This morning Rep. Eric Massa, a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, called for several officials from the past and current Administration to testify before the Committee. Last night, ABC News reported that the alleged masterminds of the Christmas day terrorist attempt, Muhmamad Attik al-Harbi and Said Ali Shari, were released from Guantanamo on November 9th, 2007. Specifically, Rep. Massa called for former Homeland Security Dept Secretary Michael Chertoff, former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, and former National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley to explain exactly why these detainees were released and who else was released during their tenure. Rep. Massa also called for current Homeland Security Dept Secretary Janet Napolitano to testify before the committee about what went wrong.
"Vice President Cheney can go on television and make all the accusations he wants, but it now appears that the alleged masterminds of the Christmas day terrorist attempt were released under the not-so-watchful-eye of the last Administration," said Rep. Eric Massa. "I think the American people deserve to know exactly why officials from the last administration released these two accused terrorists and that's why I am calling for these officials to testify before the House Homeland Security Committee. Additionally, I'd like to know who else they decided to release without having a trial. National security is not a partisan issue, but we can't pretend this didn't happen under their watch."
Rep. Massa also took Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) to task for continuing to block President Obama's nominee for Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Erroll Southers, a career counterterrorism expert. Senator DeMint has continued to block this former FBI Special Agent because he is concerned that Mr. Southers would allow TSA employees to unionize.
"Senator Jim DeMint should be ashamed of himself," said Rep. Eric Massa. "He has put his vehement opposition to organized labor ahead of filling the post of TSA Administrator and that's simply inexcusable. Senator DeMint should be held accountable in the light of day for putting partisan politics ahead of our national security and he should end his stonewalling on the nomination of Erroll Southers immediately."