Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fort Hood Tragedy lends an Opportunity for Obama to strengthen the Intelligence community.

Last week I reserved judgment on the shooting rampage that took place, and hoped others would as well, as not a lot was known about Nidal Malik Hasan. Since that time a lot of information has been leaked out about Major Hasan. The FBI had intercepted communications over the past year between Major Hasan and a radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awaki, but dropped the investigation because it was believed the messages gave "no indication Major Hasan was planning an imminent attack at all," said a senior investigator (www.thestartribune.com).

According to the Washington Post, Major Hasan gave a presentation to his supervisors and others at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in June of 2007 where he said, "It's getting harder and harder for Muslims in the service to morally justify being in a military that seems constantly engaged against fellow Muslims." Anwar al-Awaki was been thrown out of the United States due to his radical thoughts and has been connected to bombers of the 9/11 attacks. To compound things Dana Priest said in her Washington Post article, Major's speech in 2007 upset medical colleagues, noted "An Army spokesman said on Monday night that he was unaware of the presentation, and a Walter Reed spokesman declined to comment."

Today President Obama will address Fort Hood in a memorial for those that lost their lives and were wounded by the rampage performed by Major Hasan. The Associated Press is running a story today about Major Hasan's attorney, Ret. Col John Galligan, concern that his client will not be able to get a fair trial at Fort Hood "given the national media attention that has been focused" on the case (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jATMK2q96bKfz6B-aZUHOd5i4mBgD9BSLKJ80). Can we remove the word alleged from the reporting of the rampage? A civilian officer shot Major Hasan, although I was not there, in an attempt to stop him from doing further damage. My thought is that she didn't shoot him because he was Muslim or was there to help protect the troops. Then again we may want to reserve judgment until she is properly investigated as well.

The decision has been made to hold the trial in military court because the belief that Major Hasan worked alone and was not influenced or assisted by any outside person or persons. While the trial will take its course, it is time now for the FBI and other authorities to learn from this situation. Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) has called for an investigation to determine whether the shootings were a terrorist attack and determine how the warning signs were missed. Sen. Lieberman will look to use his chairmanship of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee. The push by Sen. Lieberman come on the heels of new information that classmates of Major Hasan warned Pentagon officials that Hasan "gave a presentation at the Uniformed Services University that justified suicide bombing and even told classmates that Islamic law trumped the US Constitution" (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/6528199/Fort-Hood-shooting-senator-calls-for-investigation.html). The Telegraph also reports that another classmate sent a command climate survey that warned that political correctness may hamper an "intellectually honest discussion of Islamic ideology".

Justice needs to be served for those that feel at Fort Hood. Even though a death sentence will not wash away the tragic event, it will bring the ultimate justice that can be given. Anything less would be a travesty and mock the events that took place at Fort Hood. I can see the Obama Administration hiding behind the fear of making Major Hasan a martyr and giving Jihadists a poster boy for recruitment. It is time for American Intelligence community to ensure their understanding of the Islamic ideology is complete. Sleeper cells are alive and well inside the United States. The event at Fort Hood is evident of that.

Major Hasan did not hide his ideology. The portrait that will play out in the mass media will be one of a man troubled by his duty to Islam and to the military he was a part of. When it was a reality that he'd be going over to the Middle East to potentially kill those that share his view it was too much and he snapped. The mass media will paint this, much to the liking of the Obama Administration, of an isolated man that acted alone. The short sightedness by the media and lack of journalistic fortitude will not push hard to ensure the messages by radical clerics are silenced. American's realize the time under which we live. Now, I am not advocating that an onslaught of backlash be heaved upon the Islamic community; rather we must have proper investigation into the activities to determine the extent of radical thought being taught. Like it or not, profiling has a purpose and when applied correctly can mitigate events like Fort Hood shooting rampage.

Where do we go from here? Can we finally call it a "war on terror" instead of a "manmade disaster"? Can we call these people terrorists? Why must we be politically correct? Why can we not talk about issues, not just the tragic at Fort Hood, with blunt talk? Is it time for political correctness to go away?