WASHINGTON – Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., and Ranking Member Susan Collins, R-Me., Monday served the Obama Administration with subpoenas for witnesses and documents critical to the Committee’s investigation into the circumstances leading up to the November 5, 2009, terrorist attack that killed 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas.
After five months of effort to obtain the information necessary to conduct their inquiry from the Departments of Defense (DOD) and Justice (DOJ), the Senators said they had no other option but to issue subpoenas to fulfill their Constitutional responsibility to oversee the Executive Branch regarding homeland security and governmental effectiveness, generally.
“The purpose of the Committee’s investigation of the Fort Hood attack is to answer questions that are critical to our government’s ability to counter homegrown terrorism,” the Senators wrote in a letter accompanying the subpoenas. “Given the warning signs of Major Nidal Malik Hasan’s extremist radicalization and growing hostility toward the U.S. military and the United States generally, why was he not stopped before he took thirteen American lives, and how can we prevent such a tragedy from happening again? In order to answer those questions, we must assess the information that the U.S. Government had prior to the attack and the actions it took in response to that information….
“Since November 13, 2009, we have sent four formal request letters for information to DOD and two to DOJ. Our staff has engaged in lengthy but ultimately unproductive discussions with your departments. We have personally contacted high level officials in the White House and DOD to seek the Administration’s cooperation in the important investigation. Our efforts have been met with delay, the production of little that was not already publicly available, and shifting reasons why the departments are withholding the documents and witnesses that we have requested….
“Unfortunately, it is impossible for us to avoid reaching the conclusion that the departments simply do not want to cooperate with our investigation. It is with great disappointment and reluctance that we have directed service of subpoenas to you which demand disclosure of the requested information by Monday, April 26, 2010, at 10 a.m. We fully expect that your departments will fulfill their legal obligation under these subpoenas and comply by the appointed time.”
The service letter to the DOD and DOJ and additional information can be read at: http://hsgac.senate.gov/public/?FuseAction=home.FortHoodInvestigation