February 25, 2013

Kudos to John Hamre [“This is no way to weed out spies,” Washington Forum, Feb. 22] for taking on some of the absurdities in how our government investigates candidates for security clearances.

During the most recent investigation into my own clearance renewal, the responsible agency refused to sign off. The reason? I had failed to file a foreign-contact report on an English-born woman I had known for many years and with whom I am still close. At that point in time, I had held a top clearance for more than 20 years and had served in several positions of significant trust. I had even disclosed the relationship on my application, but the government was correct: I had never filed that report.

I asked for a waiver on the grounds that she was naturalized in 1955 and had therefore been an American longer than me, even providing a copy of her naturalization certificate. It was all to no avail, however, so I dutifully filed a report disclosing that I was in regular contact with my mother. My clearance was renewed a few weeks later.

Andrew A. King, Arlington