Allegiance to the United States

Security clearance concerns which arise under allegiance to the United States are typically adjudicated under the guidelines of foreign influence (Guideline B) and foreign preference (Guideline C), both of which implicate a person’s loyalty to the United States. In the past, charges of communist sympathies formed the basis of charges of allegiance to the United States. Today, in our multi-polar world, the issue of allegiance to the United States may stem from anything from familial ties in the former Soviet Union,  to risk of Chinese industrial espionage, or to having come from a country or region embroiled in the global war on terror. Affiliations in certain social groups and First Amendment issues may also be implicated.

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Guideline A:
Allegiance to the United States

The Concern: An individual must be of unquestioned allegiance to the United States. The willingness to safeguard classified information is in doubt if there is any reason to suspect an individual’s allegiance to the United States.

Conditions that could raise a security concern and may be disqualifying include:

(a) involvement in, support of, training to commit, or advocacy of any act of sabotage, espionage, treason, terrorism, or sedition against the United States of America;

(b) association or sympathy with persons who are attempting to commit, or who are committing, any of the above acts;

(c) association or sympathy with persons or organizations that advocate, threaten, or use force or violence, or use any other illegal or unconstitutional means, in an effort to:

(1) overthrow or influence the government of the United States or any state or local government;

(2) prevent Federal, state, or local government personnel from performing their official duties;

(3) gain retribution for perceived wrongs caused by the Federal, state, or local government;

(4) prevent others from exercising their rights under the Constitution or laws of the United States or of any state.

Conditions that could mitigate security concerns include:

(a) the individual was unaware of the unlawful aims of the individual or organization and severed ties upon learning of these;

(b) the individual’s involvement was only with the lawful or humanitarian aspects of such an organization;

(c) involvement in the above activities occurred for only a short period of time and was attributable to curiosity or academic interest;

(d) the involvement or association with such activities occurred under such unusual circumstances, or so much times has elapsed, that it is unlikely to recur and does not cast doubt on the individual’s current reliability, trustworthiness, or loyalty.