The politics of detection

The Hill quotes Rep. Pete Hoekstra as saying the White House is withholding information on the Fort Hood attack. It was not clear what Hoekstra was referrring to.

Rep. Pete Hoekstra (Mich.) said administration officials delayed briefing members of Congress about the alleged gunman, raising "red flags" about what the White House was hiding. "When they withhold information, you always start asking questions," Hoekstra told Fox News. "That's what raises red flags. What do they know that they don't want us to know?"

CBS says Hoekstra has complained that neither the FBI nor the CIA have been forthccoming with Congress after initial signals that Hasan had been in contact with persons overseas.

The top ranking Republican in the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) said Tuesday the FBI and CIA have given him "no cooperation at all" in his request for information on what the intelligence agencies knew about Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan.

"Finally they held a briefing last night for some of the senators and some of my staff, but again, the House is not in session, I've not been able to get the information at this point," he said on Tuesday's "Washington Unplugged." "I don't think they've been as cooperative as what the law requires them to be with Congress."

After "initial signals" from intelligence agencies that Major Hasan had contact with overseas terrorists, Hoekstra said he publically requested a report of the investigations -- what they knew and when they knew it.

"I said, please give me a briefing," he said. "I'd like this information before I go home [for Veterans Day recess]."

"They came back and said, we're not gonna give it to you, we're not ready and it's like, why not? And I never got a good answer as to why they wouldn't share information with us," he told CBS News' Chief Washington Correspondent Bob Schieffer.

But some have dismissed these charges as politicking. Rachel Maddow accused Hoekstra of leaking sensistive information on the investigation in order to "frame" the Fort Hood murders as a terrorist attack. The Examiner reports: "Rep. Hoekstra is the ranking Republican member of the House Intelligence Committee and so it is possible he was told about the emails in a classified briefing only to then leak the information while trying to frame the Fort Hood shootings as a terrorist attack."

The ranking Democrat on the intelligence committee also criticized the Republican. According to TPM Muckracker,

House intelligence committee chair Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) made a thinly veiled swipe at his GOP counterpart today over comments made by Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) criticizing the Obama Administration's handling of information about the Fort Hood shootings. ... "I am disappointed that some have rushed to the news media with unfounded information in order to gain headlines. I hope that my colleagues will refrain from speculation, pray for those who were affected by this tragic incident, and let investigators do their work."

It may be fair to say that the Fort Hood event is now rapidly becoming a political issue. The administration is doubtless trying to get a backfix on who Hasan was in contact with. As I wrote in an earlier post, "this investigation can go anywhere. There’s a great incentive to make sure that whatever the truth happens to be that those in officialdom who have the most to lose should not be the last to know."

Showdowns have always been interesting.


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