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View Diary: WaPo: State Proposes Firing Whistleblower Peter Van Buren for Exercising 1st Amendment Rights (98 comments)

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  •  Actually, no it isn't. (5+ / 0-)

    Except in the extremely narrow area of how one handles classified information in one's possession; and the degree to which one may be persuaded or coerced to mishandle it.

    Nothing more.

    Suggesting that someone should lose their clearance because one says mean or hyperbolic things about a public official, as you have done, speaks to a deep ignorance of the process.

    Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

    by Robobagpiper on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 08:05:48 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  The bottom line is that someone (0+ / 0-)

      who views the President as the equivalent of Adolf Hitler can almost be guaranteed to act like an internal saboteur if granted access to confidential information under that President.

      Amongst the qualifications under the State Dept for security clearance:

      Conduct involving questionable judgment, lack of candor, dishonesty, or unwillingness to comply with rules and regulations can raise questions about an individual's reliability, trustworthiness and ability to protect classified information. Of special interest is any failure to provide truthful and candid answers during the security clearance process or any other failure to cooperate with the security clearance process
      (d) credible adverse information that is not explicitly covered under any other guideline and may not be sufficient by itself for an adverse determination, but which, when combined with all available information supports a whole-person assessment of questionable judgment, untrustworthiness, unreliability, lack of candor, unwillingness to comply with rules and regulations, or other characteristics indicating that the person may not properly safeguard protected information.
      So, no, some nutjob who refers to the SEALS who killed bin Laden as "murderers" and who thinks Obama=Hitler cannot be counted on to safeguard confidential information.

      In fact, you could bet money he'd blab to the press the first chance he got.

      "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

      by Geekesque on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 08:14:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is a ridiculous statement; application (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        420 forever, Jarrayy, aliasalias

        thereof would cause a purge of the civil service every time the executive changes hands.

        Political opinions are protected, and are never presumed to be a priori to be cause to deny or revoke a clearance, unless is affiliated with or has advocated the forcible overthrow of the US government.

        As I said, I've been through the process. And you clearly have zero understanding of it.

        Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

        by Robobagpiper on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 08:19:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  State Department personnel are more than (0+ / 0-)

          civil servants.  They carry out the foreign policy of the President and Secretary of State.

          To the degree they have expressed a complete unwillingness to do that, but rather view the President and Secretary of State as the embodiment of evil, they are manifestly unfit for any kind of job carrying out that foreign policy.

          Having this guy work on foreign policy would be like having DSK counsel rape victims.

          "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

          by Geekesque on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 08:28:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  As I said, there is not now, nor has there ever (0+ / 0-)

            been a requirement, to kiss the King's ring to hold a security clearance from either the state department nor the DoD.

            The fictionalized Sir Thomas Moore and Roper had an exchange relevant to this topic in "A Man for all Seasons". I recommend perusing it.

            Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

            by Robobagpiper on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 08:32:10 AM PDT

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            •  There's a difference between kissing the ring (0+ / 0-)

              and not being willing to carry out the job duties.

              This guy has given more than ample evidence that he is unwilling to help carry out the policy goals of the Department of State and exercise discretion in handling of classified information.

              He's qualified to stamp visas.  Other than that, there's no constructive role for him.

               

              "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

              by Geekesque on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 08:39:39 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Are massive fraud and waste of taxpayer money (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Emocrat, aliasalias

                part of the Dept of State's policy goals? Are you suggesting he should be punished for improperly handling this information? I'm not sure where you're trying to get with this.

                “In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.” Terry Pratchett

                by 420 forever on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 08:42:46 AM PDT

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                •  I'm stating that someone who states that (0+ / 0-)

                  President Obama is equivalent Adolf Hitler is incapable of serving effectively as a diplomat under President Obama.

                  Certainly he lacks judgment and discretion, in addition to his questionable commitment to serving the United States.

                  "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                  by Geekesque on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 08:45:47 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  I think... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            420 forever, Jarrayy, aliasalias

            you're taking this to an extreme that just isn't warranted.  Someone can call their boss a complete Nazi just because they are pissed off.  That doesn't mean they can't do their job.  Some of you are elevating these people in the Obama Admin, especially Obama, to iconic levels, when they are just Americans like we are.  They are elected officials, they are not deities.  Elected by gobs of money, I should add.  

            •  Would you carry out the foreign policy (0+ / 0-)

              of someone you viewed as equivalent to Adolf Hitler?

              Would you preserve secrets if they asked you to?

              "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

              by Geekesque on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 08:59:53 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                aliasalias, 420 forever, Don midwest

                I wouldn't take it to heart as much as you do.  Because I would assume it was to dig me.  And that's the real problem, because it gives the appearance of a junior high mentality.  Who wouldn't want crime, fraud, and waste revealed when we are all paying for it?  Perhaps there are those in the Administration who don't want to be messed with in any way concerning the negative aspects of their performance.  And to be fair, there are a lot of men/women who don't want to be embarrassed, humiliated, or to be called out about mistakes or things done on purpose for gain.  Not all, but certain people don't deal with that well and just love to retaliate.  That's what this is about.  It's retaliation for not being a good team player.  If that's what you think is important, so be it.  But some of us think that outing waste, fraud, and criminal behavior is more important than going along to get along...or get re-elected.  It's like saying..."Just put the nice sourdough bread on that shit sandwich and serve the damn thing.  They'll eat it.  And for God's sake...don't any of you mention the shit, or else!!!"  

                •  This would be a much different story (0+ / 0-)

                  if the guy had retired and then written this book.

                  But, when you're a relatively senior diplomat, publicly commenting on your job duties is a very thorny issue to be approached with maximum discretion.

                  To publicly comment that you'd welcome the Secretary of State's death while making a misogynistic comment about her vagina and comparing the President to Adolf Hitler indicates a guy who's simply incapable of exercising the judgment necessary to carry out his job.

                  "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                  by Geekesque on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 09:38:55 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I look at it this way... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Don midwest

                    The juvenile mentality is pervasive in our society and horrifically apparent at the top levels of our govt. on both sides.   I don't take anything these people say seriously.  I'm not sure there are any adults in the room.  I'm complete cynical, because I feel like a game is being played.   We, the taxpayer, are completely outside the playing field, but we are the only ones who could get hurt.  This guy doesn't need good judgement, because it doesn't seem to be required for any job in Washington....in my opinion.  You just have to go along to get along and nothing bad will happen to you.  He forgot this rule.  

                    •  I have a few questions. (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      aliasalias, 420 forever, Don midwest

                      Is the name calling worse or more important than the reason for the whistle blowing in your mind?  Do the revelations take a back seat to his characterizing the President as a fuhrer or saying nasty things about Hillary?  

                      •  Saying that stuff about the people (0+ / 0-)

                        whose policies your job is to carry out indicates (a) a profound lack of professionalism, judgment, discretion and fitness for a diplomatic function (or an office temp, for that matter); and (b) a blatant indication that the person will not do his job if that job is to carry out their policy goals.

                        The disclosure stuff is kinda meh--no he didn't reveal anything earth-shattering or that would harm national security, but at the same time if you don't respect the process around the disclosure rules as a diplomat, it's very hard to claim you're suitable for the job.

                        "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                        by Geekesque on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 10:14:33 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Okay... (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          420 forever, Don midwest

                          I'm trying to figure out how to say this without sounding like I'm being incredulous or nasty...(because I appreciate the debate)...but

                          It's more important to you to be professional, ect (keep your nose to the grind stone) and carry out administrative policy (being a team player), AND in doing so turn your back on illegal or unethical behavior, and just do your job, BECAUSE the ends will justify the means, hopefully?  Is that what you are saying?  

                          You are also saying huge wastes of money and corruption are the norm, so it's not a big issue unless our national security is at risk?  And you have to play by the rules given to you...end of story.  Is that how I'm reading that?    

                          Thanks for answering.  

                          •  No, I'm saying that if you act like a psychotic (0+ / 0-)

                            stalker ranting about Hillary Clinton's vagina, willfully flout State Department disclosure rules, and refer to Barack Obama as a Nazi, you're manifestly unfit to serve this country as a diplomat.

                            "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                            by Geekesque on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 10:32:01 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  So...in general (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Don midwest

                            You are not concerned with what he did, but how he carried it out at the end like ticked off 12 year old.  

                          •  Yes, with the addition that there (0+ / 0-)

                            is an inherent conflict of interest when you write a book based on your current job--especially when there's a major theme of self-promotion, both in trying to sell books and in making oneself look good at the expense of colleagues and superiors who can't comment on the subject matter.

                            He should have retired, then written this book.  That would have been the honorable thing to do.

                            "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                            by Geekesque on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 10:38:43 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Also... (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Don midwest, Geekesque

                            if you want to be taken seriously, don't jump into the gutter.  

                            I still think retaliation towards him is a knee jerk reaction from the guilty.  And we need people who will stick their necks out, but for the good of our country and nothing else.  I also think the insane amount of corruption by the military needs to be addressed in a quick minute.  History shows what can and will happen if we allow it to continue....and none of it is good.  Thanks for the chat, and I really appreciate your honest answers and civility.  

                          •  The initial decision to launch an (0+ / 0-)

                            inquiry was at least  a bit heavy-handed.

                            But, he certainly went into self-destruct mode after that.

                            Sometimes a little bad spirals into a great big terrible.

                            "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                            by Geekesque on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 11:29:59 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Geekesque... dare I say ... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Geekesque

                            ... classic? Hahahaha!

                            Again, a 700-word, one-sided essay which purports to explain the type of detailed and fact-intensive situation that would take a lawyer 2 weeks to comprehend from this diarist.

                            If this whack job hired me to be his lawyer, I would have to make sure the Judge gave me at least a month to get up to speed -- with that much time to devote wholly to his case -- and I sure as hell wouldn't take anything he said to me as verbatim truth, but would have to investigate each written statement, action and utterance.  

                            P.S.  I also guess the First Amendment protects diarists who have a "book" on the subject and "clients" -- especially if they want to write more books and represent more clients. This stuff is less entertaining and effective, but more a true representation of capitalism than a Pos-T-Vac erectile dysfunction infomercial.  (I'm just kidding, that was a joke! They don't both suck!).  : )

                            Republicans, like Zombies, just want to get a head.

                            by Tortmaster on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 03:35:34 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

      •  Indeed, your argument is identical to that made (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        420 forever, Jarrayy, Emocrat, aliasalias

        by Bush's authoritarian followers, who presumed that vocal disapproval of their beloved President was sufficient cause to presume not only disloyalty, but criminal and treasonable intent.

        Bush, however, was never America Incarnate; nor is Obama. And fortunately our system survived "Bush Derangement Syndrome" (as Bush's authoritarian followers coined it) with security clearances, and it will survive "Obama Derangement Syndrome" with the same.

        Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

        by Robobagpiper on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 08:29:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Did any career foreign service people (0+ / 0-)

          publish blogs indicating they thought Bush was a genocidal Nazi dictator and expressing blanket opposition to US foreign policy?

          "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

          by Geekesque on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 08:41:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not just foreign service people, DoD people, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            aliasalias

            contractors for both, and so on. You do remember the Bush administration, don't you?

            Our system asks us to be loyal to the country, not to a President or his policies. Political opinions that fall short of advocacy of violent overthrow are given the highest protection.

            Why? Because of people making arguments you're making - that the measure of loyalty to country is the measure of loyalty to one man.

            Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

            by Robobagpiper on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 08:53:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  He threatened Hillary Clinton: (0+ / 0-)
              “Chortling over anyone’s death is a disgrace, though we all may now smile a bit at yours.”
              Deleted since then.

              He also deleted a reference to her feminine parts.

              He's a nutjob.

              "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

              by Geekesque on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 08:58:57 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Loyalty to country (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              aliasalias

              During the darkest days of the Bush administration, it would have been inconcievable that we would be dealing with these actions today, under a Democratic president, who said he would have the most transparent administration ever.

              We can be loyal to our country, while condemning what we see to be wrong, whether a Bush or an Obama presidency.

              Pentagon Papers Daniel Ellsberg, “It was always a bad year to get out of Vietnam.”

              by allenjo on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 09:23:09 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

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