APRIL 28, 2010
Defying its own commitment to transparency, the Obama Administration refuses to share with Congress Ft. Hood investigative documents that may reveal whether the government could have prevented the massacre at the Texas Army base.
The president continues to blow off congressional subpoenas requesting crucial information from the November mass shooting and the commander-in-chief’s arrogant finger-flipping has ignited a rare public power struggle with the Democratic-led Congress.
Federal lawmakers allege that the administration is covering up critical details of the tragic incident in which a radical Muslim Army psychiatrist (Major Nidal Malik Hasan) murdered 13 colleagues and wounded dozens of others as he chanted “Allahu Akbar!” (God is great in Arabic). Hasan has ties to a radical mosque leader (Anwar al Awlaki) who promotes jihad against the U.S., attempted to contact al Qaeda associates prior to the attack and defended Islamic suicide bombers in comments he posted on the internet.
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee wants to know how an Army major with known contacts to Islamic extremists was able to carry out a deadly shooting spree on a U.S. military base. The panel was forced to file a subpoena after the Obama Administration repeatedly ignored its requests for information that could provide answers.
Among the documents the committee is seeking are any that reveal what the Joint Terrorist Task Force in San Diego and the National Terrorism Task Force in Washington knew about Hasan’s e-mail exchanges with al-Awlaki, a Yemen-based imam with links to three of the 9/11 hijackers. There were repeated signals that Hasan was a potential danger, the Senate panel’s chairman claims, and he wants specific information on why nothing was done about them.
The Obama Justice Department claims that divulging the material could jeopardize Hasan’s prosecution, though specifics have yet to be offered. The Senate committee calls the refusal to hand over all the requested files “an affront to Congress’s constitutional obligation to conduct independent oversight of the executive branch.”
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