Krauthammer, Hasan and the “Duck Rule”

""I cringe that he's a Muslim. . . . I think he's probably just a nut case," said Newsweek's Evan Thomas. Some were more adamant. Time's Joe Klein decried "odious attempts by Jewish extremists . . . to argue that the massacre perpetrated by Nidal Hasan was somehow a direct consequence of his Islamic beliefs." While none could match Klein's peculiar cherchez-le-juif motif, the popular story line was of an Army psychiatrist driven over the edge by terrible stories he had heard from soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

They suffered. He listened. He snapped.

Really? What about the doctors and nurses, the counselors and physical therapists at Walter Reed Army Medical Center who every day hear and live with the pain and the suffering of returning soldiers? How many of them then picked up a gun and shot 51 innocents?

And what about civilian psychiatrists — not the Upper West Side therapist treating Woody Allen neurotics, but the thousands of doctors working with hospitalized psychotics — who every day hear not just tales but cries of the most excruciating anguish, of the most unimaginable torment? How many of those doctors commit mass murder? "  Dr. Charles Krauthammer


The "Cherchez le Juif "  bit is really clever. 

Krauthammer is not a favorite of many of the readers here, but the man's intellect is impressive in a town full of dullards. (Washington)

Common sense supports his position.  Both Occam's Razor and the "Duck Rule" as principles of analysis, when applied to the Hasan case point to the truth of Krauthammer's conclusion.  Sherlock's Rule?  Well, all alternative possibities have not yet been eliminated…

Nevertheless, there are cries of anguish from; the reverse hasbarim, the groupies besotted with the social sciences who insist that what you see is not what is important, and those who are terrified of being stricken, for a lack of PC orthodoxy, from the "A List" for dinner parties on the upper West Side or in Georgetown.

The list of categories protected by "the enlightened" grows ever longer.  Muslims, natives of Papua New Guinea, Gay People, Native Americans, the developmentally "challenged," what's next, Canadians?

On a different subject, sort of –  The fact that the Army wants to try Major Hasan MC by general court martial is intreresting in itself.  The generals have been reluctant to do this for quite a few decades now.  The generals are risk averse over many things.  One of them is the danger of bad publicity in the MSM for "drum head justice," etc.  The feeling must be that there would be more chance of this man escaping justice in a civilian court, "innocent by reason of insanity," etc. as Krauthammer says.  The Army wants a piece of this guy even if they have to carry him up the steps.  pl

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65 Responses to Krauthammer, Hasan and the “Duck Rule”

  1. Question? Many civil agencies and large corporations have in place systems and processes for identification of potential workplace violence and dealing with it preventively and if it occurs. Doe the US Army have in place any such procedures and were any in place at FT HOOD and who exactly administers that system if it does in fact exist? I know questions, quesions! And by the way since Islam and Christendom have been fighting since 700A.D (or C.E. if you prefer) what efforts are documented in the last several decades to reconcile that war by either side?

  2. Ael says:

    Yes, common sense does suggest that american foreign policies played a role in the Fort Hood massacre (perpetrated by a native son of Virginia). Just like american domestic policies played a role in the Oklahoma City bombing by a native son of New York.
    You may agree or disagree with the policies in question, but to suggest that they had no role whatsoever defies reason.

  3. WILL says:

    Come on Col. get real. Any disease can be modeled by 1)the genetic pre-dispostion and the 2) environmental disruptor.
    in this case 1) in an expanded role has to include that he is an American Muslim & American-Palestinian. Also that although gifted in using his prefrontal cerebral cortex academically to gain his biochem & medical degree, he apparently used his limbic and reptilian brain for the rest of his decision making.
    The 2) is living in an America where the mainstream media take every fact regarding Palestine and turn it on its head and inside out so the victims become the aggresors and terrorists.
    A man of his position and training and in whom such trust had been reposed should have overcome such obstacles & become stronger for them.
    As for Krauthammer, the Canadian Jewish American Neokon Likudnik, he has also failed to overcome his limitations. All his columns are slanted to advance his Likudnik agenda. A squandering of his law & psychiatric training.

  4. Nancy K says:

    I as a rule cannot stand Krauthammer but he does make sense in this case. I was a psychiatric nurse for 20 years and I worked with abused children for several years. I saw and heard many sad and horrible things but I never felt like going out and hurting other nurses, or other innocents which is what Hasan has done.
    I feel all acts of unspeakable violence against others is terrorism. McVeigh was a terrorist, 911 was a terrorist act, the bombings in the markets in Iraq and Afganistand are terrorist acts. Whether Hasan was working with and for other Islamist terrorist groups is another question.
    He quite possibly is a miserable, vengeful, hate filled terrorist acting alone.

  5. Patrick Lang says:

    Will and Ael
    I don’t give a damn about any of that pseudo scientific nonsense.
    I don’t give a damn about anyone’s political grievances, real or imagined.
    This man was and will be an officer of the United States Army until he is convicted. There is nothing, NOTHING that can ever justify what he did!!
    I hope they shoot the bastard strapped to a chair. pl

  6. Fred says:

    Quite accurate in condemning the ‘They suffered. He listened. He snapped.’ reaction. No such mass killings as everyone watching TV ‘snapped’ by repeatedly seeing the events of 9-11 replayed for days on end.
    As to ‘innocent by reason of insanity’, that should really be changed to ‘guilty by reason of insanity.’ Then we as a society can determine an appropriate course of action for those convicted.

  7. jedermann says:

    Wow! We Upper West Siders are really getting the snot slung at us from all those who fancy themselves as not-PC. (Woody Allen has a lot to answer for.) I would bet that there is something that could be called political correctness in combat units of the U.S. military and I would also bet that the American Enterprise Institute has its own brand and that neither bears any resemblance politically to the caricature that Mr. Krauthammer means when he uses the term. Just as all politics is local, so is Political Correctness.
    Political Correctness, in the popular definition so successfully branded and marketed by packagers on the right, is a kind of reflexive, thoughtless Liberalism. It exists and I have seen it in action. I have also seen the same mechanism operate with different assumptions. The problem is not in the Liberalism or the Conservatism; it is in the reflexive thoughtlessness. Mr. Krauthammer is no doubt a very bright and articulate man, but his case against others being made foolish by Political Correctness would ring a lot truer if his own commentaries did not so regularly partake of the reflexive and the thoughtless. Check out some of his columns from the last presidential campaign season.

  8. Charles I says:

    Res Ipsa Loquitur. One pissed of anrgy muslim officer with guns. No brainer. Be like saying religion of an abortion-doctor murderer is of no account. May be legitimately angry over an issue reasonable people can vehemently disagree on, but fucked in the head with a comforting religious narrative that turns cowardly murder into religious gore.
    Now as to “what’s next, Canadians?” all I can do is mangle one of Pat’s earlier statements about Justice for the Palestinians:
    Whoever /shoots/invades my tribe gonna be damn sorry they aimed at a Canadian. Twit us all you like, abuse us at your peril.

  9. ked says:

    No, please… not the Canadians.

  10. Cieran says:

    I agree completely with you here. The “what” of Hasan’s actions is infinitely more important than the “why”. There are more than a dozen dead innocents, and no amount of understanding of Hasan’s motivations will make a bit of difference to them.
    Hasan should step up and take responsibility for his actions, including accepting the punishment he deserves for mass murder. All else is secondary.

  11. Ael says:

    With respect, understanding the motivation for an action is not the same thing as justifying that action.
    If the USA had not invaded Iraq I expect that the massacre at Ft Hood would not have happened. In fact, one may even have predicted some sort of domestic terror blowback (eg. London bombings, etc).
    Does the invasion *justify* the domestic terror. Of course not!

  12. Trent says:

    As for Krauthammer, even a broken clock, etc.

  13. Patrick Lang says:

    With regard to the issue of crime and punishment, his motives are unimportant.
    The Army trusted him without regard to his origins and he betrayed us all.
    You do not grasp the significance of having this commissioned officer attack US soldiers.
    It means nothing to you. pl

  14. lina says:

    Does anyone know for a fact that he is NOT insane?
    Why did the Army trust him after he sought to be discharged? That would never happen in a corporate setting. When someone submits their resignation, you take away their keys to the building, change the combination on the safe, and watch them like a hawk until they are safely off the premises.

  15. somebody says:

    The logic here is highly flawed.
    Probably we all here tried alcohol when we were young.
    A few got stuck. Most of us did not. So alcohol is not dangerous, no?
    Reverse the argument, if he is a normal person, what does this say about his act?

  16. Ael says:

    You are incorrect that I do not grasp the significance of this incident.
    When dealing with serious breakdowns in order and discipline you need to determine motivations to at least the extent that one can determine whether it is a “once off” incident or “systematic”. If it is once off, you can safely hang the bastard and go about your daily business. If it is systematic, you need to fix the army before the situation repeats or worsens.

  17. Allen Thomson says:

    Just on a point of detail that might touch on warning signs, it appears that Maj. Hasan was pulling down $8,000/month or so in pay, plus housing and other extras. But he was living in a $325/mo apartment, driving a 2006 Civic, and had no expensive habits that are apparent.
    It’s kind of the inverse of the classical spies like Ames who were living well beyond their means. Instead of “where did he get the money?”, it’s “where was the money going?” Investments? CDs? Charities?

  18. Patrick Lang says:

    I have no idea what you mean. Explain. pl

  19. Patrick Lang says:

    It is not a crme to ask to be allowed to resign. pl

  20. Arun says:

    The Army trusted him without regard to his origins and he betrayed us all.
    Indian PM Indira Gandhi refused to remove her Sikh bodyguards, even though she knew she was in their crosshairs for having ordered Operation Blue Star – the Indian army stormed the Sikh holiest-of-holies Golden Temple in Amritsar to remove militants who were amassing weapons there.
    Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two of her Sikh bodyguards on 31 October 1984.
    Of course, the US has no need to affirm any trust in Muslims.

  21. prj20 says:

    I think it is possible that Maj. hassan’s own personal interpretation of Islam led him to his actions.
    It is though certain, because he told us on many occasions, that George W. Bush led us to invade Iraq because in larger part due to his interpretation of Christianity.

  22. Amir says:
    Interpretation of Hassan by Erik De Soir, a psychological trauma specialist of the Belgian army, knew Hassan.

  23. Andy says:

    Are you seriously suggesting the “cause” of this massacre could be “systematic” problems in the US Army?

  24. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    Well, David Brooks addresses the PC angle in his “Rush to Therapy” in the NYT:
    “…It ignored the fact that this narrative can be embraced by a self-radicalizing individual in the U.S. as much as by groups in Tehran, Gaza or Kandahar.
    It denied, before the evidence was in, the possibility of evil. It sought to reduce a heinous act to social maladjustment. It wasn’t the reaction of a morally or politically serious nation.”
    Hasan is a terrorist; whether “self-radicalized” or coached by persons in the US and/or abroad. He just committed mass murder witnessed by some hundreds of people.
    The man is KNOWN to have queried an AQ linked extremist preacher in Yemen also American born. This is a common practice in the Internet era: queries to Muslim religious authorities asking for insight and guidance.
    I mentioned on another thread, Europe has been dealing with the “homegrown terrorist” problem for some time whether Basque separatists or Muslim terrorists of various stripes.
    Attorney General Holder just a few months ago, as I posted on another thread, WARNED about the increasing challenge of home grown terrorism. Congress has had hearings on the issue. Former Attorney General Mukasey who has himself tried terrorists has given the opinion that Hasan is a terrorist.
    Now breaking news reports this evening indicate Hasan may have been involved in wire transfer of money to Pakistan. As I noted in another post, his income at nearly $100,000 per year and his $350 per month apartment with little furniture etc raises issues such as to whom does he donate/give this money? Family in the Middle East perhaps but….this does fit certain terrorist profiles with AQ links as I imagine experts will begin to say publicly.
    Some press speculation this evening is that he could try a plea bargain to escape the death penalty if he trades information about terrorist connections for a life sentence.
    With reference to PC-ism, in the early Cold War era there was a phalanx of these people when it came to the issue of Communist espionage in the US all of them in various states of denial about the threat. Then NSA later as a historical project declassified some of the signals intell:
    The past Attorney General, the present Attorney General, and Congressional Committees have in public warned about homegrown terrorism and the general threat of international terrorism here.
    Seems to me, given what has so far been in the press, it is evident that Hasan is a homegrown extremist Muslim terrorist, mass murderer, and traitor. This issue is not going to go away; this is just the beginning…

  25. alnval says:

    Col. Lang:
    I agree with Krauthammer. I just wish he wouldn’t make it seem so simple.
    Hasan’s crime is not just murder. It’s murder and betrayal. One aspect of this betrayal was touched on momentarily by Lt Gen Cone Fort Hood’s commanding general who, when asked at the press conference why other soldiers in the room weren’t carrying weapons to defend themselves or some such nonsense replied, “Fort Hood is our home.” The implications of that should be self-evident.
    In the civilian sector, we also have examples of betrayal of the public trust although none as far-reaching or destructive of the fabric of the organization as Major Hasan’s betrayal of his oath as a commissioned officer.
    Consider the nurse who administers over-doses to her bedridden patients or the fire department arson investigator who sets fires so he can watch them being put out or the police officers who organize their own burglary ring or plant evidence in order to gain a conviction, or the school teacher or priest who sexually molest the children in their care.
    Unfortunately, these actions of traditionally respected and trusted members of society have become almost so commonplace as to no longer startle us or even give us pause to consider that our trust in their willingness to accept and carry out faithfully the responsibilities we gave them has been betrayed.
    I’m hoping that your rage at Major Hasan will remind us of what we have to lose by tolerating a society that treats moral imperatives as topics for endless debate and not as triggers for action.

  26. Bobo says:

    Nidal Malik Hasan is a Mass Killer of innocents. Differant than other mass killers as he remained alive and will have his rights honored until found guilty.
    I’ve read that as a young man he enlisted in the Army telling his parents that he wanted to defend his country. Something happened between that time and the day of his Mass Killing. The telling clue was when he uttered to his fellow soldiers that he was a Muslim first and a soldier second which contravened his oath.
    Whatever we think or find the man was a Mass Killer and needs to pay for his actions.
    I have the view that the individuals telling the police officers “two more” were politically correct.

  27. HJFJR says:

    Let me offer this thought, whether he was a terrorists or not is immaterial; whether he is batshit nuts is immaterial; he murdered his colleagues, what else needs to be said!

  28. Jane says:

    Explaining Somebody:
    The posters above are maintaining that continued exposure to the chronic stress of treating the traumatized is not dangerous because there are thousands who have done so without snapping. But whether or not something is dangerous to someone depends on their own susceptibilities. By analogy, alcohol is not dangerous to most but is extremely dangerous to some. Therefore, it is possible that given Hasan’s particular personality the situation he placed himself in turned out to be toxic to him and he became dangerously warped.
    Further, if you judge that he is not warped, you must consider what reasons or motivations would cause a normal man to commit such a crime.

  29. 91B says:

    Has no one here considered that he may have a mental illness? Bi-polar, schizophrenia? These are real medical illnesses. The reports from his colleagues/superiors out of Walter Reed suggest as much.

  30. par4 says:

    lina’s comment says volumes about corporations,no honor among thieves. Our govt. has been stirring so much shit for so long I’m surprised we’ve had so little blow-back.

  31. N. Anderthal says:

    Of all the despicable creatures I see spewing filth on the airwaves and in print, Krauthammer has got to be one of the worst. It is in fact because of his intellect that I am revolted by him. He knows the fallacy in his argument and he papers it over with lame sarcasm.
    It was not the anguish of the soldier that drove him to madness, it was what the soldiers revealed to him that burned away his humanity. It is what they had done or seen done that drove him over the edge.
    God forgive me but when I think of Muslims I think of Insects, all of one mind and one purpose. When one is attacked, all are attacked and swarm to the defense.
    I can see Americans, French, and Russians listen dispassionately at the horrors visited on their countrymen. I could not in my life imagine a Muslim listening to other Muslims being killed and maimed, deliberately or accidentally, without becoming psychotic. It is in the nature of the thing.
    I want to see whoever did this hanged on the Mall in DC but I also want to know who would allow a Muslim to listen to combat veterans unburden their souls about what they had seen and or done.
    His place was at a VA for troubled soldiers from other eras but not this one. Now his place is in Hell and I hope he is there soon. Everything else this guy got was on Uncle Sam’s dime, Its only fitting that these upcoming travel arrangements will be too.

  32. Patrick Lang says:

    I prefer to think of it as righteous anger.
    We undersand this in our own way. I can hear the “Dead March play.”
    This man clearly has mental problems. That does not mean that I believe he should be acquitted. There are Christians with similar mental problems. What is so special about Hasan is his apparent self recruitment to his own nasty version of Islam a version which caused him to be recruited in place as an enemy of the Army while continuing to serve in its ranks as a field grade officer. Someone correctly asked earlier why he did not simply refuse to serve and go to jail. This is a good question. Where did his money go? This another good question. Are Muslim soldiers inherently enemies of the US? I think not, but Islam is like hierarchy deprived sects like the Evangelicals and Baptists without coherent authority structures that guide people towards socially integrative behaviors. As Abu Sinan said, we need Islamic ‘Ulema of some repute who would preach the integration of American Muslims completely into American society. Without that, some American Muslims will remain “strangers in a strange land.” pl

  33. Therefore, it is possible that given Hasan’s particular personality the situation he placed himself in turned out to be toxic to him and he became dangerously warped.
    There’s a contradiction in his personal behavior–he claimed to be devout, and yet there is a story out there that didn’t get much play that has him going to a specific strip club off of Fort Hood specifically where he would NOT see his colleagues. It turned out to be a strip club with no liquor license, but the patrons could bring their own alcohol. Major Hasan, who lived as if he were an E-3, not an O-4, goes to the club, brings lite beer, has part of a lite beer, gives the rest away, stays there for eight hours, and asks the strippers about their children’s Halloween costumes. That’s not ‘warped.’ That’s a high-functioning social outcast and misfit who has no idea how to conduct himself as an officer. He should have been given a ‘failure to adapt to military life’ chapter and kicked out BEFORE he could make any rank.
    So, no, he’s not insane. All of his acts were premeditated and deliberate. He’s weird, and poorly socialized. He’s a religious zealout who is, in fact, a hypocrite. He reminds me more of Robert Hanssen, only Hasan had no secrets to sell to anyone.
    Further, if you judge that he is not warped, you must consider what reasons or motivations would cause a normal man to commit such a crime.
    Why is there any burden on us to find that out? Why is there sympathy for him if he kills innocent people? Or were they not innocent?
    The U.S. Army should be allowed to put this man on trial and deal with him without any regard whatsoever for the pity of the civilian population, national politics, the lamentations of pundits, et al. He raised his hand, he put on the rank, he wore the uniform, and he will go to the gallows. This is something that the Army should be allowed to deal with, and that’s that.

  34. Patrick Lang says:

    This man is an American, not a foreigner.
    You need to get a grip on the facts about this. He was not a VA doctor. He was a Regular Army doctor treating active duty soldiers. pl

  35. alnval says:

    Col. Lang:
    As I understand it, LTG Cone is the convening authority for Major Hasan’s court-martial. Do you have any thoughts you can share as to what might be usual and customary in these matters? Is the convening authority’s decision to go forward under the UCMJ absolute? To what extent is the timing or the nature of LTG Cone’s decision subject to guidance from his superiors and so on?
    Thank you.

  36. McGee says:

    Hi Pat,
    I know that the rules were always different in the Army Medical Corps, and I’m not familiar with them as they currently exist. But would Hasan have needed a security clearance (and therefore a background investigation) to be promoted to 04? If so, would love to see those reports….
    Kind of suspect he would’ve never made Major and been RIFF’d out back in my day.
    Your take?

  37. optimax says:

    Maybe he was a passive-aggressive who was semi-consciously undermining his way out of service. His family knew he wanted out but the army didn’t. He probably thought his “Suicide is Dangerous” speech would get him out. Being argumentative at work, late for appointments, etc., show both a desire to get out of the military and an anger at not being able to. Rad Islam fueled the fire and offered a chance for this probable virgin his only chance to get laid.
    What I find also to be insane is that the Army promoted him to Major and thought it was reasonable to send him off to war. Management ain’t what it used to be and pc is a big part of it. People were afraid to to call him unfit to serve.

  38. LeaNder says:

    Consider the Army’s treatment of Hasan’s previous behavior. NPR’s Daniel Zwerdling interviewed a Hasan colleague at Walter Reed about a hair-raising grand rounds that Hasan had apparently given. Grand rounds are the most serious academic event at a teaching hospital — attending physicians, residents and students gather for a lecture on an instructive case history or therapeutic finding.
    If this is true, why did nothing happen? The colleague interviewed mentions a fellow Muslim colleague who challenged him at the event. But nothing further happened? He was allowed to go on treating returning soldiers?
    Shouldn’t this have triggered a careful monitoring and supervision process? But instead he is about to be sent to Iraq? Would you have supported this move, Colonel?
    I am puzzled. And yes as others here, I have many, many questions.
    I am absolutely with you on this:
    The Army trusted him without regard to his origins and he betrayed us all.
    But who were his psychological supervisors in the chain of command? Did no one care to look carefully at his written reports after the above event?
    I am hesitant to trace this all to Muslim origin. From the top of my head. The idea of communists=Jews is still cherished by many, but the moment you encounter the complex Russian ground you find e.g. both a feared Jewish commander of the Cheka and his assassin, who was Jewish too.
    Isn’t ideology, the feeling of being in the ultimate possession of truth, the real danger? Also how should the average Muslim confronted with the war cries of the counter-ideologues: The Muslim world has to be nuked into surrender, deal with these facts?
    I abhor random murder wherever it happens, but these events seem to occur more frequently lately. What do psychologists know about it?
    Last but not least, it feels to me that what we don’t need is a shift from the old scapegoat to the new one, and I wouldn’t really call this political correctness.

  39. HJFJR says:

    Please see Colbert King’s column in today’s WaPo, he gets to the heart of what the good COL has been trying to instruct all of us about, the violation of trust.

  40. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    Some data on US “homegrown” Muslim terrorists active with regard to Somalia situation:
    “A Somali man suspected of recruiting youth in Minneapolis for Islamic terrorism in Somalia has a U.S. green card, Dutch media reported Friday….
    “FBI officials in Minneapolis have confirmed that the arrest of the suspect detained in the Netherlands is related to an investigation into the departure of more than a dozen young men to Somalia, including one who carried out a suicide attack there in October 2008….
    “As many as 20 young Somali men left the Minneapolis area over the last two years to go to Somalia and possibly fight with terror groups. At least three have died, including the one who carried out the suicide bombing in the semiautonomous Puntland region….”
    Are all these terrorists “mentally ill” with some malady, difficult youth, maladjusment, victims of “US racism,”…???
    In Europe, are the homegrown (Roman Catholic) Basque terrorist murderers considered “mentally ill” thus deserving of special treatment? What about the (Roman Catholic) IRA in the old days and the Protestant terrorists? What about the (Muslim) Tunisian networks bombing Paris in the 1980s? How about the homegrown (Muslim) Moroccan network of terrorists that attacked the the train station in Madrid?
    The Hasan situation is just part of the beginning phase of extremist Muslim terrorism here in the US over the past decade or so.
    USA authorities, including the present Attorney General, have plainly and emphatically stated their expectations/assessment that homegrown terrorism will increase in the coming years. Americans should reflect on the terrorist situation in Europe over the past several decades.

  41. confusedponderer says:

    To classify what he did – I think that what Hasan did was one of those shootings that have happened occasionally in the workplace, disgruntled employees bringing their gun to work, gunning down co-workers. Hasan is a murderer, he is not a terrorist. The kook who gunned down abortion doctor Tiller was a murderer. Even though he, just like Hasan, certainly was influenced by a strong religious element.
    What aggravates Hasan’s crime is not that he was a Muslim and was perhaps subjectively moved by what he perceived as his Muslim faith but that he turned on his comrades. That for a soldier is the greater crime involved here – treachery, disloyalty. In an army turning on the own comrades is one of the the supreme crimes as camaraderie is built on trust. He violated that trust. I think that also is a reason why the army will try him in military court.
    I think the talk about him snapping after hearing all those stories from soldiers he counselled are ex-post-facto explanations, for one by PC people unwilling to accept that Hasan was motivated by some religious ideas, and then from other Muslims who rather want to see and portray him as a sick man to escape guilt by association. Not without reason.
    It is disgusting to see the fervour with which the US right, prominently on FOX, atm insists on calling this a terrorist case – probably just to make sure that there was one on Obama’s watch after all.
    Terrorism is a legal term and it has a specific meaning. In brief, terrorism is the use of violence to coerce the government. That is not what Hasan has done. Hasan tried to coerce the US government to do what? Never mind … The guy is simply an unhinged crackpot, who, sadly, succeeded in causing great harm.
    It is a dangerous development that today as a result of the post 9/11 hysteria the term has been broadened and broadened to the extent that it becomes meaningless and can include about everything from donating (even unwittingly) to the wrong charity (just think of little old ladies in Switzerland or ‘material support for terrorism’) over vandalism to mass murder, opening the way to draconian punishment.
    They can put Hasan to the wall perfectly fine for multiple accounts of premeditated murder.

  42. New Evidence surfacing about Hassan’s choice of weapons! Similar to CARTELS weaponary and designed to take out outgunned law enforcement. Premeditation by purchase would seem to overule and insanity plea! Also apparently never sought discharge. Lieberman having hearings next week focusing on ARMY as opposed to what other agencies knew! Interesting choice. Coverup?

  43. Patrick Lang says:

    The promotion rate to major is now at 90%. This has been caused by the long wars and people “voting with their feet.” He probably had a “Secret” level collateral clearance. This required a National Agency Document check. So far as I know he had no criminal record and interviews would not have been conducted unless someone had made an official complaint. his effectiveness report would not have been an issue since the clearance process is about character, not professional accomplishments. pl

  44. Sidney O. Smith III says:

    There is dumb evil and brilliant evil. Brilliant evil operates at a much, much higher plane or sphere, imo. Brilliant evil orchestrates the actions of dumb evil quite well and really stays out of sight, meaning never is associated with the evil that takes place and above any notion of proximate causation. Not infrequently an urbane and cultured gentleman. Usually the ones at the lower end of the “evil” food chain are the ones who pull the trigger and the ones we read about, imo. Brilliant evil has a higher awareness, a greater sense of consciousness or something along those lines, imo.

  45. Patrick Lang says:

    I am not a JAG type but as I recall, Cone’s decisions as convening authority are subject to review and change by his superiors in the chain of command. There will be a process equivalent to a grand jury. This is called an Article 32 Investigation. Cone can approve or dismiss the result of that. If there is a general court martial, Cone can approve or reduce the sentence. The result would then be subject to review by the chain of command and the case could eventually end up in the US Court of Military Appeals in washington. Some JAG here will sort that out if I have it wrong. pl

  46. Cold War Zoomie says:

    I’m no fan of Dr. K, but he and I are thinking the same way on this.
    Let’s get down to brass tacks about this bozo. First, he did not get traumatized by listening to soldiers’ experiences. That is just plain bullshite. He did not “snap.” He thought this through. This was premeditated.
    Why can’t some of us accept that he was just an asshole who killed innocent people, and he justified the whole event in his own head with all sorts of religious and political nonsense?
    Why must we find some externalities to blame?
    We’ve become far too quick to assume that some form of mental illness explains the actions of people like Hasan.

  47. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    “The federal government has moved to seize a Carmichael mosque and seven other properties from Texas to New York owned by a nonprofit Muslim organization that federal prosecutors allege is a front for the Iranian government.
    “Deputy U.S. marshals posted forfeiture notices Thursday at the Qoba Foundation, an Islamic center on Marconi Avenue that, according to its Web site, offers an array of services to local Muslims.
    “The forfeiture action marks the latest step in a long-standing investigation by the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan into the New York-based Alavi Foundation, which owns all the properties targeted in Thursday’s complaint.”

  48. Terrorism is a legal term and it has a specific meaning. In brief, terrorism is the use of violence to coerce the government. That is not what Hasan has done. Hasan tried to coerce the US government to do what? Never mind … The guy is simply an unhinged crackpot, who, sadly, succeeded in causing great harm.
    To call him a crackpot minimizes how despicable he is. I have seen continual efforts to make people feel sorry for him. Why? Why do we go to pity when there should be no pity for a MAJ in the U.S. Army who kills his own fellow soldiers and a U.S. contractor?
    This is a man who did *nothing* in the Army except go to school and complain about having to serve. He never deployed, never displayed to anyone that he was capable of commanding a unit or leading fellow soldiers, and he was shuffled off to another command by leaders who didn’t want to deal with him.
    Terrorism is defined in the U.S. code as:
    (1) the term “international terrorism” means terrorism involving citizens or the territory of more than 1 country;
    (2) the term “terrorism” means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents;

    What he did was to commit a premeditated act of violence to make a political statement against his pending deployment. He said that he hoped President Obama would have ended the wars by now–further proving the political nature of his act.
    The U.S. soldiers who were doing their outprocessing were not armed, but were in uniform. MAJ Hasan targeted them specifically because he knew there wouldn’t be anyone under arms in that building (only MPs and security contractors would be under arms). These were not soldiers in the field.
    Now, as they sort out his international ties, he’s still a terrorist because of the politics involved in what he did. He used the terror of his act to throw an entire miliary base into absolute chaos. He has likely thrown off the deployment timetable for hundreds, if not thousands of U.S. troops. He has achieved worldwide infamy. He has done more damage to the presence of good, loyal soldiers in the military who self-identify as believers in Islam than anyone since SGT Akbar.
    Stop trying to minimize what he is and what he did and the oath he was required to swear.

  49. alnval says:

    Col. Lang:
    I think your take on “dumb evil” and “brilliant evil” is right on the mark. Just because someone can get through medical school doesn’t mean they’re brilliant. Some have characterized med school grads as well educated electricians or plumbers.
    You correctly call us out on our continuing need to find alternative social and psychiatric explanations for Hasan’s behavior beyond the one that might best satisfy Occam: the man is an asshole. By all accounts Hasan hasn’t shown the symptoms of serious mental disorders like schizophrenia and major depression that would routinely intrude on his ability to function at a day-to-day level; grocery shopping, writing checks, getting to work on time, washing and wearing clean clothes and so on. Nor does his known history place him in that small group of people who have these diseases but who have been able to overcome their dysfunctional symptoms either through medication or the dint of hard work to the point that you wouldn’t be able to tell that they had an underlying psychiatric disorder.
    Hasan’s wearing male Middle Eastern garb to the convenience store, or isolating himself from social contact with others, or taking a six pack to a strip club and watching the action for eight hours doesn’t qualify. Moreover, from what I’ve read, Hasan’s lead civilian attorney former Jag Colonel John Galligan has yet to intimate that mental disease or defect will be offered as a defense. At this point, I think he may be more concerned about whether Hasan will recover sufficiently from his wounds so as to be able to cooperate fully in his defense.
    Norman Rogers:
    I can really get behind your take on Hasan. After reviewing his ostensibly troublesome social behavior you write:
    “So, no, he’s not insane. All of his acts were premeditated and deliberate. He’s weird, and poorly socialized. He’s a religious zealout who is, in fact, a hypocrite. He reminds me more of Robert Hanssen, only Hasan had no secrets to sell to anyone.”
    IMO your analogy to Hanssen is brilliant in that Hanssen despite having more than a few loose screws and many red flags in his work and personal history (see Wiki) was able to function successfully for 25 years as an FBI agent including his last eight years in the service of the Russians.
    As an aside, the Hanssen case also makes me wonder about the validity of full field investigations.

  50. Patrick Lang says:

    The white outfit he wore to the convenience store is not Middle Eastern and has nothing to do with his Arab heritage. That “fashion statement” is South Asian. pl

  51. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    Major Hasan as a jihadi terrorist…
    To put the present situation into context, Americans need to become more familiar with Islamic political movements of the past two centuries.
    The “Pan-Islamic” movement was launched in the 19th century primarily by a character named “al-Afghani” and various circles influenced by him see:
    Political Islam since Afghani’s day has gone into a number of permutations but nonetheless the Pan-Islamic idea circulates and informs terrorist orgs.
    Maj. Hasan appears to have imbibed extremist Pan-Islamic ideology along his crooked path to mass murder. He is a jihadi (self-radicalized or otherwise) and evidently believed himself to be one. So the characterization of some type of enemy combatant might also apply to him as he penetrated the US military and then attacked US military personnel on a US military base.
    Mass murdering US soldiers would seem to give aid and comfort to the enemy we are presently fighting in South Asia and globally. On the definition of treason see:
    As Islamist terrorism and extremist ideology intensifies inside the United States, Americans should try to become familiar with the historical background of political Islam and its modern day terrorist offshoots. Know your enemy, etc.
    From the standpoint of extremist Islamist ideology we can note important ideological influences on contemporary terrorism:
    Sayyid Qutb
    Maluana Maududi:
    Major Hasan’s jihadi mass murder of American soldiers should be analyzed within the context of international terrorism and the national security (internal security) threat posed by it to the US homeland.

  52. alnval says:

    Col. Lang:
    Thanks. Just adds to the weirdness, doesn’t it.

  53. Green Zone Cafe says:

    Late to the party here. Many interesting points.
    This has more to do with mental illness than politics. Hasan’s religion and culture fed the mental illness, to be sure.
    When his fellow psychiatrists thought he might be psychotic (after his very weird grand rounds reported by Daniel Zwerdling), you have to consider that insanity is a real possibility. Psychosis usually equals legal insanity, as it is a break with reality.
    Psychosis is often a product of stress. Hasan’s particular stress derived in large part from the alienation he had from his country and his chosen profession.
    More than that – he was alienated as a product of serious loneliness.
    Like with a lot of males sucked into extremism, it might be that a poor sex life was a cause. This seems to be a problem with many Muslim males – no acceptable outlet for sexual desire if they don’t find a woman or have one found for them. He was 39 years old and never married, what was up with that?
    I also think that some people choose psychiatry or psychology as a course of study to try to work through their own problems.

  54. Jane says:

    To Norman Rogers: Why is there a burden on normal Americans to figure out why Hasan did what he did? I’d have thought the answer was obvious: to have a better chance of stopping someone doing the same sort of thing again.
    You could be correct that he is simply a one off killer — in which case we can simply punish him and the rest is the luck of the draw. But if there is something about the situation that warped him and would warp anyone like him, then there are precautions we can take. Again if he is a rational man who decided to take revenge on the Army for damage done to Muslims and become a terrorist, then there are other important steps to be taken.
    Hasan fits a layperson’s version of the FBI profiler’s version of who becomes a workplace multiple murderer: a single male approaching or in middle age without a successful ongoing romantic relationship, usually quiet with few or any friends having difficulty at work and with stress in his life and background.
    When you present such a person with a terrorist vision which convinces them that an evil deed will make them a hero you get McVeigh, Roeder etc.
    Another possibility is long term mole behavior by a person who sympathizes with the other side.
    None of this implies that Hasan does not deserve punishment. In fact, there is a vicious pleasure in the thought that when he woke up he found he was not exactly dealing with 40 virgins.

  55. Mike says:

    I am missing the upshot here. What is the analysis/description that political correctness is dissuading key people from making here, and if it were made, what would the upshot of that be? Terrorism?This has by now been universally accepted as at least potentially an act of terrorism, depending on the definition used. What else is being denied? What correct policy responses are thereby being forestalled?

  56. sbj says:

    I wonder if we run the risk of diminishing the effectiveness of our own strategic thinking and analysis by making the rubric of ‘terrorism’ perhaps more inclusive than it ought to be. After all, in one way pretty much every act of violent aggression could be called ‘terrorism’, even when such violence is directed at only terrorizing one person. A rapist, a mugger, a murderer could all be labeled terrorists if the definition of the term is too broadly defined and comes to be used to casually once it becomes part of the daily lexicon.
    I’d think it’s abundantly clear to any reality-based thinker that this crazed killer Hasan was heavily influenced by his own dysfunctional religious zealotry. It’s also clear to me that, whatever Hasan’s specific intent might have been, his cowardly murderous act is surely celebrated big-time by the al qaeda terrorist types around the world. And, the fact that he was able to move so far up the ladder of promotion within the Army, despite what has been reported as the numerous examples of those around him questioning his mental stability, etc., and then to open fire like this and wreak such havoc; well this is a really big deal with huge implications going forward.
    I agree with Col. Lang about tying this guy in a chair and shooting him. Even so, I think we may benefit from resisting the urge to apply the ‘terrorism’ label too quickly without at least first discovering the immediate personal trigger that weaponized his anger and his ignorance and set him off. If it was, as has been suggested, his orders to deploy to Iraq that threw him into a panic, perhaps Hasan, like I’ve always thought was true about Timothy McVeigh, acted out of personal reasons more so than out of lunatic nationalistic and/or religious based ideology. Obviously the religious zealotry gave Hasan some sort of legitimacy, at least in his own crazy mind, but whether the ideo/religious zealotry served as cover for his own personal instability or vice versa doesn’t yet seem to be clear. And even if this turns out not to be the case and in fact Hasan’s intent was to create terror by mass murder and in so doing deliver a victory against us to the jihadis, would it not be prudent for us to at least examine these potential differences in motive in order to better understand how to guard against such acts in the future?

  57. optimax says:

    Thank you for the clarification. Insane was too strong a word and in painting the military as failing as a whole, I used too broad a brush.
    Read an editorial in the paper today that said Hasan had hired a lawyer to get out of his commitment, that doctors had filed formal complaints to their superiors concerning his jihadist rants and that he had been counseled during his residency at Walter Reed for proselytizing. Tim Rutten is the author of the editorial and it contradicts previous articles I’ve read on these points. I don’t know where Rutten got his information. It could have been from Hasan’s family for all I know. So I’ll hold off making anymore judgements about where the breakdown happened until the smoke clears.
    I do wonder how effective Hasan was at treating PTS and whether his patients had an opportunity to fill out surveys grading his abilities that his superiors could have used to help determine his qualifications?

  58. alnval says:

    Col. Lang:
    It seems to me that the convening authority for the court-martial (LTG Cone) would have considered many of the arguments we are making here as to the true nature of Major Hasan’s crime and the best venue in which to try him. If he did not I’m sure his superiors would have counseled him to do so.
    IMO LTG Cone chose the shortest distance between two points: the UCMJ. This may well offer him the best opportunity to get a rational decision that doesn’t depend overly much on potentially esoteric if not arcane factors that go beyond the murderous pulling of a trigger and the killing of 13 people.
    As to the legal question of whether Major Hasan was insane when he pulled the trigger and killed the 13 people this will be decided during the course of his trial by experts qualified to do so within the constraints of existing law.
    I suspect that if there is any bias during the trial by the trial judge it will be on ensuring due process for both parties. I’m looking forward to it.

  59. Hasan fits a layperson’s version of the FBI profiler’s version of who becomes a workplace multiple murderer: a single male approaching or in middle age without a successful ongoing romantic relationship, usually quiet with few or any friends having difficulty at work and with stress in his life and background.
    Such men exist, but this was a Major in the United States Army. The mistake I see being made is to think him a poor, suffering, pitiable outcast. This was not a civilian. This was a member of the United States Army, a commissioned officer, entrusted with providing psychiatric help to untold numbers of desperately needy men and women who have actually done something in their military careers. He had a political bent against the lawful order given to him to deploy. His answer was to kill innocents and spread terror and try to make himself some sort of misguided martyr. I don’t need to understand him–no one needs to understand him. [draw circle on wall, bang head, repeat].
    We have precious little to worry about from Majors who have never deployed or heard a shot fired in anger. Statistically, that there haven’t been more MAJ Hasans tells you something about the military in general. The services need to take a cold, hard look at all religious extremists, not just Muslims. Such men should not automatically make rank. Higher standards must be enforced. This pitiful bastard needs to dangle on a rope when they have done due diligence with him. And I say that as an opponent of the death penalty.

  60. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    On the issue of “homegrown” terrorists who have converted to Islam:
    “Authorities have identified a 27-year-old German convert to Islam as an al-Qaida associate suspected of traveling to Afghanistan and planning to attack German targets….According to the report, Schneider allegedly is an acquaintance of Fritz Gelowicz, a member of an alleged radical Islamic terrorist cell whose plot to attack U.S. targets in Germany was foiled by authorities in 2007….”
    On Gelowicz. Note link to AQ and also note that US MILITARY BASES were potential targets:
    “The suspects had been under observation since the end of 2006, when Fritz Gelowicz had been spotted suspiciously observing a US Air Force base in Hanau.[15] The suspects had rented a vacation house in the remote town of Oberschledorn, where they amassed 700 kg. (1,500lbs) of hydrogen peroxide, and military-grade detonators from Syria.[16]
    “A July 20 conversation between two suspects mentioned targeting “a disco filled with American sluts”, as well as Ramstein Air Base and the Frankfurt airport.[17]
    “A phone call from northern Pakistan in late August is purported to have set a September 15 deadline for the group’s attacks.”

  61. Medicine Man says:

    I think Hasan’s motivations only matter post-mortem. He is quite handily damned on the basis of the facts.

  62. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    More on self-radicalized homegrown terrorists:
    “…Aulaqi’s incendiary rhetoric has been captured in witness statements and on computer hard drives of terrorism suspects in Toronto, New Jersey and Minneapolis in recent years. But current and former U.S. officials say the New Mexico-born imam has skated the line between advocating violent extremism and committing a crime that would land him in the U.S. legal system.
    “At the simplest level, Aulaqi’s emergence as a spiritual adviser in contact with Hasan returns investigators to the question of what could have been done to stop the 39-year-old Army psychiatrist before he allegedly committed his first crime — bringing an unauthorized weapon onto a military base. More broadly, U.S. counterterrorism officials say, it intensifies a debate over how to prevent Americans from “self-radicalizing” by turning to al-Qaeda supporters on the Internet, such as Aulaqi….”

  63. kao_hsien_chih says:

    I think there is a serious problem here separate from whether Maj Hasan is a traitor who betrayed the trust due his position (which he clearly is): why did he remain in his position despite signs that he was clearly losing grip and was increasingly incapable of performing his duties? Other slipped up and are clearly culpable, albeit indirectly. They must be held accountable as well and something must be done to better identify potential problem cases like Hasan before they can do damage. While Krauthammer is right to the degree that he points out the problems arising from knee-jerk excuse-making, I suspect that arguments like his will be used to shift all possible blame on Hasan (and situations particular to him), away from the need for how to deal with problem cases like him before they can do harm–especially in case they are not Muslims (I realize the particulars are quite different, but I’d regard Tim McVeigh, for example, as a problem case that went undetected.) Do we know if Hasan is a unique case? How can we tell if the institutions that failed to deal with Hasan before this tragedy is also letting other cases slip through as we speak?

  64. DE Teodoru says:

    Please do not judge Krauthammer by Wash DC hick-ville mentality; he may be more clever but in no way more principled. In a town full of devious cleverness by half, he may seem brilliant, but when Francis Fukuyama called him on neocon “World War IV” against Islam with the question: why do we have to impose “democracy” only in the Middle East?, Krauthammer’s only answer was “anti-Semite.” Oh yea, I remember the Cold War neocon silence when the NYC garment industry contracted with Ceausescu for Romanian slave labor to manufacture the “made in USA” (sic) clothing their benefactors from the garment industry were selling in the US. No call for democracy in Stalinist Romania from Krauthammer then! Indeed, when the Soviets called on Israel to withdraw from captured territories in 1967, then the neocon paper of record, NY POST, carried a cartoon of Kosygin with all East European captive nations on leaches demanding that Israel abandon territories captured in the Six Days War. But ROMANIA was not one of those countries on a Soviet leach because, after all, it had kept its embassy in Tel Aviv; never mind that it served as a listening station for Moscow, what counts is that if you’re useful to Israel you’re alright no matter what and if you don’t see eye to eye with it you’re an “anti-Semite.” The neocons have no principles. As merchants of death for profit, at home and abroad, they get rich either way and own nice villas in “Eurabia” where they can relax amongst all the alleged “anti-Semites” there. Remember Perle’s offer to lay off of Saudi Arabia in his propaganda if it invests in his company? Neocons speak for few, if any Jews at all, calling their critics “self-hating Jews” or anti-Semites. Their tactics on the Right were the same as when on the Left: the old lesson from their old master when young “revolutionaries,” Lenin– POLARIZE TO MOBILIZE. That’s why you can’t have a decent MEANINGFUL DIALOGUE on the Middle East in this “free” country. Krauthammer will bomb you with epithets from his exalted status at the WashPost.

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