After being stonewalled by the Obama administration for five months, Senators Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., and Susan Collins, R-Me, issued subpoenas Monday to Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Attorney General Eric Holder for a list of witnesses and documents regarding the Nov. 5, 2009 Fort Hood massacre.
Lieberman, chairman of the Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Collins, the ranking Republican on the committee, accused the Departments of Defense and Justice of withholding information on Major Nidal Malik Hasan, who is accused of killing 13 people. The committee is examining why the military did not heed signs of Hasan’s extreme radicalization; in particular, why DoD and the FBI did not investigate Hasan after his communications with radical imam Anwar al-Awlaki.
“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 this important investigation,” a letter accompanying the subpoenas said.
“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.”
The deadline for Gates and Holder to respond to the subpoenas is 10 a.m. on April 26.
The senators dismissed the administration’s refusal to provide the requested information. “Even the Administration acknowledges that front-line agents are provided as witnesses to Congress in ‘extraordinary circumstances.’ If the murder of 13 Defense Department personnel on a U.S. military base by a soldier with apparent terrorist motivations is not “extraordinary circumstances,” then what is?”