VA not to blame in Navy Yard shooting

 
« Previous story
Next story »
 
VA not to blame in Navy Yard shooting

I've avoided talking about the Navy Yard shooting simply because the media hasn't exactly cloaked itself in glory on this one.  In fact, I can't think of a single fact that at one point or another wasn't debunked or somehow explained away.  So far we've had between 1 and 3 shooters, and the weapons he/they have used has been all over the place.  Piers Morgan lamented the killing weapon that is the AR15, when the only AR15 used was to kill the actual shooter.  Mike Lupica of the NY Daily News, who is supposed to be a sports guy, ran the single stupidest piece in the history of journalism:

They call semiautomatics like this sport rifles. You bet. Mostly for the sport  of killing innocent people, and killing them fast.

Meanwhile, CNN was lamenting that the shooter had access to a "AR15 Shotgun."   (The AR15 is a rifle, not a shotgun.)  Not content to be outdone on stupidity, MSNBC made a computer reenactment of the shooting, only helpfully added an M203 40mm grenade launcher to the shooters AR15 (which again, he didn't have.)

So with that said, there are two stories out today that may be true, may be fake, could be just about anything.  Either way, the one about the VA is slightly instructive, at least in so far as keeping folks from blaming the VA before we have any information. 

This from the AP:

The man who gunned down 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday visited two hospitals in the weeks before the rampage but denied that he was depressed or having thoughts of harming himself or others, the Department of Veterans Affairs said Wednesday.

Aaron Alexis, a former Navy reservist who died in a police shootout after the rampage, complained of insomnia during an Aug. 23 emergency room visit to the VA Medical Center in Providence, R.I. He was given sleep medication and advised to follow up with a doctor. He made a similar visit five days later to the VA hospital in Washington, when he again complained of not being able to sleep because of his work schedule. His medication was refilled.

Alexis appeared "alert and oriented" during the visits and denied feeling depressed or anxious or wanting to do harm, the VA said.

The VA's statement, presented to lawmakers Wednesday, comes as investigators continue focusing on the erratic behavior of a 34-year-old man who law enforcement officials say was grappling with paranoia and reported hearing voices and being followed.

I'm very eager to hear how this investigation turns out.  According to numerous sources, this guy had been doing all kinds of crazy things with firearms for years, including shooting out car tires and letting loose with rounds inside his apartment.  And yet somehow he was allowed to enlist, and then subsequently given an honorable discharge.  Then after that he got a Secret clearance, and had access to the Navy Yard.  All despite the fact that he clearly had some pretty severe issues.  What went on here?  Is everyone so afraid to speak up (like in the Hasan case) that no one says anything? 

That leads me to the second story today, which should have green lighted this guy getting a stay in a padded room until doctors could figure out what is wrong with him:

According to Rosalind Baugh, Wallis Boyd and Glynda Boyd, the incident [at an airport] began  when Baugh laughed at an innocent joke among loved ones and the man they now  believe be Aaron Alexis angrily approached the group. Things quickly escalated,  with Alexis screaming profanities and motioning at his side as though he were  carrying a weapon. Unable to calm the stranger down, family members called  security, who spoke with Alexis in front of a terminal of terrified  travelers.

“Everyone in the airport was scared, we were all scared,” Glynda Boyd told  FoxNews.com.

Three days later, Alexis told police in Newport, R.I., that he believed  people he had gotten into an argument with at an airport were following him and  laughing at him from another room. Newport police provided the report,  along with their concerns about Alexis’ mental instability, to local Navy  officials. The Navy has not commented on what steps were or were not taken.

I'll be eager to hear what steps the Navy actually did take. 

Meanwhile, the Navy is striking back at allegations that this was all spurred by sequestration.  First, the Mayor of DC:

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray said he wondered  if budget cuts had something to do with a gunman getting onto the Washington  Navy Yard on Monday, killing 12 before being killed himself.

“As I look at, for example, sequestration, which is about saving money in the  federal government being spent, have we somehow skimped on what would be  available for projects like this and then we put people at risk,” Mr.  Gray said on CNN’s “New Day” on Tuesday  morning.

Apparently the Navy disagrees:

The Navy’s top officer said Wednesday  that  cost-cutting did not    weaken the service’s security screening   system for  defense    contractors, despite a contractor’s shooting rampage   at the  Washington    Navy Yard on Monday that left 12  victims dead.

“The cost-control measures … have nothing to do with budget shortfalls or  sequestration itself,” Adm. Jonathan  Greenert, chief of naval operations, told a House  Armed Services Committee hearing. “We don’t cut budgetary corners for  security.”

So basically to recap....at first we didn't know how many people were involved, then we didn't know what guns were involved, now we still don't know why he did it, and chances are likely when a motive comes out, it will subsequently prove not true if the track record of the news people doesn't improve.

It's hard not to be sceptical of the media.

 

Posted in the burner | 24 comments
 
« Previous story
Next story »

 

* To comment without a Facebook account, please scroll to the bottom.

Comments

Why Is all the blame for Aaron Alexis killings being directed at the military versus the HP subcontractor that employed him and was responsible to make sure he had a clearance to work on Navy/Marine Corps computers? So VA doctors are supposed to be psychic now when the patient does not divulge he is hearing voices or acted irrational when they saw him for his complains about headaches. Here we have a president who never served in the military and his Secretary of Defense (SecDef) served only 2 years in the military and neither really know the ins and outs of security clearances but SecDef in now publicly speaking to the press like the military was solely responsible for this mishap.

I held a clearance for 31 years starting at E-3 due to the nature of my job and there was a Security Manager that monitored every one that had one, to ensure it stay current or resubmit when it was getting ready to expired. That individual also gave you the access at that particular command when the proper paperwork was provided to him and signed by the authorized individuals and all revoked the access when transferring out. The next Security Manager at your next command again went through the above steps, only if required. Not based on the fact that your security clearance was good for x number of years more, your future job dictated if you were given access and only to the level of clearance you held.

Numerous military contractors love when a separating/retiring member they are going to employ, already has a clearance. Since they don't have to pay $500 or higher (depending the level of clearance is required) for that individual to be given access to the installation they are going to work in. But it's the contractor or subcontractor (Experts, Inc) who employed Mr. Alexis who had the responsibility to pull his clearance and remove him from working at military installations due to his erratic behavior and it was Experts, Inc., who initially called the civilian cops on him after his repeated complains about hearing voices in his adjoining hotel room.

The fact that civilian police passed their concern to the Naval Police is not a factor since his clearance was still active and he still had access to military installations.

No one is questioning his employer who provided the clearance or the access for him to enter Navy/Marine Corps installations. All the blame is going to Navy Security at the Navy Yard, VA and the military as a whole.

Why, there was an article written by a former Deputy Secretary of Defense yesterday on the New York Times that blamed it on politics and he even questioned why he had to redo his clearance investigations when he had held one for numerous years. Additionally, he said it was required every 5 years (Wrong!) It is required every 5 when your work at the SecDef level, but not at a lower command which is every 10 years (which was before every 15 years) at least for a Secret clearance. As to this individual questioning why he had to filled out a request again? Hello, this is to ensure that during you specified clearance time, nothing happened that would preclude you from having it again. Having a clearance for 10-20 years previously, does not constitute the requirement going away to be investigated again to have your clearance renew.

Like the above article mentioned, they are ignorant news people that just put out garbage without researching the facts or some prior military that don't really know the ins and out of clearances but speak out only to hurt the image of the military. Now the Military and VA are being blamed for what this individual did and ignoring the fact that his employer is at fault for not revoking his clearance/access when they knew he was unstable and his prior violent outbursts before, were an indicators of what Mr. Alexis was capable of.

The original post on the Navy Yard Shootings made the mistake of not remembering that "ALL JOURNALISTS GET A FRONTAL LOBOTAMY DURING THEIR LAST SEMESTER OF COLLEGE." If you keep that in mind, its easier to understand that they MUST be the first to run off at the mouth with their assumptions no mater what what the truth is.The media no longer thinks they have a responsibility to retort the facts, or protect victims privacy in a tragedy, just be the first to say something even if it is wrong or just speculation.

Using the wisdom of today's liberal mouthpieces, I'd surmise that Navy Yard gunman's problems stem from a combination of: the nuns who brutalized him in Catholic school, the Church's repressive beliefs and policies, early exposure to toxic substances such as peanut butter and non-bottled water, and the overwhelming burden of growing up as a non-white citizen of the USA. That pretty much covers everything I think.

The problem isn't with guns. Guns are not dangerous unless they are handled by idiots. We need to better acknowledge persons with problems and get them help no matter what their financial status is. The military isn't to blame, but rather, the horrific situations that these men and women find themselves in that stays with them for the rest of their lives and for some remains too much of a reality. This is what my brother faces everyday of his life from service in Vietnam. He sometimes checks himself into the VA hospital for some care to get him back from the war again and able to function like the loving man he is. No one should fall through the cracks and it happens sometimes. If a person is unwilling to tell the truth about what is going on with them than the doctors cannot treat them. It is an appalling situation and unfortunately this shooting can be the result. Take care when you are pointing a finger at someone, there are three pointing back at you.

I agree that the VA is not responsible but the Navy Yard is. How can someone get a shotgun into a secure facility? Can they say metal detectors it has been 10 years since 911 that is 10 years to buy metal detectors. However that being said this guy was on the path to do it somewhere if not the Navy Yard. 10 years is too long to go with no review of any personnel with a security clearance.

Why is everyone looking for a scape goat? The only person to blame here is the shooter himself. All these "news reports" are nothing but speculation and in most cases "ignorant speculation." People are blaming guns when they don't know squat about guns to begin with. Others trying to blame the VA or federal budget cuts - all BS. They are all trying to further their own political agendas rather than reporting facts and waiting on the truth to come out, if it ever does?? The guy who did this is dead folks and no he wasn't a NRA member, didn't own or use an AR-15. Shit happens! That's the whole story.

I couldnt agree with your more. Our country has turned into a "lets blame everyone else" the fault lies with this guy period. The questions should be how can we avoid this so there isnt a next time.

The liberal media has again instantly spread their web of half truths and mis-information to again attempt to attack the NRA, the American Legion, and innocent law abiding gun owners. They stated that this pervert had a AR-15 style rifle (but it was an 870 pump shotgun - which is not an automatic), and that he had several automatic pistols (which he obtained from those he shot with the shotgun). They failed to say that this idiot, had to have obtained this shotgun illegally as the FBI checks must have indicated this idiot was a decent citizen? Why? It goes to show you that recent gun laws do not prevent criminals from obtaining firearms and creates a nuisance and red tape for honest law abiding citizens. The media be damned for their lying and prejudiced views!!!

Why is everyone looking for a scape goat? The only person to blame here is the shooter himself. All these "news reports" are nothing but speculation and in most cases "ignorant speculation." People are blaming guns when they don't know squat about guns to begin with. Others trying to blame the VA or federal budget cuts - all BS. They are all trying to further their own political agendas rather than reporting facts and waiting on the truth to come out, if it ever does?? The guy who did this is dead folks and no he wasn't a NRA member, didn't own or use an AR-15. Shit happens! That's the whole story.

Last I heard Alexis bought his shotgun (for $419.00) legally since he passed the NCIC Instant Check when he got it. Therefore, at the time of sale he was legal. BTW, what is an AR-15 shotgun??????

The VA looks for the least they can (or have to ) do for the Veteran. He could have been cocking his finger and pretending to shoot people with it and the VA Doctor(s) would still have sent him home as long as he gave them an excuse to do so. The Vets are just a commodity to keep a Federal Bureaucrat employee.

The VA looks for the least they can (or have to ) do for the Veteran. He could have been cocking his finger and pretending to shoot people with it and the VA Doctor(s) would still have sent him home as long as he gave them an excuse to do so. The Vets are just a commodity to keep a Federal Bureaucrat employed.

How did he get a security clearance now, after he had the troubles a few years ago with shooting tires, etc.? I would think a police report showing that he'd been shooting guns in his apartment, and shooting someone's tires, would have been sufficient to deny him clearance, without having any knowledge of his mental problems.

Even though,The VA needs to do a better Job with Our Veterans,and so does Private Hospitals..My Brother In Law committed suicide right after he begged the hospital to keep him because he didn't feel right,then went home after the same day release,blew his chest apart with his shot gun !Even though Us War Vets look okay,we need people to start caring,and doing more for all of Us ! Sir William USAF/USA/USDOD RET VN/Cold War/Desert Storm

Amen to that ! I agree with you 100% ... my husband is a disabled vet from Desert Storm

Two million people hold security clearances in this country. Good luck at ever catching ALL the crazies. The best you can do is the best you can do.

If you look-up A-Hole in the dictionary you will see a picture of a Liberal news person.

The Army "wasn't to blame" for Hasan at Fort Hood, now the Navy and the VA are "not to blame" for the Navy Yard shooter. Two trends can be seen here; first, nobody is to blame for any massacres caused by minorities (based on race, ethnicity or religious beliefs), and secondly, the entire federal government denies accountability for the actions of people serving in, or connected with, the federal government. It's time for the people of this country to demand the feds either start doing their jobs, accepting responsibility when they fail to do their jobs properly, or simply take away all the feds power period.

I wish all the people attempting to defend psychiatrists in this, or any other incidents would just stop. There is no valid defense for psychiatrists as they are all a bunch of quacks. The entire field of psychiatry is created just so undeducated people who can't complete real college courses can obtain a "degree" and then go around constantly failing at playing God. What good are psychiatrists if they can't help anyone who lies to them, as stated by those defending the shrinks, when we all know, EVERYONE lies to the shrinks, with the lies from each individual based on what their own personal goals are. If, as stated, the shrinks can't help anyone who lies to them, and the shrinks are not "psychi", then that defense results in revealing the shrinks really cannot help anyone period.

The news industry does not report the news that’s true, necessarily – they report whatever news yields the most profit. There is a certain segment of the public which responds to the ads that sponsor the news, and that’s the segment of the public that is the target of the news industry. That’s why the news is negative. That’s why the news industry is dedicated to liberal falsehood.

As a Vietnam-era vet and an Air Force dental technician 1968 -71(E-5) I continue to be amazed by the vitriolic comments from many of my veteran colleagues. AA was clearly having mental health problems the nature of which we may never know. Stop the blame game, particularly those who point to the "liberal" media. Fox news is the antithesis of liberal and yet many of your commenters insist that CNN and MSNBC distort the truth. As for security on bases, ask the Republican led house to drop their insistence on defunding the ACA, and get down to business running the country; first order of business: pass a budget bill that the Senate and President will sign. The world has changed much since my honorable discharge in 9/17/1971. We can't return to the 50's, which I suspect many of my fellow vets (contemporary) desire. The world has far more people and power is dispersed. Embrace peace and pray for the victims and their families. Lastly, stop looking for an explanation that will elude officials.

As a Vietnam-era vet and an Air Force dental technician 1968 -71(E-5) I continue to be amazed by the vitriolic comments from many of my veteran colleagues. AA was clearly having mental health problems the nature of which we may never know. Stop the blame game, particularly those who point to the "liberal" media. Fox news is the antithesis of liberal and yet many of your commenters insist that CNN and MSNBC distort the truth. As for security on bases, ask the Republican led house to drop their insistence on defunding the ACA, and get down to business running the country; first order of business: pass a budget bill that the Senate and President will sign. The world has changed much since my honorable discharge in 9/17/1971. We can't return to the 50's, which I suspect many of my fellow vets (contemporary) desire. The world has far more people and power is dispersed. Embrace peace and pray for the victims and their families. Lastly, stop looking for an explanation that will elude officials.

I have read some scary posts in forums in my day, but the person signed in as Rick Anderson needs some serious help. I sure hope he doesn't have any clearances... or guns.

Omg, thats wrong.

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.
Have a tip for us? A link that should appear here? Contact us.
News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.