Possible insider threat

Director, Insider Threat Program, Washington

Dear Sir/Madam:

All of the officials in my department recently underwent training in the government’s Insider Threat Program. This training has alerted me to possibly suspicious behavior of a particular official. I do not have any firm knowledge that this official has betrayed any government secrets, but I recall the instructor saying, “If you’re in doubt, report, because that’s what the investigative personnel are there for.” So I will report the things that make me wonder.

Marital problems: The instructor said this can often be a warning sign. This official and his wife appear very affectionate in public, but several times in recent years, they have taken their vacations separately, in different parts of the country, or even in different countries. People who have talked to the couple (I haven’t) say that they agree their marriage was rocky some years ago but is now fine. But then why do they take separate vacations?

And speaking of vacations in other countries, I remember that frequent foreign travel is another sign that a person may be up to something that should be looked into. This official and his family often travel abroad.

One of his stated reasons for these vacations is that he needs to recover from working long hours, which he does, often in the middle of the night. “Odd working hours” was another sign the instructor warned us about.

Maybe he works long hours because he needs the money, I don’t know. I’ve heard that he has a mortgage of more than half a million dollars, at a high interest rate. But he doesn’t seem to be poor. In fact, he seems to have an awful lot of cash that hasn’t been invested in anything. Isn’t that a bit suspicious too – like he might be planning to leave in a hurry and not come back? Supposedly, he got a lot of money from writing books. But how would he have time to write books when he’s working such long hours at his government job?

Another warning sign we were taught about is a big interest in classified documents. I’ve been told that this official hardly ever looks at anything that isn’t classified. And I’ve heard someone who works directly under him say that he “can read the email of anyone in the world if he wants to.”

One other thing that wasn’t in the training course, but sounds important. I read in the New York Times that the Transportation Security Administration’s airport screening people, whose job is to keep terrorists from getting on planes, have learned that one of the things they need to watch out for is “African-Americans wearing baseball caps backward.” Have a look at this snapshot I recently came across:

Don’t you think there may be more going on here than meets the eye?

Yours sincerely,

(Name withheld)

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