US News and World Report
August 20 & 27, 2001
Washington WhispersBy Paul Bedard
Felon filterNearly a year after Congress and the White House OK'd a law barring felons from winning top-secret clearances, the Pentagon has put the rules into place. In a memo, top official Paul Wolfowitz IDs who's blackballed: convicted felons sentenced to more than a year, users of illegal drugs, those deemed mentally incompetent, and folks dishonorably discharged from the military. Restrictions can be waived in "meritorious cases." Debate over the new law remains white-hot. Security analyst Steven Aftergood says it ignores those who've overcome their past. But Sen. Bob Smith, New Hampshire Republican, says only applicants with the "highest integrity" should have access to intelligence.
Copyright 2001 US News & World Report