The Corner

Same Company Conducted Background Check on Snowden, Alexis

The background investigations of NSA leaker Edward Snowden and Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis were done by the same federal contractor, according to Bloomberg.

Security specialists told Bloomberg that investigators at USIS are “overworked and underpaid,” while the government relies more and more on the company. In 2012, USIS signed a $253 million contract with the federal government, and conducted two-thirds of background investigations of contractors and more than half of those done on federal employees proper.

Senator Claire McCaskill (D., Mo.,), who chairs the subcommittee that oversees federal contracting, announced that USIS was under criminal investigation in a congressional hearing in June, and has now asked the OPM to investigate the Alexis situation. Alexis’ background was checked in 2007.

“We clearly need a top-to-bottom overhaul of how we vet those who have access to our country’s secrets and to our secure facilities,” she said in a statement. “I plan to pursue such an overhaul, and won’t rest until it’s achieved.”

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