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
    SC, 20 Oct 2011 @ 9:29pm

    Re: Re: Who's head is in the sand?

    AC, violating public trust makes him untrustworthy. Secretary of State is not defending him because his actions are indefensible. He violated his security clearance agreement (a binding contract) for all the world to see.

    He could have written his opinions of the government and its actions all day long every day for the rest of his life, but he posted classified information and incriminated him self in multiple ways.

    Funny thing is, suspending his clearance is a slap on the wrist. What he did is treason, and since we are at war, the maximum punishment is the death penalty.

    So, since we can be assured that his punishment was determined either by or with the knowledge of both the Secretary of State and the Oval Office, that they have considered just how far to punish him.

    Most likely outcome is that he will be ostracized, forced out of government and treated as a pariah. He'll probably find a cushy life on the lecture circuit.

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