SENATORIAL COMMITTEE THREATENS LAWSUIT
by Sharon Rondeau
(Apr. 29, 2010) — The Pentagon has refused to turn over documentation from last November’s fatal shooting of 13 people, one of whom was pregnant, at Ft. Hood, TX by an Islamic terrorist.
The U.S. Senate issued a subpoena deemed “unusual” requesting information on witnesses and communications which the Pentagon is unwilling to release because it contends that it could imperil the investigation of Maj. Nidal Hassan.
According to The Washington Post, the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee claimed it had sent four letters to the Pentagon and two to the Department of Justice before sending another letter warning that the Committee could vote to file a lawsuit over the matter.
Congress is seeking information which the Pentagon and FBI are reluctant to release on the grounds that it might “have a potentially negative impact” on the prosecution of the crime, including interviews already conducted with witnesses and Hasan’s personnel file. According to Sens. Lieberman and Collins, who are the chair and ranking member of the Committee respectively, military and FBI personnel were permitted to speak with investigators but not with members of their Committee.
The Committee began its own investigation of the murders shortly after the incident occurred in early November 2009.
According to a Fox News report dated April 20, 2010, the deadline for the administration to turn over all of the requested documentation was Monday, April 26, 2010.
Some of the information which the Pentagon will not release is documentation of communications between Hasan and Anwar al-Awlaki, a Muslim terrorist residing in Yemen. There is evidence that the two conspirators discussed the appropriateness of jihad against U.S. military serving in Iraq as well as “innocent people.”
An official description on the website for Ft. Hood states: “Fort Hood covers a total of 340-square miles and supports multiple units, a corps headquarters and a robust mobilization mission. Fort Hood also meets the training and support requirements for many smaller units and organizations, thus maintaining a vital defense force for the United States of America.”
However, when Hasan opened fire on November 8, 2009 on his fellow soldiers, 14 were killed, including an unborn child. Awlaki is considered a Muslim terrorist recruiter with whom Hasan had been in contact as early as 2008.
Family members have apparently reported that Hasan wanted to leave the military and had retained an attorney to assist him despite having received a promotion to the rank of Major in May 2009, about six months before the shooting.
A Pentagon spokesman stated that “The department has and continues to cooperate with Congress while ensuring the integrity of both the administration’s own internal reviews as well as the criminal investigation and prosecution of Nidal Hassan.” However, Lieberman and Collins stated that their “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.”
According to a report published shortly after the murders, Hasan had written posts about suicide bombers, describing their plans to kill “enemy soldiers” as “a strategic victory.”