November 8th, 2009
12:19 PM ET
9 years ago

Lieberman will seek committee hearing on Fort Hood shootings

(CNN) - Sen. Joseph Lieberman said Sunday he intends to launch a Senate committee hearing on whether the Fort Hood shootings were a terrorist act and if the Army should have taken pre-emptive steps due to reported signs of Islamic extremism by the suspected gunman.

"I'm intending to begin a congressional investigation of my Homeland Security Committee into what were the motives of (Maj. Nidal Malik) Hasan in carrying out this mass murder," the Connecticut independent, who belongs to the Democratic caucus, said on "FOX News Sunday."

If Hasan was showing signs of being an Islamic extremist, the Army should have acted on that earlier and "he should have been gone," said Lieberman, the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Saying it was too early to know Hasan's exact motive, Lieberman declared that if reports of the alleged gunman's possible Islamic extremism are true, then "the murder of these 13 people was a terrorist act."

"We don't know enough to say now," Lieberman said, noting what he called "strong warning signs" that Hasan had become an Islamic extremist.

Lieberman cited reports that Hasan made statements justifying suicide bombers as similar to American soldiers that hurl their bodies on exploding grenades to protect others, and that some bystanders reported Hasan shouted "Allahu Akbar," Arabic for "God is great," which terrorists have used as a battle cry.

"If that's confirmed, it raises genuine concerns that it was a terrorist act," Lieberman said.

In addition, Lieberman noted Hasan allegedly had said he understood and supported the shooting death of a Little Rock, Arkansas, Army recruiter, allegedly by a Muslim convert.

His committee investigation would look into "whether warning signs were missed" regarding Hasan's behavior and how Hasan may have become a "self-radicalized homegrown terrorist," Lieberman said.

However, other members of Congress counseled waiting for the military and FBI to complete their investigation of what happened before reaching any conclusions.

"This man's actions reflect on him," Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told the CBS program "Face the Nation." "And if we missed some signals about him that we should have known, great. But let's don't take this to a level that we should not. Let's don't accuse people of basically giving him a pass because he's a Muslim. Because I don't think there's any evidence of that."

U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey told CNN that an investigation of the shootings by the Army and FBI would help answer such questions.

"There's been a lot of speculation going on, and probably the curiosity is a good thing," Casey told the CNN program "State of the Union." "But we have to be careful, because we can't jump to conclusions now based on little snippets of information that come out."

Casey said he was "concerned that this increased speculation could cause a backlash" against Muslim soldiers.

"I've asked our Army leaders to be on the lookout for that," Casey said. "It would be a shame - as great a tragedy as this was - it would be a shame if our diversity became a casualty as well."

Filed under: George Casey • Homeland Security • Joe Lieberman • Lindsey Graham • Senate
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Lynne

    Trust Lieberman to try to [politicize this tragedy for his own miserable gains while casting doubts on the investigations being done by the army and the FBI. Even he proves what a knee jerk idiot he is when he admits "we don't have enough to say now."

    November 8, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  2. scott

    oh my another committee. What are we going to do.

    November 8, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  3. German,Irish American

    Welcome to the new politically correct military under the Obama progressive Democrats.

    November 8, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  4. Edwin

    I agree with Casey - we shouldn't blame all American Muslims for one lone crazy man. Just like we shouldn't blame all American Christians when one of them does something crazy.

    The FBI and Army should definitely explore whether his religion affected his actions - they should investigate ALL possible motives. But the American people should not use this as an excuse to attack or harass Muslims.

    November 8, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  5. evman

    Lieberman the opportunist should go away already, he has NO credibility. How much did he receive from the health insurance lobby to do their bidding ??? Loser...

    November 8, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  6. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    I disagree with Lieberman making this kind of public statement at this time; do the investigation first and then publically announce the investigation and it's findings. Our military men and women are already in harms way and Lieberman should not add to their stress.

    November 8, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  7. Orange Curtain, CA

    Lieberman is useless, don't bother...this is an internal matter for the Army to review. Don't try to hype it up for political points Joe.

    November 8, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  8. They call me "tater salad"

    Joe wants this to be a terrorist attack, that way he can open the door for all of his Republican friends so they can say that Obama made us less safe and that an actual "terrorist attack" happened on our own soil and under his watch!.......You know it's coming........Just give it a minute.........I swear sometimes I feel like I've been blessed with that ESPN stuff.LOL!

    November 8, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  9. Black Viper

    A white Kid with american name and christian faith shoot 9 in a mall in Omaha Ne, No terrorism related investigation.
    A mentally challenge chineese American shoot students in Virgina tech, no terrorism investigation by senate.
    A rapist killed 11 women in Ohio, No terrorism because he was not muslim and an african american.
    The list goes on and on and on.
    Now One American with muslim faith who have served in the millitary over 15 years blow his mental fuses and unfortunately and deplorably shoot his fellow soldiers for reason not yet mentioned, Liberman is egger to lunch a terrorism investigation and help the right wing religious nuts increase their hate for muslims in this country and perhaps blow more fuse in the mentally chalenged one to commit violence against americans.

    November 8, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  10. trueblue

    Why don't they get rid of this scumbag...he's usless in every aspect of the world. Can't win VP I'll join McCain, can't be picked as VP again I'll go back to Independent and beg for my job. What a loser and traitor.

    November 8, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  11. yankeegirl15

    If I were whining Joe, I'd just shut my pie hole. He shouldn't even be chairman of ANY committee. And hopefully he won't be much longer.

    November 8, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  12. LMJ

    If I were in charge, Lieberrman would not hold any hearings because he would NOT

    November 8, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  13. Lara, fom Connecticut

    This tragic event was the act of a very mentally disturbed man, it shows that there still needs to be a significant increase in care for our military. Our troops are pushed to the max and you have to expect that to exact a toll. Please Mr. Lieberman, don't push your extremist view just for notoriety, let the professional investigators do their work, and if you want to help, make sure the Troops come home to health care for themselves and their families.

    November 8, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  14. LMJ

    If I were in charge, Lieberman would NOT hold any hearings because he would NOT be in charge of any committee.

    November 8, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  15. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    Lieberman should be stripped of ANY extra powers to do ANYTHING.
    He neither represents his immediate constituents nor the vast MAJORITY of citizens Nation wide.

    November 8, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  16. Bob

    Do we get to do that with Joe Lieberman's senate campaign?

    November 8, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  17. JR

    Wow. Don't even know what to say. How about launching an investigation of what 2 or 3 or 4 tours of duty does to a person, and what Hasan (as their psychiatrist) learned from those returning soldiers. I guess that wouldn't fit the crap Joe's selling, Muslim = terrorist.

    November 8, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  18. J French

    Joe, you are living in America. You were elected to Congress in the United States of America. Your over concern about terrorists seems a bit misplaced.

    November 8, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  19. Carole

    Hold a hearing on Blackwater and Hallliburton too Joe. While you are at it, the insurance industry......but nooooooo you get too much money along with your wife from the insurance industry Joe.

    Joe needs to go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He is an ugly person who wants attention.

    November 8, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  20. Roger in CA

    At this point, I don't trust a single thing that Joe Lieberman utters. He's a worthless wretch who is more concerned with his own vanity and power than with helping the country or even reflecting the wishes of his own constituents.

    November 8, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  21. Tony in Maine

    Lieberman has received his instructions from AIPAC. Let the demonization begin.

    Whadda maroon

    November 8, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  22. Karen

    So is it a terrorist act if a man carries a firearm into a church and guns down a doctor for religious reasons?

    I think it is, but do we label it that way? Not if the man is white.

    People, what democrats hired this guy? I think you need to rethink your party position if you did...

    November 8, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  23. A. Smith

    The News on this that is NOT being reported...

    Maj. Hasan had previously hired an attorney to help him deal with the alleged hazing, abuse and threats against him.

    The Fort Hood Base Commander would have been notified by Hasan's Attorney and just as likely Maj. Hasan had previously filed numerous reports to the Fort Hood Base Commander regarding his accusations of hazing, abuse and threats.

    The Fort Hood Base Commander should in my opinion be charged with dereliction of duty for his negligence in responding to Maj. Hasan's reports and grievances, and immediately replaced at Fort Hood.

    A. Smith

    November 8, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  24. 30 Year Veteran

    LIEBERMAN – is going to investigate. OH MY GOSH WHAT A JOKE. The military's CID is plently capable of investigating this shooting. They don't need any more outsiders or news commentators. Like the media this morning was asking big shot Doctors who had never served in the military as to whether this Crazy listening to the war stories of veteran soldiers caused him to go off his rocker. HADES NO, IMPOSSIBLE. THIS MAN WAS JUST A PLAIN OLD EVERYDAY NUT CASE OR A TERRIOST. I'm sure our CID will figure this out quickly enough without any interference from the Media, Civilian Doctors, Government Investigators and especially the present Government who can not even figure out the need for support of our troops or to bring them the heck home.

    November 8, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  25. Joan

    Leiberman must want to divert attention away from his anti-health care remarks that are probably going to come back to bite him. If he and a few blue dog Democrats stop the health care bill, they will go down in history but it sure won't be in a good way. They will be seen as obstructionists to one of the most important issues facing millions of Americans. Shame on them.

    November 8, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
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