I am not quite sure what you mean by a "non-com" clause. Do you mean non-competition?
Loyalty oaths are meant to ferret out those who are not patriotic or loyal to the U.S. government. I think they are useless. The only people who have doubts about signing loyalty oaths to the government are people who take their government service and other ethical obligations very seriously. Or they may belong to religious sects, like the Jehovah's Witnesses, which prohibit adherents from taking any kind of oath. Insurrectionists of any type would not hesitate to sign the oath, because they would feel no obligation to adhere to its terms.
Non-competition clauses are trickier. Sometimes the terms are fair, but sometimes the terms are used to prevent embarrassing or potentially incriminating information about the business or corporation from coming out. Were you perhaps thinking of private confidentiality agreements?
Oaths taken in a ceremonial sense, which are also meant to be legally binding, make more sense. Swearing in of public officials, or the swearing in or affirmation-taking of witnesses, who are promising to tell the truth in court. This subjects them to charges of perjury or contempt if they do not comply.
Judging from comments made by folks in various government agencies that I have worked for and a lifetime of news stories, government agencies who are using loyalty oaths are generally looking to screen out people on the left, rather than people on the right, who also may be subversive, insurrectionist, or otherwise dangerous. Not particularly helpful. Nutcases and political criminals come in many varieties.
They also didn't help with the folks in the Bush-Cheney administration who had contempt for both the U.S. Constitution and for the history of law in our country. Anyone who works against a government, at any level in the United States, local or federal, could be subject to criminal prosecution and/or civil or criminal fines for misbehavior. This is a much more effective deterrent than the loyalty oaths which minor civil servants are required to sign. Of course, it would be helpful if both the Democrats and the Republicans were to pursue these cases in a timely and aggressive manner. Because they do not, there is much unhappiness and sometimes suspicion and distrust of government.
Edited by fuzzywuzzy6, 09 December 2008 - 05:33 PM.