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Home >> World
UPDATED: 09:50, December 16, 2005
Pentagon subpoenaed by congressman for hurricane documents
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In a rare legal action, a US congressman has subpoenaed the Pentagon for documents detailing its response to Hurricane Katrina, US media reported Thursday.

It is the latest twist in the congressional inquiry of failures occurred during the Aug. 29 hurricane which claimed over 1,300 lives in US Gulf Coast states.

The subpoena against US Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld was issued Wednesday evening by Rep. Tom Davis, chairman of a special House investigation panel.

The congressman demanded internal records and communications about the Pentagon's response, efforts to send supplies to victims, stabilize public safety and mobilize active duty forces in the Gulf Coast.

He also required the Pentagon to deliver the documents, spanning from Aug. 23 to Sept. 15, from Rumsfeld and eight other top military officials by Dec. 30.

Pentagon spokesman Paul Swiergosz said the panel's requests for information have been "very far-reaching and very broad, and we're doing everything we can to answer them as quickly as we can."

Davis also left open the possibility of a future subpoena against the White House for its hurricane response.

Meanwhile, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said lawmakers will be briefed by a high-level administration official on the issue but he did not immediately anticipate a subpoena against the White House.

In a related development, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the US government's major disaster response agency, said it will comply with a judge's ruling that the agency keeps paying for hotel rooms for hurricane evacuees until Feb. 7 next year.

The agency also agreed to extend the program for eligible storm victims who have not been helped by that deadline.

Source: Xinhua


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