Navy Yard shooting: Hagel proposes changes to security clearances
(WJLA) - Before IT contractor Aaron Alexis killed 12 people in the Washington Navy Yard last Sept. 16, there were warning signs.
While in the Navy, Alexis was cited eight times for misconduct. He was arrested for a gunfire incident in Texas. He coplained of hearing voices. He believed he was being controlled by ultra-low frequency attacks.
Yet, through it all, he held onto the secret government clearance which allowed him to walk into the Navy Yard with his shotgun on Sept. 16, 2013.
Now, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel says a thorough investigation finds the military was simply not doing enough to keep track of its own people.
"The reviews identified found troubling gaps in DoD's ability to detect, prevent and respond to instances where someone working for us -- a government employee, whether military or contractor -- decides to inflict harm on this institution and its people," Hagel said Tuesday.
Hagel has ordered several changes to help prevent future inside attacks.
First, he said there will be better, continuous monitoring of people with clearances. There will be a single authority with responsibility to improve security -- and there will be a 10-percent reduction in the number of people holding secret clearances.
Government workers and contractors say they are glad for the proposed changes. The general feeling around the Navy Yard Tuesday was agreement -- that Aaron Alexis made the flaws in the system tragically obvious.
"Sounds like something that should have been done," said Colton Hall.
"Something was missed, somewhere," said contractor Alec Pochowski.
"This guy was floating around out there with a valid ID...and all indications are he should never have been allowed back in the building," said worker Mark Glaze.