November 18th, 2009
01:39 PM ET
5 years ago

Senate panels moving on probe of Fort Hood shootings

Lieberman told reporters on Capitol Hill that he would begin hearings Thursday.
Lieberman told reporters on Capitol Hill that he would begin hearings Thursday.

Washington (CNN) – The heads of two key congressional committees said Wednesday they are stepping up their investigation into the November 5 shootings at Fort Hood, Texas.

Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, I, Connecticut, told reporters on Capitol Hill that he would begin hearings Thursday focusing on what authorities knew about alleged shooter Nidal Malik Hasan before the incident.

The committee will seek to determine whether the attack could have prevented, and what it means in terms of the government's ability to defend against potential terrorist attacks within the United States.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, meanwhile, released the text of a letter he sent to the White House requesting the results of the joint investigation into the shootings now being conducted by the FBI and the Army.


President Barack Obama has ordered the investigation's findings to be submitted to his national security adviser by November 30.

Leahy's request is consistent with "my constitutional obligation to conduct rigorous congressional oversight," the Vermont Democrat wrote in the letter.

Authorities say Hasan, a U.S. Army psychiatrist, opened fire at a military processing center at Fort Hood Army Post, killing 13 people. Dozens of others were wounded.

We have "an important responsibility ... to determine whether the federal government could have prevented the murders at Fort Hood," Lieberman said.

"We are not interested in political theater. We are interested in getting the facts and correcting the system."

He called the shootings "the most destructive terrorist attack" on U.S. soil since September 11, 2001.

On Tuesday, Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling for an immediate congressional investigation into circumstances surrounding the Fort Hood massacre.

"The record appears to establish significant intelligence and intelligence-sharing failures that must be reviewed and addressed immediately to ensure that the American people receive the fullest protection against potential attacks," the Republicans wrote.

A U.S. intelligence official countered that the incident at Fort Hood did not appear to be the consequence of insufficient intelligence sharing among appropriate agencies.

"The assertion that we have not and did not use available intelligence tools is patently false," said Wendy Morigi, spokeswoman for the director of national intelligence.

–CNN's Pam Benson contributed to this report


Filed under: Senate
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    another huge waste of time and effort......

    November 18, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  2. SLM

    The warning signs were there. Political correctness played a roll in keeping this man in the military, and now 13 people are dead. FBI and CIA are afraid to their jobs under Obama, and they should be. Obama protects terrorists over American lives and the authorities hired to protect us. We can only hope this terrorist attack on American soil will change Obamas tune.

    November 18, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  3. Catherine Berryhill

    There is no way to prevent such attacks. Unbelievers are not smarter than the devil. We need God's help. Never underestimate the enemy. This country can keep coming up with new ideas, but, in the long run we will find, God is all we need....Stop listening to the atheists. PLEASE.

    November 18, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  4. SocialismBad

    Obaba says... ""We are not interested in political theater." Yeah, right. Only when the screw up comes on YOUR watch! We listened to the political theater for YEARS and still do everytime you blame others for your failed policies. I knew this whole episode is going to put your fellow Muslims in bad light but maybe you'll finally accept the fact THAT WE ARE AT WAR.

    November 18, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  5. Terry from West Texas

    There is nothing a Senator loves more than a chance to goon for the cameras, to scold people for not doing their jobs better (as if a Senator has any right look down on others for goofing off), to make patriotic speeches about our proud republic (which they neglect), and to look strong. If they are Conservatives, they get the wonderful opportunity to talk about how Obama should spend his time creating jobs and protecting Americans at Ft. Hood instead of trying to socialize medical care.

    The US Senate never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity. This silly little "investigation" will never amount to anything but grandstanding. Why don't we let the military police do the investigating and let our Senators tend to medical care, global warming, pollution, education, pandemics, government efficiency, totalitarian regimes, oil dependency, alternate energy sources, veterans' benefits, getting us out of war, keeping us out of war, etc.?

    November 18, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  6. gary

    ONLY looking for political grandstanding!

    November 18, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  7. Rob from MO

    Let's allow the legal authorities to finish their investigations before the politicians get involved. Lieberman and his right wing masters are trying to play politics with a tragedy – despicable.

    November 18, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  8. mickey

    Shame on JOE LIberman!! We all know where this is going. NUFF SAID!!!

    November 18, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  9. Ken, AZ

    This jerk is a joke!

    November 18, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  10. Tommygunn

    Everyone is GRAND STANDING these days.

    The tradegy of Ft Hood deserves the military total focus and then let the Washington DC puppets do their show and dance.

    To POLITICIZE this HORRIFIC ACT is TOTALLY WRONG....and JOE LIBERMAN should be ASHAME......

    November 18, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  11. GI Joe

    They all need to finish what is already started before they go off on their own wild-goose chase.

    Reminds me of Hatch (Utah) stopping work on Healthcare so he could push thru rules for BCS.

    November 18, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  12. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    The only hearing they need to concentrate on is WHY the Army kept this bozo on after the reports they got from his professors at college and during his internship.

    November 18, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  13. rachel

    Go for it lets get the truth out.

    November 18, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  14. bill

    About time, on the other hand Obama is trying to sweep this under the rug. Wonder why?

    November 18, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  15. willard bullock

    i am not trust to nancy pelosi that world people are belived that musilims are keep dangerous with terroist so untied states must careful from away musilims cause who are used plot with musilims

    November 18, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  16. Al-NY,NY

    "The record appears to establish significant intelligence and intelligence-sharing failures that must be reviewed and addressed immediately to ensure that the American people receive the fullest protection against potential attacks," the Republicans wrote.
    ------------------------------

    You mean like Pre 9-11 GOPer's??? They will try to nail Obama in any way they can. This grandstanding will not work in any way other than to expose them for the hypocrites they are

    November 18, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  17. B

    Lieberman will do anything to get in front of a camera..

    I wouldn’t believe anything that he would do or say. He is nothing but a self promoter that talks out of both sides of his mouth about everything.

    No Credibility what soever...

    November 18, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  18. Steve in Kentucky

    If Joe Lieberman votes to sustain the Rethuglican fillabuster on health care, he should be stripped of this committee chairmanship. What good is he if he can't stand with the Democrats on health care?

    November 18, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  19. George W Bush = Worst President Ever

    Lieberman is all about political theater. What a joke he is.

    November 18, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |