The reporting on Fort Hood is more consequential than the attack itself

There were reports from within the base (Fox News as usual seized on what other networks didn’t), that accused Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan had not merely been making anti-war remarks about Iraq and Afghanistan, but adding things like, “Muslims should stand up against the aggressor.” Do we still have a category for treason? He has been quoted from Internet postings comparing Islamist suicide bombers to soldiers who throw themselves on a grenade. Another clue?

And all this is quite apart from less checkable information that was quickly available through the Internet, painting a much grimmer figure of a man with openly Islamist views, able to rise through the U.S. military, because of the syndrome of political correctness. Time is certainly required to sort through such reports, and separate wheat from chaff, but the initial information alone was inconsistent with the media’s clichéd presentation of the “tragedy of a man in despair.”…

Getting at Islamist cells, to say nothing of lone, self-appointed jihadis within our society, means getting over the false sentimentality that turns a terrorist incident into an “incomprehensible tragedy” when it is not incomprehensible, and not a theatrical event.

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