Major Hasan’s Alienation

"Maj. Hasan, raised a Muslim, had wanted to go into the military against his parent's wishes, but he was taunted by others after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, his cousin said.

A former Fort Hood colleague of the shooter said Hasan would frequently make "outlandish" comments.

"He said maybe Muslims should stand up and fight against the aggressor," retired Col. Terry Lee told Fox News. "At first we thought he meant help the armed forces, but apparently that wasn't the case. Other times he would make comments we shouldn't be in the war in the first place."

Hasan had been optimistic that President Obama would start pulling troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, Lee said, but when that didn't happen as quickly as he hoped, Hasan became angry.

"He was sort of a loner and kept to himself," Lee told Fox News. "He didn't socialize a lot with officers off duty or on duty."" Fox News


It is sadly amusing how much people do not want this to be about the man's religion or his Palestinian ancestry. 

His relatives understandably want other Americans to believe that he was traumatized by listening to soldiers' stories about the wars.  They certainly don't want people to think that there was anything about the atmosphere in his father's house that caused this man to reject the land of his birth and the obligations of his oath.

The media flacks have now been conditioned into political correctness to such an extent that they can't bring themselves to suggest that his Islam or his sense of grievance about American wars in the Islamic World had anything to do with what he did.

Subject to revision as more becomes known. This is how it looks to me:

– Hasan was born in Arlington, VA and raised in Roanoke, VA 200 odd miles SW of Washington.  He is a native born American and a Washington Redskins fan.

– He graduated from high school in Roanoke.  Then he went to Virginia Tech.

– After graduation (1997) he was sent by the Army to the Defense Department's own medical school in Washington.  He paid no fees and received an officer's pay and allowances.  Following graduation as an MD and commissioning as a captain in the Medical Corps, he continued his education at Army expense and was an intern and then a resident in psychiatry at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.  This process took 6 years. 

– He then practised at Walter Reed specializing in treating PTSD victims and the like.  Other Army doctors tried not to send him patients because they did not like his attitude.  Inevitably, he received a poor effectiveness report.  Ironically, the Army had invested so much in him that this probably would not have affected retention decisions about him.

– He avoided other officers socially and professionally to the extent he could manage.  He avoided women colleagues.  He would not be photographed with a woman.  He asked his prayer community to find him a wife.  They did not do so.  He had no visible sexual relationships.

– He was transferred to Hood to do what the Army had trained him to do.  Inevitably the Army decided that it was his "turn in the barrel" and sent him orders to deploy to one of combat areas to practise his medical specialty.

– He told people that he did not want to participate in wars against Muslims in a non-Muslim army.  He tried to get out of the Army.  Not surprisingly, the Army would not hear of that.   Security camera video in a convenience store in Killeen, Texas outside the gate of the post shows him wandering around wearing strange garb apparently intended to set him apart in that town full of soldiers, present and past.

– He is reported to have uttered "Allahu Akbar" before he opened fire on what he seems to have seen as God's enemies.

Alienation.  Alienation.  Alienation.  He was taunted by people over being a Muslim?  Have we not all been taunted about some unfortunate thing?

It must be in the water at Virginia Tech.  pl






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70 Responses to Major Hasan’s Alienation

  1. PL! Is there any open source material on how MUSLIMS have been treated, promoted, utilized by the Armed Services since 9/11? Are there military IMAMs? Showing my ignorance of course but I had heard since the 80’s that BLACK MUSLIMS were a huge problem in US military and that in fact was one reason the US Armed Forces were becoming less open to black enlistments generally. Have no information myself but wondering if these rumors have any basis? It does appear, unlike the killed in action in RVN, the WAPO and other newspaper posts of dead servicemen and women indicates that the preponderance of dead are not black.

  2. matter says:

    It is sadly amusing how much people do not want this to be about Israel. The man is of Palestinian origin. The media will try to ignore it, but the Iraq war for Israel was surely a motivating factor.

  3. Patrick Lang says:

    There are Muslim chaplains in the military. One of them got in trouble at Gitmo for siding with the prisoners.
    My impression is that the outreach efforts of the military have sought Muslim recruits for a long time. I taught Muslim American cadets at West Point in the ’70s. Afghans, Palestinians, Turks, etc.
    Since 9/11 that effort has increased. Does anyone really think that this officer was harassed over his religion?
    I think that you are a decade or two off in talking about Black Muslims of the Nation of Islam. That was a problem when there was a draft. This force is so professionalized that the issue does not arise.
    In VN the typical KIA was a white 23 year old high school graduate from a small town. Blacks were killed in numbers proportionate to their representation in the general US population. I can provide documentation.
    Don’t perpetuate the propaganda of the Left. pl

  4. Patrick Lang says:

    For Palestinian Muslims the recovery of their land is a religious duty. pl

  5. Andy says:

    Alienation. Exactly right. Thanks for providing what the media seems unable to provide in their pursuit of convenient narratives.

  6. charlottemom says:

    The alienation narrative for shooter is quite compellling for this tragedy.
    I am withholding comment until the media/military get the story straight. I am queazy with all the back and forth info being reported:
    He was killed…then not killed
    He did it with automated weapons…no 2 pistols
    Multiple shooters…not multiple shooters (they were released)
    Multiple deployments…no first deployment
    Post traumatic but somehow “infected” with Post traumatic shock after treating so many soldiers with it
    Too much post traumatic empathy…no “picked on” by other soldiers
    long service record and commendable service (promotions within the military) terrible job reports
    So right now we have an alienated officer shrink with terrible job reports single-handedly managing 40 casualties with two hand pistol on a military base. Did I get that right?
    This story has traveled a great distance and zigzagged so much that I’m waiting to see where it ends…here? Still waiting for ANY info on exactly who was targeted? OR was it totally random? Officers, enlisteds, civilans? Who took him down and how? Absolutely nothing on describing how crime took place, timeline, etc.
    And why did the officer at the presser say the shooter was killed on site? So much weirdness. And I agree, the Vtech connection is the icing on the weird cake.

  7. Matthew says:

    Col: Why did he just leave the Army after 9/11. Clearly, its focus would be the Muslim World.

  8. Patrick Lang says:

    I gather that he accepted the Army’s offer of a medical degree. That obligated him to six years service.
    He graduated from VA Tech in 1997. The Army paid for that as well. So, he was obligated to a lot of time on active duty. pl

  9. WILL says:

    Sirhan Sirhan Redux.
    The following is not a condonation but to try to explain the pressures he was under. Obviously a very weak person that had no business being in the medical arts, or maybe he just “cracked.” Was that the explanation that Clinton Vir gave to Al Gore for his lapse?
    His immigrant family is identified as Jordanian in news accounts. this is because their village, an East Jerusalem suburb, was in Jordanian West Bank administration at the time.
    I believe it was WRC who commented here that as long as the US gov’t supported ethnic cleansing in the West Bank then its forces would be seen as occupiers in Muslim lands.
    Other sources reported that Malek Nidal Hasan had offered to repay his educational costs for “early out” even retaining counsel.
    And as far as recovery of their land, Xtian or even Atheist Filistin desire that and have been willing to die for it. Islam merely provides a coloring. The grief of the wretched and miserable may be sublimated in some but in others it bubbles up. Imagine being of Jerusalemite (Quds) anscetry living in the US and being subjected to the constant media assault with every fact turned on its head. He faced an upward battle with the middle name he chose to use: Nidal=Stuggle. He would have been better off with his first name Malek=King or Angel
    Dr. George Habash, founer of the PFLP was Christian.

  10. Phil Giraldi says:

    Actually, given all the apparent red flags in his behavior (you didn’t mention his bein investigated for alleged posting on a jihadi style website), the army should damn well have gotten rid of him with a general discharge befor he went completely crazy.

  11. Watcher says:

    One quick note on Hasan’s career run down. One of my classmates is a military doctor at Walter Reed, and he shed some light on Hasan’s situation, but did not know or serve with him. Hasan, like all doctors, would have to rotate through different specialties at Walter Reed to further his overall medical knowledge. Psychologists and psychiatrists have a tendency to have a rough go of it in some of these tours, its the nature of the system and specialty. So what the media is portraying as a poor efficiency report, may in fact be a reflection of an academic difficulty in one medical field he had to pass through, and not actual overall deficient performance as one might expect to see on the traditional Officer Evaluation Report. While this is in no way a defense of Hasan, I think that a day later, the situation is still very confused and some surprises still lie in wait for us.

  12. “people do not want this to be about the man’s religion or his Palestinian ancestry”
    The President in his remarks indicated that in addition to the FBI the broader intelligence community was tasked to investigate the incident.
    This interested me as naturally one wonders about any linkages to domestic or foreign extremist/terrorist networks. Logically these would fall into the category of Islamic extremist orgs.
    It does appear from initial reports that he imbibed some political Islam and also that he was focused on his Palestinian background although his parents were reportedly holding Jordanian citizenship and he was born in the US. Doesn’t seem to have “assimilated” one might conclude.
    Why is he wearing some white outfit with a head covering at the convenience store prior to switching to uniform prior to the attack? What is with this white thing…some ritualistic idea on his part about purity and being shaheed…?
    Trying to reconstruct the crime scene: So 12 dead and 31 reported wounded. Thus roughly a minimum of 43 rounds. Two handguns reported. So say he has a Glock or whatever with large capacity 18 round clips. We are at two clips plus at least one changed. Reports say he shot some people twice or multiple times. Reports say the female officer responded within 3 minutes. Shooter is reported to have been sitting down in a room then stands up and commences fire. A lot of damage even for a good shot under pressure and tension which raises questions for me about the reported scenario. Although perhaps the seemingly point blank range in the room had an effect still I am not sure how this adds up to the damage done.
    Some reports from VA Tech say they do not find a record of him in the ROTC program there (???).

  13. Hypatia says:

    pl wrote:Does anyone really think that this officer was harassed over his religion?
    To write “I don’t think this officer was harassed over his religion” is one thing. Your choice to phrase it as “Only a moron would think…” is quite different.

  14. Jose says:

    Why didn’t the Army take into account his religious and ethnic background?
    There so many places they could have sent him other than to wage war against the ummah.

    After nearly nine years of GWOT someone should have know better by now, remember Cuban-Americans are not allowed in GITMO under any circumstances.
    Does anybody wonder why?

  15. Patrick Lang says:

    The Army can not assign OFFICERS based on their ethnicity or religion. To do so would be to divide the officer corps in such a way that there would be “classes” of officers. That would be incompatible with the effort to create a unified force. What are we, “Lebanon?” pl

  16. Patrick Lang says:

    Acrually, you ARE condoning what he did and his disloyalty to the United States. I find that unacceptable. pl

  17. Patrick Lang says:

    You have it right. Only a moron would think that this officer was harassed over his religion. If his relatives say that he was, let them prove it. pl

  18. David J. says:

    This incident reminds me of US Army sergeant Hasan Karim Akbar.

  19. Patrick Lang says:

    Apparently the posting on jihadi website thing was incorrect.
    I wonder how much money they would have charged him for the cost of ten years education? (4 years undergraduate + six years of med school and residency)
    In any case the Army can not allow officers (or anyone else) to buy their way out in wartime. pl

  20. Walter says:

    Most/all of the teenage shooters of the past two decades in America have been “bullied”, picked on, outcasted by their peers….alienated….Abraham Maslow of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs identified the social/affiliative need as second only to the need to stay alive (food, shelter, self-preservation). It is a very powerful need that, when it goes unmet, causes all kinds of problems. I believe this is a very important piece of this puzzle as you pointed out, pl.

  21. Patrick Lang says:

    Either I have some new trolls here or some of you lurkers are remarkably dense.
    Let’s see if I can explain this to you:
    – Palestinians have various motivating factors in their unhappiness with the Israeli state.
    – Plain old nationalism accounts for a lot of their feeling.
    – Islam demands a restoration of the lands stolen from the ‘Ummah. If you think that is not true go talk to Hamas.
    – Palestinians foolishly think that the world is going to come to its senses some day and see that it would be fair for them to be given back Palestine. Their belief in this possibility is a measure of their unworldliness. They refer to this belief as a desire for “justice,” a commodity that has rarely ever existed in THIS world.
    – Israeli occupation and military action towards them is so cruel and relentlessly indifferent to their dignity as human beings that revenge is a dish that the Palestinians would like to taste.
    The Israelis are lucky that I am not a Palestinian. pl

  22. Patrick Lang says:

    Oh, yes, I don’t think that religion has much relevance to Palestinian Christians. They have plenty of other reasons to hate the Israelis. pl

  23. otiwa ogede says:

    Are there muslims in the Secret Service? Obama has been afraid of some “hillbilly with a gun” taking a shot at him.
    In Nigeria Igbo soldiers comprised a significant number of the professional officer corps until the civil war, even those that remained loyal to the state were either sidelined or lost their commission. 40 years later and the legacy of this lives on in the country with the underrepresentation of the third largest ethnic group in the armed forces.
    Obviously this situation is not the same but how could this sad event affect the retainment, and promotion of muslims in the US armed forces, and intelligence services? I can understand why the media would want to underplay his religion at this time, unlike the Colonel i don’t attribute this to political correctness, the finger pointing and islamophobia disguised informed commentary will come in time. Right now responsible people will try to limit the cultural damage.

  24. somebody says:

    what got my attention – assuming what is written is correct, which is very uncertain – was that he was trying to get out of the army and could not. I suppose you do not usually get assigned to Iraq if you treat post trauma – that is long term, you cannot do that in between duty – so was the army vindictive sending him there? You do not try to get out of the army, if you plan to be a suicide killer, you try to get close to the general
    how much threat and force has the US army to use to send people to Iraq and Afghanistan?
    And – treating post trauma, what do you think soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan were telling him for five long years?

  25. Patrick Lang says:

    He could not get out of the army because he had agreed to stay in the army for a long period of time in return for ten years of university education. Get it now?
    Your assumption about where PTSD is treated is completely incorrect. It is treated both in the field and in the US upon return.
    His assignment to a war zone was a completely normal personnel action with regard to a Medical Corps officer.
    The army doesn’t threaten anyone to send them to the wars. They merely receive orders.
    You don’t go nuts from listening to war stories.
    Which Islamic country are you from? pl

  26. WILL says:

    Ft Hood is named after the one armed Confederate general John Bell Hood whose aggressive defense of Atlanta only wound up costing casualties. Though born in KY, Texas was his adopted home.
    Some speculate if Joseph E. Johnston had remained commander of the Battle of Atlanta & employed dilatory tactics, the surrender of Atlanta may have been put off & George E. McClelan might have won the election of 1864 against A. Lincoln.
    See the distinctive 1st Cav triangular patch w/ the horse on the TV reports. Used to see the that patch all over Vietnam- quite distinctive. A proud outfit. Didn’t need this tragedy!

  27. somebody says:

    actually I am from Germany
    we used to have this militaristic thing. Nowadays if you are a conscientious objector you do not have to go. Religion does qualify as any Jehovas Witness might tell you (they and the Bible Researchers were the brave ones you went to concentration camps because they refused to go to war), religion does not have to be something you are born with, you can also convert.
    Institutions do not own people after they paid them an education, they can ask their money back. A doctor should be able to pay, Does the bill of rights say something else, or do you stop having human rights after you joined the army?

  28. Patrick Lang says:

    This guy has nothing to do with the 1st Cavalry Division. pl

  29. Patrick Lang says:

    You can argue with the Muslims over how much “right” one of them has to convert to another religion. Their view is NONE.
    This man is a commissioned officer of the US Army. He has no legal right of any kind to resign unless the government accepts his resignation. He knew that when he became an officer.

  30. Patrick Lang says:

    You may have missed the fact that we do not have conscription in the US. It is now nearly 30 years that we have not had the draft.
    This man went out of his way to take the government’s money and education. The medical school that he attended is the property of the Defense Department. He would never have been admitted if he had not been already a soldier. With that education came the obligation to serve. pl

  31. PL! Can the proposed issuance of a lawful order ever be considered a threat? The reason I ask is that I saw repeated circumstances while on active duty from 1967-1970 where officers or NCO’s threatened someone with an order which was a completely lawful order in my opinion! Both the “Order issuer” and the potential “order receiver” seemed both impliedly and implicity to view the suggestion as a threat? IN basic training, even potential assignment to KP (completely legal) was perceived by most basic trainees as a threat. Strangely I enjoyed KP as a break but did often wonder what training I was missing that might keep me alive at later time. So always asked my DI and fellow trainees what I had missed.

  32. Spencer Watkins says:

    “The manager of the apartment complex said Hasan recently was involved in a spat with another soldier living there over Hasan’s religious beliefs. A bumper sticker that read “Allah is Love” was ripped off Hasan’s car, which was keyed, said the manager, John Thompson.”
    Thompson said the neighbor had been in Iraq and was upset to learn that Hasan was Muslim.
    Another neighbor, 42-year-old Kim Rosenthal said Hasan didn’t seem too upset by his scratched vehicle.
    “He said it was Ramadan and that he had to forgive people,” Rosenthal said. “He forgave him and moved on.”

  33. graywolf says:

    I don’t know where Somebody is from, but judging his/her grammar, English is not his/her first language.

  34. Patrick Lang says:

    Just so we understand what Hasan got from the military I offer this quotation from the website of the Edward Hebert medical school:
    “Debt Free Education
    Students at the Uniformed Services University have the unique luxury of focusing on their education without the worry of incurring monetary debt. Students pay no tuition or fees, and in fact, receive the full salary and benefits of a uniformed officer throughout their four years at the university in exchange for a seven-year active duty service commitment.
    Each student’s monthly salary comprises three categories of pay and allowances: base pay, basic allowance for subsistence (BAS) and basic allowance for housing (BAH).
    Breakdown of Monthly Salary at Grade 0-1 in 2008
    Type of Pay
    Without Dependents ($)
    With Dependents ($)
    Monthly base pay
    Basic allowance for subsistence
    Basic allowance for housing
    Monthly total (gross pay)
    And then he went on to a salaried (captain) fully funded residency in psychiatry.

  35. alnval says:

    Col. Lang:
    Thank you for your summary. Short of the medics discovering that Major Hasan is suffering from some obscure medical disorder that prevents him from thinking clearly, I doubt very much that any additional behavioral data will change the substance of your analysis.
    On hearing about Fort Hood I immediately thought of the tragedy of Sgt Russell at Camp Liberty where seemingly no one wanted to believe the worst case was possible. Moreover, there were no reports of mechanisms being in place to ensure that such a possibility would even be considered. That is, despite well documented concerns about Russell’s ability to carry out his duties in an appropriate way there were no SOPs to assess the lethality of those concerns.
    For Major Hasan we may well have the same problem. From all accounts he has been waving red flags that make clear for those who have eyes to see that he did not see himself as one of us. Alienation and isolation from others, with a general lack of conformity to social mores and professional practices seems to have been the hallmark of his personal life and professional military career. This behavior pattern is much more tolerable and a hell of a lot less lethal in an engineer or computer tech than it is in a psychiatrist charged with making life decisions about the military personnel he is treating.
    Your precis pulls these things together in a way that makes their meaning unavoidable. Major Hasan was not ‘working out. Yet even had such a behavioral summary been at hand, it is not likely that a discharge for the good of the service would have been forthcoming. As you point out, ironically there is the possibility that even if all the ‘negatives’ about Maj. Hasan were publicly known, “. . . the Army had invested so much in him that this probably would not have affected retention decisions about him.”
    This is the ultimate tragedy.

  36. Patrick Lang says:

    Ahlan bik!
    One thing I don’t understand in this is whether or not the Army paid for this guy’s undergaduate degree at VPI. The university says that he was never in ROTC there, but his family says that he joined the Army right out of HS. What’s the deal? pl

  37. CK says:

    So they were his own personal weapons he used?
    Why was a medico officer carrying on a USA soil base? That is not SOP.

  38. Patrick Lang says:

    An officer can carry anything on or off a post. p

  39. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    Well looking at breaking stories,
    1. I note that the terrorist may have used an FN 5.7 pistol and authorities are investigating this angle and a local gun shop’s recent sales. These are a new product line of a respected manufacturer and the clip holds 20 rounds.
    Thus with the earlier reported two pistols, if there were two of this type, the shooter would have had 40 rounds to start with. Then changes one clip and keeps going.
    However, I saw a story that now reports he had ONE pistol. Thus, if this were the case, he would have had to use 3 clips at a minimum to be able to kill 12, and wound 31…ie 43 rounds minimum.
    I am not unfamiliar with pistols of this type and rapid fire. Certainly there are many SST readers with a lot more practical experience in this area. But I am having a hard time, however, reconstructing the crime scene based on present news reports. It may be that he could have done all this damage on his own in close quarters but: 1) did he have associates? or 2) was there an issue of friendly fire from police or whomever which resulted in some of the casualties? To me at this point, the math just doesn’t “add up” yet.
    2. Some news reports are now indicating that he was very vocal in a political Muslim manner. People who knew him are now quoted as saying he felt the US war in Iraq was anti-Muslim and so on.
    “Nov. 6 (Bloomberg) — Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people and wounding 30 others at the Fort Hood Army Base in Texas, regularly described the war on terror as “a war against Islam,” according to a doctor who was in a graduate program with him.
    While studying for a masters degree in public health in 2007, Hasan used a presentation for an environmental health class to argue that Muslims were being targeted by the U.S. anti-terror campaign, said Val Finnell, a classmate.
    “He was very vocal about the war, very upfront about being a Muslim first and an American second,” said Finnell, 41, a preventive medicine doctor in Los Angeles, in an interview today. “He was always concerned that Muslims in the military were being persecuted.”
    Palestinian issues have not yet been mentioned from what I have seen today. Thus indications about his ideological orientation appear to be more on the political Islam side.
    3. Prejudice??? Well anyone remember the “Irish Need Not Apply Here” signs? “Dagos” for Italians, “Krauts” for Germans, “Pollaks” for Polish; “Kikes” for Jews; anti-Catholicism against Italians and German Catholics? And on and on…just review US social history for the last few hundred years.
    4. I am astonished to read on this SST thread the idea that US troops should not be assigned to fight for their country somewhere owing to their racial or religious sensitivities?
    What about, for example, all those (German) Americans and (Italian) Americans who as AMERICAN patriots fought in WWI and WWII with NO hesitation to defend their country, namely the USA?! How about the German Americans who fought against Germans in Germany? Or Italian Americans who fought Italians in Italy? To put this on a religious basis: German American Protestants or Catholics fighting German Protestants and Catholics? American Italian Catholics fighting Italian Catholics?
    Did I misread some statements here which I took to say that Muslim American troops should not be deployed in Muslim countries because they would have to shoot at, or support a US war effort, against fellow Muslims?
    Are we getting into some core issues of loyalty here?

  40. Matthew says:

    Col. I am married to a Palestinian Christian. They are a wonderful people, but profoundly exasperating in their inability to build bridges with others–or seem to understand, as you say, that the world doesn’t run on justice.
    I have taken one trip to the Occupied West Bank with my wife. That was enough.
    “The Israelis are lucky that I am not a Palestinian. pl”

  41. Bart says:

    Would the Army have found a way to release this man if it were not under such strain?

  42. Andy says:

    Someone has leaked his Officer Record Brief. I’m not familiar with Army records, so maybe someone else can provide some analysis.
    The ROTC thing is very strange. According to this release from VT, he began is undergraduate coursework in 1992 and “completed coursework” in 1995. Does that mean he actually graduated in 1995? If so, there’s no way he could have been in ROTC and received a commission in 1997.

  43. Ken Hoop says:

    Cliff above refers to Nidal’s possible interest in Palestine as evidence of “non-assimilation” of one who was born American. Might we apply that standard to Jewish American identification with Israel?

  44. Cloned Poster says:

    How about “US Army” turns guns on itself?

  45. Patrick Lang says:

    Means what?

  46. Andy says:

    One more thing. He was born in 1970 which means he probably graduated high school in 1988 or maybe 1989. How could he have joined the Army right out of HS since he got his commission in 1997? I don’t see anything to indicate he was prior enlisted. I’m sure people will be looking at what he did during that timeframe.

  47. Patrick Lang says:

    And why not?
    Apropos of nothing, I had an Albanian Muslim named Ali in my first rifle platoon. He was a machine gunner (Browning crew served .30 caliber). I used to have to have to “wrestle” him to carry the gun on the march. pl

  48. charlottemom says:

    I’m curious…after reading this from Fox News report (other media reportings too):
    “For Military Police Sgt. Andrew Hagerman, it began with a call over the radio: “Shots fired.” And then another: “Officer down.” He put on his lights and sirens and raced to the scene.
    The gunfire came to an end after civilian police Sgt. Kimberly Munley took the gunman down, despite being shot herself. When Hagerman arrived on the scene he saw a wounded Munley being carried into an ambulance.”
    What? So base MPs arrive to find civilian police have been called, have responded and have the crime scene controlled. Is this the way it’s done on a base? Are MPs the primary or secondary responders on military bases?

  49. optimax says:

    Fox radio is calling Hasan an “embedded radical Muslim,” implying he is part of an Islamic conspiracy. The right sees Islam as an inherently violent religion and the left will never admit that some Muslims think violent jihad is a duty. Both would be better informed if they would listen to Col. Lang’s lecture on Islam and understand there are multifaceted interpretations and sects, and sub-sects, of Islam.
    Hasan listed his nationality as Palestinian on a web page profile. That’s were that came from. But on his Officer Records Brief it says “no-rel-pref.” He was mentally and morally confused–he didn’t know where his loyalties lay. He was alienated–had no friends or girlfriend and hadn’t even told his family he was going to be deployed. He reminds me more of Travis Bickle than a dupe for al-Qaeda. That he in the end decided the only way out of his internal hell was by becoming an instrument of god tasked with ridding the world of evil is SOP for a suicidal megalomaniac. The cognitive dissonance of serving in the U.S. military that is fighting in a Muslim country sent him over the edge.

  50. robt willmann says:

    To guess that Major Nidal Hasan also spoke Arabic is not unreasonable.
    If he did, then the question becomes: what were his deployment orders to Iraq or Afghanistan?
    Was he as a person schooled in psychiatry and fluent in Arabic going to be working with young U.S. soldiers under combat stress?
    Or was he going to be examining Arab prisoners, or sitting in on interrogations, or some such related activity, assuming it was not prohibited by policy for someone in his position?

  51. Lysander says:

    I don’t understand the “he had to go” part. Of course he did not have to! He could have refused. He could have went AWOL. Or fled to Canada. There would be consequences I’m sure, but probably not as severe as murdering 12 comrads.
    No, this man was making a statement. He wanted to kill people. Only god and major hasan will ever truly know why.

  52. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    Still trying to do some math and visualize the crime scene. News reports this evening are now saying that apparently two guns were used: an FN 5.7 and a S & W 357 Mag.
    So the FN could have an initial capacity of 20 rounds in the clip plus one chambered thus 21. Or using an extended clip 30 plus one in the chamber thus 31 rounds.
    So with two standard clips we would arrive at 21 plus 20 equals 41 rounds. Or with one extended and one standard we arrive at 31 plus 20 equals 51 rounds. Or with two extended we get 31 plus 30 equals 61 rounds. So 41 to 61 rounds with one clip change.
    The S&W 357 revolver could either be 6 or 7 round configuration depending. He could have had a speed loader too but not sure how likely as reports say the 357 was carried but not used.
    Reports are now emerging that some of the victims did have multiple wounds including the female police officer. And the numbers seem to be 13 dead and 31 wounded this evening thus a minimum of 44 rounds necessitating at least one clip change. But some had multiple wounds. So this would leave the difference between 61 rounds max with the FN alone and single clip change and 44 rounds for victims. So say 17 rounds from the FN for multiple shots at single targets. And what about stray shots?
    Maybe he was carrying enough to inflict all this damage on his own but it is still not clear IMO.

  53. TR says:

    As the man’s history and recent actions begin to become clearer, the question becomes more urgent: What warning signs could/should others have observed and protectively acted on? It seems to me that the debate over fundamentalist Islam’s inherent characteristics, and their alleged effects, should take a back seat to resolution of that issue, and then perhaps resume.

  54. Paul Escobar says:

    If the United States respected its enemy, as a serious fighting force & culture, few would have a hard time viewing the obvious: Muslims don’t handle humiliation well. They have short fuses. They need to be watched closely.
    Instead, we view them as a joke: brown skinned hillbillies. The “crazy” ones are up in the hills & caves. While the ones in Beverly Hills can be “civilized” & teach their backward cousins.
    We get ridiculous discussions where the left sounds like Zell Miller decrying the racism against hillbillies, & the right sounds like snobby country club members decrying their smell.
    There’s no sense of history. The history of the United States intefering in Muslim heartlands, & the history of Muslims ready to fight for the most hopeless & ridiculous causes.
    There’s no sense of culture. An understanding that the slightest sense of dishonour turns an educated 40 year old Muslim engineer into a 20 year old L.A. Crip seeking revenge in Blood.
    These childish forms of racism prevent us from seriously discussing solutions: whether it’s the application of American brute force…or changes in American foreign policy.

  55. Redhand says:

    Where have we seen this before? “Alienated” Islamist nutjob snaps and starts killing people at random. Airports, Jewish community centers, and in various theaters of the GWOT. I too am reminded of the Islamist NCO, Hasan Akbar, who killed a couple of his fellow soldiers in 2003 and wounded 14 others. He got the death penalty, and should be executed, IMO, or imprisoned for life to contemplate his crimes. I’m not sure which; I haven’t figured out whether the Timothy McVeigh treatment or life behind bars to prevent “martyrdom” is a better outcome for a Muslim.
    I do fault the military for not seeing the warning signs and figuring out that this man was a timebomb. His threats and utterances should have been taken at face value as the dangerous warning signs they were. Why he wasn’t evaluated as a psychiatric risk long before he started shooting is a mystery to me, especially since he was a shrink himself.

  56. Mike says:

    It doesn’t matter what he shouted. Muslims, even secretly militant ones, can have psychotic breaks. This fits the typically American pattern of a disturbed, intelligent loner snapping due to, yes, alienation in part and lashing out in a violent outburst. it happens nearly annually in this country. Perhaps his islam contributed to his alienation, but alienated he clearly was. Does the colonel deny that?

  57. mo says:

    This does not strike me as the actions of an objector. If he merely objected to the wars and his deployment he could have made a honorable and principled stand through legal channels.
    I assume that as a medical graduate that the man is not stupid.
    Therefore I cannot for a second believe that he enlisted without being in the full knowledge that there are “issues” between the Muslim/Arab world and the US and that therefore one day he would be required to be part of an Army that would be fighting Muslims/Arabs.
    And so, I can only assume that any religious/nationalistic fervor for Islam and/or Palestine is something that has come about more recently.
    If that is so, and I were the investigator, I would be inclined to find out what caused this change and more importantly if there is a “who” behind this change.
    On another point:
    “Palestinians foolishly think that the world is going to come to its senses some day and see that it would be fair for them to be given back Palestine.”
    Hamas and Hizballah are in agreement with you on this. The only disagreement is that they do not accept that they should concede the point as a result.

  58. Idrees says:

    “For Palestinian Muslims the recovery of their land is a religious duty.”
    Yes, otherwise they would just ‘pack their tents like an Arab’ — as the saying goes — and wander off to a new oasis. What attachment could a Palestinian possibly have to the land of his forefathers?

  59. Cold War Zoomie says:

    Here’s my two cents, whatever it’s worth.
    He probably joined thinking he’d get a free education, do his time, get out and start private practice with plenty of real experience and no debt. Sounds like a pretty good deal, especially since playing Army as a psychiatrist would be a much more cushy gig than other officer slots. Sure, it would require a lot of work up front, but compared to the civilian route it is very enticing.
    And why should he not think that way since, apart from the Marines, the armed forces advertising campaigns during the ’90s centered heavily on joining for personal gain?
    Then 9/11 came along and he might have to go “fight” his Muslim brothers. Uh, how exactly is a psychiatrist “fighting” his brothers in Iraq? This reminds me of the national guard and reserve folks who opposed Gulf War I because they had joined to get educational benefits, not fight wars.
    To me, the key point is whether or not he ever spoke with his chain of command about his “reservations,” or if he just sat around stewing in his own juices about how the Army had wronged him.
    Looks like the latter.
    And for everyone talking about the “strains” and “pressures” he was under…come on! The guy was a psychiatrist working in an institution that tries to weed out those who are not mentally capable of handling the job. That’s why, typically, the suicide rate in the armed forces is lower than the population as a whole. I’d be much more understanding if he had been a field surgeon patching up victims of IEDs for months and months on end, and then snapped.
    And what about all the civilian psychiatrists working with people who have severe, chronic mental illnesses? How many of them have “snapped” under the strain? To me, working with soldiers who are dealing with a “situational” mental illness, which typically is acute rather than chronic, would be less stressful than working with chronic patients and the constant ebbs and flows of those illnesses. Plus, in the civilian world, folks with chronic mental illnesses are usually very isolated. The military culture is probably more conducive to recovery than outside. So I argue that this guy had *less* strain than many of his civilian counterparts.
    Nope, the guy decided he got a raw deal somehow and decided it was time for revenge. And most likely used the Muslim angle as his own rationalization.
    It may be more complicated than that, but my view is probably a component of this guy’s thinking.

  60. Cold War Zoomie says:

    After further contemplation, I have decided to revise my initial assessment:
    An asshole slipped through the system.

  61. Patrick Lang says:

    I really like these guys like Idrees and another character named “matter” whom I banned a couple of days ago.
    They show up here after a Google search on an event like the Hood shootings and then emote all over the internet on the basis of their politics and ignorance. They do not of course take the time to fimd out what I have previously written on these subjects. pl

  62. Patrick Lang says:

    Hey! I’m the guy who said he was “alienated.” Remember?
    What you and a lot of these people are missing is the multifaceted nature of Islam. Go listen to my lecture on the subject on TA. pl

  63. DE Teodoru says:

    We East Euros have quite a strange flash-back to our roots, as I saw through the Cold War parochialism. But Muslims have a faith-ethnic tie (one that does not stop them from invoking “Allah’s Will” in cutting eachother’s throats) that explodes in violence and the concequences be damned. It is hard to attribute this to faith and not to emotional disinhibition, sme midbrain hereditary trait associated with consanguity per a study in the Saudi J. of Psychiatry, as I recall. More often it is suppressed or manifest in more benign ways. But how could Maj. Hasan sit there listening to edless array of stories spilling hate and ridicule at Muslim from combat returnees and not be affected? If because of 9/11 you can’t empathize, imagine a Jew and his bond to Israel (in most cases of American Jews this is weak but in Ashkenazis and Mizrahis that never came here, you would, and at times have had, the same problem. It is pitiful and one more reason to get out of all these areas where we aggressed before we better train our people so they don’t go in intel blind, language deaf and culture dumb.

  64. Abu Sinan says:

    The Muslim world is a very diverse place. Some Muslims think it is a duty to reclaim former Muslim lands, others would laugh at the idea of trying to reconquer Spain.
    As a Muslim it is clear that this guy thought this was about religion. I also think the reality of it is that the man himself was mentally unstable and his interest in radical/political Islam was probably one of the manifestations of this.
    If he wasnt a Muslim he might have ended up killing 13 people in the name of Charles Manson or the energizer bunny.
    There are many Palestinians who work for the government, I know many of them whom I work with who were born and raised in the Middle East and now hold supervisory positions. Despite their deep pain over what Israel has done to their people, and by extension US support for Israel, they dont go on rampages and murder people.
    Colonel, I liked your comment about how the Israelis are glad you are not Palestinian. I am an American from a military family, members fought in WW1, WW2 and Vietnam, and I have seen first hand what it is like to go through an Israeli checkpoint.
    I think the Israelis must thank God every day that the best and the brightest of the Palestinians travel abroad to live and work. If the Palestinians I know stayed back home and fought I think the tables wouldn’t be so uneven.
    Back to his guy, my dad was a psychologist, like he said, most people who get into this field do so originally to try and help them deal with their own mental health issues.

  65. Patrick Lang says:

    How true. pl

  66. Patrick Lang says:

    You will have noticed I am sure that we have a few surgeons in the Army.
    How many surgeons in the US Marine Corps? pl

  67. mikeyes says:

    From my contacts and from my experience, Hasan was just not a good doctor nor a particularily good officer in the medical corps. He hired a lawyer to try and get him out of his deployment. I had a similar experience when I was deployed to Iraq with a Reserve hospital during Desert Storm. Three of the physicians in the unit, one of whom was Active Duty, successfully managed to get out of the deployment: two by being discharged for missing a movement and one by faking a heart attack and having an active duty peer certify that he could not go over.
    In my opinion, all three were depressed, but so was I at the time. Going to war is not fun and games.
    My spies tell me that his OERs were poor not because he failed to grasp medical information but because he was not good at his job, was late and did not answer his pager when he was on call. That would probably get him fired in the civilian community and it put him on the edge at Walter Reed. (Apparently there are miles of red tape to get rid of a bad doctor in DC.)
    His deployment was routine, in fact I am surprised he didn’t go sooner – perhaps because his supervisors thought he was not ready until recently.
    It would be remiss for me to evaluate or diagnose MAJ Hasan without seeing him first, but I think those are the correct facts. I doubt that his being a Muslim or Arab had anything to do with his bad OERs. That was all based on his performance. And since he has been in the service a combined 16 years, he should have known what he needed to do to get a decent OER as a physician.
    (By the way, you don’t make O-6 anymore in the Medical Corps by being above room temperature for 20 years, you have to punch all the tickets. When I was selected after Desert Storm I was one of 14% selected. I had C&GS school by that time.)

  68. Patrick Lang says:

    Wolf Blitzer? Military knowledge – none. A nice guy but not a clue on military things. Chris Matthews. Thas draft dodger still does not know the difference between officers and non-officers. pl

  69. DE Teodoru says:

    The Muslim World is indeed a diverse place. But there are a few things one might see a lot more of there than here. On the other hand, we Balkans are much the same. The real issue is leaving people alone to live life as they would. This we found impossible because we had to support our cheap oil sources and thus installed our troops on their land. And still, how they reacted is much how we would react. We connect Hasan’s act of rage with his Muslim roots but we don’t connect the Muslim roots of all those Muslims we pass by every day without any problem. Our brain is a big quantitative comparison machine we use to predict the odds of a repeat of previous experiences. Alas, with an N=1 we are deciding waht to do the next time we see a Muslim. Ironically, passing a Korean in the street we do not expect him to pull out a couple of revolvers and shoot up the street. Could we be under bias influence from our media? For the answer look back at Lang’s favorite public servant: Doug Feith and see how he was trying to influence our cerebral predicitve computations!

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