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Have you ever faced an integrity test?
For example: someone reaches into their pocket and when they pull out their hand, a $20 bill slips out and lands or the floor. Or someone ahead of you in line at the grocery accidentally forgets their wallet and leaves it on the counter.
Do you immediately alert this person about their potential loss, or do you simply pocket what they've carelessly left behind for your own gain? Do you do what's right, or simply what's expedient and convenient?
If someone behind you in line sees you pick up the item and just before you stuff it in your pocket they say "HEY!" -- do you deserve credit for finally giving it back only after you've been caught in the act?
I think not.
We face small and large tests like these all the time. How we respond to them is a testament to our underlying character. How the Trump White House has responded to such challenges over the past year is a clear testament to their complete lack of the same.
For a second let me speak about some of my own personal experiences, particularly in the case of security clearances. During the '80s and into the early '90s I was granted a TS/SCI security clearance by the FBI and DOD as a requirement for my then-employment with defense contractor Northrop/Grumman.
When I worked at Northrop we all were required to wear ID badges that used a color-code system to display our current security clearance level, and those with only an interim clearance were quite visible. If your job required handling classified material but you hadn't yet reached a complete status on your clearance, you were temporarily given unclassified clerical work to do until your status was completed and the FBI had finished their background check.
We actually had a staff of cleared personnel whose only job was to act as an escort -- a minder -- for non-cleared persons in the building. We had various people such as construction workers or plumbers on site at any particular time, and an escort's job was essentially to be there and monitor someone else as they worked, ensure that they remained in an unclassified area, and that no classified material or even discussions of classified material took place within earshot of an uncleared person.
That rule also applied to persons with only an interim clearance.