CJO from NSA After Previous Closing Out-Ongoing Processing w/ CIA

I just received a CJO from NSA in Jan 2019. In 2015, I applied to NSA (same position) and went thru the entire clearance process and was closed out in 2016. I submitted a FOIA immediately after being closed out to find out why since it was odd. They didn’t deny me a clearance and told me I could re-apply after a few months. I re-applied in 2017. Got an interview request in 2018, a year later, and got another CJO last month.

My FOIA literally came in the mail a few days ago (damn what a big packet). They seem to have omitted everything from my psychological assessment. They put the reason for my closeout as “illegal conduct”. I’m not sure if that means admitting to downloading 10 songs illegally in the last few years or my driving record history, which was a spattering of speeding tickets and license suspensions due to not paying tickets in time. No DUI’s or anything serious. They knew about this stuff before my poly, which I passed. So strange how they would process me and close me out for it.

Need advice on how to approach my new CJO which I’ve accepted. Haven’t gotten any tickets since because where I live now, I don’t have to drive.

Also, I’m currently getting a clearance w/ CIA for a similar position. I’ve been in their process for 3 years now since I got my COE (conditional offer of employment). I’m guessing it’s taking a while since I know a lot of foreign nationals and Russians. I studied in Russia and Kazakhstan with funds from the government. Nothing illegal or fishy given the current national discourse @ Russian collusion.

When I got closed out by NSA, I told CIA during my poly-which I had to do 2 of them. CIA is really good at making you think you’re lying to try to get you to admit things. Got under my skin a bit, lol. I passed though. They didn’t seem to care much about the NSA close out. They asked me to make copies of whatever documentation I had. My polygrapher chuckled indicating that NSA routinely over-processes people. Meaning, they make a lot of CJO’s even though they only have limited slots. Meaning that you could get a CJO from NSA and it puts you in a line of others with CJO’s and whoever gets thru the process first gets the slots. The polygrapher said, we don’t have that kinda money to waste on recruiting applicants we might not bring on.

So my question-I know, I’m long-winded. Should I tell CIA that I got my FOIA and give it to them? And with the NSA, what should I tell them @ the FOIA? Should I tell them I got it, or ask about the psych and how to avoid pitfalls if my closeout was related to the psych and they don’t want to tell me? Advice would be appreciated, and feel free to be long-winded! Thanks!

Personally, I don’t think you need to do anything at this point. If CIA wanted to see info from your NSA investigation, they have the ability to get that. I doubt that NSA will tell you anything about the psych eval.

Studying in Russia is not all that unusual but not too many go to Kazakhstan!


That’s really odd. They don’t say what specifically made them come to that decision? Maybe someone who your BI talked to claimed you smoked some marijuana or something.

I did hear that they do throw out your psych records after a certain period of time, so it might be worth looking into to see if that’s what happened, maybe. (though, only one person said this, I’d like to hear from more people and see whether or not this is actually true.)

“Legal conduct” . . . Downloading songs seems minor but shows that you don’t like to follow rules. Speeding tickets sound minor but show that you don’t like to follow rules. Getting your license suspended because you didn’t pay the fines for the speeding tickets sounds minor but show that you don’t like to follow the rules.

Do you see a trend?

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Every person they interviewed said good things about me. I had all of the interview notes in the FOIA packet. Almost made me shed a tear. Restored my faith in humans!

I see. How do you think my chances are this time around? No more tickets, no more illegal music?

Thanks for the advice.

Kazakhstan was great. Russia’s backyard. People are nicer, too.

You didn’t say how long ago any of this was or how old you were at the time. Age and distance are what’s important to mitigate this type of behavior.

One thing that I forgot to mention is that “passing” a poly doesn’t mean that everything is OK or that you have mitigated the issues discussed. It just means that you appear to be telling the truth and do not appear to be hiding anything. The only ones who evaluate your case or your ability to safeguard secrets are adjudicators who evaluate your poly along with everything else that is gathered during the investigation.

My most recent conviction for driving on a suspended license was in Jan of 2014. I think I was 24 at the time. I’m 29 now. Conviction was misdemeanor driving on suspended license due to unpaid ticket speeding ticket. Ticket was unpaid because I wasn’t being responsible. I was arrested twice for same citation. Once when officer pulled me over and saw I had a warrant for unpaid citation in Dec 2013. Went to court, got convicted, had to do community service. Then I got detained in June 2015 when I went to court and asked for an extension on my community service which the judge denied. Both times I was only denied for a few hours. Hired a lawyer who negotiated an extension for me, completed community service, got the conviction expunged, and haven’t gotten a single ticket since. Applied to CIA later in 2015 in October. Told them everything. Gave them engagement paperwork and even a letter from my lawyer explaining that I’m a good kid, was busy with school and wasn’t responsible about paying citations or fighting those which were not fairly given.

I had a list of citations and suspensions I got from the NSA during their processing. I gave this list to the CIA to make sure I was reporting everything cause I sure as hell didn’t keep track. It was like every-time I paid a ticket and got my license clear, they decided to suspend my license for another ticket which was already in the system and cancel my payment plan. Had 8 citations, 4 failure to appears, 6 suspensions between 2011 and 2015. (Please don’t lecture me). Combo of my lack of responsibility and California’s harsh driving laws which they’ve dialed back recently due to multiple lawsuits against the state. I told CIA I was concerned about my driving record impacting my processing during my poly. They seemed okay with it and were more so asking questions about my time in Russia, what I was doing there, and if I noticed suspicious behavior or recruitment efforts by Russian intel, etc.

I get the usual you are still processing from my continuously changing PO’s every now and then. One PO told me it’s just a matter of time before I’m cleared last summer. She said something about problems being identified in the early stages, and how everything looked good for me. Not sure what that means. Anything I can do now to tip the scales in my favor and make this just a waiting game?

Got a letter from them 2 months ago asking if I wanted to continue processing. I said yes. Then got another letter said I got assigned another PO. She said actively processing about a month ago when we spoke. That’s where things stand. Hope I was thorough enough.

I think things counting against me are:

  1. Driving record from 2011-2015
  2. I know a lot of foreign nationals, but don’t keep in contact w/ them, at least not close and continuing
  3. I’ve been to Russia for a State Dept scholarship once. Another time I was invited by a Russian NGO to participate in a public diplomacy program aimed at talking about West-Russia relations. I met people in the Russian government during the program, young folks and older folks. I reported everything though. I literally reported every single person I met, and gave details on each person. I even told the CIA that while I know events like these can be good opportunities for Russians to recruit, I was highly aware of this, kept my guard up, and utilized the opportunity as a great educational opportunity.

Sorry, detained for a few hours* and expungement paperwork* (spelling errors).

OK . . . I’m not lecturing you . . . I have enough issues lecturing my own kids. But, I will tell you that you have to look at this from the other side. Even the explanation that you just gave makes it seem like you consider yourself the victim here. They will not see it that way.

Still, I don’t think that your driving record is your primary problem. Item three might be.

The CIA is, by it’s nature, not very open about this stuff. They may just be keeping you in limbo until they have a slot that they actually want or need you for. This may not be anything like what you first applied for. All you can really do is sit and wait.

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I’m not the victim. I’d say half the responsibility lies on me. The other half is on the courts/state, miscommunication, and cancelling payment plans to get people to fork over money while threatening to take their licenses. But I always told them it was my fault, I was young, dumb, won’t let it happen again.

Item 3 might, yep. I hope my candor helps me though. My second polygrapher randomly asked me after grilling me about Russian recruitment efforts if I was interested in operations. First position I applied for was fellowship. Interviewed for targeting analyst. Made an offer to be a generalist (I talked about the world and the various regions and issues I was interested in like energy, nuclear weapons, etc.) Actually gave my two interviewers a brief lecture about importance of Caucasus in Central Asia, so they probably saw me as a decent generalists over being a specialist.

You think they’d take the risk knowing that I was a part of a program of young academic and professionals from the West who visited Russia for a week to talk with policymakers in various ministries about improved relations? We are talking Foreign Affairs Ministry, Defense Ministry, a top university’s international relations department-Higher School of Economics, a think tank (Russia International Affairs Council), a news outlet (Not RT, but Russia Beyond the Headlines), and some businesses which were investing in the West? As an outsider with collusion being the only thing the media talks about, it might sound shady, but the program was very productive, and a surprising amount of the folks we met were not pro-Putin and also not very afraid to say such.

Like I said . . . They might just be taking their time figuring out where they want you . . . You can never tell with those guys.

Nice, thanks. You’ve commented on a few of my posts been a huge help! I guess I gotta count my blessings. I have a good job right now and processing w/ two incredible agencies, both of whom I have a fair shot with.

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