A Truth Too Hard to Handle

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.


One Response to A Truth Too Hard to Handle

  1. John Byrnes says:

    Profiling has failed us; we don’t need profiling to identify Individuals like the Christmas-Day Bomber or the Fort Hood Shooter! There is a better solution!

    Virtually all media outlets are discussing whether we should be profiling all Arab Muslims; I will in the one-page explain why we don’t need profiling. Over 15 years ago, we at the Center for Aggression Management developed an easily-applied, measurable and culturally-neutral body language and behavior indicators exhibited by people who intend to perpetrate a terrorist act. This unique methodology utilizes proven research from the fields of psychology, medicine and law enforcement which, when joined together, identify clear, easily-used physiologically-based characteristics of individuals who are about to engage in terrorist activities in time to prevent their Moment of Commitment.

    The Problem
    Since the foiled terrorist attack by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian national on Northwest Flight 253 to Detroit, the President has repeatedly stated that there has been a systemic failure as he reiterates his commitment to fill this gap in our security. This incident, like the Fort Hood shooting, exemplifies why our government must apply every valid preventative approach to identify a potential terrorist.

    The myriad methods to identify a terrorist, whether “no-fly list,” “explosive and weapons detection,” mental illness based approaches, “profiling” or “deception detection” – all continue to fail us. Furthermore, the development of deception detection training at Boston Logan Airport demonstrated that the Israeli methods of interrogation will not work in the United States.

    All media outlets are discussing the need for profiling of Muslim Arabs, but profiling does not work for the following three reasons:

    1. In practice, ethnic profiling tells us that within a certain group of people there is a higher probability for a terrorist; it does not tell us who the next terrorist is!

    2. Ethnic profiling is contrary to the value our society places on diversity and freedom from discrimination based on racial, ethnic, religious, age and/or gender based criteria. If we use profiling it will diminish our position among the majority of affected citizens who support us as a beacon of freedom and liberty.

    3. By narrowing our field of vision, profiling can lead to the consequence of letting terrorists go undetected, because the terrorist may not be part of any known “profile worthy” group – e.g., the Oklahoma City bomber, Timothy McVeigh

    The Solution
    Our unique methodology for screening passengers can easily discern (independently of race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, age, and gender) the defining characteristics of human beings who are about to engage in terrorist acts.

    The question is when will our government use true “hostile intent” through the “continuum of aggressive behavior” to identify potential terrorists? Only when observers focus specifically on “aggressive behavior” do the objective and culturally neutral signs of “aggression” clearly stand out, providing the opportunity to prevent these violent encounters. This method will not only make all citizens safer, but will also pass the inevitable test of legal defensibility given probable action by the ACLU.

    As our Government analyzes what went wrong regarding Abdulmatallab’s entrance into the United States, you can be assured that Al Qaeda is also analyzing how their plans went wrong. Who do you think will figure it out first . . . ?

    Visit our blog at http://blog.AggressionManagement.com where we discuss the shooting at Fort Hood and the attempted terrorist act on Flight 253.

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