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Security Clearance Numbers Soar

The number of people holding a U.S. government clearance to access classified material is significantly larger than the number that was reported to Congress last year, according to a startling new report released this week by the Director of National Intelligence.

The DNI report found that more than 4.2 million contractors and government employees had security clearances as of October 2010. Last year, the Government Accountability Office told Congress that an estimated 2.4 million people had security clearances.

We spoke recently with the Washington Post’s Dana Priest about the post 9-11 boom in the size and scope of the intelligence and military communities. You can hear the program on Top Secret America here.

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