- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Senate investigation has found that the November 2009 Fort Hood massacre was predictable and avoidable, something that was obvious to anyone except members of the Obama administration. Worse, the White House still refuses to admit that a jihadist terror attack took place on the Army base. 

The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee recently concluded a year-long look into the circumstances of the domestic terror incident that took 14 lives. The committee report concluded that the Department of Defense and the FBI “collectively had sufficient information to have detected [Major Nidal] Hasan’s radicalization to violent Islamist extremism but failed both to understand and to act on it.” 

The systemic failures are alarming. Hasan openly discussed justifications for suicide bombings with other officers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and gave a briefing on Islam which reflected his extremist views. He questioned whether his oath to the Constitution had greater weight than his fealty to Islam. When some of his fellow officers reported his dangerous views, correctly describing him as a “ticking time bomb,” they were told that having Hasan around was beneficial because he provided first-hand insights into the worldview of violent Islamists. By this twisted reasoning, every unit deploying to Afghanistan should reserve a billet for a jihadist-in-training. 

The FBI detected that Hasan was communicating with Anwar al-Awlaki, the senior al Qaeda operative currently being hunted in Yemen. Hasan sent 18 emails over six months between December 2008 and June 2009, asking the radical cleric things like when jihad is legitimate and whether it is permitted to kill innocents in a suicide attack. He wrote that he “couldn’t wait” to have discussions with Awlaki “in the afterlife.” Armed with such intel, most terrorism analysts would reasonably suppose Hasan was a jihadist preparing for martyrdom. The FBI, however, concluded this outreach to al Qaeda was “legitimate research on terrorism and Islam” and dropped the case without interviewing Hasan or any of his coworkers. Had G-men followed up, the Senate report concluded, Hasan would have been discharged from the Army and 14 of his victims would be alive today. 

Despite so many clear warning signs, Hassan was passed through the system. No officials would take the appropriate, necessary action. The reason for their gross negligence was political correctness. The system turned a blind eye because Hasan was a Muslim, and making an accusation against a follower of Islam is a career-ender in the Obama administration. Rather than touch this third rail, officials washed their hands of the problem even though Hasan openly expressed extremist views that bordered on treason. 

The White House response to the Fort Hood massacre is a textbook study in denial and coverup. The Obama administration refused to admit it was a terrorist attack, calling it instead an example of “violence in the workplace.” The Army’s official “force protection” report whitewashed the incident and avoided any reference to Hasan’s jihadist motivations. The message to the federal bureaucracy was that even when blood is spilled, even when a soldier slaughters his fellow troops with a cry of “Allah akbar,” official silence will be maintained. Radical Islam is the hatred that dare not speak its name. 

The Obama administration has shown no signs of correcting this damaging course, has made no public admission that domestic jihadism is a threat and has undertaken no campaign to root out other adherents of the hateful creed that motivated Hasan. Apparently, Barack Hussein Obama believes it is better to place America at greater risk than take the chance of offending someone, somewhere in the global Muslim population, the majority of whom despise the United States already.

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