Bombshell: Walter Reed shrinks thought Hasan might be nuts since last year

In case the victims’ families weren’t planning to sue the military, this ought to solve that problem. Unbelievable.

When a group of key officials gathered in the spring of 2008 for their monthly meeting in a Bethesda, Md., office, one of the leading — and most perplexing — items on their agenda was: What should we do about Hasan?…

Both fellow students and faculty were deeply troubled by Hasan’s behavior — which they variously called disconnected, aloof, paranoid, belligerent, and schizoid. The officials say he antagonized some students and faculty by espousing what they perceived to be extremist Islamic views. His supervisors at Walter Reed had even reprimanded him for telling at least one patient that “Islam can save your soul.”…

One official involved in the conversations had reportedly told colleagues that he worried that if Hasan deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, he might leak secret military information to Islamic extremists. Another official reportedly wondered aloud to colleagues whether Hasan might be capable of committing fratricide, like the Muslim U.S. Army sergeant who, in 2003, killed two fellow soldiers and injured 14 others by setting off grenades at a base in Kuwait.

Their chitchat about this guy continued into this year, with one official summing it up this way for NPR: “Everybody felt that if you were deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, you would not want Nidal Hasan in your foxhole.” And yet — they were planning to deploy him anyway. In fact, here’s the amazing thing about the NPR piece, which you absolutely must read in its entirety: For all the speculation kicked around about Hasan possibly being schizoid or paranoid or having some other diagnosable condition, no hard evidence — aside from his jihadist sympathies — is offered. In fact, NPR flatly states that “they didn’t have clear evidence that he was unstable.” Which makes me wonder if this is less a case of a guy in the grip of mental illness than a case of psychiatrists trying, and failing, to relate to radical ideology in the idiom of their profession.

The million-dollar question: Why didn’t they do something about it? Four reasons, per NPR: (1) Thanks to military bureaucracy, it’s hard to get a doctor fired; (2) he was being transferred to Fort Hood, so he’d be their problem soon; (3) they didn’t know about his e-mails to jihadbot preacher Anwar al-Aulaqi, thanks to the joint terrorism task force’s moronic rules barring information-sharing with other government agencies by its members without task force approval; and (4) ye olde reliable “we didn’t want to be seen as discriminating” fear of political incorrectness. Which, of course, is also what led the feds to look the other way at his e-mail correspondence. As one investigator put it, “(Hasan) appeared to be at a moral impasse, a moral dilemma who was reaching out for advice. Had we launched an investigation of Hasan we’d have been crucified.”

Pete Hoekstra told Fox last night that there’s more going on here than the White House has let on thus far, but whether that was a reference to this breakdown at Walter Reed or ABC’s scoop about further jihadist contacts or something else entirely is as yet unclear. Republicans aren’t waiting around for any more evidence, though: McCain called it terrorism earlier today and doubtless many more GOPers are soon to follow. Exit quotation from historian Walter Russell Mead: “The danger for the Obama administration, and it is a major danger, is that it will look cool, cerebral and politically correct in the face of what many Americans will see as a grave and growing threat.”

Update: Via Weasel Zippers, here’s Obama’s crony Chicago pal Mayor Daley naming the real culprit in the real murders.


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