Growing up the concepts of honor and integrity were core to the family. Anything short of absolute truth and respect was not allowed. It was literally beaten into us as a foundation of being a man. Under no circumstances were we to lie, break our word, cheat, steal or demonstrate disrespect to our parents. The penalties were stiff and swift. The memories of those penalties, long lasting.
I have never had to look up a definition of honor. I knew instinctively what it was. It is something I had the day I was born, and I never had to question where it came from or by what right it was mine. If I was stripped of my honor, I would choose death as certainly and unemotionally as I clean my shoes in the morning. Honor is the presence of God in man. (The Lords of Discipline (1980))
Having served in the military as both an NCO and CO, I was reminded on many different levels the lessons I learned in my youth. That my word was my bond. My actions a reflection of my position, name, and station. During this time I obtained a top secret clearance. The agreement I was about to sign was not taken lightly. It was something akin to the text at the end of the blog. I read this document multiple times feeling both fear and honor at so lofty an obligation. I felt a special distinction that I had passed the background check and had been selected after much testing and months of education. I felt I could be a source of credit to my country and held this in high respect and regard. I now had a moral obligation to uphold the requirements of this office and do so with integrity, honesty and sincerity. I ask you the reader to read the statements below as if you were about to sign such an agreement. I then ask you to consider the disclosure by Edward Snowden in context of the statements signed. Then ask yourself if you would undertake the responsibilities given you with a top secret clearance and maintain them or, would you disclosure information as Edward Snowden did. Each person must ask themselves these questions. Each person must understand exactly what Mr. Snowden agreed to and sign up for. I ask you then to fully review what a whistleblower is and, is not. (www.whistleblower.gov). My friend th3j35t3r has his take on the subject http://jesterscourt.cc/2013/06/26/so-about-this-snowden-affair/
When you sign up for something the magnitude of which includes a top secret clearance, you are expected to be of high moral fiber, with strength of character and integrity as a core value. All too often we see these values trampled in the name of whistleblowing. Ask yourself the questions above. Come to your own decision.—————————————–
- Intending to be legally bound, I hereby accept the obligations contained in this Agreement in consideration of my being granted access to classified information. As used in this Agreement, classified information is marked or unmarked classified information, including oral communications, that is classified under the standards of Executive Order 12958, or under any other Executive order or statute that prohibits the unauthorized disclosure of information in the interest of national security; and unclassified information that meets the standards for classification and Is in the process of a classification determination as provided in Sections 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 and 1.4(e) of Executive Order 12958, or under any other Executive order or statute that requires protection for such information in the interest of national security. I understand and accept that by being granted access to classified information, special confidence and trust shall be placed in me by the United States Government.
- I hereby acknowledge that I have received a security indoctrination concerning the nature and protection of classified information, including the procedures to be followed in ascertaining whether other persons to whom I contemplate disclosing this information have been approved for access to it, and that I understand these procedures.
- I have been advised that the unauthorized disclosure, unauthorized retention, or negligent handling of classified information by me could cause damage or irreparable injury to the United States or could be used to advantage by a foreign nation. I hereby agree that I will never divulge classified information to anyone unless: (a) I have officially verified that the recipient has been properly authorized by the United States Government to receive it; or (b) I have been given prior written notice of authorization from the United States Government Department or Agency (hereinafter Department or Agency) responsible for the classification of information or last granting me a security clearance that such disclosure is permitted. I understand that if I am uncertain about the classification status of information, I am required to confirm from an authorized official that the information is unclassified before I may disclose it, except to a person as provided in (a) or (b), above. I further understand that I am obligated to comply with laws and regulations that prohibit the unauthorized disclosure of classified information.
- I have been advised that any breach of this Agreement may result in the termination of any security clearances I hold; removal from any position of special confidence and trust requiring such clearances; or termination of my employment or other relationships with the Departments or Agencies that granted my security clearance or clearances. In addition, I have been advised that any unauthorized disclosure of classified information by me may constitute a violation, or violations, of United States criminal laws, including the provisions of Sections 641, 793, 794, 798, *952 and 1924, Title 18, United States Code, *the provisions of Section 783(b), Title 50, United States Code, and the provisions of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982. I recognize that nothing in this Agreement constitutes a waiver by the United States of the right to prosecute me for any statutory violation.
- I hereby assign to the United States Government all royalties, remunerations, and emoluments that have resulted, will result or may result from any disclosure, publication or revelation of classified information not consistent with the terms of this Agreement.
- I understand that the United States Government may seek any remedy available to it to enforce this Agreement including, but not limited to, application for a court order prohibiting disclosure of information in breach of this Agreement.
- I understand that all classified information to which I have access or may obtain access by signing this Agreement is now and will remain the property of, or under the control of the United States Government unless and until otherwise determined by an authorized official or final ruling of a court of law. I agree that I shall return all classified materials which have, or may come into my possession or for which I am responsible because of such access: (a) upon demand by an authorized representative of the United States Government; (b) upon the conclusion of my employment or other relationship with the Department or Agency that last granted me a security clearance or that provided me access to classified information; or (c) upon the conclusion of my employment or other relationship that requires access to classified information. If I do not return such materials upon request, I understand that this may be a violation of Sections 793 and/or 1924, Title 18, United States Code, a United States criminal law.
- Unless and until I am released in writing by an authorized representative of the United States Government, I understand that all conditions and obligations imposed upon me by this Agreement apply during the time I am granted access to classified information, and at all times thereafter.
- Each provision of this Agreement is severable. If a court should find any provision of this Agreement to be unenforceable, all other provisions of this Agreement shall remain in full force and effect. These restrictions are consistent with and do not supersede, conflict with or otherwise alter the employee obligations, rights or liabilities created by Executive Order 12958, Section 7211 of Title 5, United States Code (governing disclosures to Congress); Section 1034 of Title 10, United States Code, as amended by the Military Whistleblower Protection Act (governing disclosure to Congress by members of the military); Section 2302(b) (8) of Title 5, United States Code, as amended by the Whistleblower Protection Act (governing disclosures of illegality, waste, fraud, abuse or public health or safety threats); the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982 (50 U.S.C. 421 et seq.) (governing disclosures that expose confidential Government agents), and the statutes which protect against disclosure that may compromise the national security, including Sections 641, 793, 794, 798, 952 and 1924 of Title 18, United States Code, and Section 4(b) of the Subversive Activities Act of 1950 (50 U.S.C. Section 783(b)). The definitions, requirements, obligations, rights, sanctions and liabilities created by said Executive Order and listed statutes are incorporated into this Agreement and are controlling.
- I have read this Agreement carefully and my questions, if any, have been answered. I acknowledge that the briefing officer has made available to me the Executive Order and statutes referenced in this agreement and its implementing regulation (32 CFR Section 2003.20) so that I may read them at this time, if I so choose.
True honour is an attachment to honest and beneficent principles, and a good reputation; and prompts a man to do good to others, and indeed to all men, at his own cost, pains, or peril. False honour is a pretence to this character, but does things that destroy it: And the abuse of honour is called honour, by those who from that good word borrow credit to act basely, rashly, or foolishly.
- Thomas Gordon (Saturday, December 16, 1721).