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Fort Hood, post the first.

I wasn't ignoring the story last night, our internet connection was slower than John Kerry in Cambodia, and I gave up trying to get email to open and realized that the news coverage was just ad hoc crap.

It has been interesting (and instructive) to watch the story morph, and how people felt the need to jump on it with all sorts of bullshit analysis when pretty much all they were doing was... guessing. I'm talking the stuff that went out publicly, not conversations that were occurring in email, or around the water coolers and in chat rooms. That's how you figure things out, and gather information - which is different from publicly posting/broadcasting drivel. Twitter counts as that kind of conversation, as well, by my lights.

I'm thinking, in a way, assuming this morning's version of things holds up as the story fills out, that we got about the best of the possible outcomes.

Not a combat vet - ergo, harder for those who are prone to do so to beat the "Veterans Are Dangerous and Should Be Monitored and Controlled!" drum.

Probably - though not with certitude at this point - a lone wolf practitioner of the religion of peace, rather than a member of an organized cell.  The jury is still out on that one, as of this writing.

Of course, the downside to this is that people will be suggesting all sorts of blanket and systemic responses to what is a (hopefully) singular event, with blanket responses that will be able to be applied (when the Usual Suspects* wish to) other people/organizations/artifacts.

Another prediction: As the results of thousands of people combing through everything about this with the benefit of the map provided by hindsight, much will be the moaning and pissing about "How could they have ever let this guy get so far? It was sooo obvious! Why didn't they do anything? They're so stooooopid!"

I detest that type of smug, glib, self-serving analysis.

When the data presents itself in bits and pieces, fits and starts, over years and in many different environments - nothing is that obvious to the participants, passerby, etc. Connections that seem blindingly obvious in hindsight aren't anywhere nearly that clear in realtime. Especially when you are functioning in a system that tries to presume innocence, and is in fact set up to try to prevent arbitrary exercise of power on the basis of suspicion alone, and in a social environment that prefers (and, in the case of PC, demands) that you err on the side of caution.

What I'm getting at here is - be careful what you wish for. Unintended consequences abound - ones that could redound to places near and dear to all of us.

I'm not saying that we shouldn't respond - just that we should do so deliberately, not in anger, fear, and haste.

Absent some stunning twist, it's clear Major Hasan betrayed his oath. There's a reason that the oath includes the terms "without mental reservation or purpose of evasion." He can't claim a religious exemption. I'm sure he's going to try - but that, frankly, shouldn't prevent us from strapping him to a gurney and putting him down like a dog, if that's what a courts-martial directs.

Be interesting to see if the current CinC would affirm such a sentence. Of course, hopefully he won't be in office long enough for the issue to reach his desk.

*Usual Suspects = Anyone in power.

25 Comments

I agree John.  I heard so many crazy stories about this whole ordeal yesterday it wasn't funny.  Luckily I was able to get through to former co-workers there and get more accurate info, though even what they were getting wasn't totally accurate.  I'm sure it'll be a long time, and maybe never, before we know what actually took place.  At this point, our best course of action is the one you've chosen to take, and just wait.
 
Gurney, Hell! Article III, Section 3, Paragraph 1 of the Constitution of the USA was most publicly heinously murderously egregriously horrendously violated by a guy who had solemnly sworn an oath in front of God and everybody to defend said Constitution. As I wrote in email, previously, Git A Rope!
 
We don't go rope any more.  We tore down the building where we hung the germans and outsourced that stuff to the state of Kansas, and now they don't do that, either.  We outsource military executions to the same federal prison that executed McVeigh, though we've still not executed anyone since the early 60's, IIRC.
 
First reports are always wrong, but it seems like all the info is rolling towards individual with individual issues, probably self radicalized as John notes. 

Apparently, i'm prejudice against Muslims because I assumed that Maj. Hasan was acting on ideology instead of a psychotic break due to PTSD.  Which natrally leads to my inability to perceive the terrible price of PTSD and the probability that hundreds and thousands of soldiers are ready to snap and go on a shooting rampage.  Evidenced by the fact that PTSD exists and that some soldiers have actually acted violently. 

Followed by some commentary on the fact that the guy obviously believed in his cause, a cause that is apparently equal to our own if I followed the idiotic, went to the moon and back logic of the discussion.

That occured at the Olive Garden last night, very loudly.  The waitress was scared to come to our table with the checks I had signaled for when I knew the argument was getting out of hand.  I felt forced to break the laws of appropriate debating techniques by raising my voice and expressing my opinion about my opponent in terms that are not printable on a PG-17 website.  Mainly that he should shut the F*** up because he was an f******* moron and it was probably f******* morons like him that voted in Jesus Christ Super Star for president. 
 
I agree that the gurney's no good, and that dancing Danny Deever should be the first option.  It's not that difficult to build a scaffold of appropriate height and put a horse under the condemned.

Firing squad would work as well.  Or has the DB outsourced weapons qual to the state of KS as well?

On a different note, if MAJ Hasan had self-enlisted in the global jihad, and thus was committing an act of war against the United States, will the soldiers be thusly listed as KIA/WIA, and eligible for Purple Hearts, and any military personnel engaged in taking him down further eligible for Combat Infantry/Action Badges?
 
Am lighting another prayer candle to Saint Barbara in the oven here. For justice!
 
Ahh! It just went off! Wonderful smell of smokeless powder fumes ascending to Heaven!
 
Heartless - I was wondering the same, myself.  I expect there will be agonizing over the Purple Heart question at the highest levels.

We have facilities at Fort Leavenworth that could be used for shooting him.  But that would be an honorable death, in a sense.  He should go down as a criminal, however much he is being revered in other circles.

Oh, it's the *Gulf* of Tonkin, fellas.
 
Lone-wolf psycho or committed insurgent, it just seems to me that we're bending over backward in the name of political correctness to avoid seeing the 2-ton elephant in the room:

He was Muslim, and he killed in the name of Islam.

People can make whatever moral and cultural equivalency arguments they want about how similar these beliefs may be to Christianity and other religions, but this misses the point.

Whatever this religion is, or whatever brand or sect of Islam it is, it is mutually incompatible with us and with the kind of culture and society we'd like to live in. We can not co-exist with it, and it poses a direct threat to our basic rights of life and liberty. It must be eradicated if we OURSELVES are to continue.

It's stupid to ignore it or to pretend that it's not there.
 
And there is perhaps some cosmic justice that Major Nidal was put down by a woman cop.  I'm conflicted about whether I want him to survive or not.

On balance, I think not.  Less of a circus that way.
 
Indeed. Better a dead murderer, than a live cause célèbre.
 
"Secondhand PSTD", apparently.  The MSM would have us believe it was caused by talking to his traumatized patients, but they will NOT mention his religion at all.  I am glad to know this will be handled by the relatively sanitary military courts rather than the septic media jury.
 
Heartless - I was wondering the same, myself. I expect there will be agonizing over the Purple Heart question at the highest levels.

I've been thinking, too.  The sad thing is, I came to the conclusion that there is no way Pres Obama can let that happen.  To do so would be to acknowledge the danger we live in and that the wars we are fighting are not isolated to some place "over there."  I really don't think he believes that, and there's no way his supporters would tolerate him making the statement that giving Purple Hearts would imply.
 
And, a teeny little vindicitive part of me hopes the cop loaded her magazines right after eating a pulled pork sandwich.

And didn't wash her hands.
 
And kissed every bullet right after she gave her girlfriend a...kiss. 
 
Having been married to an MP (the Army kind, not the British kind), I will state that they draw loaded mags at the same time they draw their pistols before going on shift.

One thing I wonder:  Fort Bragg (which has roughly the same number of soldiers as Fort Hood) has it's own police tactical (SWAT) team.  I've even seen the guys - some kid reported a man with a gun outside our housing area, and nobody stopped to think "Hey, isn't it a maneuver area on the other side of that fence?".  So why did Fort Hood have to call in the county sheriff's SWAT team?

When my wife was working patrol duty as an MP, my biggest comfort was that this kind of thing is extremely rare on post.

Oh, and on the subject of military death sentences: I thought a serial killer/rapist from Bragg was at the end of his appeals, and due to be disposed of soon - did that happen?
 
Private Gray's execution was stayed because, although convicted in 1988, he hasn't had time to properly appeal...
 
Sad Subject! We should hold our powder until we know all of the facts, not just a bunch of opinions. Was he radicalized, if so, how? By whom? Can you prove it, with court acceptable evidence? There are many issues involved here. Do I like the above view? No, but it is the only that really works.

I also have read the GEN John Pershing view. If we find out that views are correct, then we should take a slab of bacon and put it between his own hams.  Then, fry it, in place. Bye, Bye 72 young virgins. May he find that he has all MALE virgins for eternity.
 
I doubt any Purple Hearts or additional war death benefits will be awarded.  They were not killed or injured due to actual enemy action, even though I highly doubt anyone would consider the dear Major a "friend" at this point.
 
Had an interesting thought on the subject of Purple Hearts...  If the dead at Ft. Hood are deemed eligible for Purple Hearts (and burial at Arlingotn), couldn't that be considered prejudicial to Hasan's UCMJ trial?  (undue command influence, etc).  I mean, it would be a statement about Hasan's motivation--Purple Heart equals death in battle, yes?  If he's just a crazed man who shot at the easiest-available high-density target which just happened to be soldiers, it can be argued it was a "snap."  If he was motivated by radical Islam and an attempt to damage the military, it's by definition premeditated.

Seems to me a CinC/CO can't say they're eligible for PH without tainting the trial...

Does that sound right?
 
fdcol63 said "He was Muslim, and he killed in the name of Islam."

Sure. And Fred Phelps is a Christian, and he says "God hates fags" in the name of Christianity...

By the same logic, Tim McVeigh spoke for Roman Catholics, libertarians, and the NRA, although I seriously doubt those organizations would recognize either his creed or his actions.

Just because he self-identifies with Islam doesn't make him a good Muslim. In fact, I could make a good case that he is a Muslim convert with serious personal issues who used the concept of martyrdom to validate his own psychoses and desire for self-immolation.

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and a self-deluded whackjob ditto.

And maybe you should ask Elsheba Khan about her son.
 
Interesting question but I don't see the connect from' awarded purple heart' to 'undue command influence'.  I'm sure they would need a military trial without people involved in Ft Hood.

Also, I may be wrong, but you don't have to actually pass away for the purple heart.  The wounded are also a possibility.
 
Have a read of that.

There is a hero to thank.

 
As I look at this, if had my 'druthers', I 'druther' not have religion as the center point. Nobody said, "Hey Grumpy, what do you think?" First, this Major was not only a devout Muslim, but he was also an Imam. Second, they teach by example. No matter how you look at it, it is a mess. It will take a long time to sort everything out of it. We don't know any of it on a factual basis. It is NOT just a a rogue event. The next real question is this, "Where  do we go from here?" What about his students? The big questions are going to need answers, yesterday. Is this the new form of terrorism on CONUS Military Bases, all of them, not just Fort Hood. My own views on this situation are fluid and I don't like where they are going.
 
Casey... TOO RIGHT!! And thanks for the link to the Frumforum...  Even better, the disocurse there is actually fairly civil.  Nice.