US general has doubts about probing mental health

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top U.S. military officer, Gen. Martin Dempsey, says those who have served in the military should not be stigmatized by having to answer questions about their mental health status on security clearance forms.

Dempsey’s comments were part of a news conference in which Pentagon leaders announced a review of the security clearance process in response to Monday’s shooting at the Washington Navy Yard.

The shooter, Aaron Alexis, a former Navy reservist, had been undergoing mental health treatment from the Department of Veterans Affairs but was not stripped of his security clearance.

Dempsey expressed doubts that questions about mental health on an application form would have revealed the problems Alexis was experiencing.

He said he believes service members should have the opportunity to overcome their mental health challenges without being stigmatized.

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