Pentagon balks at providing Fort Hood files

Associated Press / April 28, 2010

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

Your article has been sent.

  • E-mail|
  • Print|
  • Reprints|
  • |
Text size +

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration said yesterday it will provide some but not all the materials a Senate committee wants on last year’s Fort Hood shooting rampage, setting up a potential legal showdown with Congress.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee had demanded that the Pentagon share documents and witnesses concerning the deadly rampage by yesterday morning.

An unusual Senate subpoena sought material the Pentagon contends would jeopardize prosecution of the suspect, Major Nidal Hasan. The Army psychiatrist has been accused of killing 13 people in November at Fort Hood, Texas.

Senators have said they want to be sure the Pentagon is working to prevent similar tragedies.

Committee spokeswoman Leslie Phillips said that “as far as we’re concerned they have not complied with the subpoena.’’ She said the committee, which is chaired by independent Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and has Republican Susan Collins of Maine as the ranking minority member, is considering its next step.

The Pentagon and Justice Department sent a letter to the committee that Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said lays out a compromise.

The committee would be able to read Hasan’s personnel file and a secret addendum to the Pentagon’s internal report on how the Pentagon failed to head off the shootings despite concerns over Hasan’s behavior and apparent religious radicalization. The committee would not be given access to witnesses in the case or to investigative reports that could be used at trial, Morrell said.