Potential Congressional Hearings on Coughlin’s Firing?

Fred Lucas of Cybercast News Service reports today (1/16/08) that Rep. Sue Myrick (R-N.C.), co-chair of the bi-partisan House Anti-Terrorism Caucus is seeking to find out why Major Steve Coughlin (USAR)—the Pentagon’s lone expert on the nexus between Islamic Law and jihad terrorism—was fired.  Myrick observed,  

We want to get to the bottom of this. We are contacting everyone to see who we can talk to. “This sounds like another example of someone protecting national security and being told to shut up. If we don’t get over being politically correct, we won’t be here as a country. 

Amen Congresswoman Myrick! 

But cautious optimism, at best, is in order.

As Lucas notes: 

Myrick stressed that any congressional inquiry is in the early, talking stages, but she has contacted the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the House Armed Services Committee, and the House Homeland Security Committee to inquire about investigative hearings into the case. While any inquiry by Congress would be significant, the Anti-Terrorism Caucus is only a group of House members that can hold a meeting and ask questions. It does not have authority to take action or issue subpoenas, which congressional committees have.Myrick said the Pentagon is requiring any congressional requests to go through the Defense Department’s Legislative Affairs Office before Coughlin would be available to speak to anyone.  

My colleague Jerry Gordon and I were quoted for the story as well. Alas The Pentagon, as per Lucas, remains mum: 

Questions submitted by Cybercast News Service to the Pentagon were not answered by press time. 

Most importantly, Lucas provides readers (yet another) direct link to Major Coughlin’s seminal 333 pp. analysis,  To Our Great Detriment: Ignoring What Extremists Say About Jihad, as  pdf file. To read is to understand.

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