Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Secret and TOP Secret

Should I giggle? I was watching Jon Stewart, that wile comedian commentator that puts a comical spin on the daily news. In fact the show is called 'The Daily Show'. The subject today was the security leak of a vast number of secret papers that was posted on the web. Apparently those papers were classified "Secret".  His guest said "Top Secret Clearance is enjoyed by over 800,000 workers, while Secret Clearance is everybody but you, while gesturing to Jon Stewart.

Are there levels of "top secret clearance? Is there something called..."Top Secret 1", "Top Secret 2" and so on where highest clearance allows you access to the Vatican crypts, the White House Toilets, the Pentagon sun room? Would Top Secret 2 clearance allow one to roam freely through the malls shopping the sales before the rest of us bombard the aisles? Where does that leave those employees with just "Secret Clearance"? Are they allowed to whisper in places that would be frowned upon by those of us not blessed with SC?

I want a definition of what "Top Secret" and "Secret" really covers and since there are over 800,000 of those 'Top' guys and gals roaming around the USA, who is keeping an eye on them. Who determines if they have breached their TS (top secret) status. Do we have a branch of TS monitors?  Who monitors the monitors? This could be endless. But then that explains a bureaucracy more or less.

Excuse me while I scour the net for what constitues TS and S clearance.

FYI: after net search:

Confidential: This clearance refers to material which, if improperly disclosed, could be reasonably expected to cause some measurable damage to national security. The vast majority of military personnel are given this very basic level of clearance. It must be reinvestigated every 15 years.
Secret: Unauthorized disclosure of the information this clearance covers could be expected to cause grave damage to national security. This level gets reinvestigated every 10 years.

Top Secret: Individuals with this clearance have access to information or material that could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to national security if it was released without authorization. This level needs to be reinvestigated every five years.

Ah, now it's perfectly clear and the differences are staggering aren't they?
I feel so much safer knowing there are over 800,000 of those TS employees attached through contracted labor or vested employees to protection of our country. At least they hired enough of them huh?


  1. That is a very good question..I'm glad you did the recearch and cleared it up for all of us..and as usually love the witty spin you put on it. It made me smile :)

  2. Thanks Anonymous and I'm wondering ....are you Top Secret too...
    Thanks for stopping by!


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