Security clearance denied because applicant has family member who is the dictator of a hostile country

I was browsing through the DOHA appeal decisions as I do from time to time when I’m bored and I found one that was so stunning to me that I had to post it here.

Applicant was born a citizen of Country X. A close family member (cousin, aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew) is the dictator of Country X. Applicant’s parents and their children, including Applicant, immigrated to the United States in the 1990s when she was young. They all became U.S. citizens. None of her immediate family members have ever returned to Country X or maintained contact with any of their family in Country X.(Tr. at 12-15, 20-22, 26-27; Applicant’s response to SOR; GE 1-3) Country X considers people who leave their country to be traitors, and the country has taken retaliatory actions against some of them. Applicant’s parents changed their and their children’s names when they came to the United States. Few people outside Applicant’s immediate family are aware that she is related to Country X’s head of state. (Tr. at 23-26; GE 1-3)

Holy ■■■■! What do you think Country X is?


Interesting the applicant already holds a S but was denied a TS here. Seems as if DOHA are starting the year going back through more complex cases.

I read one recent one where a judge ruled an applicant had questionable personal conduct because they revealed they had smoked weed on their SF-86. The judge said they violated Guideline H and denied the clearance. Only problem is that the applicant did not have a clearance or violate and guidelines. The judge got smacked pretty hard in the discussion for screwing it up and the case was remanded.

Read another recent one where an applicant held a clearance despite admitting under poly to seeking and viewing child porn weekly, being subject to a subsequent law enforcement investigation, and making false and misleading statements, was granted a clearance. That ruling was overturned and the judge also got smacked pretty hard in the discussion.


So wait, she doesn’t ever get clearance again because she rolled snake eyes on the family lottery or…?

Yes, but it’s not like she’s the only one. Lots of people with family in China are getting clearance denials, even though it’s through no fault of their own that they have family in China. Security clearance is a privilege, not a right.


Yeah I don’t buy that. It flies right in the face of whole person.

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I think it’s Chechnya

Good guess. I have many Subject’s of foreign background and ancestry ask me their chances of getting the clearance due to their foreign background. You can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family. It’s just a fact of life that comes with consequences.

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Not seeing iit. You immigrated at juvenile age. No contact. Name change to help assure no contact, you are now an adult. Once you are a citizen of the USA…if your record is clean…you can and will clear. Now if there are continuing ties, property ownership, receiving money…it can get complicated.
I once got a guy from Malta cleared. The agency made him and his spouse polygraph. It took 4 years to adjudicate. But they cleared. And he did return annually to help on the family farm.


Mama always said “You can choose your friends, but you are blessed with your relatives”.