What Do Edward Snowden And Aaron Alexis Have In Common?

So what do Edward Snowden the NSA leaker, and Aaron Alexis the Navy Yard shooter, have in common? — They both had background reviews done by the same government contractor. Why does this matter? — It doesn’t. But don’t tell that to Senator Claire McCaskill. “From Edward Snowden to Aaron Alexis, what’s emerging is a pattern of failure on the part of this company, and a failure of this entire system, that risks nothing less than our national security and the lives of Americans,” said McCaskill. She went on to say:

The encounter could create a time paradox, the results of which could cause a chain reaction that would unravel the very fabric of the space time continuum, and destroy the entire universe! Granted, that’s a worse case scenario. The destruction might in fact be very localized, limited to merely our own galaxy.

Okay, for the record, McCaskill didn’t say that. I might have lifted that one from Back to the Future.

Same firm checked background of Navy Yard shooter, Snowden – Yahoo News: The company that scrutinized former spy agency contractor Edward Snowden for a U.S. government security clearance said on Thursday it also checked the background of the Navy Yard shooter, allowing him to obtain a ‘secret’ clearance.

USIS, working as a contractor for the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), conducted a background review of Aaron Alexis, identified by law enforcement authorities as the shooter who killed 12 people at the Navy Yard before he was shot dead.

I realize background checks are supposed to weed out the objectionable, but in the case of Snowden, there’s pretty much zero chance any red flag would have been raised by anyone, no matter how competent. Snowden had little in his background that could have indicated he would leak classified NSA information. And some of us believe he did American citizens a great service, but we can leave that out of the discussion for now. Regardless of whether you agree with Snowden’s actions, he hardly belongs in the same sentence as a mass-murderer.

As for that mass-murderer, Aaron Alexis, maybe a background check should have revealed previous firearms incidents, and maybe that should have been enough to deny him clearance. We can Monday-morning quarterback his ability to gain access to the Navy Yard, and that’s fine. Questions should be asked. But including Snowden and Alexis in a generalized indictment is not only unfair to the contractor (who I have no need to defend), it’s rather vicious, and at the very least it makes McCaskill look silly. At least half the country is on Snowden’s side, and they are scratching their heads trying to make sense of this comparison.

Claire mccaskill

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