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Lawmakers seek more help from administration for Fort Hood investigations

Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Sen. Susan Collins, the panel's ranking Republican, are leading an investigation of the Fort Hood shootings.
Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Sen. Susan Collins, the panel's ranking Republican, are leading an investigation of the Fort Hood shootings. (Alex Brandon/associated Press)

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House Democrats have indicated that they will move more slowly on the investigative track, first requesting that all members of relevant committees receive closed-door briefings on the progress of the look into Hasan's background. House intelligence Chairman Silvestre Reyes (D-Tex.) told reporters Tuesday that the administration specifically asked him not to embark on a formal probe.

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Lieberman said he spoke with FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III and Army Secretary John M. McHugh, who did not discourage his investigation but expressed "some understandable concerns about approaching witnesses" involved in their side of the inquiry.

Lieberman's probe will focus on how counterterrorism agencies handled communications between Hasan and the cleric alleged to have al-Qaeda ties and other potential areas of domestic terrorism linked to radical Islam.

Yemeni American cleric Anwar al-Aulaqi wrote on his Web site that Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, is a "hero" for allegedly killing 13 soldiers in advance of his scheduled deployment to Afghanistan. Hasan wrote Aulaqi via e-mail last December, communications that were investigated by the FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force. Many lawmakers have questioned why Hasan was allowed to stay in the Army while communicating with someone under U.S. surveillance for links to terrorists.

Obama has ordered an internal review of how that Hasan-Aulaqi investigation was handled, to be presented to him by Nov. 30, at which point Leahy has requested that he also receive the results "consistent with my responsibilities . . . and my constitutional obligation to conduct rigorous congressional oversight."

Staff writers Ellen Nakashima and Ben Pershing contributed to this report.


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