Jim Kouri
U.S. Senate: Fort Hood shooter's radicalism ignored by superiors
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By Jim Kouri
February 8, 2011

The U.S. Army major who killed 13 people — 12 soldiers, one civilian — and wounded 32 others was known to be a radical Islamist by his superiors but no action against his display of radicalism was taken, according to a U.S. Senate report.

In the long-anticipated Senate report released on Thursday, Senate Homeland Security Committee chairman Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and ranking GOP member Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) said that military commanders had clear evidence that the shooter in what became known as the Fort Hood Massacre, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, held views that were so extreme that he should have been disciplined or discharged from the Army altogether.

The senate report described Maj. Hasan as a time bomb waiting to go off which was known by his associates and superiors at Walter Reed Army Medical Center where he served as a psychiatrist. In fact, according to the senate report, Hasan actually praised Osama bin Laden during his 2007 lecture which was supposed to address health care. He reportedly "went off on a tangent about the war on terror being a war against Islam."

Despite his obvious radical behavior and uncontrollable temper, Hasan was promoted to major in 2009 and later that year ordered to report for deployment to Afghanistan, the senate committee report said.

Superiors wrote in the major's officer evaluation reports that his views "ha[ve] extraordinary potential to inform national policy and military strategy."

"Many service members have deeply held religious views (whether Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, or Buddhist), but such views are not a cause for concern," according to the senate report."The issue that must be countered is the adoption of radical ideology that is a corruption of religion and leads to intolerance or violence."

"Systemic flaws and internal disagreements between the Defense Department and the FBI allowed an Army psychiatrist to gun down fellow soldiers at Fort Hood in 2009," the Senate Homeland Security Committee concluded in its investigation of the shooting.

The senate committees recommendations include crafting of a policy for privately owned weapons in the absence of such rules within the Defense Department, and providing Army security personnel access to the National Crime Information Center database.

Hasan has been charged with 13 counts of first degree murder and 32 counts of attempted murder. A pre-trial investigation on the charges against him ended last November and could result in a general court martial, the most serious level of military trials that may end in the death penalty.

© Jim Kouri

 

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Jim Kouri

Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police... (more)

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