In a shockingly short period of time, the American people have learned about four massive failures in our government’s ability to treat a red flag like a red flag and screen out troubled individuals before they are given extraordinary access to the most sensitive areas of American national security: Intelligence, the Department of Homeland Security, and the military.
Let’s just start with admitted mass murderer, Nidal Hassan, who made it to the rank of Major in the United States Army while throwing up more red flags than a referee at an Oakland Raiders game. Hasan wasn’t just a Major; he was an Army psychiatrist charged with helping others heal their mental wounds at Walter Reed.
This, despite reports that Hasan was “very vocal about being a Muslim first and holding Shari’a law above the Constitution,” and spoke openly about how the war on terror was a war against Islam:
This officer says he was so surprised when Hasan gave a talk about “the war on terror being a war on Islam” that he asked the lieutenant colonel running the course what Hasan’s presentation had to do with health care. “I raised my hand and asked, ‘Why are you letting this go on — this has nothing to do with environmental health.’ The course director said, ‘I’m just going to let him go.’ ” The topic of Hasan’s presentation, the officer says, had been approved in advance by the lieutenant colonel.
Hasan was also able to get away with exchanging 18 emails with Anwar al-Awlaki, a high-ranking al Qaeda cleric. Those emails included Hasan’s plan to commit mass murder, on which he would follow through in November of 2009.
While screaming Allah Akbar, Hasan murdered thirteen and injured thirty during a spree shooting at the Fort Hood military base.
Just as frightening but, thankfully, nowhere near as successful (yet) is Ayo Kimathi, a government employee tasked with buying guns and ammunition for the Department of Homeland Security.
It should come as no surprise that it was not the federal government that discovered how Kimathi spends his spare time. Using a website (that was approved by a DHS that obviously never bothered to look into what it was approving), Kimathi plans and advocates for a coming race war.
Kimathi’s site calls President Obama a “treasonous mulatto scum dweller,” and an enemy of the black supremacist movement, along with Oprah, Whoopi Goldberg, and Condoleezza Rice. The site says, “warfare is eminent, and in order for Black people to survive the 21st century, we are going to have to kill a lot of whites – more than our christian hearts can possibly count.” Kimathi also says that whites are attempting to “homosexualize” black men to somehow make them weaker, and therefore easier pickings for racism. He also offers helpful hints on how “Black women in the world [can] understand what she needs to do to keep a strong Black man happy.”
As of this writing, there has been no announcement from DHS regarding Kimathi being fired.
Then we have our famous leakers, Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden.
Manning, who was just convicted of espionage and sentenced to 35 years for setting a new record for the largest amount of restricted documents ever leaked to the public, is a troubled young man who now wants to become a troubled young woman.
Years before Manning was arrested for espionage, the warning signs were enough that he was nearly discharged from the military … before being promoted from Private First Class to Specialist and deployed to Iraq as a Security Analyst:
He enlisted in October 2007 and was sent to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, for basic training, but in just over a month he was moved to a discharge unit and on the verge of expulsion.
One man who befriended Manning in the unit, but who wishes to remain anonymous, explained what being in the discharge unit meant. “He was not bouncing back. He’s going home. You don’t just accidentally end up in a discharge unit one day. You just have somebody one day saying, ‘You know what, he is no good – let’s get him out of here’. There are a lot of steps to go to before you even hit a discharge unit.” …
Despite the concerns of his immediate superiors, Manning was “recycled” instead of being discharged. The war in Iraq was in its fourth year and the army was short of recruits.
In August 2008, after training as an intelligence analyst, he was stationed at Fort Drum in upstate New York while he awaited deployment to Iraq. Here he was considered a “liability” by superior officers.
While it is true that Edward Snowden worked for contractors, that is hardly an excuse for our government not to be overbearing in its oversight of to whom contractors like Booz Allen Hamilton give access to our most sensitive security secrets:
Beginning in 2002, an 18-year-old Snowden was an active member of the website Ars Technica, where he boasted of his sexual prowess and the joys of postcoital doughnuts. He even doled out advice on how to become a successful high school dropout just like him.
He also maintained a profile on a Japanese anime company run by friends, where he showed the early seeds of strong opinions regarding rights to privacy and government surveillance of online activity. …
But amid all the swagger were signs of an activist in the making.
“It really concerns me how little this sort of corporate behavior bothers those outside of technology circles,” he wrote in 2010. “Society really seems to have developed an unquestioning obedience towards spooky types.”
In 2010, Snowden had already worked for the NSA, CIA, and was at the time either working for or about to work for Dell or Booz Allen.
In 2011, Snowden passed a background check, despite the fact that…
Hiring screeners at Booz Allen Hamilton, a contractor for the National Security Agency, found possible discrepancies in a resume submitted by Edward Snowden, but the company still employed him, a source with detailed knowledge of the matter said on Thursday.
Thirteen dead, thirty wounded, a flood of national security secrets leaked (and still coming out), and a recruiter and promoter of a race war — all on the government payroll, all throwing up red flags, and despite that — all placed in highly sensitive positions that we used to believe were only reserved for buttoned-down Jack Ryan types.
When one Bradley Manning slips through, that kind of thing unfortunately happens. But we have had four in just a few years.
Manning, Snowden, Nasan, and Kimathi are not the disease; they are the symptom of a federal government’s inexcusable and fatal incompetence.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC