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Security Clearances and Some Stories Behind It

 
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Mine was a long time ago; 1977 at age 26 soon to be 27.

The place was Long Island, NY, working for a defense contractor.

The norm (I heard then ) was that after a thorough background investigation, the clearance would be granted. In those days, and for the particular application that I was working on, few candidates would have to be interviewed. Only if it became necessary (whatever that meant). I expect that today EVERY candidate is interviewed personally!

Well, the Dept. of Defense estimated that I needed to be interviewed and so they scheduled an interview during working hours to take place in a private, secure room that the firm that I was working for had to have for these purposes, I guess.

The interview went very well (about Feb 1977) and I thought that would be the end of it.

Then a few weeks after, the head of security came to me and said to me in a seriously/joking tone (he had to be neutral; his job demanded it): "The rep of the DoD is here again and he wants to talk to you again. Gee, I wonder what is it that you did in your teens or whatever...?"

Back in the private room the DoD dude said to me "hello Tony; sorry to be back but..."

The issue, as told to me by the DoD rep, was that the new Carter admin (which as you remember was inaugurated on Jan 77) had tightened or made more restrictive somehow, the granting of SECRET security clearances and that because of that, I had to be interviewed again.

The details of what had happened are private and at that moment irrelevant. I won't say what they were. Except to say that they had to do with me playing in a locally-successful rock band at an early age, ending at age 21. I was requesting the clearance at almost age 27.

The DoD agreed with me and the clearance was granted.

As an addendum for folks that are not familiar with security clearances, just because one has a SECRET clearance (like I did) does not mean that one can see ALL documents classified SECRET.

Of course you HAVE to have the clearance, BUT you must also show the NEED TO KNOW.

It happened to me then when my boss told me to go see "Joe" for the latest data on Soviet radar so that I could continue programming the Radar Warning Receivers that this defense contractor produced.

"Joe" took a good look at my badge (which color indicated the level of clearance) and also asked me for an explanation of WHY I needed to see the docs that I requested from him. And this is all in the same floor of the installation, a few yards from where I sat.

The DoD investigators helped my love-life more that I can thank them for... You see, I had been a grad student resident at the Stage-XII quad in the State University of New York at Stony Brook from Sept. to Dec. 76 as a grad student in CS.

Then in January I started the above job. Of course the investigators went around asking everyone they could talk to in the quad about me ("was he a nice guy etc.").

During my only semester there (Fall 76) there was this girl from Spain living two doors from me that was stunning in her looks; she simply looked like an european model. She was the type that I would say to myself "never look in that direction; too stuck up and maybe with a superiority complex.")

While I was living there (one semester) that's how she acted. I never addressed her!

Then in January I get my great job in Nassau County but I still travel to Stony Brook on the weekends to stay and party with my friends in Stage XII!

Imagine my surprise one of those weekend nights at a party on the third floor, when this Spanish grad student (age 23; I was 27) comes straight to me, with a big smile on her face, and says to me: "Last semester you lived two doors from me and you never told me that you played in a rock band in Puerto Rico! Hi! I'm from Spain and my name is Rocío!"

(Gulp! How did she know?) Easily. I asked her. It turns out that the DoD investigators came around Stage XII (as expected) asking about me and all she said to them, as she recounted to me, was that "he was a nice, polite guy. Sometimes he played his guitar in his room with his friends from upstairs visiting him and it was all good". Then she tells me (and this is where I am most grateful for our DoD) that the investigators told her: "Oh yes, he used to play guitar for a while in a rock band back where he is from, Puerto Rico. Thank you for your cooperation."

I AM NOT KIDDING! This was 1977 anyway...

Of course I took advantage of.. er... the opportunity to meet new people esp. from other continents...

Stage XII was then and maybe still is the quad for International students (at SUNY Stony Brook) independent of their academic level (undergrads and grads) and for American grad students.

Some of the best years of my life...

There! I said it!
[ August 07, 2004: Message edited by: Tony Alicea ]
 
Ranch Hand
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Map,Meaningless Drivel is moderated by
{Jim Yingst, Jason Menard, Bert Bates, Max Habibi}.How you were able to edit Tony's post?
 
Leverager of our synergies
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Arjun: Map,Meaningless Drivel is moderated by
{Jim Yingst, Jason Menard, Bert Bates, Max Habibi}.How you were able to edit Tony's post?


Sheriffs can edit/delete posts, move/close threads in any forum. I didn't change the content, only deleted an extraneous sentence that got there as a result of copy&paste operation.
 
Arjun Shastry
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Thanks .
 
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Originally posted by Tony Alicea:

She was the type that I would say to myself "never look in that direction; too stuck up and maybe with a superiority complex.")




Hi Tony,

Pretty good post...and a little confusing too

There is no such a thing as "Superiority complex" in life! There only exists inferiority complex with humans. A person tries to portray his/her image as if having a superiority complex than others...thats only to cover up the hidden inferiority complex. If you analyze people carefully, you will realize that this is true with almost everyone who act this way...mark my words..."act" this way!

Nice post though
 
Arjun Shastry
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{
only to cover up the hidden inferiority complex.
}
If its already hidden,whats the use of coverup again?
 
Vijayendra V Rao
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Originally posted by Arjun Shastry:

If its already hidden,whats the use of coverup again?



Haha! True! But have you seen anyone who have inferiority complex and don't try hard to cover it up?! I haven't! Thats what I was trying to say...thats all!
 
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I'm not quite sure if this is interesting or meaningless drivel. Perhaps its both, and therefore perfectly suited here
 
Tony Alicea
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Thanks Map for the editing... I didn't notice
 
Don't get me started about those stupid light bulbs.
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