The First Draft: US media’s Fort Hood coverage turns to militancy question

November 9, 2009

First came questions about whether anyone missed emotional signals that suspected Fort Hood shooter, Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan, was close to cracking. Now U.S. media say Congress wants to know if he was also veering toward Islamist militancy. TEXAS-SHOOTING/

A preliminary review of Hasan’s computer has revealed no evidence of any connection to terror groups or conspirators, according to a report by CBS News.

But lawmakers have asked the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies to preserve documents on Hasan. That’s according to ABC News, which says the spooks believe he may have been trying to contact U.S.-born imam Anwar al Awlaki, who is based in Yemen and supports holy war against the West.

It’s not clear whether the U.S. military knew one of its officers was under intelligence surveillance, ABC said.

U.S. law enforcement and military investigators are also looking into associations between Hasan and the Dar al Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Virginia, in early 2001, about the same time Awlaki and two of the Sept. 11 hijackers were there, the Los Angeles Times reported.  The mosque is one of the biggest in the United States and thousands of people go there for prayer services and other events.

Witnesses at Fort Hood told investigators that Hasan yelled “Allahu Akbar” — Arabic for “God is Greatest”  — before killing 13 people and wounding another 30 last week. The 39-year-old psychiatrist was shot four times by police and remains hospitalized. TEXAS-SHOOTING/

It is unclear what motivated Hasan and the Army’s chief of staff, General George Casey, is afraid the shooting spree could cause a backlash against Muslims in the military.

But Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Connecticut independent who is a hard-liner on security issues, sees the Fort Hood melee as a possible act of terrorism.

“We don’t know enough to say now. But there are very, very strong warning signs here that Dr. Hasan had become an Islamist extremist and, therefore, that this was a terrorist act,” Lieberman told Fox News over the weekend. DEFENSE-ASIA/

Lieberman, chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, wants the Pentagon to launch an independent probe of whether defense officials missed early signs of stress and statements that might have expressed Islamist sentiment.

Photo Credits: Reuters/Ho New (Hasan); Reuters/Jessica Rinaldi (Fort Hood); Reuters/Vivek Prakash (Lieberman)


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Its all the Army’s fault. If they weren’t so PC about it, they would have taken note of all the signs he was giving off. Emotional, written (his computer postings), his association with mosque that hosted extremist Imam, etc, etc, etc. I’m with Mr. Lieberman on this one. Because of our need to be PC we allowed this to happen. At all levels of gov’t those with knowledge failed to act correctly – because of a fear of being called “anti Islamic”..Hello? You think we can’t distinguish between anti Islamic and anti extremist because we are just the dumb public?? He should have been made to either leave the Army, or been reclassified as an objector and deployed elsewhere. End of problem, no one dead. What gives me chills is how many more of his ilk are in the military or health care? Waiting to go off?

Posted by Donna | Report as abusive

Donna…PC…??? You really should try to watch other things then Fox News. I’m assuming you are talking about Political Correctness, which I’ve only seen ramblings about on Fox News.

But let’s follow your logic along to it’s conclusion…we gather up all the arab’s in the military. And then what? Send them Guantanamo for questioning…because they are of Middle Eastern descent? Wait we can’t just do Arabic people, we will have to gather up all the turks and kurds, alabnians…hey…they Jews look a little Middle Eastern…we’ll get them too. And then we shoud build camps….

Jeez, we really need to gather up all the ignorant folk in the country and put them into education camps!

Posted by SWMissouri | Report as abusive

I have a hard time believing this. Sure. Make him a militant scapegoat. I think it’s MUCH more likely that he was harassed by fellow military folks for being Muslim. Combined with the high stress of dealing with the mental issues of soldiers, it’s more likely that he simply cracked under the pressure of it all. So. Which sounds better for the US government. That there was a militant who went nuts, or that there was a dedicated US citizen who went nuts because of the stress of the job. I’m not buying the militant cover up.

Posted by NoName | Report as abusive

He him is Muslim. He might well have friends and or family in the parts of the world he served. Is it possible that maybe the stress of being party to a war against people that share his values or perhaps against people he might know and love, was just a bit more than he could take.

I certainly wouldn’t want to fight a war against my own fellow Americans. I certainly wouldn’t want to be a party to killing those who’s values I share or whom I love. I certainly would not want to be a party to spreading violence in parts of the world where my family comes from.

I’m not saying that I know why he did what he did. But there are certainly lots of things to consider. War is unnatural for human beings. The only way we can engage in it is to override our aversion to killing other people.

And all human beings have this aversion unless they have a mental condition which makes them insensitive to the suffering of others.

This is a sad thing indeed. Violence will not end terrorism. Violence only encourages it. If we want to end terrorism we should start by learning to value peace. And by learning to use things other than violence to make change for the better wherever possible.

Posted by Benny Acosta | Report as abusive

Hasan considered his victims the enemy of his religion and so he was in his pyschopathic way ‘doing his duty’. The scary part is his co-religionists do not think he went nuts. The ‘going nuts’ tag is an unhelpful denial mechanism. Housten we have a problem.

Posted by DP | Report as abusive

Muslims are always loyal to their faith first, nation second, no matter where they go. This is no surprise. The ‘party’ has just begun. Wake up and flush out these jihadi fundoos America.

Posted by KP | Report as abusive

War is unnatural for humans? Really?

Violence against neighbors is one of the oldest traditions humans have.

Posted by drewbie | Report as abusive

What is the name of this mans commanding officer? Maybe, just maybe, when a commanding officer gets push-back on an order, especially so strongly, maybe just maybe they ought to LISTEN instead of pushing a person over-the-edge. When the politicians and everyone else are through covering their butts, maybe just maybe, the military should rethink the historical sanctity of its orders, and respect that the individual they are commanding is human.

Posted by Dun Hoh | Report as abusive

He could be considered as victim of religion pressing as one more person who was not able to hold had duty job, but … only one reason against that theory: he was a psychiatrist. And he was not able to identify his self stress or put his profession ahead of his profession. Or did not want to do that. At any case it raises question about his professional incompetence and the professional incompetence of people who have hired him and who have teach him.

Posted by Vlad | Report as abusive

sorry for mistyping: I wanted to say ‘profession ahead of his religion’

Posted by Vlad | Report as abusive

Wow, if someone says, “Allahu Akbar” — Arabic for “God is Greatest”, so what so bad about it. Yes, the act he did was totally wrong. If he survives, he should be court-martialed! Period!

Posted by Jamica Bust | Report as abusive

Lieberman is the other side of the coin! Another extremist (but from other religion), that’s it!

Posted by John Chang | Report as abusive

If thats’ make everyone feel better, “stressed” is the word, but someone got stressed he vacation or have tequilla. but not killing 13 persons walking around unarmed….

Where is anyone’s mind.?

Posted by Penny | Report as abusive

I wonder if Sen Joe Lieberman will be as quick to call for an inquiry into the rise and destructive effect of Islamophobia within American public life if its found to be in any way implicated in the horrific events at Fort Hood.

There’s a good chance that it will be as Barack Obama faced persistent rumours and questions about his loyalty and ability to be trusted with issues of national security when he was running for president simply because his middle name was ‘ Hussein’.

He was dubbed a crypto Muslim and worse.

The mere allegation of being Muslim was serious enough for Barack Obama to start countering it in his election speeches , he even added a section to his website headed “Barack is not and never has been a Muslim” and assured Jewish leaders “If anyone is still puzzled about the facts, I have never been a Muslim.”

What sort of message did this send out to American Muslims, particularly those serving in the military?

If the Commander in Chief faced problems over his Islamic sounding surname you can be sure Islamophobia is a problem within the military because.

America has some deep soul searching to do .

Posted by desik | Report as abusive

Why is everyone so outraged over this? Hell, we’re at war; what do you expect? I guarantee readers that there will be more of this kind of thing the longer this war drags on. Want it to stop? Then demand from your legislators that the war be ended and the troops return home.

Posted by Mufaso | Report as abusive

US citizens need to stand up against the menace of Islam in their society and finish it off in their soil also as it leads the struggle of world against the Islamic menace. Obama should come up in open and declare the start of global war against Islamic menace and ask nations to declare their stand.

Posted by IGT | Report as abusive

US will be attacked by Muslims residing within it’s territory like this one and also by Muslims outside like Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya etc. US needs to carefully tread. It will need broader acceptance as it leads the fight against Islamic Terrorism and Mullas and fanatic muslims. It should form united forces with Russia, China, Israel, UK, France, India, Japan, S Korea to weed out Islamic terrorism from all arts of world like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, Iran, Palestine, UAE, China, Russia, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia etc. For this the first draft should be of a universal terror law under which islamic jehad should be addressed by universal force against jehad.

Posted by IGT | Report as abusive


You could’ve avoided all that spittle on your screen by just typing “yeeeehawww!”

Posted by Palestinian-American | Report as abusive


You know the other people who are asking for a holy war? Suicide bombers, you sound just like them.


Right on the money, being a muslim hater is not only acceptable it’s encouraged in American society. Hate and prejudice has never left American society, it’s just simply shifted from black to asian back to blacks and now onto muslims/atheists/latinos.

Posted by Michael Ham | Report as abusive

You know the other people who are asking for a holy war? Suicide bombers, you sound just like them.

Anyone who will take a stand against Islamic Terrorism and Jehad will sound religious. Be it China, Russia or US. Anyone who says that the Muslim who killed non Muslims will automatically be looked upon as threat to Muslims which is what happens as US fights Islamic Terrorism. You can see the output of AfPak common people thought process which is controlled by Mullas. The Muslim in here had all the best things of life… Yet he sided with Islamic terrorism, shouted Allah Ooo Akbar as he killed non Muslims. If he was mentally deranged, he could have done the same thing in a mosque too where these guys are supposed to go five times in a day.

Posted by IGT | Report as abusive




Hindsight is always 20/20.

Foresight though isn’t, because it involves more than just having eyes. It requires having eyes that want to see. And ears that want to hear.

Since Candidate Obama first hawked the Iraq-to-Afghanistan switch-er-roo long con in the 2008 presidential debates, informed foresight should have told all that our military involvement in President Obama’s 2009 Afghanistan was no-win for those that would directly pay for it with their taxpayer money or worse yet, our service personnel with their lives.

So now hindsight wants to kick in after the Ft. Hood massacre by psycho whack-job muslim terrorist Nidal Malik Hasan. Well isn’t that just great.

As it’s currently shaking out though, this is like hitting something while driving along, wondering gee, what did I just hit, with eyes focused solely on the rear view mirror — as you continue driving along at uninterrupted forward speed and direction.

Who knew what and when and what they did or didn’t do re Hasan serves a useful purpose but isn’t going to change hindsight into foresight.

When you are doing something you shouldn’t be doing, in a place you shouldn’t be, you just can’t possibly get good enough at it — in this case identify psycho whack-job muslim terrorists before they do what a psycho whack-job muslim terrorist will do — to turn a no-win policy into anything other than a no-win policy.

Whether someone offs themselves exclusively by jumping off a bridge, or tries to force a suicide-by-cop, or in this case traitorously take out as many of their brothers and sisters in uniform as possible with them as part of solving their own existential dilemma, such reach that behavioral point by letting themselves get inextricably boxed in to that no-win behavior mode.

President Obama is likewise so boxed in, politically. Candidate Obama rode a team of duplicitous horses to election victory. Lead horse on that team was the Iraq-to-Afghanistan war of his necessity. If that weasel now makes with additional troops to Afghanistan, forget trying to understand Nidal Malik Hasan in hindsight and focus on foresight — to see President Obama is a Nidal Malik Hasan in the making, a thousand times over, AS WE SPEAK, IN REAL-TIME.

So why wasn’t Nidal Malik Hasan spotted as a bad apple and so handled? Short answer: The same reason that President Obama’s no-win Afghanistan war of his necessity isn’t CURRENTLY seen for what it is.

Posted by dom youngross | Report as abusive