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TSA workers seeking ‘secret’ security clearance face new background checks

Steve Strunsky
The Star-Ledger [1]
Sept 21, 2011

NEWARK — Hundreds of Transportation Security Administration employees have until today to provide information for a renewed background check under an agency requirement that they have national security clearance.

The requirement is intended to ensure that supervisors and screeners who could have direct contact with terror threats are authorized to receive classified information.

But some Newark employees have questioned the cost-effectiveness of conducting costly background checks in order to grant a relatively high “secret” level of clearance to mid- and even low-level employees.

“Essentially, we’re screening passengers and baggage,” said one TSA employee in Newark, who requested anonymity because employees there have been told not to talk to reporters. “Does that really make it necessary to have secret clearance?”

Full article here [1]