Background Checks


 According to Fox News, “Aaron Alexis, the Navy veteran who gunned down 12 people at a Washington military facility Monday, had his federal security clearance renewed just two months before his rampage, despite a disturbing history of psychological problems and violent behavior involving guns.”  Anyone who knows anything about real background checking would immediately have realized that an ordinary multi-state court check would have turned up enough negative information about Alexis to raise all sorts of red flags that should have prevented him from being granted a security clearance of any type.  What’s going on here is nothing more than sloppy background checking by somebody, assuming a check was done at all.
 Fox News goes on to report that, “It is not clear what that second background check consisted of; but, just weeks earlier, Alexis’ roommate in Fort Worth filed a criminal complaint with the police after becoming suspicious that Alexis had tampered with his car’s fuel tank.”  There is no indication of who conducted the background check. 

 In other news, Fox News reported, “Embattled Syrian analyst Elizabeth O’Bagy now admits she was never enrolled in a Ph.D. program despite claims to the contrary as she rose – and quickly fell – as a prominent scholar whose writings were used to make the case for military intervention in Syria.  O’Bagy also has resigned from a Washington-based, pro-Syrian opposition group in the wake of the controversy.
 “The resignation and the admission, made in a statement to The Daily Beast, caps a remarkable turn of events for O’Bagy, who a little more than a week ago was traveling in rarified circles, as a frequently quoted analyst whose work was also cited on Capitol Hill.”  One thing is blatantly obvious; no one did a background check on Ms. O’Bagy prior to her employment with the Institute for the Study of War.  A simple verification of her academic credentials would have uncovered her deception.

 One can only be led to the conclusion that pre-employment screening isn’t being done at all by many employers who are dealing with some of our nation’s most sensitive information.  That should be reason for concern by every citizen, let alone employers who do business with the federal government in one capacity or another. 
Without meaning to sound self-serving, there are pre-employment screening companies in the marketplace who actually do a good job for their clients!