The right is itching to blame the Fort Hood massacre on Barack Obama. They want to charge that in the politically-correct Age of O-quarious, even the United States Army is too timid to confront an openly-declared Islamist terrorist in their midst, or even to call him such by name. They are dying to say that Obama and his Pentagon should have been alerted by the Obama FBI about the threat that Nidal Hasan posed to his fellow soldiers. After all … hadn’t he had stated his Islamist views and been in contact al-Qaida…!!! …
… in 2007 and 2008 … When George W. Bush was still president.
From the Washington Post on Tuesday:
As a senior-year psychiatric resident at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Maj. Nidal M. Hasan was supposed to make a presentation on a medical topic of his choosing as a culminating exercise of the residency program.
Instead, in late June 2007, he stood before his supervisors and about 25 other mental health staff members and lectured on Islam, suicide bombers and threats the military could encounter from Muslims conflicted about fighting in the Muslim countries of Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a copy of the presentation obtained by The Washington Post.
“It’s getting harder and harder for Muslims in the service to morally justify being in a military that seems constantly engaged against fellow Muslims,” he said in the presentation.
“It was really strange,” said one staff member who attended the presentation and spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the investigation of Hasan. “The senior doctors looked really upset” at the end. These medical presentations occurred each Wednesday afternoon, and other students had lectured on new medications and treatment of specific mental illnesses.
An Army spokesman said Monday night he was unaware of the presentation, and a Walter Reed spokesman declined to comment. It is unclear whether anyone in attendance reported the briefing to counterintelligence or law enforcement authorities whose job it is to identify threats from within the military ranks.
And from the New York Times:
WASHINGTON — Intelligence agencies intercepted communications last year and this year between the military psychiatrist accused of shooting to death 13 people at Fort Hood, Tex., and a radical cleric in Yemen known for his incendiary anti-American teachings.
But the federal authorities dropped an inquiry into the matter after deciding that the messages from the psychiatrist, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, did not suggest any threat of violence and concluding that no further action was warranted, government officials said Monday.
Major Hasan’s 10 to 20 messages to Anwar al-Awlaki, once a spiritual leader at a mosque in suburban Virginia where Major Hasan worshiped, indicate that the troubled military psychiatrist came to the attention of the authorities long before last Thursday’s shooting rampage at Fort Hood, but that the authorities left him in his post.
Counterterrorism and military officials said Monday night that the communications, first intercepted last December as part of an unrelated investigation, were consistent with a research project the psychiatrist was then conducting at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington on post-traumatic stress disorder.
“There was no indication that Major Hasan was planning an imminent attack at all, or that he was directed to do anything,” one senior investigator said. He and the other officials spoke on the condition of anonymity, saying the case was under investigation.
You’ll recall that a Mr. Bush was still president last December.
And by Bush, I mean George W. Bush — whose chief henchman, Dick Cheney, put in place a massive domestic spying operation that included tapping the phones and reading the emails of millions of American citizens, infiltrating anti-war groups, INCLUDING THE QUAKERS … and turning the foreign surveillance apparatus of the United States loose on its own citizenry, including journalists (and strangely enough, while Bush and Cheney used the U.S. Constitution as toilet paper for eight years, our friends the teabaggers didn’t even notice the threat to our liberites (perhaps because they were unrelated to providing Americans with healthcare…)
Am I the only one wondering why, since a) terrorism was the entire reason for being for the Bush administration and its war profiteers, and b) they were spying on us anyway, supposedly looking for terrorists (and only catching paintballers and a bunch of guys doing karate in Liberty City) … why didn’t they catch THIS supposed “terrorist” embedded in their own military, who was telegraphing all over town that he was an unhappy, mentally deteriorating guy with religious-based anxieties about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and who freaked out fellow soldiers AND fellow Muslims? After their “galvanizing event” (9/11) isn’t that what the Bush administration existed to do???
Meanwhile, Pete Hoekstra, the Republican intelligence committee member who clearly can’t be trusted with secret intelligence, has told any reporter who would talk to him that in fact, the Bush administration “Homeland security” apparatus WAS monitoring Mr. Hasan, including incoming e-mails from a certain suspicious imam (who was never charged with being part of al-Qaida but who is a nasty sort of person whom ABC News is going to call al-Qaida anyway because he headed a mosque in Virginia where two hijackers were among the thousands of attendees, and besides, it makes for great, spooky headlines…) Back on track: if the Bushies had Hasan under surveillance … if his speech in 2007, to fellow troops was so odd it disturbed the Army … if he was openly calling for Muslim troops to be given a pass out of fighting Bush’s “war on terror” — then why, WHY, didn’t the Bushies USE the awesome domestic spying powers a weak-willed Congress had let them steal, to stop Hasan, get him out of the military, and prevent him from becoming a lone gunman at Fort Hood? In fact, the FBI did investigate Maj. Hasan over the emails, and found nothing to report. Oh, and it turns out, he never tried to leave the Army.
So, it has to be asked: if even the Orwellian Bush-Cheney Total Domestic Surveillance operation couldn’t stop Hasan, then could ANYTHING have stopped him? If the answer is “no,” then how, may I ask, does one blame this shooting on some “political correctness” supposedly tied to the Obama era, particularly when Obama inherited the already deeply disturbed Hasan, along with everything else the Bushies dropped on the White House doorstep on their way out?
UPDATE: Irony incoming! From former Bush flak Dana Perrino, posting in Politico’s Arena:
The failure of the connecting of the dots may indicate that in some areas we still have a law enforcment approach to domestic terror threats. That approach doesn’t stop the attack before it happens – it waits it and then, if the attacker survives, prosecutes “to the full extent of the law!” We can’t relax on terror threats or revert back to that approach – we need to be proactive to prevent attacks using intelligence gathering. That might mean there are gray lines of political correctness that might make any of us uncomfortable. But look at the price that’s paid.
“Still” being the operative word.