The US Department of Homeland Security suspended South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford’s security clearance following his confession about his affair with an Argentine woman. According to the original document, it was a question of Sanford’s trustworthiness, judgment, reliability and his ability to protect classified information.
The Charleston Post and Courier obtained the documents, the first one dating back to July 1st.
But the federal agency reinstated his access to classified information only a week later, saying that it had been an error by a lower-level employee and was changed a soon as a senior official learned about it. However documents also suggest that high-level supervisors were involved in the decision, since the chief of the agency’s personnel security division advised South Carolina’s Homeland Security director of Sanford’s suspension.
But Former Governor Jim Hodges says the security clearance doesn’t mean much anyway, and that his experience was that the federal government was rarely helpful in releasing information to him. Hodges did say that the governor has access to sensitive information regarding the nuclear facilities in the state, as well as the movement of nuclear material.
The Post and Courier notes that the military also examined Sanford’s security clearance after news of the affair, but took no action. Sanford is a captain in the Air Force Reserve. Military law considers adultery a prosecutable offense.