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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Senators subpoena Pentagon for base closure documents

From the Norwich Bulletin

Sens. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, subpoenaed the Pentagon Tuesday, seeking more information about how defense officials decided to recommend closing certain bases, including the Groton submarine base.

Newly released Pentagon documents, meanwhile, show the submarine base has been on the Pentagon's closure list since at least October.


Federal law requires the Pentagon to release all documents related to the base closure process to Congress and an independent Base Closure and Realignment Commission, Phillips said. The commission will review the Pentagon's base closure list, unveiled May 13, and come up with a final list by Sept. 8.

Stacie Paxton, spokeswoman for Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., said the senator and his staff are frustrated by the incomplete information the Pentagon has released so far, such as minutes from meetings of officials discussing potential base closures.

During the 1995 round of base closings, minutes from meetings made it clear why a base was recommended for closure, Paxton said. But the minutes from meetings linked to this year's round of base closings refer to documents that aren't provided, she said.

"There's no context or justification," Paxton said. "It's tough to dispute their findings when they refuse to provide the information upon which those findings were based."