Cynical Synapse

Fri, 04 Feb 2011

Lack of Moral Fortitude Led to Fort Hood Massacre

Fort Hood shooting casualties

Released yesterday, the US Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee investigative report on MAJ Nidal Hassan’s Fort Hood shooting spree identified a number of shortcomings, some of which harken back to the intelligence failures described in the 9/11 report. At a press conference about the Senate report, titled A Ticking Time Bomb: Counterterrorism Lessons from the Government’s Failure to Prevent the Fort Hood Attack, Chairman Joe Lieberman (I—CT) summed up the report’s findings, calling them a heartbreaking tragedy of errors:

Our report’s painful conclusion is that the Fort Hood massacre could have, and should have, been prevented.

Contrary to the Pentagon’s own investigation into the Fort Hood jihad, the Senate report primarily blames political correctness for Hassan’s retention. As many may know, I’m in the Michigan Army National Guard. The Army has seven values: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage. Many responsible for decisions related to Hassan’s military career clearly failed to live up to the Army values. The day after the shooting, I noted my anger at the failure of Hassan’s superiors in preventing the killings of 13 in the service of our country.

Cover of the Senate report on Hassan

From the Senate report, we know MAJ Hassan is an Islamist and clearly opposed to US war efforts and policy:

The officers who kept Hasan in the military and moved him steadily along knew full well of his problematic behavior,” the report found. “As the officer who assigned Hasan to Fort Hood (and later decided to deploy Hasan to Afghanistan) admitted to an officer at Fort Hood, “you’re getting our worst.”

Clearly, none of Nidal Hassan’s superiors had the moral fortitude to address his radical views and abherent behavior. In fact, despite lackluster performance, Hassan received glowing evaluation reports. In my mind, that represents gross negligence on the part of anyone involved or complicit. Those individuals violated every Army value and are forever tained by the blood of MAJ Hassan’s victims.

Keystone Kops

Another finding, which harkens back to the failures in inter- and intra-agency communications from before 9/11, is the FBI’s failure to look into Hassan’s radicalization. One of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs) knew Hasan was communicating with suspected terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical Yemeni cleric. Yet, they failed to look into the nature of this contact. Even worse, a second JTTF dismissed the evidence and buried the matter rather than cause friction between the two JTTFs.

Lieberman said Hassan “was not just a ticking time bomb but a traitor.” I hate to agree with the whiny Lieberman, but he’s right on target on this. Hassan will likely stand trial for his 13 murder charges sometime this year. I hope he gets the death penalty and it’s administered in accordace with Sharia law.

Not to be forgottin is the Mengele-esque dysfunctionality in officers who place MAJ Hassan in the role of counseling veterans with behavioral health issues. That is the unseen tragedy from Fort Hood.

Previously on the Fort Hood Shootings:


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