I have a question regarding my situation. I was going in for an internship requiring a clearance and had been long in the process, when I panicked and withdrew from the investigation.
Here’s why I canceled:
I am a Jew. I have lived in the United States since I was one years old and love my country and wanted to serve it. Thus, I applied for an internship and have been in the clearance process for about 1.5 years now, when I one day reflected upon Jewish history. You see, Jews have been living in various countries and thought life was all nice and dandy, until one day it wasn’t and had to flee due to rabid (and sometimes murderous) antisemitism. This includes Spain, where there were large Jewish communities until they were expelled in 1492, Arab countries where Jews lived for centuries until they had to flee from there in the 1950s, Germany and Eastern Europe (Poland and Russia), where things were relatively nice and tolerant until the Germans, Poles, and Russians turned on those Jews living among them, and etc. For example, most of the Jews who live in the USA today are descendants of those Jews who fled the pogroms and intolerance in the Russian Empire.
And I see this situation playing out in Europe today. Synagogues have been burnt down and Jews have been harrassed on the streets. A Kosher supermarket in paris and Jewish day schools have been subjected to attacks. Many stopped wearing Kippahs due to fear of attack. Antisemitism has been rising dramatically during the past decade there to the point where French Jews have been fleeing France for Israel, Quebec, and the USA like no tomorrow. (for those who didn’t know, France has the highest Jewish population in Europe). Some have even immigrated to the UK when it was in the EU precisely for that reason. Ironic since there is a French common saying, “Happy as a Jew in France.” Not happy anymore. A once tolerant place turned intolerant quickly. Typical story.
This gets me back to the topic of clearance. I thought, “I love the USA and it’s my home. But what if in (not now) but maybe significantly later, it becomes so rabidly intolerant that I have to flee? What if it went the way of Europe? What then? Would I be trapped due to the fact that I had a clearance - decades from now? Would I be able to flee for safe haven?”
As one phrase I heard in a documentary goes goes, “The Jewish imagination is a paranoia confirmed by history.” And well, I became extremely paranoid. You have no idea how terrible it felt.
I panicked. I didn’t want to be trapped. Thus, I rang up the organization, and in a completely panicked tone told them, “I am young but I don’t know if my future will be 100% in this country or take me someplace else. Please stop the clearance process.” They of course, canceled it for me.
Since then, I have done extensive research talked to a bunch of people (who I have not met previously) who hold a clearance (including one NSA guy - who for some reason was able to publicly say that he works for the NSA) and read forums online.
They told me that the USA has a “freedom to leave” - i.e. that Americans who were clearance holders have been allowed to live and work abroad in countries that are friendly to the USA and close allies many many years after serving in their positions - provided that they maintained American citizenship and did not divulge any classified secrets or information of course - and that they personally knew people who did it. Thus, if things would go bad, leaving would be an option. G-d forbid I would ever need to do so.
This leads me to the topic of applying for another clearance, specifically TS/SCI. I am looking at a couple of jobs that I absolutely love - but not within the same organization - I was applying with. My concern is that the organization I was applying with for my clearance and then withdrew from most likely recorded the call. Would what I said in the call, word for word, bite me back later and disqualify me from receiving a clearance? And let’s say I apply for a clearance and have an interview, and I am asked about why I canceled the clearance, would telling the truth about being sure about an option to “flee the country” make me seem disloyal - and torpedo my chances? And what then? Am I screwed? Should I just assume that I would get a denial and not bother to apply for a clearance at all? Would the “whole person concept” mitigate this if I applied for a clearance and told the interviewer the truth about my situation?
This is assuming that my other history is completely clean, that I disclose everything and all foreign national contacts, and etc.
I would greatly appreciate any and all help you may give. I genuinely don’t know what to do.