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Getting to the Bottom of the Fort Hood Tragedy

fort hood tragedyThis week’s newsletter really cannot begin without a mention of the tragic mass shootings and deaths of our brave young men and women serving honorably at Fort Hood Army Base near Killeen, Texas.

As could be expected, few military or law enforcement officials in positions of authority would speak on the record, if at all, while “the investigation is under way.” Notable exceptions to the public display of non-information, non-knowledge and inability to comment, however, are various mouthpieces for the politically correct interpretation of the massacre such as, brace yourself, Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey.

“I think the speculation could potentially heighten a backlash against some of our Muslim soldiers,” he said, in a shockingly clear interview with George Stephanopolous, as he revealed his priorities when it comes to protecting American soldiers, on an American army base, in the United States of America.

Apparently the feared “potential backlash,” against a relatively small segment of military personnel of a particular religious persuasion, is a greater threat and concern to the Chief of Staff than the violent attack which just left 13 of our soldiers dead and another 29 (in an ever changing final count) wounded.

As the General explained, “What happened at Fort Hood is a tragedy, but I believe it would be an even greater tragedy if our diversity becomes a casualty here.”

At least we do now know some of the real truth. The survival of “diversity” is a higher priority than the survival of any number of American soldiers or, if one follows this line of reasoning to its logical conclusion, the survival of any number of American citizens.

Perhaps the General has been boning up on his party line stance by following foreign news, so he could put the staffing of our military into a more “global perspective.” A recent article in the Arab News warned readers with the headline, “Unfounded accusations base motive of Ft. Hood shooting on religious extremism.”

The accusations are not unfounded and the clues to the reasons for this slaughter of innocents were littered all over the service history and known associations of the individual who carried it out. But no one who received these clues took appropriate measures in response. If anyone did, we have yet to hear about it and an anxious America waits.

Here is the real problem as outlined in the PP presentation, which appears in the Washington Post, and lecture delivered by Major Hasan himself in June 2007, over two years ago. He was scheduled to speak on a medical topic of his choice, but spoke instead of the moral struggles of Muslim soldiers who must serve in “a military that seems constantly engaged against fellow Muslims.” Some attendees did think it “highly unusual” but apparently none of their reports were enough to warrant any action.

The Major’s definition of an Islamist, which appears on page 4 of the PP presentation, explains precisely the reason that so many Americans fear Islam, especially when it comes to military service. An Islamist, as he states, “Advocates rule by God’s law-Islamic political rule/Sharia law i.e.(No separation of Church and State).”

It neglects to mention which “State,” but it is clearly not the government of the United States. The “backlash against Muslim soldiers,” which General Casey seeks so ardently to avoid, is not against Muslim soldiers themselves, but against those in government who refuse to acknowledge that Islam forbids allegiance to the government in which American soldiers are pledged to serve.

As such, this conflict of interest is clearly incompatible with service which would require a service member to fulfill the duties of an American soldier. When a General in the United States Army cannot see this, he is incompatible with the rank he holds as well.

Rep. Pete Hoekstra of Michigan, who serves as the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, has formally requested the heads of various intelligence agencies for the preservation of all related documents and other material, such as email records, which does raise the question of why he would feel the need to do so. Would this sort of intelligence normally be shredded?

Fort Hood First Responders

First responders prepare the wounded for transport in waiting ambulances near Fort Hood's Soldier Readiness Processing Center Nov. 5. (U.S. Army photo/Jeramie Sivley)

Perhaps, but the even more pressing question is whether it was ever properly transmitted and shared with other individuals and agencies who rely on such information to prevent this sort of tragedy from occurring, regardless of who does it or why.

The shootings occurred on Nov. 5 yet, as of Nov. 9, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, head of the Select Committee on Intelligence, was still waiting for a “fuller briefing” from the Director of National Intelligence.

In an eerie juxtaposition, the attempted takeover of the US healthcare system plays out on television, undeterred. We have been assured by the Obama Administration that somehow making all of our personal health information available over the Internet will magically transform it into an enterprise of efficiency, with fewer medical errors, much lower costs and a model of vital communication under critical circumstances.

Was the Internet, and more, not available to our intelligence agencies in the years leading up to the event at Ft. Hood? Is there some reasonable explanation why, over 8 years after the World Trade Center was destroyed by commandeered jetliners, and only a few months into the Presidency of George W. Bush, these agencies have not worked out whatever barriers to communication existed then when it comes to Homeland Security?

Had Ft. Hood not been a military base and the assassin a long-time serviceman and Major in the Army, perhaps this could be seen as a tragic oversight. However, the military has a very distinct chain of command for reporting irregularities which might have indicated that a Major, also a Dr. of Psychiatry, was mentally unfit for duty as either a soldier or a doctor, with possible terrorist sympathies and connections as well.

The word “possible” is intended to give the benefit of the doubt only until the proof of most of the information is forthcoming and confirmed. The AP report on the activities of U.S. Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano, found her still in the United Arab Emirates as of Sunday, for “talks with security officials and a meeting with women university students,” and defending her agency’s work with “groups across the United States to try to deflect any backlash against American Muslims.”

That is supposed to be reassuring? Apparently at least she and General Casey share a common view. Meanwhile, there are denials by military officials of prior contacts between the Dr. Hasan and Muslim extremists.

It seems as though backlash remains more of a concern than “frontlash,” in our PC military and intelligence environments. Indeed, it is hard to find anyone connected who will utter the word “terrorism” in connection with the incident.

We have seen the enemy, and he is our political correctness, which has attained such a high position in our military ranks that the Army Chief of Staff, holding the rank of General, is more fearful of offending a special interest group of religious extremists with anti-American views, than assuring the security of our nation and the well-being of the soldiers who serve beneath him.

It does not seem unreasonable to this writer that if we are to hold Major Hasan responsible for his actions, and we must, we should do the same right on up the chain of command through Sen. Feinstein, Secretary Napolitano, Chief of Staff Gen. Casey and the Commander in Chief of the military and President of the United States, Barack Obama. The buck stops there.

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