Security Clearances: Who Gets Them And Why?

Security Clearances: Who Gets Them And Why?

Kojo talks with experts about how government background checks work and discusses how the suspected Washington Navy Yard shooter's checkered history passed the test.

Monday's violence at the Washington Navy Yard prompted many questions about how the suspected shooter, Aaron Alexis, was able to get the security clearance to enter the installation. His background is checkered with arrests and disciplinary incidents during his time in the Navy Reserves. Kojo talks with experts about the background checks required for government security clearances and explores why an individual like the alleged shooter may have passed the test.


Mark Zaid

Attorney and managing partner, Law Office of Mark Zaid, P.C.

William Henderson

President, Federal Clearance Assistance Service; retired federal clearance investigator; author, the "Security Clearance Manual"

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The Kojo Nnamdi Show is produced by member-supported WAMU 88.5 in Washington DC.