OK

This is only a Preview!

You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.

Posting a Diary Entry

Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.

When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.

If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.

ATTENTION: READ THE RULES.

  1. One diary daily maximum.
  2. Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
  3. No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
  4. Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
  5. Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
  6. Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
  7. Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
For the complete list of DailyKos diary guidelines, please click here.

Please begin with an informative title:

An image from the USIS website: 'Ensuring a Safer Future Today (R)'
Congratulations, you are SO fired. (USIS website)
Looks like somebody is going to have to hire one of those "fixers" to repair their company image:
The same federal contractor that vetted Edward Snowden, who leaked information about classified U.S. spying programs, also performed a background check that let the Washington Navy Yard shooter obtain a security clearance.

Now the contractor, USIS, is drawing fire from a U.S. senator asking how Snowden and Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis slipped through the cracks.

Being implicated in two of the biggest security eff-ups of the last year probably requires some "we're sorry" ads, maybe a new Twitter campaign, and possibly a change even to the company name (is Blackwater available, or did someone else call dibs on that one?)

There's a caveat, however. The federal contractor was responsible for background checks in these two cases primarily because USIS is responsible for the majority of all background checks, period.

No company does more U.S. government background checks for clearances than USIS, which was awarded $253 million by the Office of Personnel Management last year. The company did about two-thirds of background investigations done by contractors, and more than half of all those performed by the U.S. personnel office, according to Senator Claire McCaskill’s office.
Background checks of course have limited prognostication abilities—exploring a person's past is not fully predictive of their future motivations, after all, though you might want to know if the person you are about to give "secret" clearance to has a history of instability and waving guns around—but privatizing security checks and turning them into a for-profit industry seems to have its own problems. USIS was formed as a privatized offshoot of the Office of Personnel Management during the Clinton administration, back during one of the previous rounds of privatizing things for the sake of privatizing them. Recent events have caused some, like Sen. McCaskill, to wonder whether or not there is a fundamental flaw in the current arrangement, though I doubt "perhaps this should not be done by outside companies at all" is going to come up much.
Intro

You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to Hunter on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 12:46 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.