WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Susan Collins, Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, issued the following statement today regarding the Military Services’ issuance of final reports on the Fort Hood terrorist attack. The November 5, 2009, attack by Major Nidal Hasan killed 13 people at the Fort Hood deployment center and wounded dozens of others.
Senator Collins’s statement follows:
"The reports, issued Tuesday by the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines, outline several lessons learned from the attack at Fort Hood, but fail to address the most troubling issue: why were the abundant signs of Major Hasan’s growing Islamist extremism not acted on by his chain of command, even as his military colleagues repeatedly voiced their concerns over his alarming behavior?
"Indeed, as with prior Administration investigations of the attack, the reports fail to even mention the phrase ‘violent Islamist extremism.’ The Administration’s reluctance to confront this threat directly is ill-advised and impedes the search for solutions.
"This lack of guidance does not help service members distinguish the threatening and violent ideology of terrorists from the peaceful and protected expression of religious belief by Muslims, including the many dedicated and patriotic Muslims serving in our military. As a consequence, the Department of Defense risks either missing the next terrorist threat from within its ranks or focusing unwarranted investigative attention on innocent persons.
"The gaps in these reports underscore why the Committee’s bipartisan and independent investigation into the Fort Hood shootings is so critical. Before the end of the month, Senator Lieberman and I will release our Committee’s findings and recommendations. The Administration’s reports demonstrate why congressional oversight is so important."