If anyone wants to get a close look at the way both our government and military delude themselves about fundamental dangers this country faces, then go no further than the recently issued Department of Defense report on the Fort Hood slayings- Protecting the Force: Lessons from Fort Hood.
In this 85 page report, released last week and which relates to the November 5th massacre of 13 enlisted men and women together with an unborn child, you will find recommendations for tighter security for recruitment purposes, updated procedures to help the Department of Defense identify contributing factors to violent conduct and the suggested development of programs to educate DoD personnel when individuals might commit violent acts or become radicalized.
What you won’t find is the following:
- The name of the assassin
- Documentation on his Islamic background
- The characterization of his motives
- Information on how signs of his radicalism were manifested in his actual military career
- The kinds of communications he received from a Yemen based sheikh in the weeks and months prior to the killings.
- The Jihadist inspiration behind the attacks.
- Why the details of the killer’s behavior at Walter Reed Hospital, referred to in his file, were not passed on to his military superiors
So lets fill in the blanks for those military researchers who still remain mind-numbingly agog that such an event could have occurred at all:
- The killer (not the alleged killer) at Fort Hood was Major Nidal Malik Hassan
- He is a Muslim
- His writings, communications with fellow officers prior to the events of November 5, all provide convincing evidence that that he was a Jihadist, driven by a religious ideology
- He took inspiration from Yemen-based preacher named Imam Anwar AlWaki and had at least ten email communications with him in the 30 days prior to the shootings;
- He shouted “Allahu Akbar “as he sprayed the dining room with bullets
- He admitted that he committed his acts of murder in the name of Islam
In fact, not once in the report are the words “ Islam,” “Jihad” or “anti-Americanism” employed. Nor are we given a sense that this event registered as anything more than another case of criminal behavior which can be adequately dealt with by the criminal justice system. Hence the military’s apparent unwillingness to ascribe motivation to the attack or even a name to the ‘alleged’ offender. After all, to do so would be prejudice Hassan’s upcoming trial, a prospect the report’s authors seem to fear more than the truth itself.
Instead the report is content to commend the military personnel at Fort Hood on how effectively they responded to the attack (in other words ‘it was bad but could have been a helluva lot worse’) and reaches the astonishing conclusion that “identifying potentially dangerous people before they act is difficult” and that “religious fundamentalism in itself is not a risk factor.”
The report screams the word “denial” at us, bathed as it is in the politically correct milk of multicultural sensitivity. In this regard, of course, it is completely in keeping with the sentiments of Chief of Staff, Gen. George Casey, who, in the wake of the massacre, proclaimed that, “as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse.”
No, sir, what is far worse is the obfuscation of a basic truth – that Islamists are among us and want to kills us. What registers as an graver issue than even this however, is the way such cognitive dissonance leads to the eclipse of good judgment within our military leadership. For underlying this empty report is the notion that the country is not at war at all, but rather faces occasional incidents which amount to little more than isolated criminal nuisances.
It is extraordinary that the most violent act of murder committed against U.S. troops on American soil in modern times, should be summed up as a case of a good soldier gone bad.
But Hassan didn’t ‘go bad.’ He was already bad. The fact that his colleagues and superiors failed to notice, despite all the warning signs he offered them, is an indictment of the system in which he operated – a system apparently quite comfortable with its soldiers’ regular expression of rabid anti-Americanism and the spouting of Jihadist ideology.
The true report of what happened at Fort Hood is not yet available. But when it does become available it will almost certainly not bear the stamp of the Department of Defense. The truth, apparently, in Jack Nicholson inimitable words, is just a little too hard for that institution to handle.