Shades of intelligence failures past? Blame game percolating

November 12, 2009

The shooting rampage that killed 13 people at Fort Hood in which a Muslim Army psychiatrist is the suspected gunman has set off a chain of inquiries into who knew what when.

In the post-9/11 era, government officials want to show that they are doing everything they can to protect the public and, when something happens, that they will get to the bottom of it.

The FBI says there is no information that Major Nidal Malik Hasan was involved in a “broader terrorist plot.”

TEXAS-SHOOTING/But that hasn’t stopped questions about whether authorities missed signs that could have somehow prevented the shooting.

U.S. officials say intelligence agencies learned that Hasan contacted an anti-American cleric in Yemen who was sympathetic to al Qaeda and relayed the information to law enforcement authorities, but it’s unclear whether any action was taken.

President Barack Obama has ordered an inventory of all intelligence in U.S. government files related to Hasan, and a review of how any intelligence was handled by government agencies.

Members of Congress are talking about launching congressional investigations.

It has only just begun.

Congressional inquiries are notorious for dragging out. The White House review will likely be done first. TEXAS-SHOOTING/OBAMA

But the bottom line in the usual Washington blame game is going to be finding who messed up.

After the Sept. 11 attacks and the large-scale revamping of U.S. intelligence operations in which a whole new entity was created — the  Director of National Intelligence — that is no small question.

“There is still a reluctance among different (intelligence and law enforcement) actors to share across what they consider to be their own turfs. It seems difficult to understand,” counterterrorism expert Evan Kohlmann said.

What do you think?

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Photo credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque (soldiers at Fort Hood memorial service), Reuters/Jessica Rinaldi (Obama at Fort Hood memorial ceremony)

13 comments

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It seems peculiar that the information wasn’t related to the military, leading to the guy being discharged. Unless I’m wrong, he was in a friendly and approving dialog with somebody advocating harm to the USA. I wouldn’t think civil liberties protection would apply to the question of the military discharging a hazardous soldier. If it does, that should be reviewed; I don’t think military service is a right.

Posted by Pete Cann | Report as abusive

Start an investigation and dig in every crevis to uncover all the facts possible.This needs to be done ASAP and done by a panel independent of the Army command structure.

I remember the “Fragging” problems in Vietnam and it was ugly and uncalled for.If this has to do with a religious following, the military services need to know so that corrective action can be taken to protect the brave men who protect this nation. To hell with politically correct BS.

Posted by Walter H. Polk | Report as abusive

I don’t believe it was a religious following, rather a person who did not want to compromise himself by being into a position where he may have to kill a person he may have felt connected to due to a shared religion or culture.
Here is a fact that is far removed from the politically correct BS. There are, on average ten suicides, that is ten people take their own lives, a month at this particular staging facility (Ford Hood). So i think attention should be turned to the institutions that coin phrases like political correctness in order to mask the unbending policies that the military have in place in order to further their viability, and, additionally, perpetuate a dysfunctional behavior (PTSD) with utter disregard, and little support to the individuals who risk there lives and truly believe there actions are making a world a safer place.
By the way, where are Bush’s WMD’s (weapons of mass destruction) anyway?

Posted by George Markos | Report as abusive

This is simple case of an extreme. Was the guy a little odd? Maybe. There are tons of odd people, even odd psychiatrists. At this point, no one in the general public knows what he was talking about with the Yemeni cleric (who was also born in the US, incidentally), whether that “business card” on Michelle Malkin’s site is real or not, and even if it is, whether he was giving it out privately or to everyone he met, etc etc etc. The bottom line is that lots of people harbor lots of weird thoughts and do lots of weird things, but only ONE guy in the ENTIRE US MILITARY (1.5 million) actually decided to shoot a bunch of people. I know it’s hard to do, but everyone needs to step back and WAIT for the facts to come out (as with most “trial by media” issues).

Posted by Patrick Hagan | Report as abusive

so the blaming game starts huh,well the blame can be put right on the person who pulled the trigger, no one else period.

Posted by R.E.F | Report as abusive

George Markos,
I hope some day, you will find a nice road, to the nice place and experience nothing but nice things, and until you get there I hope you begin to understand how cruel is the world around you. Sure, its not a war against religion, but the inclination of some to go extreme is prominent in one particular religion. I mean, how many Roman Catholics have you heard blowing things up lately? And if you have to quote Bush’s WMD’s, you dont understand what the war was about (hint – read between the economic lines). Also, its Fort Hood, not Ford Hood.

Posted by Lauras | Report as abusive

Lauras, you seem busy correcting spelling errors to get it so allow me to spell it out for you, the crusades were a ideological movement,the Catholics won so no need to blow things up anymore, the war on terror attempted furthered the ideology of democracy, and there are plenty of documentaries, with pictures, illustrating this, in addition to stuff on paper but no pictures.
But back to my initial point, which your spell check obviously missed, of what is going on at Fort Hood, ten people a month see no way out of their situation so they take their own lives, and this psychiatrist after repeated attempts with his superior officers also found no way out and decided to viciously act out. Get it? or are you going to remain happy with the easy answers.

Posted by George Markos | Report as abusive

Regarding George Markos blog, I’ve always believed the WMDs existed but because the UN & US investigators took forever to organize inspection teams, Saddam Hussein had months to move the WMDs over to Syria where they are still. Despite the great advances in modern technology, it still took so much time to shut the barn doors when the horse had already bolted. Boo hoo.

Posted by Axel Olsson | Report as abusive

I’m constantly amazed and puzzled at the self-imposed red tape Americans have at all points of entry affecting the precious time and money of so many innocent visitors, tourists and just everyday innocent businessmen & women in a vain attempt to catch terrorists. They’ll search invalids in wheelchairs, elderly folk, etc and end up giving bad impressions for them to take away, instead of instituting logical selective searches of especially Mid-Eastern passengers. Then they ignore these Muslims in the military who have access to all sorts of secrets and info to pass on to the Taliban and refuse to believe they could be turncoats just waiting for a chance to do what Nidal Hasan did in Ft Hood despite all the warning signs. You Americans sure have your priorities wrong, especially by winding up with the Kingpin Muslim sitting in the White House! The joke’s on you!

Posted by Axel Olsson | Report as abusive

George, give up the cool aid and come to reality.

Posted by Chip Mason | Report as abusive

The only thing that i am not sure about is, whether he will get a conventional firing squad, or will they use a lethal injection?

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

“In the post-9/11 era, government officials want to show that they are doing everything they can to protect the public and, when something happens, that they will get to the bottom of it.”

Complete, total, and utter lies. They haven’t even investigated the hundreds and hundreds of puzzling questions about 9/11 yet, let alone anything that’s happened since.

What happened at Forth Hood is the logical conclusion of allowing Muslims to fight in an army which is ordered to fight against Muslims.

Can you imagine in WW2, would you have wanted a Japanese or a German to fight alongside Americans against the Japanese or the Germans? No, of course not, it would have been sheer lunacy.

Either they are the enemy, or they aren’t. If they are, then there shouldn’t be any of them fighting on our side. If they aren’t, then why are we fighting them?

Posted by Toby Johnson | Report as abusive

Major Nidal Hassan is a psychiatrist whose main prescription is counseling, not full course medicines. An excellent psychiatrist will listen to any patient to get the proper mental torments of the patient in order to treat him by counseling. Such psychiatrist will not be shaken by the horrible incidents he is about to listen to. His profession does not allow him to be moved by such things. If it so, he is not fit for that profession. In that context, if Nadal’s such failure was earlier notified to the concerned, he should have not been allowed to continue his duty. The man who is susceptible to religious fanaticism has already offered his brain for brain washing by fanatics. His profession seems to be a mask here.

The subject of terrorism should not get any lame excuses. As we can see, those actions have not defeated terrorism. Instead, they have bred and encouraged more terrorism.Evil will not go away by itself, it has to be driven away by iron fist. It can be done, if peace favourites take a firm step for isolating them outright.

Posted by Prem Nizar Hameed | Report as abusive