Stonewalling on Hasan
On 5 November Major Nidal Hasan proceeded to his post at Fort Hood and opened fire on his fellow soldiers. Dressed in the martyr's garb of a Pashtun fighter, this man shot and killed thirteen soldiers, and injured thirty more soldiers. (There is a fourteenth victim in the unborn child of one of those soldiers.) He's in custody, and is facing, now, fourteen counts of first-degree, premeditated murder. (I'd love to take up the language of the media, and mention he's the "alleged" shooter, but there's no "alleged" about this. He did it, and should be facing the death penalty.)
Now there are literally tons of questions about this man. He supposedly was either a wanna-be jihadist, or firmly believed he was one. He had business cards printed with "SoA" on them; the acronym has been confirmed by terrorism experts as "Soldier of Allah." He had regular communication with Anwar al-Aulaqi, an imam who headed up a mosque that two of the 9-11 hijackers attended, and a man who was a known al Qaeda sympathizer. He constantly, according to his colleagues at Walter Reed, attempted to "witness" to his patients about the glories of Allah, and even attempted to hand out Korans to them.
The public deserves to know some answers as to how this man was allowed to stay in the Army, despite his jihadist sympathies, and how he was allowed to continue treating combat troops as a psychiatrist. As Ben Pershing of the WaPo notes, the Congress isn't getting any sort of help from the White House:
The first public congressional hearing on the Fort Hood attack will not include testimony from any current federal law enforcement, military or intelligence officials because the Obama administration “declined to provide any” such witnesses, according to a Senate committee source.
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has released the witness list for its hearing “The Fort Hood Attack: A Preliminary Assessment,” scheduled for Thursday at 10 a.m. ET. The list includes four experts on terrorism and intelligence issues: retired Gen. Jack Keane, the former U.S. Army vice chief of staff; Brian Jenkins, a senior advisor at the Rand Corp.; Mitchell Silber, the director of analysis for the New York City Police Department’s Intelligence Division; and Juan Zarate, a senior advisor for the Transnational Threats Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
But the list does not include anyone actively involved in investigating the Fort Hood attack, or anyone who might have been responsible for decisions made by various government agencies before the attack about whether to investigate the shooting suspect, Nidal Hasan. The Senate committee source said HSGAC Chairman Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) had hoped to have witnesses from the FBI and the U.S. Army, but was rebuffed in his requests. ...
President Obama has already ordered a federal review of the circumstances that led up to the Fort Hood attack, and how government agencies handled intelligence related to Hasan. But in his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday, Obama urged caution on Capitol Hill.
"I know there will also be inquiries by Congress, and there should," Obama said. "But all of us should resist the temptation to turn this tragic event into the political theater that sometimes dominates the discussion here in Washington. The stakes are far too high."
Pardon us, Mr. President, but we're getting a tad tired of this "let's not jump to conclusions" BS. NO ONE in the administration is giving satisfactory explanations how this man was allowed to even stay in the Army considering his outspoken attitude regarding the Army, and its actions in this war. It's been uncovered by ABC this morning that he sought to have his patients brought up on war crimes charges which, at the very least, breeches the doctor/patient confidentiality rules as well as undermining the Army's ability to prosecute this war.
The public is owed some answers and so is Congress. Barry may act like he's the "king" of America, but he's not. He's the president -- the chief of the Executive branch -- and Congress is a direct check on him. They have the authority to conduct investigations on a host of issues, and this happens to be one of them. Barry stated this would be the most open and transparent administrations this nation has ever seen, and it's clear that he's not willing to play ball on this. He's told the congress that the administration will conduct its own internal investigation. To those who think this sounds like the fox guarding the hen house, we share your suspicions. This smells more like an attempt to cover-up for Hasan (for whatever reason*).
If Barry continues to stonewall on this issue, Senator Lieberman and Congress have an option they can utilize. It's called a congressional subpoena, and Barry would be stupid to ignore such an order from Congress. The president owes it to the Congress, and to the nation, to be as open on this issue as possible. Justice needs to be handed down on Hasan, and we need to know what heads should be rolling for allowing him to stay in the Army. It's clear the man had issues and those issues lead to the murder of fourteen fellow soldiers before he was shot by a civilian law enforcement officer. (A female -- Sergeant Kimberly Munley -- shot him and stopped his attempted massacre, which is likely something that will stick in his craw given Islam's disdain of women.)
If the administration doesn't want to play ball, Congress should force its hand. Being president doesn't mean one can blow off the other branches of the government especially when it comes to investigations. The Left seethed over President Bush's use of executive authority when it came to members of his administration. Right or wrong, the president has that authority. Not so in this case, and Barry would be wise to remember that.
(* Let's not throw around fever swamp theories as to why the WH is covering this up. No "Barry's a Muslim" or crap like that, please? Remember that we don't jump on conspiracy theory bandwagons here.)