Thursday, November 05, 2009


12 dead, 31 wounded at Fort Hood; of 2 or 3 gunmen, the dead one is a major, "Malik Nadal Hassan."

Cue the flying monkeys.

... Can't find the link now, but earlier Friday was reading about how the fellow had been speaking out in favor of suicide bombers, criticizing our deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan, etc. Did NO ONE think this was out of line in a major? Sounds like another example of "Neighbors Remember Serial Killer As Serial Killer."

... Here's the NYT quoting Colonel Lee, who spoke to Fox News -- there were direct quotes earlier today but the Times has scrubbed them:
Fox News quoted a retired Army colonel, Terry Lee, as saying that Major Hasan, with whom he worked, had voiced hope that President Obama would pull American troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, had argued with military colleagues who supported the wars and had tried to prevent his own deployment.
There's also evidence that he left internet posts re: suicide bombers and such. Fox has video up of Col. Lee but no quotes.

Hasan seems to've had the worst possible job for someone with qualms:
A cousin, Nader Hasan, told The New York Times that after counseling soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with post-traumatic stress disorder, Hasan knew war firsthand.

"He was mortified by the idea of having to deploy," Nader Hasan said. "He had people telling him on a daily basis the horrors they saw over there."
Still not evident why he felt the need to shoot 40 people rather than just himself.

... Kevin Drum passes along what purports to be a firsthand account of the shootings.
I was walking into the medical SRP building when he started firing (he never made it to the main SRP building....the media accounts are understandably pretty off right now). He was calmly and methodically shooting everyone. Like every non-deployed military post, no one was armed. For the first time in my life I really wish I had a weapon. I don't know how to explain what it feels like to have someone shoot at you while you're unarmed. He missed me but didn't miss a lot of others. Just pure random luck. It's a very compressed area, thus the numbers.
More here.

... Ah, I saw Col. Lee's quoted comments at Sullyblog (via the UK press):
"He was making outlandish comments condemning our foreign policy and claimed Muslims had the right to rise up and attack Americans," Col Lee told Fox News. "He said Muslims should stand up and fight the aggressor and that we should not be in the war in the first place." He said that Maj Hasan said he was "happy" when a US soldier was killed in an attack on a military recruitment centre in Arkansas in June.

An American convert to Islam was accused of the shootings. Col Lee alleged that other officers had told him that Maj Hasan had said "maybe people should strap bombs on themselves and go to Time Square" in New York. He claimed he was aware that the major had been subject to "name calling" during heated arguments with other officers.
Did Colonel Lee report any of this conduct? If yes, what was the result? If not, why the hell not?

... More along the Onion line:
The second thing the fellow psychiatrist at Walter Reed said was that he and co-workers were not at all worried that he was a devout Muslim but it was the way he talked about it. A couple of years ago he gave a Grand Rounds presentation. That's when all the doctors come into a big auditorium and you take turns giving a lecture on procedures, diagnosis and treatment and so forth --the best treatment for bipolar, or schizophrenia, etc.

Instead of giving an academic lecture, Hasan gave a lecture on the Koran, and it wasn't informational as much as it was his own interpretation of it --as the co-workers put it. He talked about how if you're a non-believer, the Koran says you should have your head cut off, you should have burning oil poured down your throat, you should be set on fire.

Another Muslim in the audience, another psychiatrist, raised his hand, quite disturbed and said, "Ya know, a lot of us [Muslims] do not believe these things you're saying."

People actually talked in the hallways afterward whether Hasan was one of these people so tightly wound that he might one day freak out and shoot people --sort of half kidding and half serious.
The writer's conclusion that "this couldn't have been prevented" does not seem terribly plausible. That's the case with someone who doesn't send off about a dozen warning signs.

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