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Reuters Blames Snowden Leak On The Sequester

First we have this from Reuters:

Budget cuts hit security checks for defense contractors

By Mark Hosenball | June 19, 2013

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A budget shortfall has forced a Pentagon security unit to sharply cut back on regular investigations used to update security clearances for defense contractor employees.

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.

The announcement came two days before Edward Snowden went public in a video released by Britain’s Guardian newspaper as the source of leaks about the U.S. government’s top-secret surveillance of phone and Internet activity. Snowden was a contractor for Booz Allen Hamilton working as a systems administrator at a National Security Agency facility in Hawaii.

The leaks have alarmed the U.S. intelligence community and have raised questions about whether the government is doing enough to vet individuals for security clearances…

And never mind that Mr. Snowden received his top secret security clearance back in 2007, which is six years before Obama even came up with the idea of the sequester.

A person familiar with the matter said that because Snowden worked as a government employee and contractor for the NSA and Central Intelligence Agency, his security clearances would have been handled by them, rather than the Defense Security Service…

Picker of nits!

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…

And never mind that Obama has cut a trillion dollars from the Defense budget before there ever was a sequester. It’s all the fault of the sequester.

Meanwhile, this article from Bloomberg News is probably closer to the truth:

Background Checks Faked With Lax Oversight, Watchdog Says

By Nick Taborek | June 19, 2013

Investigators charged with conducting background checks of U.S. national-security workers have falsified records and aren’t receiving adequate oversight, according to an inspector general’s testimony.

One worker fabricated 1,600 credit checks before it was discovered her own background investigation had been falsified, Patrick McFarland, inspector general of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, said in prepared testimony obtained by Bloomberg in advance of a Senate hearing tomorrow.

While 18 investigators, including contract and government employees, have been convicted of falsifying reports since 2006, McFarland said the inspector general’s office lacks the resources to clear a backlog of an additional 36 cases.

“My office has been alarmed for several years about the lack of oversight,” he said in his written testimony. “Our resources remain woefully inadequate, preventing us from performing the level of oversight that such an important program requires.” …

These background checks used to be conducted by the FBI. Now they are done by rent a cops. But, hey, it’s not like national security is important or anything.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Thursday, June 20th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Reuters Blames Snowden Leak On The Sequester”

  1. Power fights back
    News @ 11

  2. Noyzmakr

    It’s almost as though the more money that’s spent and the larger government gets the quality and efficiency of said same seems to get worse.

    Who knew?


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