News / USA

All US Defense Security and Clearance Policies Under Review

An officer (R) checks an ID outside of the Washington Navy Yard in the U.S. capital on September 17, 2013.
An officer (R) checks an ID outside of the Washington Navy Yard in the U.S. capital on September 17, 2013.
Luis Ramirez
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered a thorough review of security at U.S. military bases around the world following Monday's shooting at the Washington Navy Yard that left 13 dead.

Hagel says there remain big questions on how alleged gunman Aaron Alexis - a Navy contractor - managed to retain a security clearance despite a history of mental problems, and how he got a building pass to enter the Washington Navy Yard, where he shot and killed 12 people Monday.

Hagel told reporters at the Pentagon the review he has ordered will try to answer those questions.

“Where there are gaps, we will close them," he said."Where there are inadequacies, we will address them and where there are failures, we will correct them.”

These images released by the FBI show photos of Aaron Alexis, who police believe was a gunman at the Washington Navy Yard shooting in Washington, Sept. 16, 2013, and who was killed after he fired on a police officer.These images released by the FBI show photos of Aaron Alexis, who police believe was a gunman at the Washington Navy Yard shooting in Washington, Sept. 16, 2013, and who was killed after he fired on a police officer.
x
These images released by the FBI show photos of Aaron Alexis, who police believe was a gunman at the Washington Navy Yard shooting in Washington, Sept. 16, 2013, and who was killed after he fired on a police officer.
These images released by the FBI show photos of Aaron Alexis, who police believe was a gunman at the Washington Navy Yard shooting in Washington, Sept. 16, 2013, and who was killed after he fired on a police officer.
Alexis, who was killed during the rampage, was a former Navy reservist and had been honorably discharged from active duty in 2011. He held a security clearance despite a number of police incidents that included firing a gun inside an apartment building and shooting out someone's car tires.

Alexis' mental state has emerged as a central factor in the investigation.  Police say he recently reported hearing voices at hotel where he was staying.  He had been receiving mental health treatment under a veterans' program.

However, neither the police incidents - which did not result in convictions - nor the psychiatric episodes prompted any action to suspend his clearance.  

Hagel said the investigation will seek to find out why the U.S. military did not act on the tips.  

“Why they didn't get picked up, why they didn't get incorporated into the clearance process, what he was doing, those are all legitimate questions that we're going to be dealing with," said Hagel.

Members of Congress are calling for a review of hiring practices at the Department of Defense, and specifically of the background checks that were done on Alexis.

The Navy Yard shooting was the worst on a military facility in the United States since 2009 when army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan massacred 12 soldiers and one civilian at Fort Hood, Texas.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid