Year after year, both in his messy personal life and his brazen theft of classified documents from the National Security Agency, Harold T. Martin III put to the test the government’s costly system for protecting secrets. And year after year, the system failed.
Martin got and kept a top-secret security clearance despite a record that included drinking problems, a drunken-driving arrest, two divorces, unpaid tax bills, a charge of computer harassment, and a bizarre episode in which he posed as a police officer in a traffic dispute. Under clearance rules, such events should have triggered closer scrutiny by the security agencies where he worked as a contractor – but it didn’t.
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