Reply to post: Re: Depends on your clearance level

FBI, NSA to hackers: Let us be blunt. Weed need your help. We'll hire you even if you've smoked a little pot in the past


Re: Depends on your clearance level

I work with tons of ex-military, many of which were working on nuclear propulsion and other state-secret level stuff. Here's what I've been told...The clearance requirements seem like nanny-state stuff and morality hangups, but they're basically there to reduce risk. They're looking to avoid putting people in positions of trust who can be easily compromised. It's not just drugs...they're looking for people who can't manage their finances, for compulsive gamblers, and people who are concealing even small stuff. Examples would be Robert Hanssen ( who was basically doing it for the money, not because he was a die-hard communist or anything like that. What if you had an "expensive" wife/glrlfriend who you can't keep happy on a government salary? Or if you had a compulsion to bet large sums on sporting events and you sometimes frequent "non-sanctioned" gambling environments? It would be much easier for people to apply pressure to you. Someone I worked with in the past was a nuclear officer on a sub, and he told me that the whole reason the clearance was required in the first place was because all someone needed to do would be to take some pictures and funnel some documents to the appropriate sources, and that simple act might get a lot of people killed or expose a critical secret that opened up a vulnerability.

I think they're relaxing the requirements because the attitude towards recreational pot use has changed. Not everyone agrees but it's no longer a given that anyone who does drugs is a dangerous hippie. And when the FBI/NSA is going after white-hat folks, I think they realize that not everyone applying or who might potentially apply is a traditional conformist 50s crew-cut type.

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