March 8th, 2019

 

The inspiration for this came when I left my last job in the latter half of 2016, when the Hillary Clinton email scandal was still pretty recent and silly season… er, election season… was in full effect. While that workplace tended to lean more Republican (as is often the case with defense contractors), it was telling how universal the resentment was on the news of Hillary Clinton being given a free pass with her negligence and mishandling of classified information. The best I heard in her defense in the office was, “that’s a major screw-up, but she’s still better than the other option”. For those who’ve had to work in such an environment the reason for some resentment is pretty clear… any of us who did the same thing would have been fired and stripped of our security clearance AT A MINIMUM. Some amount of prison time would have been a very real possibility.

The Jared Kushner situation is somewhat different in that he wasn’t grossly negligent with classified information (at least that has been confirmed thus far). Rather, the issues with him were that he 1) clearly demonstrated no regard for the seriousness of the responsibility when he didn’t report ANY foreign contacts and relationships in his application, and 2) has an excessive number of foreign affiliations and foreign business relationships that create a conflict of interest. Now I will say the latter issue doesn’t make him a bad person; it just means his line of work and lifestyle probably makes him a bad fit for that responsibility. The former issue, though, I think shows an epic level of dishonesty and should have been enough to keep him from that kind of position. It may not be as serious an offense as the Clinton email scandal but it’s still pretty messed up, and is just one more example of how often the rules that the average person are subject to just don’t apply for the politically-connected and/or wealthy.

Bringing it back around to when I left the job in question, one of the things I had to do was get briefed by security and signing security paperwork. Giving me the papers, the security manager said (paraphrasing), “Signing these you acknowledge your responsibility to protect information, and if you fail to do so you could be subject to criminal penalties.” To which he added, “Unless your last name is Clinton.”

I got a rather good laugh out of that. ­čść