Please enjoy this guest post submitted from a member of the armed forces who is not at liberty to use their name.

Recently, Michele Bachman has come under fire for raising inquiries regarding Huma Weiner and her proximity to the Secretary of State. Both Republicans and Democrats have taken this opportunity to trash Congresswoman Bachman for her ‘Islamophobic’ positions, and her insensitivity towards a woman supposedly doing her job, serving our country as a patriotic American who also gives the State Department a unique perspective on Islamic ideals and attitudes.

Never mind that John McCain is out of line here and that the Democrats are trying to seize on this ‘gaffe’ to win Michele Bachman’s seat. Michele Bachman, along with a number of other Congressmen on the House Intelligence Committee, asked a reasonable question that is perfectly in line with their jobs. They are there in part to provide oversight for the activities of the Executive Branch, and to raise questions about actions and policies that don’t seem to jive with the goals and responsibilities of our Federal Government. Nowhere did any of these Congressmen—including Michele Bachman—accuse Huma Weiner of espionage, subversive behavior, or anything else contrary to the interests of our nation. They simply inquired regarding her security clearance, how it was obtained, and if the proper protocol was followed. Based on her proximity to Federal power and policy, and even more importantly her connections to potentially dangerous elements within the Muslim community in the Middle East, these are not only valid questions—they are mandatory.

For those who have never received a security clearance for the Federal Government, let me illustrate how painful it is to highlight how odd it would be to have a high-level official in our government who had not been asked questions at least as hard as what the GOP Congressmen asked of Huma Weiner. I am in the military, and just completed my periodic clearance renewal. I’ve worn the uniform for over 25 years, so you would think my track record would simplify this process. Such is not the case however, and even the most mundane foreign contacts on my part (like a casual correspondence with a 70-yr old retiree from another country whom I met through church) is subject to at least a couple of pages of questions regarding our relationship, the amount of contact we have, and the topics we discuss when we correspond. I hate answering the questions every five years, but also recognize the number of times our country has been blindsided by supposedly solid patriots who were really selling their secrets for ideology, money or sex. So I fill out the tedious forms, complain to my co-workers, and remind myself that freedom isn’t free. I don’t take offense to the questions coming from some unnamed bureaucrat, as they are just doing their jobs. Part of the cost of freedom is vigilance, a wary eye for even those who appear to have our backs, and recognition that not everyone likes our way of life and the freedoms we enjoy.

John McCain is a great red-blooded American. That does not mean I always trust his judgment and give him credit for thinking just because he has given so much to our country. Senator McCain needs to remember the number of times he also has been asked tedious questions on security by those who were just trying to do their jobs to keep this country free. I applaud Michele Bachman, Louie Gohmert, and all the other Congressmen who were just doing their jobs. May there be no malice in their actions, and may Huma Weiner be proven to be the patriot we hope she is. But just in case, keep asking the questions.

Comments

  • Steve M.

    I think the problem was that this letter from Rep. Bachmann and the others was not simply a random or semi-random review of proper policy being followed within the State Department. A think tank with well documented history of controversial and unfounded positions on security, particularly with regard to Muslims, wrote a very targeted memo on Ms. Abedin’s history and this memo was the launching point for this investigation.
    Yes, there should be and is very strict security clearance policies, but anyone with a radical think tank should not be able to target someone who has passed these policies, simply because they have a vendetta. And that is what appeared to have happened.

  • Steve M.

    I think the problem was that this letter from Rep. Bachmann and the others was not simply a random or semi-random review of proper policy being followed within the State Department. A think tank with well documented history of controversial and unfounded positions on security, particularly with regard to Muslims, wrote a very targeted memo on Ms. Abedin’s history and this memo was the launching point for this investigation.
    Yes, there should be and is very strict security clearance policies, but anyone with a radical think tank should not be able to target someone who has passed these policies, simply because they have a vendetta. And that is what appeared to have happened.