The Defense Department may cut the number of employees with security clearances by at least 10 percent and will overhaul the way it screens personnel, officials said as they released the results of inquiries into the Sept. 16 mass shooting at Washington, D.C.’s Navy Yard, the Washington Post reports. The reviews gave a damning assessment of the department's ability to monitor the trustworthiness and reliability of a workforce that grew exponentially in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Aaron Alexis gunned down 12 employees and contractors at the Navy Yard
The reports made clear that the Pentagon has issued security clearances to many employees and contractors who are not required to access classified information. Investigators found that Navy personnel who later employed Alexis as a defense contractor “missed opportunities for intervention” that could have barred the former sailor from retaining a secret security clearance and unfettered access to military installations. “The reviews identified troubling gaps in the Department of Defense's ability to detect, prevent and respond to instances where someone working with us decides to inflict harm on this institution and its people,” said Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. Despite numerous lapses, the Pentagon has not disciplined or fired anyone.