Cynical Synapse

Sat, 14 Nov 2009

Obama to Congress: Butt Out on Fort Hood

Defense Secretary Robert Gates visits police Sgt. Munley in the hospital

Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) and Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) want to launch Congressional investigations into Army and FBI failures regarding MAJ Nidal Malik Hasan’s views and contacts. MAJ Hasan has 13 charges of premeditated murder preferred against him, but Pres. Barack Obama asked Congress to hold off on investigations until the Army and FBI investigations are complete.

President Barack Obama on Saturday urged Congress to hold off on any investigation of the Fort Hood rampage until federal law enforcement and military authorities have completed their probes into the shootings at the Texas Army post, which left 13 people dead.

On an eight-day Asia trip, Obama turned his attention home and pleaded for lawmakers to “resist the temptation to turn this tragic event into the political theater.” He said those who died on the nation’s largest Army post deserve justice, not political stagecraft.

“The stakes are far too high,” Obama said in a video and Internet address released by the White House while the president he was flying from Tokyo to Singapore, where Pacific Rim countries were meeting.

zippered lips

What’s Obama’s point? As I see it, there are two investigations needed. First, the forensic investigation by US Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) and the FBI to see to it MAJ Hasan is charged with every crime he’s due. The other is the investigation into why “political correctness” allowed this tragedy to happen. Congress is the right body to investigate the PC issues, I think.

Hoekstra is the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee. He says the government knew about at least 10 to 20 email contacts between Hasan and a radical Muslim cleric in Yemen. Rep. Howard McKeon (R-CA), leading Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, also wants to open an investigation.

Don’t get me wrong. Although I’ve pretty much convicted MAJ Hasan in my mind, I want him to be served with justice in the American tradition. I also know the US military has thousands of Muslims serving with honor. What’s at stake, however, is how many other Hasans are out there? Those situations need immediate action that can’t wait until MAJ Hasan’s case is settled.

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