With 4 million Americans holding security clearances, it is more difficult to prevent events such as the shooting at the Washington Naval Yard on Monday that left 13 people dead, says a former Defense Department official.
"You would have thought there was a red flag with Cpl. (Bradley) Manning. You would have thought there was a red flag with this one," said K.T. McFarland, deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Public Affairs under President Ronald Reagan, said on Fox News Channel's "Hannity."
"You would have thought there was a red flag with (Edward) Snowden. And yet, somehow these are all falling through the cracks."
McFarland suggested the government "rethink" the way it handles security clearances. The bureaucracy has gotten so big, she said, that it is impossible to catch everything.
According to some reports, the shooter, Aaron Alexis, had anger management issues and had discharged a gun into the ceiling of his apartment and into the tires of a construction crew. He was never charged. He also was reportedly discharged from the Navy Reserve after disciplinary problems.
"I'd like to see what the increase of the number of security clearances from when Reagan was president, when Nixon was president," McFarland said.
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