By Fred Baker
Office of the Secretary of Defense public affairs
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Defense Department agreed to provide access to some of the documents subpoenaed by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee recently related to the Nov. 5 Fort Hood shooting investigation.
A letter sent to the committee April 27 agrees to allow the committee access to the personnel file of Maj. Nidal Hasan's personnel file, the Army psychiatrist charged with the shootings. Pentagon officials also agreed to allow the committee access to a restricted annex to the report stemming from the initial investigation by former Army Secretary Togo D. West Jr. and retired Navy Adm. Vern E. Clark, a former chief of naval operations.
The department previously had objected to giving the committee access to these documents on the grounds that doing so could endanger Hasan's prosecution.
Hasan has been charged with 13 counts of murder and 32 counts of attempted murder.
"We believe we have made a very good-faith effort to try to find a middle ground ... to satisfy their request," Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said. "We are prepared to bend over backwards at least on two of the four issues that were the subject of the subpoena."
Morrell said the department has been in "constant communication" with the committee even before the Senate subpoenas.
Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III had a "lengthy" phone conversation April 23 with Sens. Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins, the chairman and ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Morrell said.