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Showing posts from September, 2020

Proposal: Use the SF-86 to Vet Candidates

After some recent media stories about the health (or not) of our President's finances, I have seen a few commentators suggest that a President having hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign debt is a national security risk.  The idea is that huge amounts of debt make someone more vulnerable to: Blackmail ("We know you have this debt and will tell everyone, unless you do what we want.") Extortion ("We lent you lots of money, now you have to do what we want.") Influence Operations ("We'll help you with this debt, if you do what we want.") Obviously, blackmail only works if the debt is not already publicly known, which highlights the importance of candidates for high office making financial information public, through financial disclosure statements and the release of tax returns.  Our President hasn't been very good at that part, which is bad for optics since it makes it look like someone could influence him, but he can easily correct that a