State Department Pulls Top Secret Security Clearance From Diplomat Who Linked To Publicly Available Info

from the head-in-the-sand dept

A few weeks ago, we wrote about the obviously vindictive investigation of long term State Department diplomat Peter Van Buren. Van Buren, who recently published a book that was critical of the US's efforts in Iraq (which he was a part of), wrote a blog post on his own website that merely linked to a leaked State Department cable on the Wikileaks site.

As we've noted many times, such info is clearly public now. But the US has a "head in the sand" approach to such things, and pretends that even though anyone with internet access can easily see this document, that it's still really "classified." So it began an "investigation" of Van Buren, which has now resulted in his top secret security clearance being yanked. And, demonstrating what a cowardly, childish and petty action this is, they didn't even fully revoke his clearance -- a move that could be appealed. Instead, they put it on an indefinite "temporary suspension," which can't be appealed.

So, uh, now what? It's not like he revealed anything that he got because of that clearance. He can still sift through the leaked Wikileaks documents like anyone else in the world and point stuff out. What good does the State Department think it has done here, other than making themselves look like completely vindictive idiots who take pointless actions against those who criticize them? This doesn't help protect classified info (at all). If anything, it draws a lot more attention as to what's in that document, and it makes our State Department look foolish. I want a State Department that deals in reality. Punishing someone for linking to public info is a move that is from an organization that lives in a fantasy world. That's scary.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2011 @ 8:33pm

    Re: Who's head is in the sand?

    "his actions show he is not trustworthy"

    So you trust the people who follow silly rules more than you trust the people who point out that the rules are silly? Try reading up about some real traitors, sometime. They followed all the silly rules and never offered any criticism. Funny that. Discussion of policy failures makes someone untrustworthy? Wow. This is the land of the free and the home of the brave we are talking about, right?

    Sure, he should have realized that there would be corporate psychopaths who would retaliate against him for any criticism. Having your State Department run by corporate psychopaths is not actually a good thing. Isn't it funny how the Secretary of State seems to be unwilling to defend Mr Van Buren. Could she be the cause of the problem? Americans, do you want your State Department to actually work or not?

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