Even worse: It was a presidential transition event.

Daniel Kaniewski, the institute’s deputy director, confirms that Hasan attended task force meetings as an audience member, and stresses that he was not a member of the task force. “All of our events are open to the public,” Kaniewski says, “and when someone RSVPs we put their name in the [report] so everyone knows who was in the room.” He says institute staffers recall Hasan attending at least one task force event, and that he RSVP’d for several. “We do recall him speaking at one of our events as an audience member,” he says, “but none of us recall what he actually said. Generally, our events are attended by people in the homeland security community, and Hasan had a very legitimate reason to be there.

Like Rob Port says, this isn’t an issue with The One, who couldn’t have known, but an issue with the military’s procedures for dealing with troubled soldiers. Ed asked the million-dollar question earlier today but Ann Althouse takes it a step further:

How was it that the military trained and employed this man in psychiatry and did not perceive his deep problems? I think that part of psychiatric training involves subjecting the would-be psychiatrist to psychological analysis. Why did this man slip through the system? His job was to treat others, in an environment full of experts in the field of psychiatry. Why did he remain an insider if he was the sort of person who could do what he eventually did? These are serious questions, not adequately answered by the idea that people “snap.”

I want to know why what was wrong with Hasan was not detected? Was he given a pass because he was Muslim? Is there a fear of suspecting or offending Muslims in the military that keeps people who should see signs of dysfunction from acknowledging what they see or doing anything about it? On the other hand, if it really is the case that people in the military are harassing Muslims, that too should not be ignored. There should be rigorous equality for Muslims. It shouldn’t even be necessary to point out what is obvious: Muslims in the military shouldn’t experience special treatment either of a positive or a negative kind.

It may be just as likely that they looked the other way because Hasan’s a doctor, something the military always needs more of, especially with troops returning from combat and desperate for PTSD counseling. Or it may be that they humored him because he had alleged harassment by other soldiers and they feared a discrimination lawsuit if they tried to get rid of him. This, I think, is going to be where this story has legs: How exactly did this guy end up in a position to gun down 43 people when his file was teeming with red flags? Stay tuned.

Tags: Islam