Buried in backlog, Feds give top-secret clearances to murderers, rapists

Marines assigned to the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit embark the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge in Norfolk, Va., in August. The Defense Department has some 100,000 employees on temporary clearances awaiting full security reviews. Mass Communication Spec. 1st Class Deven B. King – U.S. Navy

 

“This is very, very dangerous,” said Daniel E. Payne, head of the Defense Security Service, a federal office that oversees the granting of temporary clearances.

Payne said roughly 100,000 people hold interim clearances while working for companies with Defense Department contracts or at 13,000 cleared facilities and plants around the country and as they await a full comprehensive background investigation.

“I’ve got murderers who have access to classified information. I have rapists. I have pedophiles. I have people involved in child porn,” Payne said. “This is the risk we are taking.”

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