White House to review contractors after Washington shootings

WASHINGTON Tue Sep 17, 2013 2:24pm EDT

FBI agents investigate at the scene of the shooting inside the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, September 17, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed

FBI agents investigate at the scene of the shooting inside the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, September 17, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House said Tuesday it will review standards for federal government contractors after the Washington Navy Yard shootings, which authorities said were committed by a contract worker who had a security clearance to work there.

President Barack Obama will be briefed on Tuesday on the details of the Washington Navy Yard shootings by his national security aides, including Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director James Comey, White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

Monday's attack left 13 people dead, including the suspected gunman, 34-year-old Aaron Alexis, a military reservist with a history of violence and mental problems.

Alexis was a Navy contractor who had been given clearance to enter the base despite two gun-related brushes with the law and a discharge from the Navy Reserve in 2011 for "misconduct issues."

The White House Office of Management and Budget is looking at issues surrounding security clearances for contractors and federal employees, Carney said.

"At the president's direction, OMB is examining standards for contractors and employees across federal agencies," Carney told reporters at a briefing.

"This is a matter that the president believes and has believed merits review," he said, noting the Director of National Intelligence had previously begun a review of security clearance policies for certain types of government contractors.

(Reporting by Steve Holland and Roberta Rampton; Editing by Vicki Allen and Cynthia Osterman)

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Comments (3)
AlkalineState wrote:
Too many contractors in defense now. Waste of money. Contractors work for companies, companies need to not only make profits, they need to make bigger profits this quarter than last quarter, in order to keep shareholders happy. The defense contractor thing is a scam. And one of our biggest sources of spending and debt.

Sep 17, 2013 5:26pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
SoutherRican wrote:
Contractors is the government version of Privatization, then the government can point the finger at someone else when things go wrong. I have always said one can delegate authority, one CAN NOT delegate responsibility, which is what the U.S. Navy will try to do in their Shipyard shooting case, it was their fault, not the Navy’s. Think!! maybe one day the U.S. will contract out our armed forces, then when we lose the war, blame the contractors, not the politicians.

Sep 17, 2013 6:10pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Gee, and the “Gov’t” worries that private citizens don’t get background checks when buying guns, yet they don’t bother to screen their own Gov’t employees who possibly carry guns all the time? Fort Hood…Wash Navy Yard, and possibly some others I am forgetting at this moment. This shows that all they do is suck up to the media’s wishes.

Sep 17, 2013 6:23pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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