Obama Administration is Stalling on Giving Congress Intelligence About Fort Hood Shooter, Says Hoekstra CNS By Chris Neefus
(CNSNews.com) - Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, says the Obama administration is stalling in providing information to the leaders of the House and Senate and the congressional intelligence committees on the multiple murders allegedly committed by a radical Muslim Army officer at Fort Hood more than a month ago.
So far, the committee chairman and congressional leaders have received no detailed, substantive briefing on the event and what is known about its perpetrator.
“You know, they’re playing out the string,” Hoekstra said Thursday. “We’re going home next week, (and) they will have effectively made it through three months with giving no substantive briefings on Fort Hood.”
CNSNews.com asked Hoekstra whether it was “a constitutional affront not to have the Gang of 8 briefed on this?”
“Oh yeah, sure, absolutely,” said Hoekstra.
The Gang of 8 is a group of leaders from the House and Senate who by law are supposed to be briefed on U.S. intelligence activities when the matter is too sensitive to share with the full intelligence committees. The group includes the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate intelligence committees and the majority and minority leaders of each chamber.
Additionally, the law holds that the administration must “ensure that the congressional intelligence committees are kept fully and currently informed of the intelligence activities of the United States.”
When a reporter said he thought the Gang of 8 had been briefed on the intelligence report regarding the attack, Hoekstra said the committees had been given a preliminary briefing a few weeks ago that lacked substantive information.
Hoekstra, who has been asking for more information on Hasan and the murders at Fort Hood since he wrote a November 9 letter to Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair and the heads of each intelligence agency, said the Obama administration was not being transparent.
“It’s now three and a half, four weeks later,” said Hoekstra. “I would assume that in the last four weeks we’ve gathered lots of info that should be shared with theintelligence committees.” There is a “lack of transparency here,” Hoekstra said, and “it is unbelievable the material and the information that they’re withholding from us, from the American people.”
Hoekstra said that a report on the Fort Hood incident had been delivered to President Obama two weeks ago.
“I know that the (Fort Hood) report was delivered to the President on November 30, so I talked to Director Blair last week and said, ‘Hey, I’d just like an update,’ you know? There are a lot—potentially lots—of areas that have ties to foreign intelligence and foreign threats-- international threats. Give us an update,” said Hoekstra.
“I’d like to know who Hasan was in contact with, what happened to his money and these types of things. Who else he might have been talking to in the United States? All of this kind of information. Supposedly we got access to his computers, supposedly we got access to his email, his phone records, financial records, all of these kinds of things,” said Hoekstra.
Hoekstra said Blair has been putting off a meeting. “So I asked for a briefing last week,” said Hoekstra. “Mr. Blair thought he’d be able to give me one. He was told, ‘No,’ and then he said, ‘I’m not going to make a commitment, but I think that we’ll be able to give you one next week,’ which would be this week. Well, he’s out of the country until late tomorrow (Friday).”
“I talked to his (Blair’s) office yesterday (Wednesday), and you know the answer is now, ‘No briefing this week.’ It’s unbelievable,” said Hoekstra.
When Hoekstra was asked if he wanted to be briefed on the President’s report or on the Fort Hood incident in general, he said: “On anything--on any intelligence that they’ve gathered! They are not willing to share it with the intelligence committee. Wouldn’t it be nice to know what his—shouldn’t the intelligence committee know what his relationship was to Aulaqi, what other foreign people he would be talking to? No briefing.”
Hoekstra said the Obama administration was stalling on giving out the information. “You know, they’re playing out the string,” said Hoekstra. “We’re going home next week, (and) they will have effectively made it through three months with giving no substantive briefings on Fort Hood.”
Hoekstra said Democrats had their priorities out of order by focusing on salacious news instead of the incident. “And at the same time, we are subpoenaing the people who crashed the India state dinner,” he said, referring to Tareq and Michaele Salahi, the couple who attended President Obama’s first state dinner without an invitation. “I mean, it is like, there’s something wrong here.
The Tareq Salahis is the Palestinian friend of Obama who "crashed" a state dinner at the White House. The Salahi incident kicked off a series of investigations by Democrats despite the fact that they knew Obama and had been photographed with him previously.