Pentagon defies Congress subpoena on Fort Hood documents

08:22, April 28, 2010      

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The Department of Defense defied Tuesday a Congressional subpoena to hand over documents related to last year's deadly Fort Hood shooting rampage, saying it's only willing to hand over part of its documents.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee had demanded the Pentagon share documents and witnesses about the incident by Tuesday. After Pentagon decided it won't provide all documents sought by the Congress, the Committee said it is considering the next move.

The Committee issued a subpoena last week for materials related to the incident which left 13 soldiers dead and Army shrink Nidal Hasan charged with murder, after the Justice Department and Pentagon failed to provide the materials. The Committee said it wants to make sure the Pentagon is doing what it can to prevent such incidents from happening again.

Pentagon officials said they are unwilling to share documents because it might jeopardize prosecution of Hasan. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on April 15 in Barbados that the Pentagon's priority is "ensuring that we don't do anything that would potentially impact the prosecution of Major Hasan."

"Anything that does not have any impact on that prosecution, we are more than willing to share," said he.

He said "one would be foolish to say something like this can never happen again," while noting he has adopted 26 interim recommendations of an independent panel he appointed to look into the Nov. 5 shooting spree, aimed at decreasing the odds of such shootings happening again in the future.



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