doesnt sound like they intend just hiring random komupta krims ...
"If they get through the security process .. had the capability we would like ... vetting authority was happy why not,"
So they have to 'like' the applicant/x-hacker. I dont mean like as in great-to-have-a-beer-with or has-great-taste-in-porn-lets-copy-each-others-HDD-some-time type like, but Like as in passes-the-deep-background-check-and-passes-the-psych-profiling-and-passes-their-desired-skill-requirement-and-passes-the-drug-testing-and-doesnt-gawk-at-the-women-in-the-office-too-much-and-passes-whatever-additional-scrutiny-they-put-on-him/her-due-to-previos-track-record. That kinda like.
And any criminal history can only make the vetting process easier - theres a whole bunch of information about the person and their personality, intentions etc already available from court proceedings, law enforcement records, investigating officers etc.
Oh, and the like works both ways i guess - said-x-hacker has to want the job enough to actually apply for it and put up with all the above bullshit (so rules out the ant-eye-authoratarian types, anyone just in it for the money etc - hey it almost vets its self).
Oh yeah, and Defense have been selectively hiring hackers for years. You dont hear about them because, well, its Defense.