Richard Clark Interview, 11 July 2003

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RC:Well, I mean you don't get the kind of security clearances that a lot of those people had, including myself.
TT:You had a nuclear... what did you call it? An ESI?
RC:It was Top Secret SIOP-ESI, that was the clearance, that's as good as it got, I mean top—
TT:You were cleared to work with nuclear materials?
RC:No. Any documents I could see. Pretty much so. It's just like at SAC headquarters, if you were on the main floor that was Top Secret, you go down to the underground you had to have a Top Secret SIOP-ESI clearance, otherwise you could not go down there. So somebody with—I mean, they talk about Confidential, Secret and Top Secret —Top Secret is nothing.
RC:I mean, it gets much more—Top Secret SIOP is one level, Top Secret SIOP-ESI, that's as high a clearance as you can get. You've got Top Secret, and then you've got Top Secret SIOP, and then Top Secret SIOP-ESI. I mean where we worked, and we were in a block building up at Minot, there was people outside our door who had Top Secret clearance who could not come inside.
TT:Oh really.
RC:Yeah, and they were Intelligence types like myself, but they couldn't come inside where we were.
TT:They didn't have a need to know.
TT:I think the B-52 guys had to have that to handle nuclear weapons...
RC:Well, they didn't handle them, they dropped them. [smiles]
TT:[chuckles] Well, I mean, they were in their possession for a while.
TT:OK, thanks for your time.
[end of recording]

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