There Are Lots of Questions …

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.

But there are potential solutions. Innovative organizations in the U.S. government are pioneering continuous surveillance methods that could have detected Alexis by using many data sources and reporting risky behavior to security supervisors. There were ample signs of a troubled mind, which should have triggered more rigorous supervision and monitoring. This type of oversight must be carried out through automated techniques. Our paper-based human review process would be overwhelmed quickly. When data suggest a more focused investigation is needed, trained investigators should take over.Privacy concerns must be addressed, but they could be managed in a manner acceptable to our society. Government employees and contractors understand that they must be held to higher standards and closer scrutiny precisely because they carry the credential of trustworthiness to deal with America’s secrets.We mourn the needless death of civil servants. But we should learn and implement lessons that will really solve the clearance problem, not gratify a political impulse to act upon our national anger and shame.”

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?

Mrs AL

 

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13 Responses to There Are Lots of Questions …

  1. Hardnox says:

    Good post. I believe that political correctness is as much at fault here as the actual shooting. The alarms were ringing, just like with Major Hasan in Fort Hood, but no one wanted to call them out for fear of violating PC policies set by the Left.

  2. Clyde says:

    Take a bow, Mrs. Al. Damn good questions. I tend to agree with Nox here, because Alexis was black, they could not DO THEIR JOBS without fear of repercussions, most likely from the criminal DoJ.

  3. Kathy says:

    It seems to me that per item (4) his doctor had clearance to alert his supervisor but he didn’t, so investigators should be questioning him as to why not.

    The other thing I see, and this strikes me as ironic, is that in order to monitor people like Alexis, it would overwhelm their system of doing things, too much paperwork. Yet they have entire departments watching our every word, though we pose no threat.

    If their methods were effective, he wouldn’t have fallen through the crack.

  4. Buck says:

    They have laws but PC prevents the people who could alert people who need to be alerted and when the inevitable happens the people who insist on PC don’t look at PC as the culprit but the law the people who could have alerted the people who needed alerting being in conflict with the PC so they rush to legislate a new law which will be subject to PC and will, also, fail miserably and the people who should be restrained go about their daily lives writing bizarre writings and saying bizarre sayings and doing bizarre things that would leave signs Helen Keller could see but the people who see them are more afraid of losing their position than blowing the whistle so the inevitable happens and the PC people decide to punish the honest and sane people once more…

  5. Bill Baldwin says:

    HIPPA wouldn’t even come into play. He admitted that he heard voices to a law enforcement officer and to a Buddhist monk. The monk did nothing but give him a place to stay for the night. The LEO advised the Navy, the Navy did nothing. According to reports, the nut case never admitted to a counselor that invisible people were taunting him in his hotel rooms, or that they were using microwaves to disrupt his sleep. He only sought help for the sleep issues.

    As far as his security clearance, the contractor is under investigation. The word is that this same contractor had a habit of not really doing the background checks and faking the reports. Unless his arrest record was expunged, there is no reason why he should have had a security clearance. We know his arrest record wasn’t expunged, because his arrests have been reported in the news. When a record is expunged, it’s not really erased, the fact that there was an arrest and details are sealed by court order.

    Personally, I’m interested in his toxicology report and wouldn’t be surprised if they find high levels of zolpidem or similar drug. I’m not about to defend his actions, but given his history, it might be possible that he was sleeping during the rampage.

  6. Buck says:

    Let me see, now. This guy worked for a defense contractor….
    Snowden worked for a defense contractor…
    Maybe we should vet the contractors a tad more closely.

  7. Terry says:

    I heard today that the same company under contract to vet security clearances, also approved Snowden, and that they approve more than 1800 a day.
    That company is the one needing vetting.

  8. Mrs AL says:

    GREAT comments all. My compliments. I tend align with Kathy’s remarks. And no cracks about birdettes of a feather flocking together — haha

  9. I have some inside info on Alexis. The main reason he did not get a dishonorable discharge is because the squadron had recently given a dishonorable to another black member, and the squadron leadership knew they would become targets of PC investigations and have their career opportunities limited if they gave dishonorables to 2 blacks in a row. They decided to give him an “early out” so he could “pursue his higher education opportunities” or something to that effect.