A report released by the Pentagon and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel determined that the contractor was liable in not reporting information about the man responsible for a shooting at the Washington Navy Yard last year. The report says that if supervisors had reported the activity he would not have continued to keep his clearance. It is also important to note that the investigation to be granted such a clearance did not uncover this information.
The Defense Department is likely to reduce the number of employees who hold security clearances by at least 10 percent and has vowed to overhaul the way it screens personnel, officials said Tuesday as they released the results of several inquiries into the Sept. 16 mass shooting at the Navy Yard.
The reviews offered a damning assessment of the department’s ability to monitor the trustworthiness and reliability of a workforce that grew exponentially in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. They also made clear that the Pentagon has issued security clearances to many employees and contractors who are not required to access classified information in the course of their jobs.
Investigators found that Navy personnel and supervisors who later employed gunman Aaron Alexis as a defense contractor “missed opportunities for intervention” that could have barred the former sailor from retaining a secret security clearance and unfettered access to military installations.
“The reviews identified troubling gaps in the Department of Defense’s ability to detect, prevent and respond to instances where someone working with us decides to inflict harm on this institution and its people,” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Tuesday morning.
Despite the numerous lapses outlined in the two internal assessments and an independent review, the Pentagon said it has not disciplined or fired anyone as a result of the case, the second deadliest mass shooting on a U.S. military installation.
“We hold Aaron Alexis accountable,” said Cmdr. Amy Derrick-Frost, a Pentagon spokeswoman. The gunman was fatally shot by police, ending the rampage.
The reports offered no new substantive clues about the motives of Alexis, who was reported to have exhibited paranoid and delusional behavior in the weeks before he walked into a Navy Yard building and gunned down 12 Navy civilian personnel and contractors.