WASHINGTON (AP) – The Defense Department, under subpoena from a Senate committee, has provided enough information on the military base closing process to satisfy Senate leaders, so no further legal action will be taken, senators said Friday.

Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., in a letter to acting Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England, said that while they haven’t gotten all the data requested, the thousands of pages they received helped them better understand how the department made its decisions to close or realign military bases.

The letter comes just weeks before a July 6 public hearing in Boston of the independent base closing commission to review decisions to close bases in the senators’ home states, Maine and Connecticut.

In recent weeks the Pentagon has released a massive amount of information on the proposed shutdown of about 180 military installations across the country, including 33 major bases.

Federal and state officials demanded more information backing up the decisions, but some of it was initially classified.

Under pressure from the subpoena issued by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the Pentagon worked to declassify much of the information and release additional data.

Lawmakers hope to use the information to fight the proposed closing of the bases. The submarine base in Groton, Conn., and the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery were targeted for closure.

Under the agreement disclosed in the senators’ letter to England, the Pentagon agreed to continue releasing information and to make Defense Department analysts available for meetings with congressional staff.



On the Net:

Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission: http://www.brac.gov/

AP-ES-06-17-05 1942EDT


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