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What's Wrong with National Security S&T?

Mike Swetnam

I have an appointment with the Director of IARPA (the Intelligence Community version of DARPA) tomorrow. I tried to arrange for one of my assistants to join me but was told that they need 3 days to process clearance for anyone visiting them.


I can and have seen the President on very short notice. I have often visited the Director of Central Intelligence within an hour of asking. But visiting IARPA requires 3 days?

I know that it only takes about 3 minutes to look up one's government clearance status on the the IC's computers. Why three days to clear a visit?

I can apply for and get a house mortgage approved on-line in about an hour. I can get a car loan in about 15 minutes. I went to the dentist last week. He x-rayed my bad tooth, diagnosed it, pulled it, and put in a post for a new tooth in about an hour.

Three days to clear someone to visit a small IC agency?

Science and Technology is moving at break-neck speed. New ideas go from laboratory demos to products in hours. Pokemon Go topped a billion dollars revenue in less than three days after its release!

So, ask me again, "What's wrong with US Government S&T or US government research?"

I can answer that question in about 3 milli-seconds.