Due Diligence

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

In April of 2021, Retired Army Lieutenant General Russel Honoré, the leader of a task force reviewing security failures during the insurrection at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021, “said he continues to support recommendations for conducting background checks on everyone working at the Capitol” following another deadly attack outside the building on April 2, 2021, according to a report from Cable News Network (CNN).

“We made recommendations that everyone coming into the Capitol give background checks, the entire Congressional staff,” Honoré told CNN. “We do think that everyone going into the Capitol, that works there, should have complete background checks and we need to improve the ability to process people with vestibules outside of the Capitol so people can comes in, be quickly screened and go through using the best technology.”

CNN reported that conducting background checks on all Capitol workers is “a potentially massive undertaking that raises several logistical and political questions. Currently, there is only a background check process for staffers who apply for security clearances.” The CNN report is at www.cnn.com/2021/04/05/politics/honore-capitol-police-mission-congressional-staff-background-checks-cnntv/.

In March of 2021, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) examined “implementing social media screening in conjunction with background investigations” to prevent extremist behavior in military ranks, according to a “Leadership Stand-Down to Address Extremism in the Force” from the Office of the Secretary of Defense that addressed checking social media of service members, civilian DoD employees, and prospective recruits.

“The vast majority of the men and women in the United States military and those who serve the Department of Defense as civilian employees… do not support racially and ethnically motivated violent extremists, including white supremacists… However, recent events have shown that we must be ever vigilant in our efforts to identify and combat such ideology within the ranks and organizations,” the DoD stated in the document.

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