In an interview, his aunt, Noel Hasan of Falls Church, said he had endured name-calling and harassment about his Muslim faith for years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and had sought for several years to be discharged from the military.
"I know what that is like," she said. "Some people can take it, and some cannot. He had listened to all of that, and he wanted out of the military, and they would not let him leave even after he offered to repay" for his medical training....
[Hasan] once said that "Muslims should stand up and fight against the aggressor" and that the United States shouldn't be fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in the first place, according to an interview with Col. Terry Lee, a co-worker...
Lee told Fox News that Hasan "was hoping that President Obama would pull troops out.... When things weren't going that way, he became more agitated, more frustrated with the conflicts over there. . . . He made his views well known about how he felt about the U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan."How was it that the military trained and employed this man in psychiatry and did not perceive his deep problems? I think that part of psychiatric training involves subjecting the would-be psychiatrist to psychological analysis. Why did this man slip through the system? His job was to treat others, in an environment full of experts in the field of psychiatry. Why did he remain an insider if he was the sort of person who could do what he eventually did? These are serious questions, not adequately answered by the idea that people "snap."
And when he talked about fighting "the aggressor," he said that his fellow soldiers "should stand up and help the armed forces in Iraq and in Afghanistan," Lee said.
I want to know why what was wrong with Hasan was not detected? Was he given a pass because he was Muslim? Is there a fear of suspecting or offending Muslims in the military that keeps people who should see signs of dysfunction from acknowledging what they see or doing anything about it? On the other hand, if it really is the case that people in the military are harassing Muslims, that too should not be ignored. There should be rigorous equality for Muslims. It shouldn't even be necessary to point out what is obvious: Muslims in the military shouldn't experience special treatment either of a positive or a negative kind.
Let us not, out of sympathy for the victims, shy away from examining the military's failings. This should not have happened, and the sphere of responsibility extends beyond the murderer. This is not an expression of sympathy for Hasan. It is a desire for an effective military.
Here's the way the New York Times deals with the story:
In an interview on NBC’s “Today” show, Lt. Gen. Robert W. Cone, a base spokesman, was asked about reports that Major Hasan had yelled “Allahu Akbar” — an Arabic expression for “God is great” — during the shooting. General Cone said soldiers at the scene had reported “similar” accounts....
General Cone said that terrorism was not being ruled out, but that preliminary evidence did not suggest that the rampage had been an act of terrorism.So that yelling of "Allahu Akbar," that doesn't suggest terrorism?
The rampage recalled other mass shootings in the United States, including 13 killed at a center for immigrants in upstate New York last April, the deaths of 10 during a gunman’s rampage in Alabama in March and 32 people killed at Virginia Tech in 2007, the deadliest shooting in modern American history.Not to me, it doesn't. Hasan was a psychiatrist, working among psychiatrists. He was trusted and given access to places that are secured from the general public. And with that access he was able to kill and wound scores of military personnel. It's not like cases where some previously unexamined person bursts into a public place and starts shooting everyone.
There are a lot of questions here, and we need to be brave about asking them.
Mr. Obama called the shootings “a horrific outburst of violence” and urged Americans to pray for those who were killed and wounded.I'm going to remember that pledge. And it is long past time for the President to step up and commit to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Enough with the demonstrations of thoughtful deliberation and concerned facial expressions made while saluting a flag-draped coffin. It is important for Obama to demonstrate leadership in war today.
“It is difficult enough when we lose these men and women in battles overseas,” he said. “It is horrifying that they should come under fire at an Army base on American soil.”
The president pledged “to get answers to every single question about this horrible incident.”