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Weird question about security clearance and political

  1. May 5, 2013 #1
    *Thread title was supposed to include the word "views" after "political." Anyway, I know that some jobs available to physicists require at least some level of security clearance and I am somewhat worried that my political views may hurt my ability to qualify. I was born and raised in the U.S., served in the U.S. Army, and love my country, but democracy/republicanism is not my preferred form of government: I am a monarchist. All this means is that I simply believe that monarchy is a superior form of government to what we have in place right now. I don't believe in violent revolution or anything like that, I simply prefer monarchy. Do you think that this will impact my ability to obtain a security clearance? Obviously I would really like to hear from those of you who have gone through the process of obtaining a security clearance already, but all input is greatly appreciated. And I know that many or most of you will disagree with my views but please, let's not make this a debate. Thanks!
    Last edited: May 5, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. May 5, 2013 #2


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    Well, it depends. For a secret level clearance, it doesn't really get in-depth. A lot of it is just background check, verifying the information you gave is correct and if more information is uncovered they may or may not pursue it. Top Secret (TSI) clearance is a much more involved process. They will interview everyone, look at everything, and try to determine how much you can be trusted. Some people may believe someone with an anti-democracy view point cannot be trusted with high level government secret. Other may accept diverse opinions and feel that you are not a risk for giving up secrets.

    I've been through this process at least 4 times. Almost going to do 5. There's a host of factors that go into the approval process and each time, regardless of previous acceptance, it's a big hassle. I've never seen one 'negative' mark disqualify a person, it's the big picture that matters the most. For example, if you are a monarchist, have poor credit, leverage a lot of debt, excessive foreign contacts, etc etc etc.
  4. May 5, 2013 #3
    I see. My wife doesn't think it will be a problem, and I'm probably just worried about nothing. Thanks for the reply.
  5. May 6, 2013 #4


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    As long as they know your preferences, I don't think it will be a problem. It's what they don't know that they worry about.
  6. May 8, 2013 #5
    Sorry for hijacking the thread, but I'm curious: non-citizens are not eligible for a security clearance, right?
  7. May 8, 2013 #6


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    In the UK, you have to be a resident for 10 years minimum.
  8. May 8, 2013 #7


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    Just out of curiosity, do you consider the UK to be (1) a monarchy, (2) democratic?

    (But this is irrelevant to the OP's question - what matters is what the people who run the US security vetting system think about the rest of the world, which may or may not have any connection with reality).
  9. May 8, 2013 #8
    The U.K. is a constitutional monarchy that does allow it's people to participate in government processes via voting and what not.
  10. May 8, 2013 #9
    I just found out that the State Department list a set of guidelines that they consider in order to determine your eligibility for security clearance. The guidelines can be found here. Guidelines A, B, and C are the three that would most likely apply to my own governmental preference. After reading through these guidelines it appears as if I should have nothing to worry about. It doesn't say that I can't prefer some form of government other than democracy/republicanism. They simply seem to want to make sure that you will not attempt to overthrow the government or try to change the government some way other than legally. I think the above link mostly, and favorably, addresses my concern.
  11. May 8, 2013 #10


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    My experience is that the UK security vetting people are clueless when it comes to important things.
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