Obama stonewalling Congress on Hasan?

posted at 8:48 am on November 17, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Congress wants to determine what failures allowed Army Major Nidal Hasan to kill 14 people and wound dozens of others in a premeditated shooting spree at Fort Hood.  The Obama administration has refused to cooperate into a probe to find those failures.  Ben Pershing at the Washington Post wrote last night that the White House refuses to provide witnesses to Congress for hearings into the counterterrorism failure:

The first public congressional hearing on the Fort Hood attack will not include testimony from any current federal law enforcement, military or intelligence officials because the Obama administration “declined to provide any” such witnesses, according to a Senate committee source.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has released the witness list for its hearing “The Fort Hood Attack: A Preliminary Assessment,” scheduled for Thursday at 10 a.m. ET. The list includes four experts on terrorism and intelligence issues: retired Gen. Jack Keane, the former U.S. Army vice chief of staff; Brian Jenkins, a senior advisor at the Rand Corp.; Mitchell Silber, the director of analysis for the New York City Police Department’s Intelligence Division; and Juan Zarate, a senior advisor for the Transnational Threats Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

But the list does not include anyone actively involved in investigating the Fort Hood attack, or anyone who might have been responsible for decisions made by various government agencies before the attack about whether to investigate the shooting suspect, Nidal Hasan. The Senate committee source said HSGAC Chairman Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) had hoped to have witnesses from the FBI and the U.S. Army, but was rebuffed in his requests.

Barack Obama repeatedly promised to make his administration the most open and transparent in history.  Accountability to Congress goes far beyond “hope and change” or any other campaign sloganeering.  It’s required by the Constitution, and Congress has the right to demand answers from the FBI and the Army as part of their oversight of both.

Furthermore, Congress has no interest in “solving” the murder case.  The military has the shooter.  Congress has the duty to see why Hasan wasn’t identified as a risk before he picked up a gun and started killing soldiers.  Why didn’t critical information get shared on Hasan, especially his correspondence with Anwar al-Aulaqi, a man suspected of an operational role in the 9/11 attacks by the Congressional Commission that studied them, as well as a known al-Qaeda recruiter and sympathizer?  Are there any other soldiers communicating with Hasan or other AQ figures that the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force has chalked up to “research”?

If nothing else, Congress could have asked the Army why they intended to deploy a psychiatrist who repeatedly attempted to violate patient confidentiality in order to press war-crimes charges against the soldiers he was treating:

Major Nidal Malik Hasan’s military superiors repeatedly ignored or rebuffed his efforts to open criminal prosecutions of soldiers he claimed had confessed to “war crimes” during psychiatric counseling, according to investigative reports circulated among federal law enforcement officials. …

Investigators believe Hasan’s frustration over the failure of the Army to pursue what he regarded as criminal acts by U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan may have helped to trigger the shootings.

“The Army may not want to admit it, and you may not hear much about it, but it was very big for him,” said one of the federal investigators on the task force collecting evidence of the crime.

His last effort to get the attention of military investigators came on Nov. 2, three days before his alleged shooting spree, according to the reports.

Hasan made a number of attempts to inform on his patients to prosecutors, in at least one case signing e-mails “Praise be to Allah.”  And no one in the Army thought this was a little weird?  Does the Army routinely send combat soldiers to psychiatrists who violate their trust and the doctor-patient privilege?  And even knowing all of this, the Army was about to send Hasan to a combat zone to treat even more combat soldiers.

That’s the kind of thing Congress needs to know, and the Army needs to explain.  Unfortunately, Obama wants to stall those questions and keep from providing the answers.


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Comments

“Far Left lawyers” have no standing within the Military to prevent or postpone the processing of a full fledged tribunal.

The Commander in Chief had the power and authority to have the captured terrorists processed through a military tribunal.

Bush blinked, waiting to exhale as it were. The buck stops in the Oval Office where it waited “indefinitely” for Bush’s administration to expire.

By failing to prosecute theh 9/11 terrorists, Bush also failed to set precedent for subsequent presidents to follow.

maverick muse on November 17, 2009 at 10:36 AM

The Supreme Court may think otherwise. Read this.

Not prosecuting, i.e. keeping these terrorists in indefinite detention at Gitmo, just may have been the only safe policy.

Nichevo on November 18, 2009 at 4:35 AM

Can’t wait to see the National Xmas Tree this year. I guess dummy grenades make good ornaments now.

johnnyU on November 18, 2009 at 4:41 AM

When the moderate and reserved Bill Bennett reflects the appearance of an Obama cover-up at Ft. Hood, Ed Morrissey makes note to consider adjusting the “wait and see” position that’s fixed on progressive erosion of the record.

One intrinsic handicap that progressives suffer is the constant need to revise records and fabricate whole cloth for the mode of the day.

Obama will not “prejudge” until his cover-up case is complete. No one asked Obama to prejudge. So for Obama to persistently reiterate that word “prejudge” which he introduced for the media is his current mode of DISTRACTION. Obama is accusing everyone of being prejudiced as if his projection of evil upon justice makes justice evil. The only insistence to “prejudge” comes from Obama’s administration/media that insists Hasan is NOT a terrorist because there’s no such thing as the urban myth “terrorist”.

maverick muse on November 18, 2009 at 8:08 AM

The military is historically obtuse. During WWII Gen. Eisenhower wanted an expert in transportation on his staff planning for D-Day. The Army drafted the expert and determined since he was working on transportation he must be sent to the proper service school. There he studied transportation from the books he had written and arrived in GB after his schooling was complete, as was D-Day. When it comes to the military and government in general, don’t necessarily blame stupidity on incompetence or some nefarious reason, when strict compliance to rules and regulations, and now PC attitudes, are a bureaucracy’s way of CYA. I’ve seen it up close and personal way too often, even in private industry, and a major reason why I retired early.

amr on November 18, 2009 at 8:23 AM

Not prosecuting, i.e. keeping these terrorists in indefinite detention at Gitmo, just may have been the only safe policy.

Nichevo on November 18, 2009 at 4:35 AM

“the only safe policy”

SAFE so long as nothing CHANGED, no change of the guard, no change of venue, no change in leadership or authority.

But change was in the works during Bush’s administration as his growing turncoat Congressional opposition made clear. Closing Gitmo was in the works against Bush’s administration, as was the redefinition/revision of the definition of “torture”.

AS IF from the Oval Office the Bush Administration had no idea who Obama was.

Bush passed the buck, handing it to Obama, knowing full well the travesty to come under Obama’s watch.

Mukasey is making it clear that Obama is handling the prosecution of terrorists without Constitutional regard. Evidently he was prevented by the President from facilitating the substantiation to make the military tribunals of the 9/11 terrorists occur under Bush’s watch.

/Excuse my response prior to my taking advantage of your link where I’m going now.

maverick muse on November 18, 2009 at 8:26 AM

amr on November 18, 2009 at 8:23 AM

Understood. All the more reason to refrain from binding the military with PC protocol, the icing on the obtuse cake.

maverick muse on November 18, 2009 at 8:29 AM

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder expressed confidence that the cases were strong

All the worse, to squander strong cases against the 9/11 terrorists in the wrong venue, refusing the nation prosecution of the terrorists in the traditional Constitutionally designed military tribunal vs. civil courts for enemy combatants of war–specifically wrong to demand the place be the civil courts in “biased” NY where the terrorism occurred.

Obama’s mistakes are intentional, “PREJUDGED” for greatest destructive impact. Destabilize the USA–change Obama believes in.

maverick muse on November 18, 2009 at 8:39 AM

An unusual aspect of the case was an amicus brief filed by Senators Jon Kyl and Lindsey Graham, which presented an “extensive colloquy” added to the Congressional record as evidence that “Congress was aware” that the [McCain] Detainee Treatment Act would strip the Supreme Court of jurisdiction to hear cases brought by the Guantanamo detainees. Because these statements were not actually included in the December 21 debate, Emily Bazelon of Slate magazine has argued this was an attempt to mislead the court.–Wiki, Hamden v. Rumsfeld

It would appear that the Supreme Court presumes self-vested authority in military tribunals of non-US-citizen enemy combatants that are not Constitutionally granted.

/Living, breathing Court.

maverick muse on November 18, 2009 at 8:48 AM

When the Supreme Court decided Hamden v. Rumsfeld, they participated in activism from the bench.

I remember well the progressives liberally arguing the falsehood that the justices decided to choose as their basis to vault themselves above their given station in our Constitutional Republic.

The Geneva Convention does NOT protect enemy combatants any more than the US Constitutional Rights apply to non-US-citizens.

Revisionism, a house built upon sand.

maverick muse on November 18, 2009 at 8:56 AM

The Geneva Convention does NOT protect enemy combatants any more than the US Constitutional Rights apply to non-US-citizens.

maverick muse on November 18, 2009 at 8:56 AM

I think you mean the Geneva Convention does NOT project illegal combatants.

It doesn’t and the fact that we are extending the protections to the illegal combatants / detainees while at the same time refusing to hold others accountable for their violations of the GC makes a mockery of the GC and what it was trying to establish – protections of the civilian populations.
What incentives does any future enemy have to follow the GC with our soldiers? None. Thus we get desecrated bodies of POWs who were executed without trial.
I think we should enforce the Geneva Convention – including the summary execution of illegal combatants in the field. And make it perfectly clear to everyone what we are doing, why, and the fact that such measures are practically demanded of the GC.

CrazyFool on November 18, 2009 at 9:29 AM