Gates Attends Funeral for Fort Hood Victim

(AP Photo/Family Photo)
Updated 5:17 p.m. ET, with additional information

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates attended one of the Fort Hood funerals today in Mountain City, Tenn., for Fort Hood victim Specialist Frederick Greene (seen at left).

He'd been invited by Specialist Greene's father. Gates met the family at the Fort Hood memorial last week.

This was Gates' first time attending a military funeral outside the Washington area.

His spokesman Geoff Morrell says he's wanted to do this before -- "to be part of a sendoff for one of our fallen heroes, where the whole town turns out to honor him." But he hadn't wanted to be a distraction. This funeral -- where he had been personally invited, and the geography meant he could attend without alerting large numbers of press, made it possible.

Meanwhile, Secretary Gates is considering how best to investigate the series of events that led to the Fort Hood shootings.

His spokesman Morrell says "the secretary is talking to his senior advisors including the chief of staff of the U.S. Army to devise an investigation that answers the range of questions that come out of this attack. Some of those questions are Army-centric and some of them are not."

"So they are working to try to figure out what sort of investigative body can answer the host of questions that have come out of this, and to determine who should head it and what scope of investigation should be," Morrell said. "He said they hope to announce the form the investigation will take "by week's end, because these are important matters that need to be examined quickly."

This investigation, if launched, would look beyond the Army criminal investigation, to try to determine whether red flags were ignored with alleged shooter Major Nidal Hassan.

Defense officials tell CBS News the army had been exploring the option of setting up a civilian-military commission toward this end. Army officials say they've already started taking that "hard look" at their institution, as ordered by Army chief of staff General George Casey last week.

CBSNews.com Special Report: Tragedy at Fort Hood


(CBS)
Kimberly Dozier is a CBS News correspondent based in Washington. You can read more of her posts in Hotsheet here.
  • Kimberly Dozier

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