Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Waving a Red Flag in Front of a Lot of Bull

Senators Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins (Senate Homeland Security Committee) have finally submitted their analysis of the jihadi massacre at Fort Hood, Texas. They've concluded that (Major/Psychiatrist/Seeker of 72 Virgins in Paradise) Nidal Hasan was a "ticking time bomb," and that despite sending up numerous red flags in the military and medical communities, despite being on the FBI's radar as a radicalized Muslim, and despite using disturbingly violent rhetoric to hint at his jihadi agenda, no one lifted a finger to contain this guy.

That's so untrue it's almost laughable, except that, undoubtedly, some careers will be ruined because of this, and possibly charges will be brought against the designated scapegoats.

Lieberman, Collins, and their staff are most upset that no one is being held accountable for this, that no one connected the dots and then followed through.  That's the bottom line: they need a couple of names of people to throw under the bus so that we can all move on after addressing the incompetence of a few bureaucrats. We can pin the blame on a handful of people who were supposed to know better but then let us all down, and who will be held partly responsible for the deaths of the 13 victims at Ft. Hood.

Here's how lame the Lieberman report is: while Lieberman et al are busy pointing fingers, they have also admitted that there were people who saw Hasan for what he was and who tried to stop him.  These people had enough insight into Islam to recognize the threat Hasan posed and to follow this up by insisting he be investigated.

And he was investigated, by the FBI and by his superior officers. The reason the investigations went nowhere was because the evidence against him was "slim." Not one of these agencies fought the idea of going after Hasan--they tried, as far as the law and the culture of political correctness allowed them, to keep him in their sights. Until Hasan started shooting, all the investigators had to go on was that he was an extremely devout Muslim.

The right people were concerned about clear warning signs, and yet they ran into a huge wall. There was only so much they could do about Hasan without violating his right to freely practice his religion. He said nothing, anywhere, that was in contradiction to the precepts of his faith. He defended suicide bombers: so what? There are plenty of mainstream, moderate Muslim scholars who use the Qur'an to defend that idea.

The Lieberman group has run into the same problem the FBI, etc., had: they can't name the elephant in the room. They would instantly be labeled islamophobic and this would destroy their careers--not because they necessarilly get a huge chunk of the Muslim vote to begin with, but because their political enemies will use it to paint them as bigots.

It must have been frustrating for Hasan's colleagues to agonize over how to handle him, and to then approach people who had some authority to investigate him, only to be told, "Yes, we totally agree with you--he is dangerous--but there is nothing we can do without violating his civil rights." It's only when the bullets started hitting live bodies that anyone was allowed to publicly say, "I knew this guy was going to snap!"

I am not advocating that Islam be outlawed, or that religious freedoms be extended to some groups but not to others. But we do need to recognize that some elements of some religions are antithetical to Western culture, and in particular to the laws of the US. (Ask the Mormons what happened to their revelations on plural marriage.)

I am disgusted, but not surprised, that Lieberman's committee did not have the courage to come out and say that yes, people did know that Hasan was dangerous, and yes, they did try to do something about it....but Hasan's right to practice his religion is more important than the lives of the soldiers he killed.

Until that happens, men like Hasan, and the seditious imams who support them, will be able to pursue their murderous plans with impunity.

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