3.) My parents were pinkos and clearly far from stable.
Top Secret is the highest level of security clearance. There is compartmentalized information that requires special breifings, but no "higher" level. In the day, a TOP SECRET clearance took almost a year.
A SECRET clearance is based on what is essentially a police records check, a CONFIDENTIAL merely requires the applicant to fill out a form, which is later checked for veracity. TOP SECRET requires extensive interviews with neighbors, employers, and others who might have had dealings with the applicant.
I wonder how many of these people are still within government.
I'm with you. My current job in the FedGov required a BI. I handed the investigator my TS clearance, he looked at it and said, "That's nice," and handed it back.
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