Sun Tzu, the perhaps mythical Chinese general who
contemporary military strategists regard as the greatest military
strategist of all time, said there were two keys to success in war:
"Know yourself, and know your enemy."
The disgraceful report issued by the Department of Defense last Friday
(1/15) on the Fort Hood massacre indicates the leadership of our
military knows neither.
In case you'd forgotten, on Nov. 5 Major Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army
psychiatrist, opened fire at a mobilization center at the Texas Army
base, killing 13 and injuring 43 others.
Maj. Hasan shouted "Allahu Akbar" (G0d is great) as he opened fire on
unarmed men and women, which gave a clue as to his motive. Within days,
that motive was crystal clear. Maj. Hasan is a radical Islamist who
sought contacts with al Qaida (interestingly enough, through Anwar al
Awlaki, who also mentored Umar Abdulmutallab, the Christmas bomber).
You wouldn't learn any of this from the "DoD Independent Review Related
to Fort Hood," which was chaired by retired Navy admiral Vern Clark and
Togo West, who had been Secretary of the Army during the Clinton
Maj. Hasan is not mentioned by name. He is referred to throughout as
"the alleged perpetrator," as if there were any doubt about what he had
done. Nor does the report mention his motive.
That omission was noted by Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn), chairman of
the Senate Homeland Security Committee:
"I am disappointed…that the report does not adequately recognize the
threat posed by violent Islamist extremism," Sen. Lieberman said in a
press statement Friday. The omission "underscores" the need for his
committee to hold hearings on what happened at Fort Hood, he said.
Maj. Hasan's Islamist views were well known at Walter Reed Army hospital
in Washington, D.C. where he worked. In a 2007 lecture to his
colleagues on Islam, he said told them infidels should be beheaded and
having boiling oil poured down their throats.
In addition to being a radical (or perhaps because of it) Maj. Hasan was
a lousy psychiatrist and a lousy officer. "Hasan had been a trouble
spot on officials' radar since he started training at Walter Reed, six
years earlier," National Public Radio reported Nov. 10. "Several
officials confirm that supervisors had repeatedly given him poor
evaluations and warned him he was doing substandard work."
Yet despite behavior colleagues described as "disconnected, aloof,
paranoid and schizoid," Maj. Hasan was not only kept on the job, he was
recommended for promotion.
The DoD report notes "apparent discrepancies between the alleged
perpetrator's documented performance in official records and his actual
performance during training, residency and fellowship."
"Some signs were clearly missed; others ignored," the report said. It
recommended that those of Hasan's superiors who overlooked the signs be
subjected to disciplinary action.
The report didn't speculate on why the warning signs were overlooked.
The blogger "Former Spook" did:
"Senior officers didn't want the added burden of generating all that
paperwork, coordinating with the JAG corps and filling all the other
squares required to discharge Hasan," he wrote Nov. 11. "Their
reluctance was underscored by fears of being called racists or bigots,
putting them under scrutiny, and (possibly) ending their careers."
This sensitivity is accorded only to Muslims. When the much decorated
Lt. Gen. William Boykin, a devout Christian, made a speech at a church
that Muslims deemed offensive, he was pushed into retirement.
The officers in Maj. Hasan's chain of command who overlooked his
radicalism certainly deserve censure. But more culpable, in my view,
are those senior officials who created the atmosphere of political
correctness which made them fear for their careers if they took action.
Chief among these is Gen. George Casey, the Army chief of staff. In the
immediate aftermath of the shootings at Fort Hood, he worried more about
a potential backlash against Muslims from his soldiers than about
protecting his soldiers from Islamist attacks.
"As horrific as this tragedy was," he said, "if our diversity becomes a
casualty, I think that's worse."
The Clark/West whitewash makes it clear the Department of Defense is
still more interested in political correctness than in protecting our
soldiers. G0d help them. It's clear the chief of staff and the
secretary of defense won't.