As a presidentially commissioned Foreign Service Officer, who also worked at the Department of Defense and at an intelligence agency, I was shocked to read the Patrick Wilson article in the Star Exponent’s August 30th edition that a Republican PAC had fraudulently obtained a copy of Abigail Spanberger’s Questionnaire for National Security Positions (SF-86). I filled one out in 1967 and every five years after that until I recently retired. Every veteran and civil servant in your readership knows this document and its importance to national security.
I also have worked FOIA cases at the Departments of State and Defense for 20 years and know that it is impossible under FOIA regulations to legally obtain this highly personal document. It is not an application for employment. It is a list of all the jobs you had, places you worked, your relatives, your travel, friends you have, foreign contacts, medical information, your use (or not) of drugs or alcohol, and credit file information. This form is the basis for a full intrusive background investigation and used to interview virtually every person you list. It is the first line of defense for the entire security system. It is very telling that nothing in it caused the Postal Service or the CIA to refuse employment.
The Postal Service acknowledged that it released Abigail Spanberger’s SF-86 and that it was not released through the FOIA process. Inadvertent or not, its release is illegal. The actions of the Republican PAC in obtaining this form and making it public should make every citizen concerned about privacy and good government cringe, and bring shame on the ethically corrupt operatives who committed this crime.
By the way, this is the same form that Jared Kushner had to fill out multiple times because he kept failing to completely disclose information about his finances and foreign contacts.
Paul Ryan’s PAC blows up the nation’s first line of defense for what? To launch spurious innuendos against a dedicated public servant and her family to influence a Federal election? She is a former CIA officer challenging Rep. Dave Brat here in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District. Party above country, again. Much was said about Dignity, Compassion, Dedication, Duty, and Love of County at Senator McCain’s memorial service in Phoenix. Paul Ryan and his PAC could have learned something about important American values, if they were inclined to watch the service.
Editor's Note: This letter was submitted to the Culpeper Star Exponent, and is scheduled to be published later this week.