The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing titled “A Ticking Time Bomb: Counterterrorism Lessons from the U.S. Government’s Failure to Prevent the Fort Hood Attack.” The hearing focused on a report of the same name produced by Senators Joseph Lieberman and Susan Collins. Witnesses included: Charles E. Allen, former chief intelligence office and undersecretary of Homeland Security for intelligence and analysis; Retired Army Gen. John M. Keane, former vice chief of staff of the Army; J. Philip Mudd, president, Mudd Management; and Samuel J. Rascoff, former director of intelligence analysis, New York Police Department.
Human Rights First’s C. Dixon Osburn has been monitoring proposed House and Senate hearings focusing on domestic terrorism. He attended today’s Senate hearing and released the following statement:
“The Fort Hood massacre was a terrible tragedy, and we should draw lessons from it on how to identify, prepare for, mitigate and respond to similar threats. For example, the hearings and the report rightly call for greater coordination among the Department of Defense, Federal Bureau of Investigations and local law enforcement so that there is an intelligence driven approach to counter terrorism.
“Even so, today’s hearings missed the mark with its sensationalized title ‘Ticking Time Bomb.’ There is no evidence, as some have suggested, that the military has been infiltrated by extremists or that it is ill-prepared to deal with those threats. Also, suggestions that we should isolate and target the American Muslim community contradict law enforcement expertise that concludes that a smart counter terrorism policy should focus on indicators of threats, not on communities.”
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