The House Committee on Homeland Security held a hearing on Wednesday focusing on recent terrorist attacks on American soil. During the hearing, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) stated she did not believe the Fort Hood shooting should be classified as “workplace violence.”
The Committee spoke to three different witnesses during the morning session: former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani; former Director of the National Counter-Terrorism Center Michael Leiter; and Dr. Bruce Hoffman, Professor and Director of the Center for Peace and Security Studies and Security at Georgetown University.
Members of the Committee, under the chairmanship of Rep. Mike McCaul (R-TX), questioned witnesses about their opinions regarding federal law enforcement’s past and current counter-terrorism measures that could have prevented such attacks like the Fort Hood shooting and the Boston Bombing. The FBI failed to show up for the hearing, which appeared to focus mainly on their own activities.
In his statement, Mayor Giuliani told the Committee the “elevation of political correctness over sound, investigative judgement and data collection certainly explains the failure to identify Major Hasan as a terrorist despite repeated indications of his jihadist views.”
The Obama administration has taken the position that the 2009 shooting at the Fort Hood Army base in Texas was not a terrorist act. Thirteen soldiers, including a pregnant woman, were killed in the shooting allegedly by Army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan, while 32 others were wounded. The first day of Hasan’s trial began on Wednesday; Hasan has chosen to represent himself in court.
Giuiliani criticized the administration for labeling the shooting “workplace violence”:
Not only did political correctness lead to a failure to identify Major Hasan as a terrorist, but it went so far as to cause his his superiors to promote him from captain to major. Indeed the the tyranny of political correctness has been extended so far that Major Hasan’s actions have been labeled as ‘workplace violence.’ That is not just preposterous, it is dangerous. Even at this late date, it would surely send a message if the For Hood attack were designated as an act of terrorism , which it was, and there was a clear statement from our leaders that investigators should worry more about preventing terrorist attacks than the consequences of being accused of profiling.
Congresswoman Jackson Lee later agreed with Giuliani regarding the classification of the shooting at Fort Hood.
“Many civilians were impacted at Fort Hood, and I champion the cause that it was in no way workplace violence. It was after the fact noted and those officers who were the supervisors of Major Hassan should have detected the erratic behavior,” said Jackson Lee.
“I call that connecting the dots. And I argue vigorously that we have to improve our connecting the dots,” she added. “I think we have an aftermath of assessing what happened with that major, then we need to indicate that the dots were not connected. There were so many lives still impacted.”
Jackson Lee is not the first Democrat to part from the Obama administration’s line on the Fort Hood shooting. Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA) joined with Republicans in May requesting the administration call the attack an act of terror.