Top Secret Security Clearance

An arrest for leaking classified documents makes people wonder: how easy is it to get a Top Secret Security Clearance? I’m Amy E. Feldman.

The public was shocked by the arrest of an Air National Guardsman for suspicion of  leaking classified documents after pictures of the suspect show a baby-faced 21-year-old gamer who nonetheless had a top secret security clearance, making many wonder—if this guy got one, how hard is it to get a top secret security clearance?

The answer is: pretty hard. It includes investigation into many aspects of a person’s background including: foreign ties and allegiance to the US, financial considerations like whether he could be susceptible to bribery, a history of problem drinking, drug abuse, or mental illness, his outside activities, personal and criminal conduct, and whether he has a history of mishandling documents or misusing IT systems (those last two seem particularly important). If only there were a surefire way to check on common sense.

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