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I Married A Spy - Chapter 3
I was pretty shocked when Steve came home in 1976 and announced that he could work at the CIA if I agreed to move to Washington DC. I stared at him probably for about a minute before I spoke. "I don't think so" and "no." I thought that he would remember that he hated the military and we had a Nixon Countdown Calendar, a poster of Nixon with the remaining days of his Presidency so you could check them off one by one. After Nixon and Viet Nam, and especially Melvin Laird his war secretary, the nation had had enough of military politics. Steve knew about Washington politics because he watched the Watergate hearings with me, unless he forgot.
We were living at U.C. Davis at the time and six years had gone by. Steve was getting a Master's Degree in Russian Studies and had been given a teaching assistantship. He was about to graduate, but I don't recall any graduation ceremony or seeing any diplomas. All I remember is his collection of attractive beer bottles. He had worked summers harvesting tomatoes for local growers with all the other students. Best student job to ever hit town before illegal immigration. Steve used the pass to the agricultural station to get into the college vinyards where he could clip of a few buckets of premium fine wine grapes, and go home and make his own.
By 1976, Steven Grimaud had a microbrewery and winery set up in our campus apartment. Why buy it at the store when you could just make it yourself. I wasn't drinking any of his home brew and neither was anybody else. Fat Boy was drinking the whole thing by himself. By 1976 he had chugged enough booze to expedite his liver to an early grave. His blood level toxicity was about maxed out, so it was a good thing when I called Alcoholic Anonymous and asked them to come and get him. He's the only person in the history of AA who was set up. They had me go to a meeting and then call him to come and pick me up. Then they put him in a room and told him he was an alcoholic, just to get him off the streets. He did not go gently into that night, he came home madder than hell. "They told me I'm an alcoholic!" The man had to be told the obvious.
The only thing I don't remember is evidence of him actually attending college and graduating. How could I? When we arrived in Davis in 1973, he told me I was forbidden to go to campus without him.
He apparently had something "going" and me showing my face anywhere near the Russian Department was certain death. I stayed at home and made sandwiches for the Hamburglar. Our daughter Jennifer was out of the toddler stage. We spent our time by the little bike path and had picnics under the trees. I put up bird feeders so I had somebody to hold a conversation with during the day.
This security clearance business that Steve was so worried about when he was in the Navy, seemed to have disappeared overnight. He wasn't sweating bullets that I would say the wrong thing to the base commander about his drinking. Now he told me that I should just lie if anybody asked. It went from "Don't tell anybody I'm an alcoholic" to "Just lie if anybody asks about me." I suppose he had enough confidence that he had devoured my soul that he could just tell me to lie to the Department of Defense so he could get a job at the CIA.
Obviously, he was not worried about passing the background check. I represented the usual stumbling block to success that I always was to him, his moral compass. Like the time he found a stolen motorcycle outside the base and tried to convince me that it was a case of finders keepers. I made him return it to base security to the rightful owner. He was prepared to file the serial numbers off and paint it a different color. I have always been a thorn in his side, this is nothing new.
The Torture Memos were released in April 2009. They included a descriptive legal definition of human torture and waterboarding. President Obama initially stated he would not pursue any criminal prosecution against the former Bush White House for knowing about and allowing torture to extract information from Middle Eastern prisoners. Obama changed his position after a backlash of public outrage a few days later, and stated that it would be up to the new Attorney General Eric Holder to make the key decision, adding that America had lost “it’s moral compass.”
Obama was not draft age during Viet Nam or he would have never said the America lost it's moral compass or used such a ridiculous and inappropriate analogy. These Torture Memos are more rightly described as degradation and sadism committed by persons who enjoy committing murder as a sport. America lost it’s moral compass when it stole the British Constitution and came up with their own twisted version in 1776 that continued to enslave Obama’s half of the American population. America lost it’s moral compass 200 years later when it took Martin Luther King to stand on a balcony and get shot in order to make an impact on Washington.
America lost it’s moral compass when it allowed IBM to develop a technology and export it to Hitler’s Germany to keep track of every Jewish person in Europe. That is described in "IBM and the Holocaust" and obviously neither Obama or anybody else in his White House has read it. And nobody has even addressed the issue if this same IBM today kept track of every Jewish person and dissident in America. IBM seems to be doing very well on Wall Street right now in spite of it's past.
America’s corporate export has been interfering with the peace of nations since at least 1933. Eisenhower had to issue a warning about the military industrial complex creating the conditions for war, destabilizing economies and supplying weapons to antagonize both sides of the argument. What a way to sell guns and ammo. Congress hands out military contracts before they even ask the basic question, what exactly do you plan to do with all this firepower? None of the military contracts is even monitored by the individual members of Congress, they let "other people" do that for them. The F22 was over-budget since the day it hit the blueprints in 1991 and it was Obama who finally shut that down. Nobody even did an audit on the F22 and it survived as a military slushfund for 17 years.
America’s moral compass has always been haywire. America created the framework for the biggest bureaucracy in the history of man. Rome couldn't top this one. Even if you wanted to improve conditions in the United States, you couldn’t do it. The bureaucracy always stops you cold. You either run out of steam trying to talk to Congress or you end up broke trying to use the courts. If change was possible, America would have high speed rail, beautiful unspoiled forests and wetlands, and a respect for human life and nature. These guys don’t even believe in global warming, even when polar bears start feeding off the family poodle. And now we're invading Canada and taking a shot at their beautiful unspoiled rivers trying to sell them power they simply don't need. All America does is interfere then when things are at their worse, we rush in waving our glorious Constitution claiming to be the greatest nation in the entire world.
It's no wonder they offered my former husband a job. He's only one of a handful of people who would compromise his own values to the point to take a job with the world's biggest bunch of hypocrites, the United States Department of Defense.
So it’s no surprise to me or anyone else when Torture Memos describe the details of waterboarding, literally drowning somebody to get conforming answers, because the people with “security clearances” probably would beat the hell out of anybody because that is the type of person who seeks out a military security clearance. I would think given the experience I’ve had with military personnel, that they would literally beat somebody to death to extract whatever information they needed to have.
This is a nation that stands behind the right to own a weapon and justifies it when a teenager kills his own classmates at school. This is not a nation of run by critical thinkers or intelligent adults. This is a nation of bureaucrats who never check the facts or act on their own personal experiences. They rely on ‘other people’ to make critical decisions, like handing out security clearances. Once someone gets a security clearance at the NSA or the CIA, there is literally no stopping them. This is a license to kill.
The only way to get a security clearance at the NSA or the CIA is to have somebody get you the job and flag you past the background check. They simply look the other way at negative information, just to fill the chair. There is nobody that could actually pass the required background check as the requirements are written.
There is a general malaise toward security clearance background checks. The only way to lose a security clearance is to be targeted, somebody either wants your job or somebody hates you. Then they drag out Department of Defense Directive 5220.6, and go line by line through the 50 pages of requirements until they find the one that you fail to pass. Then they hold a civil trial in a strip mall, bring in a military prosecutor from Defense Legal Services, and nail you to the wall and strip you of your clearance.
Then they replace you with somebody who has been hand picked to fill your job. There is always an agenda involved in connection with your job. They only put key people in positions and then meter out a security clearance, so they can do whatever they are supposed to do.
President Eisenhower had to draft the original requirements for security clearances because after WWII, there was a scramble for Federal jobs. The fastest way to clear up a few Federal jobs was to go around accusing loyal employees of being a security risk, then firing them. When they fired one too many loyal Federal employees, the military was sued for violating the Constitution and civil liberties.
President Eisenhower issued a Presidential Order requiring the Secretary of Defense to adhere strictly to the Constitution in all cases where security clearances were involved. The Secretary of Defense then wrote a few paragraphs that became policy.
During the waning days of the Reagan Presidency, the Secretary of Defense enhanced these paragraphs to 40 additional pages. The requirements were written in the form of a confessional, making it literally impossible for any person in the United States to hold a security clearance. They included every human fault, every sin, and inferred every possible implication of impropriety. The Spanish Inquisition was the only human event considerably worse than the re-draft of DOD 5220.6.
The Department of Defense could then stand back and hand out security clearances to whomever they wished, and deny security clearances to anyone who challenged their agenda. And when it came down to torturing prisoners, it could all be written off as Defense policy. The Department of Defense was only fettering out security clearances to people who were willing to beat “the truth” out of other human beings.
That’s how Steven Grimaud got his security clearance at the NSA after a ruinous career as an enlisted seaman. He was simply willing to cross the line and do whatever he was told to do. Steven Grimaud would even compromise his own family and the NSA had no issues when they discovered that he did.
In 2007, confidential documents were retrieved in a drug raid after a replacement employee filled a vacancy at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. Somebody lost a job and it was filled by a woman with no experience whatsoever in the handling of Confidential documents. She was a subcontractor and given a security clearance. She took the confidential documents home where they were siezed in a drug raid.
The Department of Defense who should have at least done a drug test on a person who was applying for a security clearance, failed to even discover that the woman was involved in drugs. Nobody did a background check or discovered that she was involved with the community of drugs.
The security problem with this situation was entirely compromised. The police who entered the residence, saw the confidential documents. The national press ran the story. The confidential documents were never returned with the any confidence as required by DOD 5220.6. Who knows how many people actually saw these confidential documents before they were finally returned to Los Alamos. Who knows if they were supposed to be siezed in a drug rais?
Who looked the other way and gave this women a security clearance? Security clearance background checks and re-checks are done by private sub-contractors, and we all know that private business is the easiest place to compromise security.
Bottom line: Security clearances have no meaning whatsoever. They’re are useless as a tool to insure security, in fact, they create even more problems for security. People who clearly should not hold a security clearance, are never checked out. It’s who you know, or who knows you, that’s the only way to keep a security clearance.
The CIA and the NSA simply do not check out the people they hire, and they do not re-check the people they have on their payroll. If they did, they wouldn’t be able to find anybody to work there.
When questioned about the Torture Memos on Meet The Press, Robert Gibbs, Obama’s White House Press Secretary said that “people with security clearances” and “people who were cleared to look at confidential memos” would be evaluating the internal documents. That’s a meaningless statement if I ever heard one. The public has no assurance at all that the people looking at confidential documents aren’t part of a hidden agenda.
Security clearances in the United States are doled out like discount coupons to Knotts Berry Farm. Each Spring in Southern California, Ralph’s Supermarkets used to participate in a promotion with Knotts, where if you buy $50.00 worth of groceries, you get two tickets to Knotts Adventure Park for $9.50.
Each year In late April, if you are lucky enough to have a driver’s license with a Southern California address, you are entitled to a “two-for”; admission to Disneyland, two admissions for one price. This is a significant savings for the average Southern California family. The only requirement is to live in Southern California.
The only requirement for a security clearance with the Department of Defense is to pass a basic cognitive exam and have somebody clear up a desk for you. Then you’re set for life, just like Popeye has been for the past 30 years. No questions asked and none needed.