Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Strategic Vision Honor Roll: The Honorable JAMES A. YOUNG, Administrative Judge

Read the whole thing here, but here are a couple quotes from his decision.

For background, this guy was applying for a security clearance,
“Applicant is a 36-year-old senior database administrator for a defense contractor. …Applicant was born in the PRC. He graduated from a university in the PRC with a Ph. D. in biochemistry. He came to the U.S. in 1992 as a visiting scholar. In 2000, he received a master's degree in computer science from a U.S. university. Since arriving in the U.S. in 1992, Applicant has returned to the PRC on eight occasions: Twice in 1997, three times in 1998, once in 2000 and twice in 2002. Applicant traveled on his PRC passport until he became a U.S. citizen in 2002. He surrendered his PRC passport to the PRC Embassy in Washington, DC. …In 1997, Applicant went to the PRC to meet his wife. His wife was born in the PRC to citizen residents of the PRC. She received a bachelor's degree in architectural engineering from a Chinese university in 1997. After her marriage to Applicant, she emigrated from the PRC to the U.S. in 1998. Tr. 145. She received a master's degree in computer science from a U.S. university in 2000. Applicant and his wife have two children, both born in the U.S. Tr. 147. Applicant's wife became a permanent U.S. resident alien in 2003, but will apply for U.S. citizenship as soon as she is eligible. She has a PRC passport. She is currently working as a software developer…..One of Applicant's older brothers is a doctor who graduated from medical school in the PRC. That brother is married to a Chinese woman and they have two sons, one born in the PRC, the other in the U.S. Applicant's brother and his wife are both U.S. permanent resident aliens. They intend to apply for U.S. citizenship as soon as they are eligible. They both possess PRC passports. The wife's family still lives in the PRC. Applicant's brother has returned to the PRC three times since 2000 when he became a U.S. permanent resident alien. Tr. 117. Applicant's parents are 73 and 65. They are retired and live in the countryside. Applicant's father was a construction laborer and then became an independent contractor delivering supplies to construction sites. Applicant's mother has not worked outside the home. Applicant's oldest brother is a citizen and resident of the PRC. He does work similar to that done by his father. ….. Applicant's wife used to talk by telephone to her family once a week, but since Applicant's security clearance has become an issue, she has reduced the number of calls. ”
It was denied. Duh. He appealed. Duh.

Hey, great American and all that, but as ma’h Dadd’ah used to say, “No one owes you a living there pal.”

Well, the Judge kind of puts it the same way.

“"[N]o one has a 'right' to a security clearance." Department of the Navy v. Egan, 484 U.S. 518, 528 (1988). As Commander in Chief, the President has "the authority to . . . control access to information bearing on national security and to determine whether an individual is sufficiently trustworthy to occupy a position . . . that will give that person access to such information." Id. at 527. The President has restricted eligibility for access to classified information to United States citizens "whose personal and professional history affirmatively indicates loyalty to the United States, strength of character, trustworthiness, honesty, reliability, discretion, and sound judgment, as well as freedom from conflicting allegiances and potential for coercion, and willingness and ability to abide by regulations governing the use, handling, and protection of classified information." Exec. Or. 12968, Access to Classified Information § 3.1(b) (Aug. 4, 1995). Eligibility for a security clearance is predicated upon the applicant meeting the security guidelines contained in the Directive.”
The folks at “Inside the Ring” do a good synopsis of the high points on 10 DEC 04 roundup.

"Countries such as Canada, Great Britain, and Italy, for example, are representative democracies that pride themselves on the protection of civil liberties," he stated.
"An applicant's foreign associates in those countries would face considerably less risk of exploitation than those in the [People's Republic of China], which is known as a repressive regime in which individual rights of citizens are not honored."
He stated that China is "hostile, and has interests inimical, to those of the U.S." It is also "a totalitarian state that depends on the suppression of its people."
"The PRC has been involved in espionage against the U.S., both military and economic," he stated.
Judge Young noted that the clearance applicant's relatives in China are not foreign agents. But their presence in China means they are "subject to the pressures of the communist regime" and makes the applicant vulnerable to compromising U.S. secrets.
Despite increased U.S.-Chinese cooperation since September 11, China "is still a totalitarian state with a human rights record of abuses that 'have been among the most visible and constant points of contention in Sino-U.S. relations since the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown,' " he said.
Also, China remains one of the most aggressive collectors of U.S. defense information and technology, he said.
It is good to see that a good man is in the right place at the right time. There are many great Americans, like the person in question, that do not qualify for a security clearance. Nothing bad towards them, but a nation at war with many enemies must err on the side of caution.
Oh, and before you cry racism, read this. Actions have consequences. That is life. If people at the State Department and the folks that issue driver’s licenses took their responsibilities more seriously, 9/11 would not have taken place like it did. Fact.

Judge Young, congrats on being the Plank Owner of the Honor Roll.

Hat tip to
Bill Gertz and Rowan Scarborough.