National Affairs: THE MEANING OF SECURITY

ONE of the nation's stormiest political debates swirls around a series of digits: Ten-Four-Fifty, officially Executive Order 10450, issued by the President on April 27, 1953, establishing broad new security standards for federal employment. Critics say that Ten-Four-Fifty results in a cold reign of terror among Government workers, that no man is safe from his neighbor's malice. Defenders say that Order 10450 is necessary to protect the U.S. from the infiltration of its Government by enemies.

The U.S. got along for more than 150 years without a security system for federal employees: Is...

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