Friday, 16 November 2012

Taking Classified Home

Years ago....I went through the Air Force intelligence school.  During the first week, we had this security business laid out in simple detail.  Anything that is classified....stays in the school vault.  There were harsh consequences laid out, if you were stupid enough to violate this understanding.

So three months go by, and we have this little episode to develop in the class behind me.  The librarians come to the end of the evening and are conducting the 100 percent inventory.  If you had classified for a project....then you could sign it out and store it in your class locker (within the vault).  It was a simple deal....holding classified in the locker.  The librarians came to check each locker and mark the signed items off.

Well....there's a twenty-page document missing from this inventory.  They know the kid who signed it out.  It's not in the locker.  So they pull out the checklist and call the Colonel who manages school, and he calls the cops to go and visit the kid at his dorm room on base.

The cops arrive....knock...and walk right in.  You have no rights when you live in a dorm room.  Here's the classified document on the kid's desk.  He was working on a project and needed extra time to develop his project.  They confiscate the document and direct him to report to the school in the morning.

They had to conduct an entire investigation into this....which likely consumed forty hours of interviews, thinking and writing.  You'd feel sorry for the person picked to do this.....they have better things to waste time on.

The kid was suspended for a couple of days while they sorted this out.  Basically, he got a reprimand at the end, and pushed back a class in the deal.  It was mostly done to make sure everyone understood that it was stupid to remove classified from the class or the vault.

Somewhere in the middle of my career....we had the story briefed to us about the junior NCO trying to outprocess from his UK base, and the shipping folks come upon an entire box of classified material that the guy was keeping in his barracks room for a personal research project.  He had accumulated all this stuff....taking a page here and there....out of his vault....and saved two thousand-odd messages.  The shipping folks called the SPs and they arrested the NCO.  Again, hundreds of hours were wasted on an investigation and developing a final report.  We never knew the final outcome, but I'm guessing they revoked his clearance, did bad-conduct paperwork on him and kicked him out of the Air Force.  Being in the intelligence field your entire life and having no further security clearance....kinda kills your career in the civilian world, unless you wanted to work at Jiffy Lube.

All of these people know better....but they all find some stupid reason to condone their stupidity.

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