Three months after the day 12 people were gunned down in Washington’s Navy Yard, a Senate panel questioned whether screening is up to par at federal facilities and if privately contracted guards are adequately trained for active shooter situations.
“In the aftermath, it’s only natural that we wonder if all people entering a federal facility, even employees, should be screened in some way,” Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Thomas R. Carper, D-Del., said at Tuesday’s hearing. “Should we, to borrow an often-used phrase from Ronald Reagan, ‘trust, but verify’?”
Current Department of Defense policy does not require people to walk through a metal detection device, but it does allow for random screening of individuals, explained Stephen Lewis a deputy director with the DOD speaking on behalf of Michael Vickers, the under secretary for intelligence.
They needed to focus more on hiring screening. Remember this?
A month before Aaron Alexis killed 12 people in the Navy Yard rampage, police in Rhode Island sent word to the Navy that the 34-year-old Texas man reported hearing voices and thought he was the target of a “microwave machine.”
The Navy contractor was arrested in 2010 after firing a gun through the ceiling of his apartment. Adding to the list of run-ins with the law was a disorderly conduct arrest in Georgia in 2008. In 2004, he admitted shooting out the tires of a man’s truck in Seattle in what he told police was an anger-fueled blackout.
How someone with such a checkered background could have received a secret government clearance is raising broader concerns on Capitol Hill and in the White House about the security clearance process. President Obama ordered a review of security standards across government.
Why was he hired?