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“Mental-health warnings about Alexis ignored”

That devastated headline at the top of Page 1 of the Sept. 19 Washington Post was followed by:

  • Defense Department officials acknowledged that “years of escalating warning signs about Navy Yard gunman Aaron Alexis went unheeded.”

  • “Several security-risk experts said there was a key moment when the system should have flagged Alexis: On Aug. 7, when police in Newport, R.I., alerted the Newport Naval Air Station that he was found hallucinating and in distress in a hotel room. The police said that Navy officials told them they would follow up, but that nothing indicates they did.”
  • “Alexis told police in Rhode Island in August that he was hearing voices of three people sent to follow him and keep him awake and were using ‘some sort of microwave machine’ to send vibrations into his body, preventing him from falling asleep, according to police reports.”
  • “A Capitol police officer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was commenting on an internal matter, said he thinks officers could have made a quick entry into the building where a gunman opened fire, killing 12 people. ‘We were definitely the closest tactical team in the city,’ the officer said. ‘It was at the scene very early on, within a couple of minutes, they were ordered to disengage and turn back for what reason, we don’t know.’”
  • “In fact, this year – as Alexis’ mental state seemed to decline – government agencies affirmatively signed off on all the tools of his massacre. A security clearance. An ID badge. Then, a gun. ‘Obviously there were a lot of red flags,’ Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Wednesday, saying there were valid questions about ‘why they didn’t get picked up.’ ‘Where there are gaps, we will close them,’ Hagel said. ‘Where there are failures, we will correct them.’

But from Defense Secretary Hagel there came no reported explanation of what he and the rest of the Obama government intend to do to punish the causers of all these red flag wave proposals.

  • Who, for example, ordered the Capitol police to “disengage and turn back”?

  • And how many lives could have been saved but for this absolutely astounding and outrageous order?
  • When police in Newport alerted the Newport Naval Air Station that Alexis was found hallucinating and in distress in a hotel room, who were the Navy officials who told the police they would follow up “but nothing indicates that they did”?
  • Why on Earth was Alexis not removed from this Navy program after he told Rhode Island police that he was “hearing voices of three people sent to follow him and keep him awake and were using ‘some sort of microwave machine’ to send vibrations into his body, preventing him from falling asleep”?
  • Surely the Navy owes it to the nation to bring charges against all these people who failed to take sufficient action regarding Aaron Alexis.

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