Following her raising national security concerns, Tricia Newbold claims her supervisor began to humiliate her — she has a rare form of dwarfism.
"Mr. Kline repeatedly altered her office environment… such as physically elevating personnel security files out of her reach."
— Tim Mak (@timkmak) April 1, 2019
Betty Cracker already posted about the risks of this potential security breach, but seriously — this is the kind of petty, venal abuse we used to mock when it happened in poverty-stricken, desperate authoritarian states:
… … Ms. Newbold’s decision to accuse her own office of rampant mismanagement of the security clearances of at least 25 employees came after months of what she characterized as personal discrimination and professional retaliation from Carl Kline, the office’s former director, after she spent roughly a year trying to raise issues internally.
In a White House where aggressive leak investigations are conducted in service of President Trump, who has aides sign nondisclosure agreements, Ms. Newbold’s account represents the rarest of developments: a damning on-the-record account from a current employee inside his ranks…
Described as both “no nonsense” and “intense” by people who have interacted with her during the clearance process, Ms. Newbold has served under four presidential administrations, beginning with the Clinton White House in 2000. Eventually she worked her way up to adjudications manager, a job that required her to help make determinations about the security clearances of administration employees. Her office is filled with holdovers from other administrations, and it is meant to be nonpartisan.
Yet in the Trump administration the office was filled with people who had little experience in vetting employees in the interest of national security, Ms. Newbold said in a nine-hour deposition with the House Committee on Oversight and Reform last week.
Ms. Newbold told the committee that at least two senior administration officials had been granted security clearances — which gave them access to classified information — despite possible disqualifying issues. She also told the committee that she had compiled a list of at least 25 individuals, including contractors and senior advisers, who had a “wide range” of disqualifying information, including drug use, financial problems and criminal conduct…
Surely the ‘Party of National Security’ will speak up about this travesty!…
In a response memo, Republicans say the whistleblower's complaints are "overblown" because "only 4-5" of people granted clearance over her objections had "very serious" security issues. ¯\_(?)_/¯
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) April 1, 2019
Tricia Newbold is also not doing any press, according to her lawyer.
Her lawyer says that she's in fear for her job — she is still working in the White House — and does not think it will help
Her attorney also says she had been moved off security adjudication manager role
— Tim Mak (@timkmak) April 1, 2019
Professor of international relations Stephen M. Walt, at Foreign Policy, “America’s Corruption Is a National Security Threat”:
… [C]orruption is inherently inefficient. Instead of resources going where they are most needed, they get diverted into bribes, payoffs, kickbacks, and other shady arrangements. And when the wealthy and powerful use connections to get jobs or contracts (or to get their kids into college), that means that more deserving and talented people get excluded and less qualified people end up in positions of authority. The more common such practices become, the more honest and law-abiding people will be tempted to follow suit just to keep up. And once corruption becomes endemic in a society, rooting it out becomes difficult if not impossible.
Corruption and other forms of elite malfeasance also nourish populist anger. When elites go to great lengths to game the system and are increasingly seen as out of touch and unaccountable, it is hardly surprising that ordinary people who have been playing by the rules become so angry that they will put their faith in anyone who promises to shake up the system. Such sentiments help explain the otherwise surprising popularity of a candidate like Bernie Sanders or the rapid rise of straight-talking politicians like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Ironically, it also played a key role in Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, which proved that if you can fake integrity, you’ve got it made.
Over the longer term, rising corruption threatens America’s soft power, and especially its reputation for competence. Other countries are more likely to follow America’s lead when they believe the core institutions of U.S. society are run by people who know what they are doing, and when foreign governments have confidence that the information provided by U.S. officials is accurate. But when grifters rule the roost and privileged elites use their current positions to hog even more for themselves, their offspring, and their cronies, our core institutions will function poorly and other states will lose confidence in our ability to deliver as promised.
To be sure, the United States still ranks relatively low on most indices of corruption, and it is a far cry from those unfortunate places where corrupt practices are almost a way of life. But we Americans are not nearly as pure as we pretend, or as concerned about the problem as we ought to be. And as long as Donald J. Trump is alligator-in-chief, life in the swamp will go on as before.
WARREN FOR PRESIDENT 2020:
New:@ewarren will introduce a bill requiring presidential divestment.
“Corruption has always been the central stain of this presidency," Warren tells me.
Trump corruption is natural post-Mueller focal point, given all that's been uncovered.
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) March 27, 2019
… Warren has just introduced in the Senate a sweeping measure called the Presidential Conflicts of Interest Act, which requires the president, vice president and their close family members to divest in all financial interests that create conflicts of interest and place them in a blind trust.
The bill would also bar presidential appointees from participating in matters involving the president’s financial interests and would require the president and major-party presidential nominees to release three years of tax returns…