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View Diary: OMG the affair was with his biographer who tried to access his emails - Updated: FBI forced his hand (107 comments)

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  •  An affair is a biggie, as it exposes him to... (23+ / 0-)

    ..blackmail.

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    by PatriciaVa on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 04:10:29 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  I generally have mixed feelings (10+ / 0-)

      on the ways those things are pursued -- I say as a queer who would have had just that held as "blackmailable" until surprisingly recently, had I gone for a clearance at any time.

      That said, anybody under him would have had to resign for having an affair, too, so yeah, I don't think he should be immune from that regardless.

      I mean, at some level of clearance, even family is interviewed and an eye kept on them. I know this quite well and personally. And if it turns out to be true that there is a security breach here, it does become a bit of a classic example of why this stuff matters.

      Amazingly stupid.

      •  Funny what we deem "blackmailable". (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PatriciaVa, Spit, LilithGardener

        A bj is not an impeachable offense, nor should being gay or having sex with someone not your spouse as a stand alone event be a blackmail issue in general. Americans and our Puritan ick factor at play there.

        It's the security breach that is the problem. Although the standard workplace harassment, subordinate rules should always apply. And of course, CIA director should hold a higher standard.

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        by lexalou on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 04:32:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The gay thing went way back (5+ / 0-)

          to fears about it when people's whole personal lives usually could be destroyed if they were outed. I actually get why it was viewed that way, although why they carried it for so long -- and for people who already were out -- is a bit, um, of a different story. Sometimes, the bigotry involved in those things dies hard.

          For some levels of clearance, though, anybody with lots of personal access is considered an important person to make sure is basically ok. I got interviewed a lot even as a kid, in that case to make sure nothing was slipping in casual conversation in the home. I'll stop with that for reasons of my own, but just to say, I have a lot of close personal knowledge of just how much they keep on top of really personal, daily contacts of those folks, people who might wind up even accidentally coming into contact with classified info.

          That's really pretty standard, when you're talking about the really clearance-y clearances. So an affair -- in which not only might you be blackmailed, since it could really wreck your home life for that info to come out, but also in which somebody you are in much more... close... contact with on a regular basis than your buddies or whatever -- that would raise eyebrows regardless, because they keep track of who might likely have any means to access classified info, etc.

          On the rest here, I'll wait for better facts, but if it's true that she was using her personal relationship with him to get into his email etc, it would be kind of an example of why they get worked up about that sort of thing apart from blackmail.

          Just sayin', though I find our cultural obsession with these things bizarre, it's not just the Puritan ick factor, when there's high security clearance involved.

        •  If you want an especially egregious example (13+ / 0-)

          there's what Britain did to Alan Turing when his gayness was discovered, a man to whom we really, no exaggeration, owe no small amount of gratitude in our side winning WWII, and also no small amount of gratitude in having these machines we're typing on.

          In that case, though, the stripping of his clearance was the least of it. They only just got around to apologizing in the last, like, couple of years, as I recall.

          •  Thanks for that. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Spit, cotterperson, PatriciaVa, G2geek

            I remember reading about him a while ago, and feeling ashamed. I guess I just wish we could mature as a country a little quicker. But I'm with you all the way on security issues. There should be no compromise on that.

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            by lexalou on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 05:15:46 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah, (7+ / 0-)

              totally agreed on all fronts. I don't know where my ideal lines would be on that stuff, but I do understand why they draw some differently with it, I guess. Civil liberties and normal expectations of what's "personal" do sort of stop at "high security clearance."

              It was a strange childhood, ha. :)

              As for Turing, it will always boggle my mind what was done to the guy, given how much we really do owe to him. It boggles my mind even worse how few people know much about him now, other than maybe something about turing tests. He was a truly brilliant guy, and a really pivotal hero in WWII -- his impact on our intelligence in that war is amazing, and his contributions to our understanding of the basics of what was need for computers is, too.

              So I try to make up for the legacy of pain caused by at least making sure people know more about him when I can.

              •  Not to diss Nate Silver in any way (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                PatriciaVa, G2geek, Spit

                but Alan Turing could have done the same math that Silver did, but without computers; and after which he would have rolled over and gone back to sleep.

                Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

                by Nowhere Man on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 07:57:04 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Thank you nt (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Spit, PatriciaVa

            When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day? George Carlin

            by msmacgyver on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 05:55:25 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Only if he tried to cover it up. Plenty of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PatriciaVa

      cleared people in this country are having affairs and reporting them to their security officers.

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