WASHINGTON—Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., and Ranking Member Susan Collins, R-Me., Saturday released the following statement in response to President Obama’s weekly radio address:
“We very much agree with President Obama’s sentiments that the full story behind the murderous act at Fort Hood must be told,” the senators said. “We appreciate that he recognizes Congress’ constitutional mandate to conduct oversight into tragic events such as these and we want to reiterate that our Committee will conduct a responsible, apolitical inquiry. This inquiry begins with our hearing on Thursday and is driven by a sense of urgency and the need to protect our country from violent Islamist extremism. Our goal, and the purpose of this inquiry, is to make as certain as possible that no such attack ever occurs again on an American military base. We will focus on national and homeland security and will not compromise the criminal case being conducted by law enforcement.
“Our Committee has already begun to reach out to the Administration and we look forward to working with administration officials as we conduct a sober, methodical investigation. To carry out our investigation, Congress will require the prompt and full cooperation of the Executive Branch—cooperation that must start as soon as possible. We totally agree with the President that this inquiry must not turn into ‘political theater’ and it will not.”
Lieberman and Collins will be holding the first Congressional hearing on the Fort Hood attack on Thursday, November 19. Since December 2006, the Committee has held nine hearings on the threat of homegrown terrorism. In May 2008, the Committee released a report, “Violent Islamist Extremism, the Internet, and the Homegrown Terrorist Threat.”