At the behest of Senators Joe Lieberman (I – CT) and Susan Collins (R-ME), the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee today subpoenaed secret documents and demanded access to witnesses related to the November Fort Hood shooting.
Both the Pentagon and the Justice Department have been resisting several attempts by the committee to learn the details of the case, claiming that the prosecution of suspected shooting Maj. Nidal Hasan could be jeopardized by releasing the documents.
Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, faces 13 charges of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted murder. According to his lawyer he will be paralyzed from the waist down for the rest of his life.
The Senators are said to be looking for information they can point to claiming the attack was part of an international conspiracy, something they can potentially blame on soon-to-be-assassinated Anwar Awlaki.
For Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, the prosecution of Hasan is the top priority, up to his likely execution. It is perhaps unsurprising; after all, Awlaki’s execution has already been approved by the Obama Administration, while Hasan still has to go through some semblence of a trial before such approval is forthcoming.
It does however represent one of the first clashes between the Obama Administration and the Democrat-dominated Congress, and one centered around the administration’s secrecy. President Obama’s pledge for more openness during the election seems to be doing poorly, by this measure.