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View Diary: NSA/Booz Allen's Rank Incompetence That Led to Edward Snowden's Original Leak Disclosure (82 comments)

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  •  Sequester cut budget for contractor security check (1+ / 0-)
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    In the most ironic of consequences of the sequester,

    In a little-noticed announcement posted on its website on June 7, the Defense Security Service said that "due to a funding shortfall," it has been obliged to suspend "most" routine re-investigations of defense contractor employers cleared at the "Top Secret" level, at least through the end of September.
    But the Defense Security Service announcement shows how the government has been forced to recently scale back its oversight of security clearances in general for contractors.

    A government source familiar with the matter said the policy change was related to automatic federal spending cuts known as sequestration that began earlier this year when Congress failed to agree on an alternative deficit reduction plan.

    If a scheduled reinvestigation is delayed or canceled due to the budget crunch, clearance holders will be allowed to hold their clearances, officials said. "Nothing will happen to them," said Cindy McGovern, a spokeswoman for the Defense Security Service.

    Although the article mentions Snowden, it's not about him, but it does point out the potential for future problems with using contractors to perform sensitive intelligence operations. Consider this: screening for security clearances for government contractors is done by a government contractor. In Snowden's case, the contractor has been under investigation since 2011, although in this case, they appear to have done their job. USIS questioned his background after screening him, but Booz Allen hired him anyway.

    This is a logical consequence of the Republican insistence on outsourcing and trying to operate a country like a business. The work still needs to be done - thanks largely to the same Republicans that insist on increasing security and shrinking the size of government - only now, the most sensitive operations are being performed by contractors, with minimal oversight.

    Outsourcing national security, brought to you by today's Republican party.

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