Stripping no obstacle to security clearance

September 26, 2013
(VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
(Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images)

There are dos and don’ts to getting a security clearance. Lying is out. But being a stripper? Might not disqualify you.

That’s at least according to the helpful folks on the local Washington Reddit site, who gave advice to a fellow looking for counsel on security clearances. Seems the guy was interested in a job that requires one, but worried that his job history — which included stripping in college, as well as a gig he hopes to get shedding his clothes at Secrets DC nightclub — might be a problem.

Not so, says Reddit. The consensus among the commenters seemed to be that as long as the gentleman didn’t lie, it would be okay. “Just know that when you apply for a clearance, they’re going to investigate the crap out of you,” said one. “As others have mentioned, do not lie. Seriously, just don’t – it sounds scary, but they know more about you than you know about yourself.”

Unclear just what kind of job he’s going for, but it seems that the online advice-givers are right. Sheldon Cohen, an attorney who specializes in security-clearance law, tells the Loop that he’s never encountered such a case, but doesn’t see stripping as an insurmountable roadblock. “I don’t think that would disqualify him,” he said. “And I agree with the person who advised him to tell the truth.”

The once and future stripper seems to be quite an upstanding citizen. He claims to have paid all his taxes properly, listing his job as “entertainer” and deducting stripping-related expenses “like tanning, gym membership, etc”.

We wish him the best of luck.

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.
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Emily Heil · September 26, 2013