Same Contractor Vetted Snowden and Navy Yard Suspect

The revelation is another blow to US Investigations Services LLC, which is already the subject of a grand jury investigation.

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Aaron Alexis

U.S. Investigations Services LLC, a private firm that contracts with the U.S. military to conduct background investigations for security clearances, has confirmed it was responsible for vetting Aaron Alexis, the man suspected of murdering 12 people in Monday’s Navy Yard shooting, The Wall Street Journal reports. The same firm also did a background investigation for the security clearance of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

USIS is currently under investigation by a grand jury over allegations that it rushed investigations through without proper review, the Journal reports.

The Alexis background check, conducted by USIS in 2007, did reportedly include information on Alexis’ 2004 arrest connected to an “anger-fueled” blackout in which he shot the tires of a car. A federal official quoted by the Journal said he found that “the file was complete and in compliance with all investigative standards” before being handed over to the Department of Defense, which ultimately granted Alexis a security clearance. Other incidents in which Alexis ran afoul of the law occurred after that 2007 investigation.

[The Wall Street Journal]

17 comments
destor23
destor23

Uh, you can't really compare and activist and whistleblower to a schizophrenic mass murderer.

JimStarowicz
JimStarowicz

Privatizing our government needs and policies, i.e. like our wars, at higher costs in many ways then if done under government watch and congressional oversite, what congress rarely does and when it does doesn't blame itself, many, especially tepubs, work for the private sector in not representing those who hired and pay them!!!
Almost forgot, same reps then rubber stamp no bid contracts for same contractors!!

S_Deemer
S_Deemer

As much as I despise Donald Trump, this is a "You're fired!" moment for U.S. Investigations Services LLC.

GoodPoint!
GoodPoint!

TerryConklin - you're right. Snowden and Alexis are very different. Alexis killed a handful of patriotic Americans in one swift blow. Snowden did damage that has and will continue to kill patriotic Americans for years.

But I think everyone can agree that the DoD needs less contractors.

BluegrassBetty
BluegrassBetty

Why are we farming out something as important as security clearance.  It is obvious that private contractors want to make the biggest profit so they take shortcuts.

TerryConklin
TerryConklin

Oops... I made the mistake of reading an article written by a guy named after a city in Colorado so here I am. Seriously, equally pointless was to mention Edward Snowden in an article about why the suspect in DC got a "Secret" level  clearance. They are nothing alike. Alexis was a troubled and mentally ill individual who did something terrible and Snowden is a bright, honest and patriotic individual who enlightened the world about his country's misdeeds and started a long overdue debate on our government's abuse of power. Alexis's act was limited in scope and Snowden may never receive the honors he is due but we are in his debt.

paulejb
paulejb

Did they also vet Barack Hussein Obama in 2008?

rpearlston
rpearlston

@destor23 From where did you get the diagnosis of schizophrenia?  Alexis has not been diagnosed with anything  except anger management issues.  Schizophrenia does not necessarily produce killers, let alone mass murderers.  Further, the label "mass murder" applies to someone who kills or orders killing over a lengthy period of time.  This wasn't mass murder - it was a spree killing, which is a different thing entirely.  Some spree killers, such as the Texas Clock Tower killer, start by killing their family members, so that their family won't be embarrassed, ashamed, even shunned for his/her actions.

The comparison between Snowden and Alexis is based on their effect on SECURITY, and only on security.  In that way, the comparison works, and works very, very well.

Please do the world a favor and stop speculating.  Instead, take a step back, get your facts straight, and then make cogent and informed comments instead of spouting the nonsense that you did.

bryanfred1
bryanfred1

@JimStarowicz Is the implication that the people working for the contractor would have done a better job had they been working for a government agency?  They did the equivalent of a background check and found the previous gun incident.  The DOD is the one that subseequently granted the clearance.  If your beef is with anyone, it should be with them.

Tammo
Tammo

@JimStarowicz  I could give you examples of government agencies not correctly doing their job. The Securities Exchange  Commission missed Bernie Maddoff. The FBI did not follow up with the 9/11 highjacker that was taking flying lessons and didn't want to learn how to land a plane. There is plenty of blame to go around. If we made the people at the top of private and government agencies responsible for the actions of their employees, it would make a difference. Why didn't anyone go to jail for the housing crisis regarding falsified credit and income verification? 

bryanfred1
bryanfred1

@S_Deemer What about the DOD official who read the report and said "rage-fueled blackout?  Shooting the tires out of a moving car?  PERFECT!  Clearance granted."  The contractor doesn't assign clearances, the governmetn does.

TerryConklin
TerryConklin

@GoodPoint! YOu believe Snowden "has and will continue to kill Americans"???? Who would those people be? The whole NSA trashing of our Constitution has resulted in zero lives saved. Zero "terrorist" plots prevented. Yet we Are far less safe because our very democracy is in jepardy. What elections can we trust if the administration (or private contractors) can blackmail candidates?

rpearlston
rpearlston

@BluegrassBetty The DoD does the actual decision-making and approvals.  They are the ones who fell down on the job.  The least you can do is recognize that and criticize them instead of the contractor.  Contractors doing this job are making recommendations only, not decisions.

rpearlston
rpearlston

@TerryConklin I fully agree with your evaluation of Edward Snowden.  However, in the long run, both Snowden and Alexis damaged the SECURITY of the country.  That's the comparison.  (Yes, Snowden has at least begun to make the whole world safer, at the expense of a bloated and illogical DoD.

rpearlston
rpearlston

@paulejb How many people do you know who were named for their father or mother?  The same is true of your (yes, YOUR) President.  

And for the record, to remind you of something that you have completely forgotten, while the current King of Jordan is Abdullah, his father was King HUSSEIN.  Both of them, among other things, received military training at Sandhurst, the world-renowned military college in and of Britain.  Here's the list of schools attended by the former, as decided, at least in part, by the latter:

EducationGeorgetown UniversityPembroke College, OxfordRoyal Military Academy SandhurstUniversity of OxfordSt Edmund's School, HindheadDeerfield AcademyEdmund A. Walsh School of Foreign ServiceEaglebrook School

My search parameters were simple - "current king of Jordan" and this information was found there.

destor23
destor23

@rpearlston @destor23 The security/vetting process that uncovers a principled objector to policy like Snowden would not also uncover the mentally disturbed violent behavior of Alexis.  Alexis is a violent criminal. There is no moral or practical equivalence between he and Snowden.

TerryConklin
TerryConklin

@rpearlston @TerryConklin How has Snowden damaged our security? We were (and still are) in great danger from elections rigged via blackmailed candidates and politicians controlled like puppets of those with access to all our emails and phone data.