Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Death in the Afternoon
Ft. Hood Texas, 2009

Twelve soldiers shot dead in cold blood with about 29 others wounded. It happened on a US military base at Ft. Hood Texas at approximately 1330 hrs. The alleged killer was an American Army officer, Major Nidal Malik Hasan. Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, is an Arab American Muslim with two brothers, one still living in Palestine. Reportedly, standing on a table in an Army reception center, he shouted the Jihadist battle cry, Allahu Akbar as he mercilessly gunned downed his victims until he was taken down with four bullets by police – he still is alive but in serious condition. For this to happen there had to be massive dereliction of duty by the Army command.

Despite the fact there is evidence that Hasan attempted to contact al Qaeda, the mainstream media, the Administration and the Army have cautioned the public not to jump to conclusions on the tragic affair.

Who are they trying to kid? The only major question that remains is whether Hasan in fact did plot and carry out the terrorist attack alone or with assistance from the Jihadist network. At a press conference at Ft. Hood, Army Chief of Staff General Casey told us that the incident will be carefully investigated, results studied, lessons learned and corrective action taken. This is of course bureaucratic bullshit while the Army figures out how to cover its ass and protect the command as best it can.

The much larger national security question that Hasan's murderous rampage brings into focus is whether the Jihadists, due to US wars in Islamic countries and US pro Israeli policies, succeed in the recruitment of terrorists in the US. If this is the case, the GW Bush anti terrorist policy appears even more misguided than previously acknowledged.

This investigation scenario has played out before in the criminally bad planning for the invasion of Iraq, the Abu Ghraib torture club, the Jessica Lynch propaganda farce, the failure to get bin Laden at Tora Bora, the escape of Mullah Omar at Kandahar and of course, the cover-up of football player Tillman's friendly-fire death by the General McCrystal investigation. Name one US general officer relieved over these serial fiascos; some have been promoted. The West Point Protective Society appears alive and well.

That the massacre occurred a Ft. Hood is particularly vexing and ironic as it is filled with combat veterans from the wars against the Jihadists in Iraq and Afghanistan. Unless the command was comatose, it should have smelled the Hasan danger from afar. Why did it not act?

Based on nearly all reports, Major Hasan was a walking billboard with flashing lights for Jihad: he talked the game to his comrades, his Islamic friends, and even his superiors; there are indications that he used the internet to justify martyrdom through Jihad taking down infidels; he sometimes dressed in Arab clothing; and, he was obstreperous in has anti war sentiment and cautioned by command over his politicization.

Why he was was not relieved, taken into custody and boarded out are unexplained. He could have been fined for his failure to keep his medical school agreement or allowed to pay back the contract which cost roughly one-half million dollars. As it ended up, the Army suffered more than financial loss for keeping the Jihadist major around. No command investigation can justify the horror caused by the bad judgement of the military leadership. No excuse is acceptable for the terrible consequences that unfolded at Ft. Hood in that fall afternoon.

No amount of investigation, compensation or mea culpas can change the fact that the dead are dead and the wounded are damaged; but, measures can be taken to punish those in the military who were responsible for the welfare of the troops under their command. The adage that the commander is responsible for what his men do or failed to do has been operational throughout the Army's history except in the 21st century. It is about time this ethos is restored with the integrity of command. At a minimum, the Chief of Staff of the Army should be encouraged to retire; the chain of command, starting with the LTG in command at Ft. Hood, should be relieved of command and the relief action taken down to the medical commander of Hasan.

There is no point in directing blame toward the US military Islamic community regarding the incident; as a matter of fact, this community should be protected. There are about 3,000 serving Muslims in the Army who are patriotic and have shed blood for the country. Military security has to solve the conundrum that all Jihadists are Muslims but not all Muslims are Jihadists.

You can expect more dereliction of duty by those in command unless commanders are disciplined for their failures; if this is not done, we might as well privatize the force and accept a Wall Street mercantile morality as a code of conduct. Half of the forces (188,000) deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq are already private and this may explain the overall diminishing of military ethics and command responsibility. Colonel Robert E Bartos USA Ret


Anonymous Anonymous said...

12 dead and 29 wounded Army vets, by one shooter? I call BS. Even the best trained Rambo/SF could not do that alone.



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