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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

This is what happens when you turn the military over to the private sector
Posted by Jill | 5:45 AM
When everything is done on a for-profit model, cost-cutting is always the easiest and fastest way to hit the bottom line. When you're a military contractor, one way to do this is to not be too picky about who you hire, and not spend money looking into their backgrounds. And when you're a government that hires that company, well, we now see the consequences. If you missed Rachel's take on this, watch it now:

How on earth does Aaron Alexis get a security clearance, when most of us would be denied one based on that party we went to in 1978? NYT:

When officers came to his hotel room early on Aug. 7, Mr. Alexis told them that a person he had argued with at an airport in Virginia “has sent three people to follow him” and that they were harassing him with a microwave machine, according to a Newport, R.I., police report. Mr. Alexis said he had heard “voices speaking to him through the wall, flooring and ceiling,” the report said.

Mr. Alexis told the police he was a Navy contractor, and then twice that month he sought treatment from the Veterans Affairs Department for psychiatric issues, according to a senior law enforcement official. But it did not raise a red flag that might have prevented him from entering the military base in Washington where, the authorities say, he killed 12 people on Monday.

The episode in Rhode Island adds to a growing list of questions about how Mr. Alexis, who had a history of infractions as a Navy reservist, mental health problems and run-ins with the police over gun violence, gained and kept a security clearance from the Defense Department that gave him access to military bases, including the navy yard, where he was shot to death by the police.

Time and again, Mr. Alexis’s behavior fell below a level that would have brought a serious response, like a less-than-honorable discharge from the military or involuntary commitment to a mental institution, experts and officials said.

I'm sorry, but it should not take an extensive government review to realize that a guy who hears voices speaking at him through the walls, floors, and ceiling sent by someone he argued with at an airport is a paranoid schizophrenic who should probably not have access to firearms. But we are living in a country populated by people who are so terrified because there is a black man in the White House who believes poor people should have access to health care, that they feel twenty dead children in Newtown, a disabled Congresswoman, people killed while sitting in a movie theatre, Sikhs practicing their freedom of religion, and many you didn't hear about -- 62 in the last thirty years with over 10% of those JUST THIS YEAR -- is a small price to pay for their ability to amass an arsenal that they think will "protect" them against a government that has drones.

I can't speak for anyone else, but when I realize that I live in a country where there are actually people who think George Zimmerman, a sociopath who is clearly just waiting for his own appropriately flashy opportunity to go out in a blaze of glory, is a hero; where on a cable news station a so-called "pundit" argues for the rights of blind people to carry guns and a state actually passes a law that says this is perfectly OK; I wonder how or if we can ever restore sanity to this place. Because somehow I think the fact that Jesus didn't return in December 2012 has so unhinged them that they think if they can just allow enough people who ought not to have firearms the opportunity to have them, that somehow Jesus will decide to make his appearance. And even if he does, they'll probably shoot him under "Stand your ground" after he reminds them of how they have sullied his name.

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Anonymous Syrbal/Labrys said...
Some cartoonist needs to draw a vehicle with the "gun control blind spot" well demonstrated....not that America seems to care. No other first world country has the gun violence death count this nation has won for itself, and yet we are told with every shooting disaster, that it has nothing to do with a need for gun control.

But hey, we are on our way out of first world status...as proven by the idea that a 14 year old girl would be seized as currency in a Atlanta, Georgia home invasion robbery....women as chattel and guns for all. Yahoo.

Anonymous The WP said...
But that would have infringed on his right to be a well organized militia with the right to bear arms. (or is that bare arms. I forget.) Anyway, his medical records are HIPPO private so no on can even know what's in them except the government that is recording all our phone calls and screening them so if you tell someone about the microwave machine down the street they can come get you and make them disappear because you know about the microwave machines...or they can offer you a job at Langley because that way they can put microchips in your head so they can control you better.

In other words, they don't give a fuck. Hiring cheap is the credo. Better 10 cheap guys who patch over patch over patch than a competent one who can actually fix a bug. You really do get what you pay for. In this case, they got a crazy person who also happens to be a shooter. Good going DoD!

Blogger Nan said...
We must have been on similar wavelengths. My first thought was, Well, this is what happens when you start privatizing government work. You get the bat shit crazy types that would never pass the screening for direct hires.

Anonymous e.a.f. said...
Great article!

This case clearly demonstrates the problems in American with all the easy access to guns and the lack of a decent medical system.

the shooter was mentally ill. There was no help for him and he shot and killed a number of people. I'm sure the republicans are very proud of this moment. They contributed much to the occassion.

It simply does not make sense to "contract out" military work. It doesn't save money. It is open to all sorts of spying and stealing. Military work should be kept within the military. Cheaper, more secure, etc.

Anonymous CC said...
What was JP's nickname for S.E. Cupp again?