Thursday, November 12, 2009

Major Nidal Hasan: Traitor and Terrorist

The Fort Hood massacre was a tragedy. Loss of human life is always cause for mourning, but this case is especially sad because it might easily have been prevented. As more and more information comes out on the alleged Fort Hood shooter, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, it's increasingly clear that political correctness allowed a traitor and terrorist to take increasingly bold steps without repercussion, culminating in the cold-blooded murder of 13 soldiers and the wounding of 29 more.

The media is going to great lengths to try to assert that this shooting had nothing to do with Islamic fundamentalism. They're pretending it was just workplace violence, and claiming that Nidal Hasan snapped after years of teasing.

Let's be clear: there's no justification for shooting 42 unarmed people the way this man did. There's nothing that even mitigates his actions.

In fact, that apologetic worship of "diversity" is what allowed a cancer like Hasan to grow and metastasize. Anybody who cared to look would have found out what he was. Asra Q. Nomani, a Muslim herself, investigated and reported on Hasan's mosque. What she found is eye-opening.
In interviews with the media, leaders of the Muslim Community Center have painted a portrait of Hasan as a quiet, unassuming Muslim more interested in finding a wife than debating world politics. They express shock at his killing spree and, appropriately, condemn it. But a closer look behind the doors of the mosque and inside [Hasan's] conversations...reveal a more complex picture of a young first-generation American Muslim man living a life of dissonance between his identity as an American and his ideology as a Muslim who had accepted a literal, rigid interpretation of Islam, akin to the puritanical Wahhabi and Salafi interpretations of Islam that define the theology of militancy inside the Muslim world today, according to community members who knew Hasan.

“So many times I talked with him,” said [Golam Akhter, a local Bangladeshi-American civil engineer], a community leader who is sort of like a mosque gadfly, challenging congregants to reject literal, rigid interpretations of Islam. “I was trying to modernize him. I tried my best. He used to hate America as a whole. He was more anti-American than American.”

Despite all the conversations, Akther said, “I couldn’t get through to him. He was a typical fundamentalist Muslim.”

It wasn’t a label assigned lightly. Rather, it emerged after many one-on-one conservations between the engineer and the doctor in quiet spots from the library to the lobby to the prayer hall, discussing issues of interpretation like jihad, polygamy, assimilation, foreign policy, and the cutting of hands for theft. Other members of the community confirm this portrait of Hasan.
It's not reasonable to expect that Hasan's superiors would investigate his religious beliefs and worship. If what Nomani found were the only window into Hasan's Islamic fundamentalist attitudes, it would be reasonable to say the Army couldn't have known.

Of course, there was plenty more evidence of Hasan's potentially violent worldview. The Washington Post reported:
As a senior-year psychiatric resident at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Maj. Nidal M. Hasan was supposed to make a presentation on a medical topic of his choosing as a culminating exercise of the residency program.

Instead, in late June 2007, he stood before his supervisors and about 25 other mental health staff members and lectured on Islam, suicide bombers and threats the military could encounter from Muslims conflicted about fighting in the Muslim countries of Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a copy of the presentation obtained by The Washington Post.

Under a slide titled "Comments," he wrote: "If Muslim groups can convince Muslims that they are fighting for God against injustices of the 'infidels'; ie: enemies of Islam, then Muslims can become a potent adversary ie: suicide bombing, etc." [sic]

The last bullet point on that page reads simply: "We love death more then [sic] you love life!"

Under the "Conclusions" page, Hasan wrote that "Fighting to establish an Islamic State to please God, even by force, is condoned by the Islam," and that "Muslim Soldiers should not serve in any capacity that renders them at risk to hurting/killing believers unjustly -- will vary!"

The final page, labeled "Recommendation," contained only one suggestion:

"Department of Defense should allow Muslims [sic] Soldiers the option of being released as 'Conscientious objectors' to increase troop morale and decrease adverse events."
As Nomani points out in her article, the concept that Muslims don't harm other Muslims is something of a joke.
Look at al Qaeda, the Taliban and Pakistani militant groups: They don’t have a problem with killing Muslims, slaying Muslims in attacks from Amman, Jordan, to Islamabad, Pakistan.
This arises out of a willingness to dehumanize the "unbeliever" or nonMuslim. Once an extremist can do this, it's an easy step to do the same to other Muslims who don't believe in fundamentalist version the fanatic does, freeing him to kill them, too.

Hasan's presentation, which was disturbing enough, wasn't the only indication of trouble to his superiors and investigators. The Houston Chronicle reported:
The FBI and the Army last year investigated contacts between a Yemen-based militant Islamist prayer leader and the Army psychiatrist accused of last week’s deadly shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas, but they dropped the case after concluding that he didn’t pose a terrorist threat, a senior federal law enforcement official said Monday.
It's safe to say investigators erred in that conclusion.
The official said that Hasan did not appear to have known Awlaki [the militant "prayer leader" or imam] in person, except perhaps in passing, even though the militant prayer leader was the imam at a Virginia mosque that Hasan attended in 2001.

The mosque drew the attention of the FBI at the time, and later the Sept. 11 commission, because of Awlaki’s connection to at least two of the Sept. 11 hijackers, who may have followed him from a mosque in San Diego to the Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Va., in early 2001.

On his Web site, Awlaki frequently counsels his followers in what is acceptable under Islamic law. He has authorized acts of violence, including terrorist acts, under Islamic law by saying they were done to defend Muslims around the world from Western governments bent on destroying Islam.
Hasan's superiors may not have known about the FBI investigation, but they certainly knew about Hasan's ongoing poor performance.
Doctors and staff overseeing Hasan's training viewed him at times as belligerent, defensive and argumentative in his frequent discussions of his Muslim faith, a military official familiar with several group discussions about Hasan said. The official was not authorized to speak publicly about the meetings and spoke on condition of anonymity.

As a psychiatrist in training, Hasan was characterized in meetings as a mediocre student and lazy worker, a matter of concern among the doctors and staff at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences military medical school, the official said.

The concerns about Hasan's performance and religious views were shared with other military officials considering his assignment after he finished his medical training, and the consensus was to send him to Fort Hood, the official said. Fort Hood was considered the best assignment for Hasan because other doctors could handle the workload if he continued to perform poorly and his superiors could document any continued behavior problems, the official said.
While this is disturbing, there's some indication Hasan took out his extreme views on soldiers he was supposed to be counseling. This comes from talk show host Bryan Suits, who's uniquely qualified to comment. He's an army reservist who fought in Bosnia and the Middle East until he was wounded and nondeployable. The audio of his explanation may be downloaded here. He's talked extensively on this incident from his unique point of view, and audio may be obtained here. Finally, for the interested, he does a weekend show that's very specialized about the military, which may be found here.

What does Bryan Suits have to say? He's evidently talking with a soldier he knows, who saw Hasan for a post duty interview. The soldier isn't yet willing to come forward, but has related his experiences to Suits. Hasan told the soldier that his wife should be a widow and his children fatherless. The soldier replied that he'd had many close calls and absolutely felt fortunate to have made it home. Hasan indicated the soldier had misunderstood, and explained that for taking up arms against Muslims, he deserved to die. The soldier apparently filed a complaint with the site's Inspector General. Many other soldiers, similarly "counseled" likely did the same. We'll hopefully see this coming out in time.

It's shocking that a man openly expressing such views could remain in the military, much less as a psychiatrist. Suits explained that, too. The upper echelons of our military are very politically correct. They recoil at complaints of racism and avoid them at all costs. Hasan very likely only had to insinuate that disciplinary action was motivated by his race and religion and the action would be dropped. In essence, despite poor and even objectionable performance, he was untouchable. Fellow officers have reported that he openly praised the actions of the killer of the Arkansas recruiter. By the way, expressions of support for enemies of our nation must be reported by other military personnel. It's not optional. It's very likely some of the officers that so openly talked about Hasan's comments to news agencies will themselves be charged for failing to report his treasonous comments.

Just as Muslim extremists excel at acting like and hiding behind moderate Muslims, Hasan expertly used the military's political correctness to further the goal of carrying out jihad against our military. While sworn to defend our Constitution and wearing our uniform, Major Nidal Malik Hasan killed American military in support of the ideology of the enemies of our nation. This is treason. He did it with the intent to slay unsuspecting and unarmed victims while shouting “Allahu akbar,” or "God is greatest." He lived out his slide, proving "We love death more then [sic] you love life!" This is terrorism.

As a terrorist and a traitor, this man must be tried and executed. If we don't have the strength to do that, we don't have the strength to win this fight.

Notes about this post:

Quite a few people have done some excellent commentary and research on Maj. Hasan. Naturally, not all of it fit in the post. Some apologists and sympathizers try to mitigate Hasan's actions by pointing out he chose to attack military personnel. Far from displaying courage, Hasan was acutely aware that like many domestic military bases, Fort Hood was essentially a "gun free zone." Personnel could have personal weapons, but they were normally to be locked up. Weapons on base were similarly locked up, taken out and loaded only for use on the range or for hunting. Soldiers on the base couldn't carry concealed weapons, even with a CCW permit, the way Texan civilians outside the base could. In short, they were more defenseless than the population of any surrounding town would have been, and if not for the brave actions of an armed civilian police officer, Kimberly Munley, Hasan would likely have killed many more people. For more on military bases as gun free zones and a discussion of the weapon used by Hassan, visit The Tactical Wire and scroll down to "Editor's Notebook: Half Staff."

David Brooks also did an excellent op-ed piece in (of all places) The New York times entitled The Rush to Therapy about the media response to this incident. It's worth a read. I'd like to quote the whole thing here, but will encourage you to click the link and read it instead. I'll quote a significant portion below.

The truth is, Americans don't need to engage in long-distance therapy on Major Hasan. We also don't need to heal. Most of us are uninjured. We do need to know that our Homeland Security forces won't let this happen again, and that their top priority isn't preventing some imaginary "backlash" against moderate Muslims, but rather protecting us from the extremists that hide among them.

As promised, I'll close with an excerpt from David Brooks' column:

Most people select stories that lead toward cooperation and goodness. But over the past few decades a malevolent narrative has emerged.

That narrative has emerged on the fringes of the Muslim world. It is a narrative that sees human history as a war between Islam on the one side and Christianity and Judaism on the other. This narrative causes its adherents to shrink their circle of concern. They don’t see others as fully human. They come to believe others can be blamelessly murdered and that, in fact, it is admirable to do so.

This narrative is embraced by a small minority. But it has caused incredible amounts of suffering within the Muslim world, in Israel, in the U.S. and elsewhere. With their suicide bombings and terrorist acts, adherents to this narrative have made themselves central to global politics. They are the ones who go into crowded rooms, shout “Allahu akbar,” or “God is great,” and then start murdering.

When Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan did that in Fort Hood, Tex., last week, many Americans had an understandable and, in some ways, admirable reaction. They didn’t want the horror to become a pretext for anti-Muslim bigotry.

So immediately the coverage took on a certain cast. The possibility of Islamic extremism was immediately played down. This was an isolated personal breakdown, not an ideological assault, many people emphasized.

Major Hasan was portrayed as a disturbed individual who was under a lot of stress. We learned about pre-traumatic stress syndrome, and secondary stress disorder, which one gets from hearing about other people’s stress. We heard the theory (unlikely in retrospect) that Hasan was so traumatized by the thought of going into a combat zone that he decided to take a gun and create one of his own.

A shroud of political correctness settled over the conversation. Hasan was portrayed as a victim of society, a poor soul who was pushed over the edge by prejudice and unhappiness.

There was a national rush to therapy. Hasan was a loner who had trouble finding a wife and socializing with his neighbors.

This response was understandable. It’s important to tamp down vengeful hatreds in moments of passion. But it was also patronizing. Public commentators assumed the air of kindergarten teachers who had to protect their children from thinking certain impermissible and intolerant thoughts. If public commentary wasn’t carefully policed, the assumption seemed to be, then the great mass of unwashed yahoos in Middle America would go off on a racist rampage.

Worse, it absolved Hasan — before the real evidence was in — of his responsibility. He didn’t have the choice to be lonely or unhappy. But he did have a choice over what story to build out of those circumstances. And evidence is now mounting to suggest he chose the extremist War on Islam narrative that so often leads to murderous results.

Update: A link you might find interesting: Brigitte Gabriel, author of the book, They Must Be Stopped: Why We Must Defeat Radical Islam and How We Can Do It and founder of the nonprofit organization ACT! for America interviewed on Fort Hood and CAIR by FrontPage Magazine.

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