The Army as an institution has been neutered by decades of political correctness and the leaders in Hasan’s chain-of-command failed to act accordingly out of fear of being labeled anti-Muslim and receiving a negative evaluation report. The counter-terrorism agencies knew Hasan was communicating with Al-Qaeda and dismissed it as academic research instead of delving deeper into the probability that a terrorist had infiltrated the ranks.
Even four hours after Hasan stood on a desk yelling Allahu Akbar! and opened fire, the FBI stated that they were not investigating the attack as an act of terrorism even as there were still reports of other gunmen on the loose. Meanwhile, the Army continues to dismiss it as a “tragedy” and an “isolated incident by a lone gunman” while the media has invented the psychological condition of post-traumatic stress disorder by proxy. There is more concern for promoting the appropriate information operation campaign and maintaining the illusion of safety than there is for actually exposing the weaknesses and faults in the system that allowed this to happen. We’re even being told that damage to the Army’s efforts at diversity would be a greater tragedy than the murder of the twelve soldiers — how ironic the week of Veterans’ Day.
This has nothing to do with being anti-Islamic. After numerous tours to Iraq and working with countless cultural advisors on Ft. Bragg, I know dozens of Muslims who I respect and admire greatly. This has everything to do with force protection and security being trumped by the concepts of political correctness and diversity. This has everything to do with a hypocritical system and culture that breeds timidity and dismissiveness in the interest of career advancement. If I preached a white-supremacist ideology or described Timothy McVeigh as a hero to the cause of freedom and liberty, how long do you think I would still be in the military drawing a salary, receiving educational benefits and getting promoted like Hasan did?
The author of this piece, Army Major Shawn Keller, is currently stationed at Fort Bragg. Be sure to read it all, but this last paragraph makes a point that seems to have been lost in the media — and the example he uses perfectly exposes the media hypocrisy Keller blasts. Just seven months ago, the Department of Homeland Security used McVeigh as an explicit example of an ideological extremist as a warning to watch veterans for “extremist” tendencies. In fact, let’s look at the language from the report (emphasis mine):
After Operation Desert Shield/Storm in 1990-1991, some returning military veterans—including Timothy McVeigh—joined or associated with rightwing extremist groups.
The media gave Napolitano and the DHS plenty of sympathetic coverage over conservative outrage over using McVeigh to smear federalists, free-market voters, all pro-life activists, and the like. They claimed that the McVeigh example made such warnings about extremists among mainstream conservatives valid. Many media outlets dismissed opposition to the report as tea-party outrage.
Yet here we have Nidal Hasan, who explicitly “associated with” Anwar al-Aulaqi, a figure that American intelligence suspects of operational involvement in 9/11, who yelled “Allah akbar!“ as he shot more than 50 people and killed 14 of them, and who repeatedly told his colleagues that the US had declared war on his faith and that suicide bombings could be justified. Does the media connect the dots the way they attempted with conservatives who espoused such radical thinking as federalism? No. Instead, we get offered this kind of analysis from Time today:
Hasan was a walking contradiction: the counselor who himself needed counseling; the proud soldier who did not want to fight, at least not against fellow Muslims; the man who could not find a sufficiently modest and pious wife through his mosque’s matchmaking machinery but who frequented the local strip club. A man supposedly so afraid of deployment that he launched a war of his own from which he clearly did not expect to return alive. “Everyone is asking why this happened,” said Hasan’s family in a formal statement, “and the answer is that we simply do not know.” (See pictures of the aftermath of the Fort Hood shootings.)
But if this is the new face of terrorism in America, we need better facial-recognition software. Hasan’s motives were mixed enough that everyone with an agenda could find markers in the trail he left. For those inclined to see soldiers as victims, he was a symptom of an overstretched military, whose soldiers return from their third and fourth deployments pouring out such pain that it scars their therapists as well.
In other words, we’re back to blaming the war for the terrorism, instead of the other way around.
What we have here is a political correctness double standard that has already gotten people killed. The media and this administration are perfectly willing to paint normal political thought as dangerous extremism while demanding that people don’t connect the dots that obviously form a pattern. Keller has it diagnosed perfectly.
Update: Bill Kristol has a depressingly rational prediction:
Major Keller will get in more trouble for writing this, than anyone in Hasan’s chain of command or elsewhere in the government will get for failing to do their job.
Or more than Hasan did for his series of statements before the shooting, or his contacts with al-Aulaqi, or …