Felons routinely cleared for access to military bases, report finds

(CBS News) Federal authorities are grappling with questions raised by the mass shooting at the Washington, D.C. Navy Yard on Monday, surrounding the issuance of security clearance to the shooter, Aaron Alexis, who had a noted history of misconduct, anger management and emotional issues.

Alexis was cited eight times for misconduct during his naval career -- citations that included insubordination, disorderly conduct, and excessive absences. He was also arrested in May 2004 for shooting out the tires of another man's car in what he told police was an anger-fueled "blackout" and arrested again in September 2010 for allegedly firing a gun inside his apartment. However, he was not prosecuted by local jurisdictions on either charge.

Despite these behavioral issues, he had full access to the Navy Yard with a "common access card" that is given to private contractors working there.

On Tuesday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel orderedphysical security reviews for all Navy and Marine Corps installations ;and a larger review to ensure that correct security requirements are being implemented.

A Pentagon inspector general report revealed Tuesday that convicted felons routinely gain access to military bases -- specifically, 52 felons received access to military facilities. This lapse in the screening process put "military personnel dependents, civilians, and installations at an increased security risk," the report reads.

The report says the Navy Contractor Access Control System, or NCACS, did "not effectively mitigate access control risks."

According to CBS News special correspondent John Miller, a former assistant director at the FBI, the 52 felons gained access for periods of time ranging from 62 to 1,035 days and included "drug dealers" and "alleged child molesters."

The problem, Miller said Wednesday on "CBS This Morning," is while authorities are running background checks before granting clearance, they are not "finding the derogatory data when they do the check."

The practice of "farming out" the security clearance process to private companies who rely on "publicly available data" and "outdated" databases compounds the issue, Miller added.

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