Defense & National Security

Pentagon Whitewashes Cause of Ft. Hood Massacre

When I heard the initial report on Friday on the findings in the Fort Hood shootings investigation, I almost ran my car off the road. The words “workplace violence” were used. 

As if the shooting at Fort Hood was like a fired worker going back in to his place of business and killing his co-workers. Maj. Nidal Hasan is depicted as a loner, who everyone thought was a nice guy who just snapped. This shows nothing but disrespect to the people who died at Fort Hood last November. 

Can we not honor our dead by calling the name of the enemy? In Fort Hood, it was a radical Islamist who was an al-Qaeda wannabe. He was a terrorist.

The report comes out at a time when in New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg cannot understand why there is opposition to a mosque near Ground Zero being built by a man who said in 2001 that America was an “accessory” to the attacks of 9/11.

Again, I ask, can we not honor our dead by calling the name of the enemy?

The Defense Department report released on Friday focuses on predicting and preventing internal threats. It talks about emergency preparedness. It says more studies are needed because medical and mental health screening “do not provide a comprehensive assessment of violence indicators.” It goes on to say DOD policy “lacks the clarity necessary to help commanders distinguish appropriate religious practices from those that might indicate a potential for violence or self-radicalization.” Unbelievable.

The truth is political correctness killed and injured the 44 people of Fort Hood who were Hasan’s victims. There were many instances along the way where Hasan’s colleagues were uncomfortable with his radical talk. But they were afraid of being called bigoted and anti-Muslim. There is a double standard here and there is a gap as wide as the Grand Canyon between what the Army did and what they could have done. To make matters worse, the Department of Defense had the opportunity to defend its members and respect the dead and injured at Fort Hood and the report did none of that. 

It even had a hard time placing the blame where it belonged, on Hasan and his beliefs.

The report illuminated that Hasan was a perfect example of rising to the level of his incompetence. His rise to major in the United States Army is a slap in the face to all who wear the uniform. The Pentagon investigation found many problems, including big gaps between Hasan’s performance and his records. He was described as a “loner with lazy work habits and a fixation on his Muslim religion.” However, even with an incomplete personnel file, he had been promoted to major. 

What appears to be worse, even heinous, but not clear in the vague 32-page report, is that the FBI investigated Hasan but did not alert the Defense Department of the investigation or their findings. Almost ten years down the road from 9/11, our agencies are still not cooperating on terrorism. How are we going to fight this enemy if we can’t even cooperate on something so obvious?.

I know we are reluctant to call an American citizen a terrorist, but Nidal Hasan is a terrorist. My greatest concern is he may get something less than the death penalty because of sloppy work by the Department of Defense and that pains me and denigrates the memories of those who were injured and died at Fort Hood last November.

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