Learning the Wrong Lessons From the Fort Hood Massacre

Submission to Islam has been institutionalized by our national security apparatus. The official handling of the Fort Hood massacre proves the case.

On November 5, 2009, Major Nidal Hasan, a U.S. Army psychiatrist who had previously served at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, shot 45 of his fellow soldiers at the deployment center at Fort Hood in Texas, killing thirteen. It was the most deadly shooting attack ever on an American military base. Maj. Hasan, who had been scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan, was charged with murder and attempted murder, but not terrorism. His court-martial will begin next month. Meanwhile, Maj. Hasan continues to receive military pay, as well as free medical care and legal representation from the Army.

Immediately after the shootings, President Obama called Hasan's actions "inexplicable" and suggested that he may have "cracked" under stress. The media followed suit, emphasizing the stress of treating soldiers emotionally scarred by war, and insinuating that Hasan had been unfairly picked on by his colleagues. One talking head said "we may never know if religion was a factor" in the killings. Another lamented that Hasan had failed to "reach out for help." In reality, Hasan had long exhibited bizarre, menacing behavior that would have gotten him kicked out of the Army several times over if not for his protected status as a Muslim. The sympathetic disinformation was intended to hide Hasan's actual purpose --  to kill as many infidel American soldiers as possible for Allah.

A ticking bomb

During his residency at Walter Reed, Nidal Hasan was asked to prepare a scholarly presentation on psychiatric issues. Instead, he produced a completely off-topic lecture that failed to include a single medical or psychiatric term. In it, he wrote that the Qur'an teaches that unbelievers should have their heads cut off and be set on fire. His superiors asked him to make changes, but the final version of Hasan's PowerPoint presentation, which he gave in June 2007, still focused almost entirely on Islam and the Qur'an. Hasan stated that having Muslim-Americans in the military poses the risk of fratricidal murder of other soldiers, and added the comment, "We love death more then (sic) you love life!"

Nevertheless, Hasan was selected for an elite two-year fellowship at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences. Two months later he gave another off-topic presentation, arguing that since America was at war with Islam, suicide bombings and other violent responses were justified. Hasan's classmates protested his remarks so vigorously that the instructor had to stop the lecture. Later, Hasan told classmates that his allegiance to the Quran took precedence over his military oath to defend the Constitution.

During his USUHS fellowship, Hasan performed poorly and was placed on probation for repeatedly proselytizing about Islam to patients and colleagues. However, his supervisors gave him outstanding officer evaluations that ignored his obsession with violent Islamic extremism. Instead, they praised his "unique skills" and his "extraordinary potential to inform national policy and military strategy." Colleagues interviewed after the shootings said they feared being labeled "racist" or "Islamophobic" if they spoke out against Hasan.

There were many other red flags:

  • Hasan gave $20,000 --  $30,000 a year to radical Islamic "charities" overseas.
  • Hasan argued online that Muslim suicide bombers are morally equivalent to soldiers who heroically fall on a grenade to save their comrades. He also repeatedly expressed support for suicide bombers when talking with colleagues.
  • Hasan spoke favorably of the murder of two US soldiers at a recruitment center in Little Rock, saying "This is what Muslims should do, stand up to the aggressors."
  • Hasan's business cards displayed an acronym widely used on jihadist websites that translates as "Soldier of Allah."
  • Hasan had attended the Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Falls Church, Virginia in 2001 (as did two of the September 11 terrorists) while the imam there was Anwar al-Awlaki, a leading al-Qaeda commander and recruiter later killed by U.S. forces. Hasan frequently told colleagues of his "deep respect" for al-Awlaki's teachings.
  • Unusually for a psychiatrist, Hasan took extra classes in weapons training.

In May 2009, the Army promoted Nidal Hasan to the rank of Major.

"No terrorist connection"

Even though FBI investigators knew that Maj. Hasan was communicating with al-Awlaki, they decided he posed no threat. In one email Maj. Hasan told al-Awlaki, "I can't wait to join you" in the afterlife. Al-Awlaki himself recalled that Hasan had asked for guidance on whether a Muslim should kill American soldiers and officers. Even so, FBI sources told the media after the shootings that "no terrorist connection" was involved.

Al-Awlaki praised Hasan's attack, calling him a "hero" and a "man of conscience." The al-Qaeda spiritual leader added that "the only way a Muslim could Islamically justify serving as a soldier in the U.S. army is if his intention is to follow the footsteps of men like Nidal." In a video released after his death, Al-Awlaki said the Obama Administration "tried to portray the operation of Brother Nidal Hasan as an individual act of violence from an estranged individual... in order to cushion the reaction of the American public."

Yusuf al-Khatab, leader of the New York group "Revolution Muslim" also applauded Hasan's killing of American soldiers, whom he called "slain terrorists... in the eternal hellfire." He wrote in a message online, "An officer and a gentleman was injured while partaking in a preemptive attack. Get Well Soon Major Nidal, We Love You."

A senior government official said that Hasan also had other "unexplained connections to people being tracked by the FBI."  Those connections have not yet been made public.

Ignoring the elephant

In August 2010, the Department of Defense released Final Recommendations of the Ft. Hood Follow-on Review, a summary of "lessons learned" in the wake of the shootings.

Most of the proposed changes focused on improving the flow of information between agencies. Other key issues included "clarifying force protection roles and responsibilities" and "ensuring that we provide top-quality health care." The DOD did go so far as to commission a study to "identify behavioral indicators of violence and radicalization," but carefully avoided discussing ways to identify potential Islamic terrorists in the military.

Also conspicuously absent was any discussion of the Federal policy that forbids U.S. military personnel to carry personal firearms on base. Had Fort Hood not been a "gun free zone," Maj. Hasan's victims could have defended themselves against their attacker.

An earlier DOD analysis of the massacre, Protecting the Force: Lessons from Fort Hood, specifically addressed how Army policies and procedures had been applied in the case of the shooter --  who was not mentioned by name. Reviewers of the event identified two "key concerns" --  1) that medical officers had "failed to apply appropriate officership and standards of judgment with respect to the alleged perpetrator," and 2) that medical officers had "failed to include the alleged perpetrator's overall performance as an officer, rather than solely his academic performance, in his formal performance evaluations."

These are official DOD recommendations, made in response to a mass murder committed by a homegrown Islamic terrorist who shouted "Allahu Akbar!" as he gunned down his fellow Army soldiers --  a man who asked for the blessing of al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki as he prepared to carry out his attacks. Not once do they mention Islam or jihad.

Adding insult to injury, the Army declined to award Purple Hearts to the dead and wounded soldiers, as that would indicate that they were wounded by an enemy action.

Other investigations

Former FBI Director William Webster agreed in 2009 to prepare an in-depth report on how the Bureau handled information about Hasan. His review was expected to take about six months, suggesting a completion date around May 2010. That report has not yet been made public. The FBI sent an earlier secret report to the White House in November 2009.

The 2011 Senate Homeland Security Committee report found that Hasan was so well-known among investigators that one FBI agent called a DCIS colleague while watching coverage of the shootings on television to say, "You know who that is? That's our boy."

While acknowledging the difficulties posed when the subject of an investigation is a U.S. citizen, the Senate report found that the FBI and DOD "possessed sufficient information" to have detected Hasan's radicalization, but "failed both to understand and to act on it."

The Senate report focused on Hasan's Islamist extremism and pointedly noted the failure of the two previous DOD reports to do so. It recommended that the DOD "should revise its policies and training in order to confront the threat of violent Islamist extremism directly," and suggested a "comprehensive national approach to countering homegrown radicalization to violent Islamist extremism." It also faulted FBI training materials for tiptoeing around the issue of Islamist ideology, commenting that they "ignore the substance of radicalization, including what violent Islamist extremists believe and why."

The Department of Defense has refused to implement the Senate's recommendations. A letter from the DOD to the Senate Homeland Security Committee in December 2011 placed the Fort Hood killings "in the context of a broader threat of workplace violence."

Diversity über alles

A few days after the massacre, Gen. George Casey, Chief of Staff of the Army, informed NBC's Meet the Press, "As horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that's worse." In case anybody had missed the point, Casey said the same thing during an interview with ABC News, "What happened at Fort Hood is a tragedy and I believe it would be a greater tragedy if diversity became a casualty here."

Gen. Casey's remarks were criticized, but they were not widely understood. The Federal and military internal security apparatus appeared, on the surface, to have suffered an obvious, catastrophic failure. However, Gen. Casey was suggesting that the system was working as intended. Thirteen soldiers had died and dozens more were wounded, but the Islamic "diversity" that Maj. Nidal Hasan represented had not "become a casualty."

The system intimidated anyone who tried to raise questions about Hasan, overlooked his frequent displays of disloyalty and sedition, ignored obvious signs that he was potentially violent, deemed harmless his communications with a top al-Qaeda leader, fast-tracked and promoted him, and ultimately enabled his act of jihad against his fellow soldiers.

For Gen. Casey, not offending Muslims was more important than the lives of his own troops. Worse, his grotesque priorities reflected those of the Administration he served.

Endless appeasement

In 2010, the Obama Administration had all references to Islam and jihad removed from the National Security Strategy Document, the central document that outlines U.S. security strategy. In late 2011, the Administration removed all references to Islam from the training programs used by Federal law enforcement and national security professionals. That decision came after Muslim Public Affairs Council president Salam al-Marayati published a not-overly-subtle threat that keeping the training policies would "undermine the relationship between law enforcement and the Muslim American community." Al-Marayati also demanded that the FBI and Justice Department apologize to Muslims.

This Administration is taking direction on national security from Islamic groups that are surrogates for the Muslim Brotherhood, which is waging civilization jihad on American institutions, traditions and freedoms. Rather than disbanding the groups for supporting terrorism, the government has made them partners in its endless appeasement of Islam.  

A blizzard of apologies

For the past week, Islamic protestors have rioted in Afghanistan, following the revelation that a U.S. military library at Bagram Airfield had disposed of several copies of the Qur'an and other religious documents after finding they were being used by enemy prisoners as a secret messaging system. American officials instantly fell all over each other expressing outrage at this event. NATO commander Gen. John Allen offered his "sincere apologies" in a video aired on Afghan TV and ordered training for all 130,000 coalition troops in the country in the proper handling of religious materials. Pentagon official Peter Lavoy scurried to a Northern Virginia mosque to apologize repeatedly on behalf of the Department of Defense. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland called the event "horrific." Groveler-in-Chief Obama sent a formal letter of apology to Afghan President Hamid Karzai and conveyed his deep personal remorse over the phone.    

Two American soldiers were killed during the anti-American riots, but there have been no expressions of outrage from Administration officials to date regarding their deaths.

Meanwhile, the search continues for new ways to capitulate to Islamic demands. For example, our Marines in Afghanistan have orders not to spit or urinate toward Mecca.

Remember: "Islam" means "submission."

Scott Swett is the primary author of To Set The Record Straight: How Swift Boat Veterans, POWs and the New Media Defeated John Kerry and webmaster for SwiftVets.com and WinterSoldier.com.

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