Pentagon Review says Navy Yard Rampage Could Have Been Prevented

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (r.) and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey (2nd r.) present a wreath at the Navy Memorial in Washington to remember the victims of the deadly shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, Sept. 17, 2013. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (r.) and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey (2nd r.) present a wreath at the Navy Memorial in Washington to remember the victims of the deadly shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, Sept. 17, 2013. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

The reservist who killed 12 people at the Washington Navy yard had behaved ‘in a way that raised concerns about his mental stability,’ but the ‘information was not reported … as required,’ the Pentagon review finds.

A Pentagon review of the Washington Navy Yard shootings last September, in which a reservist employed by a civilian contractor killed 12 people, concludes that the tragedy could have been prevented with relatively simple measures.

Well before Aaron Alexis went on the shooting rampage it should have been clear that he was troubled, finds the Pentagon report, which makes clear that the military is not pleased with the way the defense contractor handled Mr. Alexis’ background security check.

The military’s internal review, released Tuesday in Washington, also recommends that the Department of Defense issue fewer secret security clearances and give more attention to mental health care.

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Alexis had already been found “to behave in a way that raised concerns about his mental stability and presented indicators that he may cause harm to others,” but “this information was not reported to the government as required,” the review finds. “Had this information been reported, properly adjudicated, and acted upon, Alexis’ authorization to access secure facilities and information would have been revoked.”

According to the report, the contractor that had hired Alexis – the information technology company called The Experts – “failed to meet their contractually-required responsibility to continuously evaluate their employee Alexis and report adverse information.”

In the report’s executive summary, the Department of Defense-appointed co-chairs of the investigating committee make some clear, concise advice, including the recommendation to “use more and better data to investigate clearance seekers” and “strengthen mental health care.”

The report also concludes that the Department of Defense needs to cut down on the number of people who have secret clearances. This is advisable in large part because since 9/11, the number of clearances approved each year by the DOD has tripled and continues to grow, the authors note.

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SOURCE: Anna Mulrine 
Christian Science Monitor

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