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About R J Hillhouse

  • Dr. Hillhouse has run Cuban rum between East and West Berlin, smuggled jewels from the Soviet Union and slipped through some of the world’s tightest borders. From Uzbekistan to Romania, she's been followed, held at gunpoint and interrogated. Foreign governments and others have pitched her for recruitment as a spy. (They failed.)

    A former professor and Fulbright fellow, Dr. Hillhouse earned her Ph.D. in political science at the University of Michigan. Her latest novel, OUTSOURCED (Forge Books) is about the turf wars between the Pentagon and the CIA and the privatization of national security.

    Dr. Hillhouse is an expert on national security outsourcing. Her controversial work has twice elicited a formal response by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence--the only times that office has ever publicly responded to the writings of a private citizen.

    She is a regular media guest and available for interviews.

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  • "This gripping blog is filled with compelling posts on private intel corporations, mercenaries, the CIA, and the War on Terror."

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« Blackwater Gearing Up for Hurricane Gustav | Main | Not Blackwater, but Xe, as in Xena Warrior Princess »

October 01, 2008



This is total baloney. You're telling me they give out TS/SCI clearances to convicted felons who serve time in prison? Wishful thinking.


As a "little fish" in the intel community, this kind of thing pisses me off to no end. You can bet that if I had a felony conviction I wouldn't be given clearance to a walmart stockroom, much less a security clearance either inside or outside government.


I'm sure there are workarounds to the problem, but as I understand it, felons are expressly disqualified from receiving a security clearance. Some years ago, lawsuits fighting this practice (of not clearing felons) languished in court, basically unheard. Has a precedent since been set? Or will they just grease Foggo in under the table?



Under Part 710 of the Code of Federal Regulations, any or all of the following may be used to disqualify a person from a security clearance:

arrest and/or conviction of a felony;

frequent involvement with authorities even as a juvenile;


having been a patient in an institution primarily devoted to the treatment of mental, emotional, or psychological disorders;

A history of not meeting financial obligations. A pattern of financial irresponsibility (bankruptcy, debt or credit problems, defaulting on a student loan);

membership in any organization that advocates the commission of acts of force or violence to deny other persons their rights under the Constitution of the United States;

having petitioned to be declared a conscientious objector to war;
moving violations with fines over $200;

illegal drug use (to include any use of cocaine, heroin, LSD, and PCP); and the illegal purchase, possession, or sale of any such narcotics.

Deceptive or illegal financial practices, such as embezzlement, employee theft, check fraud, income tax evasion, expense account fraud, filing deceptive loan statements, and other intentional breaches of trust

Inability or unwillingness to satisfy debts

Unexplained affluence

Financial problems that are linked to gambling, drug abuse, alcoholism, or other issues of a security concern.

Deliberate omission, concealment, or falsification of a material fact in any written document or oral statement to the government when applying for security processing

Notice that I said "may" be used to disqualify, because there are people running around CIA Hqs with green badges right now that meet at least one, if not more, of these "qualifications." It just depends who wants a particular individual to have a scurity clearance and how badly they want them to have it.

If Foggo serves no jail time and if someone high enough up the food chain wants him to have a clearance (remember Foggo himself citing "ExDir interest in the ER case"), then he will get it.


Foggo could also simply have his record expunged when he is released and has spent a period of time keeping his nose clean. Being rehabilitated, and connected, his past sins may be over looked.

It is not beyond the realm of possibility.

Tony Foresta

A thousand thanks retired for the 710 code information.

My psuedo rhetorical question is, who exactly "high up on the food chain" would want Foggo to have such a clearance and more pointedly - why?


Well, that is the question, isn't it? People in the know say that Foggo is most likely to get half of the 37 months as a sentence. That means with a sentence reduction for one or more of any number of typical considerations, he might actually spend little or no time in actual incarceration. And once that sentence is served, he is free and considered as having paid his "debt to society."

At least one thing is for certain, though. Foggo won't be going to work in a sweetheart deal with Brent Wilkes.


Definitely another victory to those crooked inside the good-guys base. Good thing you point their major crimes out. Anybody pointing in the judges direction is only doiing more bad pointing out some good guys, instead point out some more true felons so we can kick them out of the real inner-circle.



A humble request...

Do you, by any chance, happen to know who Secret Dubai (the blogger: is?

Former reader

No post in nearly 3 months...why don't you just shut this blog down?


where are you?


Mindbomber..cracks me up. Justice is for sale. Just look at who W pardoned in the 11th hour.

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  • A tip of the hat to investigative journalist Tim Shorrock who inspired the name of this blog with his path-breaking 2005 article, "The Spy Who Billed Me."

    Shorrock has a dedicated web page on outsourcing in intel. It links to many of his articles which are must-reads for anyone interested in the privatization of intelligence.