The Sexist

U.S. Government Could Fire You For Fucking Wrong

The Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) has just fired 33 employees "after background checks were run on more than 16,500 agency employees," the Washington Post's Joe Davidson reports. Whatever were those background checks looking for? According to the Pentagon, "employees' financial histories was one of 13 factors considered when officials decided who would be let go." Here are the other 12 factors:

allegiance to the United States, foreign influence, foreign preference, sexual behavior, personal conduct, alcohol consumption, drug involvement, psychological conditions, criminal conduct, handling protected information, outside activities and use of information technology systems.

Well, "outside activities" seems to cover just about everything, but the "sexual behavior" point could stand some elaboration. Are we talking workplace sexual harassment? Rape? Sex outside marriage? Anal? No matter—this federal agency apparently reserves the right to fire you for fucking wrong. Whatever that means. [Via GLAA Forum]

  • kza

    Anal is wrong? Shit man I'm an outlaaaw!

  • Northwesterner

    I am surprised you may not know this Amanda, new to DC?

    In order to keep a security clearance for the Dept of Defense you cannot risk letting a foreign national have control over you in some way- you can't borrow money from them unless it's totally valid, you can't have an affair with one (Hello! Anna Chapman!), you can't do something that would risk someone being able to blackmail you (affair, debt).

    Robert Hannsen frequented strip clubs and was turned as a spy that way:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Hanssen

    So welcome to Washington, DC, this is how life is in the big leagues. I don't know where you lived before you moved here but around here you can lose your job for spending too much of your income at strip clubs and there are valid, legal reasons for that starting with Robert Hanssen.

  • http://www.onmytiptoes.com sarah

    I used to work for the government, and it was my experience that it wasn't about "fucking wrong", but rather about whether or not you could be blackmailed. Most folks in DFAS need to hold secret level clearances, and in order to have that clearance, they need to make sure you can't be blackmailed. I think they're specifically talking about clearances here because those 13 factors are all clearance questions.

    Trust me, you can fuck any way you want and work for the government- you just have to be unashamed about it.

  • EP

    To the gov's credit, there have been several cases that say that generally, federal employees cannot be fired for off-duty behavior that has no 'nexus' to their job. In this case, "sexual behavior" might mean things like "secretly videotaping your sex partners," as happened in 2006 (I believe) in a case called Doe v. Department of Justice.

    I know - that is not 'sexual behavior,' that is just straight up contemptible... but the government also conflates 'sex' and 'gender' in many of their laws, etc. I wouldn't be surprised if this was just another example.

  • …done

    Robert Hanssen is not the example to use. Strip clubs didn't do him in. Cheating didn't do him in. Being a god damn traitor and a sociopath that had an axe to grind with his employer did him in.

    Having the right skin color and genitalia shielded him from scrutiny. He deserves nothing more than a firing squad.

  • pipi long stockings

    Northwesterner, maybe you could have made your point without being a total asshole in the process.

  • Keith B

    pipi: Maybe Amanda could do some thinking / research before vomiting out another no-news-here shock piece.

  • Northwesterner

    pipi, Amanda was completely, totally wrong and so was her editor for letting that piece go.

  • TJ

    @Northwesterner and Keith B, I think the point that Amanda was trying to make was that it is so vague that it could mean anything. When a factor for considering employment is that vague, it can be abused and possibly be used to discriminate.

  • Northwesterner

    But she did not quote the actual law nor Pentagon procedures, just an abbreviation of the law. The vagaries are in her reporting, not in the rules.

  • Brian

    As Sarah said, the issue is whether one can be blackmailed with the threat of information being made public. For example, the government cannot and will not fire an openly gay, single individual expressly for their sexual preference - but it may fire a married, "straight" individual living a double life; or even a young, single person desperate to keep their sexuality hidden from their religious family. Consider the other factors you mentioned - do you think that government employees are forbidden to consume alcohol? Of course not, but someone with an expensive and embarrassing addiction is more vulnerable to bribes and/or blackmail. As Northwesterner pointed out, these regulations are not vague, they are listed in some detail in the Adjudicative Guidelines for Sensitive/Classified Employment and its accompanying Desk Reference, both of which are readily available as PDFs - google them if you're curious. Considering that the director of OPM (the agency that conducts security clearances for non-military personnel) is currently directed by an openly gay man, I found this post to be very poorly researched indeed.

  • Keith B

    @TJ: Sure, just show me some proof someone's ever been fired from DFAS solely for "fucking wrong" (bonus for anal) and I'll stop calling Amanda a self-important excuse for a journalist.

  • DB

    The book "The Lavender Scare" chronicles tens of thousands of people purged from gov't for fucking wrong (i.e. fucking other dudes or other dudettes). The reasoning was overt heterosexism, but sometimes communicated as anti-blackmail defense despite the lack of any significant occurrence of blackmailed homo secret leaks.

  • squirrely girl

    well shit... if anal is out i guess i need to let go that dream of being an fbi agent ;)

  • Keith B

    You are an idiot, DB. You do know the subject of that book is events that took place 60 years ago? But surely things haven't changed one iota since that time. Errybody move to the back of the bus!

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