Recently, Bill has been filling out a form to apply for a higher security clearance. You have to include the names, addresses and phone numbers of dozens of people: neighbors, friends, relatives. They want to know every address going back quite a number of years. They want to know people who knew you when you lived there. It's insane.
Bill is helped by having filled it out several years ago and having kept that last form. So the names and addresses of neighbors from that house or this apartment are already done.
This afternoon, a man rang the doorbell. He presented an ID and asked if he could ask some questions about a neighbor. I guess our neighbor filled out a similar form for something - security clearance or a certain job or whatever. I don't know if he used our name specifically, or if the man just drove to our neighborhood and looked for somebody who was home.
Have I ever seen him intoxicated?
Do I know if he drinks?
Does he live within his means?
Have foreign connections?
Is he married?
Is his wife American?
Has he ever tried to overthrow the government (we BOTH laughed at that question)?
What kind of reputation does he have?
Do I know of anyone trying to blackmail him?
I found it all pretty amusing, especially when I thought of someone being asked those questions of my husband.
So, folks, this is what people go through to get the top jobs, to get the top secrets. It's kind of hard to get to the top in the government as a spy...it happens, I know. But this is the kind of scrutiny that's given. Interesting.