For more than two years, the Navy’s intelligence chief has been stuck with a major handicap: He’s not allowed to know any secrets.What the f%$# is wrong with the military?
Vice Adm. Ted “Twig” Branch has been barred from reading, seeing or hearing classified information since November 2013, when the Navy learned from the Justice Department that his name had surfaced in a giant corruption investigation involving a foreign defense contractor and scores of Navy personnel.
Worried that Branch was on the verge of being indicted, Navy leaders suspended his access to classified materials. They did the same to one of his deputies, Rear Adm. Bruce F. Loveless, the Navy’s director of intelligence operations.
More than 800 days later, neither Branch nor Loveless has been charged. But neither has been cleared, either. Their access to classified information remains blocked.
Although the Navy transferred Loveless to a slightly less sensitive post, it kept Branch in charge of its intelligence division. That has resulted in an awkward arrangement, akin to sending a warship into battle with its skipper stuck onshore.
Branch can’t meet with other senior U.S. intelligence leaders to discuss sensitive operations, or hear updates from his staff about secret missions or projects. It can be a chore just to set foot in colleagues’ offices; in keeping with regulations, they must conduct a sweep beforehand to make sure any classified documents are locked up.
The guy is forbidden by to do his job, and as opposed to doing the sane thing, and transfer him to a new post where he can do his job, you cripple a crucial department.
The idea that anyone in the Pentagon would allow this to happen for more than 2½ years is an indication that the bureaucracy and the general officer corps have become a dysfunctional carrerist dystopia.
Smedley Butler was right. It's a racket.