[ExI] Security clearances

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Thu May 12 18:34:47 UTC 2016

Bill said he smoked weed a couple of times, didn’t inhale.   spike

I have been a Baptist, Episcopalian, Presbyterian and Methodist, and can
attest that they are all alike in this respect;  they pick and choose which
parts of the Bible to believe and follow.  We all know this, right?

Now apply this reasoning to laws.  A friend of mine got a traffic ticket
for going one mph through a stop sign in the middle of nowhere -  zero
traffic.  (I was in the same place 10 minutes earlier, put my car in 1st
gear, went through the sign about the same speed, and got a warning because
I talked very nice to the black trooper and did not say, as my friend did,
that this was totally ridiculous).

  Is anyone going to support this level of pickiness and technicality for
this law?  I would hope not.  In fact, we followed the spirit of the law:
 we endangered no one including ourselves and no property.

So, especially as libertarians, we pick and choose laws we'd break if
nothing dire would happen or maybe that we would not get caught.  The
country is moving towards legalizing pot (while it is increasing the
penalties for opioids).  It is legal in Colorado and I hope the domino
effect holds for these laws which have cost billions to enforce to little
avail except to put minor offenders in jail for lengthy terms.

I see nothing wrong with excusing youthful drug use, even for a President -
ditto traffic tickets, maybe even shoplifting.  Youthful brains are not
mature brains.  Who could we elect if we chose to exclude everyone who ever
broke any law at all, even in ignorance?

So there are laws and there are laws we care less about enforcing to the
maximum.  Only a complete authoritarian would find this wrong.

bill w

On Thu, May 12, 2016 at 12:11 PM, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:

> *From:* extropy-chat [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] *On
> Behalf Of *Adrian Tymes
> *Sent:* Thursday, May 12, 2016 9:13 AM
> *To:* ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
> *Subject:* Re: [ExI] Security clearances
> On Wed, May 11, 2016 at 11:20 PM, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:
> they must clear a president (and we have had three in a row who were not
> clearable by the traditional criteria.)
> Out of curiosity, which 3 do you mean?  I can see a case against Bush Jr.,
> but Obama, William Clinton, and Bush Sr. do not have obvious problems.
> (Unless you mean Clinton was blackmailable, but that was discovered only
> after he was cleared.  But even granting that, who's the third?  I can see
> some people arguing that Obama should not have been cleared due to being
> black, or being a Democrat with all that entails, but surely you have some
> more legitimate criteria in mind I'm not thinking of.  Obama hiring Hillary
> Clinton does not reflect on his own clearance.)
> Bill said he smoked weed a couple of times, didn’t inhale.  Even then,
> people could be cleared after having done illegal drugs, but their story
> had to match the story of others who were there.  His did not.  Security
> people ask around, find out who you hung with, when, what dope was being
> done, ask them what happened.  The others didn’t bother to try that silly
> didn’t inhale business: they detailed dozens of times when they (including
> Bill) damn sure did smoke weed and damn sure did in inhale.  We knew of it
> at the time; you would have a hard time finding anyone today who believes
> Bill only tried weed once or twice and didn’t inhale.  But hey, lying about
> smoking weed is a special subset case of lying.  And anyway, he wasn’t
> under oath when he said it.  It was just a speech.  So… fair game.
> OK so there is a discrepancy between his story and the witnesses.  No
> clearance for you!  However… a president is a special case.  So they had to
> clear him anyway.  Then there was a bunch of questions being asked that I
> got to see firsthand right when that was going on in 1992.  The security
> people changed the rules and started asking about drug use other than
> grass.  No kidding.  Grass didn’t count anymore as drug abuse (but alcohol
> abuse still did.)  The security people effectively legalized grass in order
> to keep the more important criterion of complete openness and honesty with
> the security people.  I agree with what was done.
> We had to ask: if the president could get a clearance after telling such
> an absurdity, are there any others who can do likewise?  Can we?  Answer:
> no.  Well, yes but not you.  The VP can do this too.  But if we catch you
> in a discrepancy, your clearance is a fading memory by the time the guards
> get you out the door and throw your paltry personal effects at you on the
> way out.  We acknowledged that the president (and the VP) really were
> security clearance special cases.
> Eight years went by.  Bush Junior had sucked up cocaine.  That one was
> different, for even in the 70s, when grass was sorta legal (as it is now in
> some states) cocaine definitely was not, never was.  Having it, using it,
> selling it, buying it, that stuff was a crime.  Bush43 admitted using it,
> was upfront and honest about it, told where and when, they found the
> witnesses, the stories agreed, Bush43 made it on one criteria but not the
> other: he did tell the truth, but cocaine was an actual crime.  They made
> an exception and cleared him.
> Eight more years, Barack admitted in his own book that he sucked up
> cocaine, even while he had no visible means of paying for it, but that case
> was more problematic than his predecessors, for they couldn’t find the
> witnesses.  We still do not know who were Barack’s childhood friends.  The
> security people ask about those, and try to find them if they can.  In his
> case, they couldn’t.  We still know very little about Barack’s formative
> years.  So… they made an exception for the president, as they did in the
> cases of his two predecessors.
> By the traditional criteria by which security clearances and
> investigations are carried out for others, none of the last three
> presidents would have been clearable: Bill for lying, Bush43 for cocaine
> and Barack for secrecy about his past.
> So what do we do about the Secretary of State?  That isn’t an elected
> position.  So the security people are not obligated to grant that position
> a clearance, for if the SecState loses her clearance, she is fired and a
> new one appointed, just as a CEO of a multi-billion-dollar defense company
> can lose his tickets for lying to security, and if so, he is replaced.  We
> have a shining example of exactly that.
> So do we make a special case for Secretary of State, so long as she will
> be the next president?  If so, how can we know for sure she will be the
> next president?  And if the security people know of clearance-destroying
> activities but failed to act, are they now legally liable?  Why not?  They
> participated in a cover-up, ja?
> spike
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