Monday, February 22, 2010

Nidal Hasan's extremism overlooked by the Army in favor of diversity

From the Boston Globe:
Army superiors were warned about the radicalization of Major Nidal Malik Hasan years before he allegedly massacred 13 soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas, but did not act in part because they valued the rare diversity of having a Muslim psychiatrist, military investigators wrote in previously undisclosed reports.

An obvious “problem child’’ spouting extremist views, Hasan made numerous statements that were not protected by the First Amendment and were grounds for discharge by violating his military oath, investigators found.

Examples of Hasan’s radical behavior have previously been disclosed in press accounts based on interviews with unnamed Army officials..., but the Pentagon’s careful documentation of individual episodes dating back to 2005 and the subsequent inaction of his superiors have not been made public before...

The report concludes that because the Army had attracted only one Muslim psychiatrist in addition to Hasan since 2001, “it is possible some were afraid’’ of losing such diversity “and thus were willing to overlook Hasan’s deficiencies as an officer.’’...

In one classroom incident not previously described by the Army..., Hasan appeared to be defending terrorism...

Hasan’s views and behavior were so well known that before he was transferred to Fort Hood in July 2009 a senior health official at Walter Reed informed a counterpart at the Texas base, the investigation found.

In fact, the report says Hasan was assigned in July 2009 to the medical center at Fort Hood in the first place because at least two superiors expressed concern that he “should not be sent to an assignment where he would be the sole provider.’’
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