USA — DoD Agrees to Submit Some Fort Hood Documents to Senate

WASHINGTON, April 27, 2010 — The Defense Depart­ment today agreed to pro­vide access to some of the doc­u­ments sub­poe­naed by the Sen­ate Home­land Secu­ri­ty and Gov­ern­men­tal Affairs Com­mit­tee last week relat­ed to the Nov. 5 Fort Hood shoot­ing inves­ti­ga­tion.

A let­ter sent to the com­mit­tee today agrees to allow the com­mit­tee access to the per­son­nel file of Maj. Nidal Hasan’s per­son­nel file, the Army psy­chi­a­trist charged with the shoot­ings. Pen­ta­gon offi­cials also agreed to allow the com­mit­tee access to a restrict­ed annex to the report stem­ming from the ini­tial inves­ti­ga­tion by for­mer Army Sec­re­tary Togo D. West Jr. and retired Navy Adm. Vern E. Clark, a for­mer chief of naval operations. 

The depart­ment pre­vi­ous­ly had object­ed to giv­ing the com­mit­tee access to these doc­u­ments on the grounds that doing so could endan­ger Hasan’s pros­e­cu­tion. Hasan has been charged with 13 counts of mur­der and 32 counts of attempt­ed murder. 

“We believe we have made a very good-faith effort to try to find a mid­dle ground … to sat­is­fy their request,” Pen­ta­gon Press Sec­re­tary Geoff Mor­rell said today. 

“We are pre­pared to bend over back­wards at least on two of the four issues that were the sub­ject of the sub­poe­na,” he added. 

Mor­rell said that the depart­ment has been in “con­stant com­mu­ni­ca­tion” with the com­mit­tee even before last week’s Sen­ate subpoenas. 

Deputy Defense Sec­re­tary William J. Lynn III had a “lengthy” phone con­ver­sa­tion April 23 with Sens. Joe Lieber­man and Susan Collins, the chair­man and rank­ing mem­ber of the Home­land Secu­ri­ty and Gov­ern­men­tal Affairs Com­mit­tee, Mor­rell said. 

The depart­ment declined, how­ev­er, to pro­vide access to its wit­ness­es or to the inves­tiga­tive sum­maries of the event. 

“We have made move­ment on some of the areas that we had orig­i­nal­ly object­ed to,” Mor­rell said. “But we have held the line on those that we feel could poten­tial­ly jeop­ar­dize the pros­e­cu­tion of Major Hasan. 

“That, in the judg­ment of the gen­er­al coun­sel and our career pros­e­cu­tors here, is a bridge too far,” he con­tin­ued. “They real­ly feel as though that could poten­tial­ly jeop­ar­dize the pros­e­cu­tion of Major Hasan, and that’s the risk that they, and now the sec­re­tary, are not will­ing to take.” 

Defense Sec­re­tary Robert M. Gates had direct­ed the depart­ment to be as accom­mo­dat­ing to the com­mit­tee as pos­si­ble with­out poten­tial­ly jeop­ar­diz­ing Hasan’s pros­e­cu­tion. Gates recent­ly denied hid­ing any doc­u­ments from the committee. 

“We have no inter­est in hid­ing any­thing,” Gates said while on a recent trip to South America. 

“We will coop­er­ate with the com­mit­tee in every way with that sin­gle caveat — that what­ev­er we pro­vide does not impact the pros­e­cu­tion. That is the only thing in which we have an inter­est,” he said. “Our pri­or­i­ty is in ensur­ing we don’t do any­thing that would poten­tial­ly impact the pros­e­cu­tion of Major Hasan.” 

Mor­rell said the com­mit­tee will not be allowed to keep the doc­u­ments, but will have the chance to review them. This comes even as the Army’s review is still under way, he said, and the doc­u­ments con­tain “high­ly sen­si­tive mate­r­i­al” involv­ing the careers of sev­er­al mil­i­tary personnel. 

Mor­rell char­ac­ter­ized the agree­ment as “break­ing new ground” in terms of how the depart­ment tra­di­tion­al­ly has coop­er­at­ed with com­mit­tees that do not have direct over­sight of its per­son­nel matters. 

“We feel as though we have leaned very far for­ward, and we have made what we believe to be a con­sid­er­able accom­mo­da­tion of the committee’s request,” he said. 

Mor­rell empha­sized that this is an accom­mo­da­tion made based sole­ly on this request and does not sig­nal a change in depart­ment policy. 

“We do not view [this] as prece­dent set­ting,” he said. “This is a unique cir­cum­stance, and based upon this par­tic­u­lar sit­u­a­tion, we are will­ing to do it in this instance, but it should not be viewed in any way as the new norm.” 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →