I Get Two Computers Back

Wednesday, May 18 2005

I barely slept all night.  Sometime after 5:00 AM I finally went to sleep.  I woke up at 7:00.  I am unable to go back to sleep.  I laid in bed and using my laptop go through many of my blog postings looking for things that relate to work.  I delete a few entries and I edit many more.  At 13:22 Juana called and said two of my computers are in her office and I may pick them up if I want. Juana (and my boss) are in a different office building.  I am going to have to transport them in my own car--they aren't going to bring them back to me or reconnect all the cables.  I tell her I need to take a shower and put some clothes on but I'll be there sometime before she goes home for the day.

I sent the following email message using my home computer and the web email interface:

From: Huffman, Joseph K
Sent: Wed 5/18/2005 1:31 PM
To: McMillan, Bryan H
Subject: Is there a WP # for restoring my computers?

Since I have to transport them back to my office and reconnect everything it's going to take an hour or more for all five computers.


A "WP #" means "Work Package Number".  This is used for billing our time.  All of our work time must be charged to something.  This number I requested would allow me to not spend my own time putting my computers back into working condition.

I arrived about 15:00.  Juana pointed out the computers and Bryan sees me just outside his office.  He invited me in and asked me how I was doing.  I told him I hadn't slept much.  He asked what I thought of the things we talked about the previous day.  I said I was a little annoyed because I didn't really see anything I had done wrong.  But I had either deleted or edited everything that I thought could be, even remotely, a problem.  But none of the stuff I posted was restricted in any way.  I could put the existence of a security clearance on my resume for example.  I could give that to anyone.  My job title and the area of work I am in ("Cyber Security") is on my business card.  "Good point", he said and reiterated from the previous day that "taken as whole it showed poor judgment."  I said I still didn't understand.  If all the things I posted could be put completely in "the open" (as opposed to restricted/classified domain) simultaneously then why did it matter that I posted it on my blog?  "It just goes to 'good judgment' Joe.  Wearing these badges is a privilege and we have to earn it.  I know you are new to this security clearance stuff and I've had a clearance since I was 19.  I'll be glad to help you if you have any questions."  I explained about I have always had problems vague rules and things "everyone should just know" and it's difficult for me to understand what they are talking about.  He seemed to be a little bit annoyed and said, "There's a pretty simple rule to follow.  Just don't blog about work."  I thanked him and said I could do that.  But I was worried there was going to be something else.  That my "problem" was likely to be an issue on many more things than my blog.  Like what about the boomershoot site?  Why was that mentioned?  What was wrong with it?  He said, "You know, I looked at that site a long time ago and I thought it was okay.  It looked like fun.  I'm a big Second Amendment supporter too."  His tone was a bit odd.  It seemed to me that his thought was that he was wrong in his originally thinking boomershoot was okay or that he didn't support the Second Amendment in the same way I did--but he didn't elaborate.

The topic changed somehow and we talked about another frustration of mine sort of related to boomershoot and security issues.  I get a lot of requests and Google search hits on boomershoot.org from people wanting to build a bomb.  Some of it very specific about blowing up schools and other things that make me think they are very serious.  I can't seem to get anyone to listen. I send email to all over the world, the FBI, and the ATF and I almost never get a response of any type.  Did my message get through to the right person or even anyone at all?  Did my doing this help in any way?  Bryan told me that I may be helping more than I realized.  "It's just the way it is in this business.  You could provide extremely valuable information and they will never tell you."  About this time the whole "judgment thing" really hit me.  I realized this was going to haunt me as long as I was there.  I had thought that since the classification of material was so black and white it would be easy to comply--either it has the markings of classified material or it doesn't.  But I realized there would be similar issues on many fronts that would get me in trouble again and again.  I started crying.  I told Bryan I was really, really tired and I had to go.  I left his office and took the computers from Juana's office.  I put them in my car and dropped them off in my office then went back to the house to try and get some sleep.