There is a lot of talk about the “security clearance problem” in the context of the shootings at the Navy Yard.
Here is an excerpt from a an opinion piece authored by John Hamre. You can view the entire article at the …
Washington Post Opinion Page – “Navy Yard shooting exposes flawed security clearance process”
” … The case of Alexis is more complicated. He did not hold a particularly sensitive job or a highly privileged clearance. Our system is designed to defeat spies, not crazy people with homicidal impulses.
The part I picked up on in this article is, “There were ample signs of a troubled mind, which should have triggered more rigorous supervision and monitoring.” So this got me to thinking, what do the HIPAA regulations really say about this? So I found the regulations here: http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/administrative/privacyrule/adminsimpregtext.pdf
After reading for some time I came upon the following section on apx. page 65:
§ 164.512 Uses and disclosures for which an authorization or opportunity to agree or object is not required …
(2) National security and intelligence activities. A covered entity may disclose protected health information to authorized federal officials for the conduct of lawful intelligence, counter-intelligence, and other national security activities authorized by the National Security Act (50 U.S.C. 401, et seq.) and implementing authority (e.g., Executive Order 12333).
(3) Protective services for the President and others. A covered entity may disclose protected health information to authorized federal officials for the provision of protective services to the President or other persons authorized by 18 U.S.C. 3056, or to foreign heads of state or other persons authorized by 22 U.S.C. 2709(a)(3), or to for the conduct of investigations authorized by 18 U.S.C. 871 and 879.
(4) Medical suitability determinations. A covered entity that is a component of the Department of State may use protected health information to make medical suitability determinations and may disclose whether or not the individual was determined to be medically suitable to the officials in the Department of State who need access to such information for the following purposes:
(i) For the purpose of a required security clearance conducted pursuant to Executive Orders
Assuming I am reading this correctly, there was no reason the Navy Yard Shooter had a clearance as it could have been pulled based upon his lack of suitability. Good grief he had told law enforcement officials he was hearing voices to boot. Why wasn’t there an immediate response?
That leaves me wondering, why did this shooting occur? And has anyone in government figured out yet that if this guy fell through the cracks, how may other crack fallers are there out there? Could it be that the national government is so big it can’t deal with matters that really count?
So what are your thoughts on all this?