Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) is ramping up his campaign to use the Fort Hood shootings to paint the Obama administration as soft on terrorism.
At a press conference today, where he was joined by several GOP colleagues, Hoekstra, the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence committee, called for an immediate congressional investigation into the shootings, to determine whether the intelligence community needs enhanced tools to combat terror. Hoekstra and his colleagues also suggested, without citing evidence, that the administration had restricted the use of crucial terror-fighting tools that could have been used to stop the attacks.
The National Security Council, which has taken over responsibility for briefing Congress on the shooting, had previously asked Congress to delay its probe until a military investigation has been completed. But Hoekstra, who is running for governor of Michigan, insisted: “It has to happen now. This is not something that we should take weeks or months to wait on.” And he released a letter that makes that case to Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Hoekstra and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) charged that terror-fighting tools used until recently by the intelligence community had lately been restricted or placed off limits by the administration. “We know that there are tools and methods that were in use just a few months ago are not in use today,” said Rogers. “That is a problem.”
The GOPers declined to say which tools they were referring to, or to produce any other evidence to back up their claim. Nonetheless, they blamed the Obama administration’s political philosophy. Rogers referred to the administration’s decisions to close Guantanamo and to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a civilian court as examples of the administration’s approach, before declaring: “There are certain tools and methods that are used by the intelligence community that can be impacted by that kind of political philosophy.”
Hoekstra has already complained about the scope and timing of the administration’s briefing of Congress on the shootings. And earlier this year, he savaged Pelosi for charging that the CIA had misled her about torture — despite a wealth of evidence suggesting Pelosi was telling the truth.
Additional reporting by Evan McMorris-Santoro