WASHINGTON – Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., and Ranking Member Susan Collins, R-Me., Tuesday expressed disappointment the Administration failed to comply with their subpoenas for information and witnesses related to the Committee’s independent investigation into the Fort Hood terrorist attack.
As a result of the subpoenas, the Departments of Justice and Defense (DOJ, DOD), at the last moment, provided additional documents requested by the Senators, who expressed appreciation for the Administration’s limited efforts. But the Senators observed that more information – and in particular witnesses – must be made available for the Committee to investigate whether the government could have taken steps to prevent the slaying of 13 people on an Army base November 5, 2009, so that it can make corrective recommendations.
“Having sought DOD’s and DOJ’s voluntary compliance for the past five months since the Committee launched its investigation, we were forced to issue subpoenas for the most critical witnesses and documents related to how the government handled information about Major Nidal Malik Hasan before his alleged attack,” the Senators said.
“DOD and DOJ have produced a limited set of documents in response to the subpoenas, which we appreciate. However, they still refuse to provide access to their agents who reportedly reviewed Major Hasan’s communications with radical extremist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and to transcripts of prosecution interviews with Hasan’s associates and superiors, which DOD already provided to its internal review.
“DOD and DOJ’s failure to comply with the subpoenas is an affront to Congress’s Constitutional obligation to conduct independent oversight of the Executive Branch, a right all the more critical in order to ensure that our government operates effectively to counter the threat of terrorism.”
In response to the subpoenas, the Administration has provided:
1) The “For Official Use Only” annex to the January 2010 Togo West/ Vernon Clark Fort Hood report
2) Major Hasan’s official DOD personnel file and performance evaluations
3) DOJ documents concerning the review of Hasan’s communications
The Administration has refused to provide:
1) Transcripts or summaries of transcripts of interviews conducted by the prosecution that were provided to the West/Clark review
2) Interviews of FBI and DOD agents who reportedly discovered Major Hasan’s communications with radical extremist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.