Streetwise Professor

November 14, 2009

Making Distinctions

Filed under: Military,Politics — The Professor @ 10:31 am

Two distinct issues in the Hasan atrocity have been hopelessly tangled: (1) What caused Hasan to do what he did?, and (2) Why wasn’t Hasan removed as a danger before he killed 13 people?

Re (1), there is a strong case to be made that Hasan’s religious beliefs were a decisive contributor to his decision to gun down his fellow soldiers.  But that’s neither here nor there when answering (2).  There was substantial debate among Hasan’s professional colleagues as to whether he was psychotic (or otherwise emotionally disturbed) or a potential terrorist or both.  Regardless of whether he was mentally ill or a jihadist or a mentally ill jihadist, it was abundantly clear that he was not fit to be in the US military, not fit to be a psychiatrist, and particularly not fit to be a US military psychiatrist treating soldiers who had fought jihadists.

So, why was he assigned to be a psychiatrist treating those fighting and killing those with whom he had expressed sympathy and support?  The only reasonable answer is political correctness.  Indeed, one of his erstwhile Walter Reed colleagues explicitly asked, in the context of one of these “what to do about [then] Captain Hasan discussions”,  “How would it look if we kick out one of the few Muslim residents?”

How does it look now?

It is abundantly clear in the aftermath of Fort Hood that the military let Hasan go on his merry, murderous way for reasons of political correctness.  A more difficult question to answer is why the FBI and the two (!) Joint Terrorist Task Forces investigating Hasan dropped the investigation (soon after the Obama administration took office) despite the evidence of his extensive contacts with a notorious jihad supporter, and jihad-sympathizing web postings by someone with the same name.

We need to know the answer to that question.  Right now.

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