Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: Blogging, Politics — Rick Moran @ 10:52 am

I probably shouldn’t write this. Every time I say that to myself, I get into trouble. And I still might hit the “delete” button before it’s published.

But I am spitting mad and feel the need to share my anger with those precious few of you who are not so blinded by partisanship that logic, reason, and above all, good common sense can’t be applied to a discussion about what happened at Fort Hood yesterday.

The rationalizations for Major Hasan’s rampage - his motives, his state of mind, even the environment in which he carried out his horrific attack - are being tossed about the blogosphere on both sides as if everything that can be known about the circumstances has already been revealed.

This must be the case because without any definitive word from authorities, from his friends and associates, or from Hasan himself, both lefty and righty blogs have already “solved” the mystery of motive and any argument to the contrary is “racist,” or “pro-jihad,” or “hate speech,” or “political correctness.” By far the most bizarre explanation for Hasan’s killing spree is that it was the result of some kind of weird Post Traumatic Stress Disorder transference where the good doctor heard so many horrible tales of what happened in Iraq that he cracked.

News flash: Everyone can’t be right. In fact, it is likely everyone is wrong. Was it an example of Muslim extremist terrorism? Or a reaction to bullying and name calling by brother officers? Or the prospect of being deployed to Iraq? A combination? None of the above?

I am making the same argument I made when six police officers were gunned down in Pittsburgh - the result, we were told, of the maniac listening to conservative talk radio and reading conservative literature. Trying to glean motive when a madman acts insanely is an exercise in futility. This is especially true when you pull such theories out of your ass because no investigation had been made at that point into the shooter’s motives.

Brainwashing and indoctrination are a separate issue. In this case, we know he attended a wahabbist mosque headed up by a radical imam. But regardless of the personal views of the imam, there apparently wasn’t a terrorist cell operating out of the mosque, nor are we aware that the imam preached jihad. Even if he did, there is absolutely no evidence that the kind of “immersion” necessary to brainwash an individual into committing suicide attacks was available to Hasan at his place of worship.

Needless to say, we are unaware of any other members of that mosque going on a shooting rampage anywhere in the US.

I am going to be accused of being in “denial” about this incident being a terrorist attack. I would rather be accused of waiting until the facts are in before making a judgment like that. I will also be accused of ignoring “Islamaphobia” and the terrorizing prospect of Hasan being sent to Iraq. I am not ignoring anything. Well…almost anything. Anyone who accuses me of ignoring “PTSD transference” as a motive is a loon. Not only because no one has ever heard of it but for the simple reason that only a psychological evaluation - not done yet - could uncover such a reason.

I hope you see what I’m getting at. In the rush to score political points against the opposition, one thing appears to be an afterthought; the unspeakable tragedy of 12 people having their lives extinguished for no good reason at all. In fact, both right and left bloggers are using the dead bodies of the victims to play “gotchya” with the opposition. And that’s what’s got me smoking hot this morning.

A couple of samples from prominent (second tier) blogs will illustrate what I am getting at:

Atlas Shrugs:

UPDATE: Shlep Smith has the jihadi’s cousin on the phone, Nader Hasan, and Schlep is lapping up the lies and he is doing the taqiya. Nader is saying the Malik was a great American. Hasan is saying that the mass murderer “was harassed” and that’s why he methodically planned and executed this massive attack on a US military installation.

He was not a convert. He is a devout Muslim who joined the army with a purpose.

“Methodically planned and executed?” Have we traced the shooter’s steps for the few hours prior to the attack? If not, how is Geller so sure? “Joined the army with a purpose?” He joined at age 17 against his parent’s wishes. How can Geller possibly say that? It’s not even a guess.


Regardless of motivation one would certainly hope, above all, that this had nothing to do with it. It’s pretty awful that one’s thoughts would immediately turn in that direction when something like this happens. But after Tim McVeigh, you have to consider it. (If the shooters were civilians, my thoughts would go in a different direction.)

Digby’s first thought was that it was right wing terrorists. The link goes to the “oathtakers” website - the group of military and law enforcement who re-swear to uphold the constitution and not obey any orders that go against it. The irrationalism of the Oathtakers is a separate issue but it is revealing that this moron just pulled that kind of crap out of absolute thin air. No execessive partisan spinning there, by God!

Stacy McCain:

A madman inspired by Vlaams Belang and incited to violence by right-wing extremists . . . Oh, wait. No.


Couldn’t have said it better myself, Pamela. A jihadi psychiatrist? Yeah, there’s your irony, Dr. Freud.

Excuse the dark sarcasm. Having spent the past week in upstate New York with Ali Akbar — yes, that’s his real name, and he’s a Southern Baptist from Texas — covering a campaign repeatedly maligned as “radical” and “extremist,” there is something especially bitter for me in this ugly reminder that there are still people who want to kill us all, just because we’re Americans.

We don’t know he was a jihadist. And this was not some foreigner, but an American born in Arlington, VA and who joined the military because, as he told friends at the time, he thought it was his duty to serve. It could very well be he didn’t want to kill “all” Americans - only those in the military.

I hate to be picky like that, but the truth has to matter somewhere. Jumping the gun before all the facts are in to write an authoritative sounding post when in reality, you don’t know your ass from a hole in the wall about what happened or who this guy was, makes my point about the utter banality of the blogosphere.

Andrew Sullivan:

It looks increasingly as if he snapped at the thought of participating in a war he might have seen as anti-Islam. This, if borne out, is grim news:

Hasan indeed, snapped. Why, I suspect even the brilliant Andrew Sullivan doesn’t know less than 24 hours after the attack occurred. Except it must feel good to climb on the back of dead soldiers to tell us the “grim news” that Andrew Sullivan is against the Iraq War.

To those who accuse me of sticking my head in the sand about terrorism, I will say this:

1. Yes, this fellow posted some rather incendiary views on the internet. But others post worse and don’t gun down 12 US soldiers or anyone else for that matter.

2. He was anti-war and hated the thought of going to Iraq. Well, that closes the case then, right? Except no one else has felt motivated to shoot up an army base because of those feelings.

3. He was exposed to extremist rhetoric and views on the internet and in his mosque. He may even agree with most of it. But it is a rather large step to take from sympathizing with Muslims you feel are being persecuted to picking up a gun and slaughtering people.

4. He shouted “Allahu Akbar” before opening fire. This is the smoking gun for Hasan being a terrorist, right? Unless you can show me that the maniac was not delusional and thought he was somewhere else killing somebody else, I will simply point out that gleaning motive from a diseased mind is not a job for bloggers - me, you, or anybody.

This is why the FBI has not ruled out terrorism but is refusing to call it that at the moment. Law enforcement has a little different standard than partisan bloggers; they feel the need to investigate carefully and make a judgment based on the facts and not wild, politically motivated speculation. This may inconvenience those who seek to score political points, or show off their anti-Muslim bona fides. But then, reality is always more boring than what bloggers can come up with to increase their audience, and garner links.

I fully understand that this is how the game is played in the blogosphere and am under no illusions that it will ever change. But these bombs being tossed back and forth - with 12 dead bodies lying between them - made me snap this morning.

Since it looks like I am going to hit the “publish” button, better batten down the hatches and lay out the plastic over the furniture. The spittle will be flying shortly.


  1. I feel we should sympathize and mourn with the family and friends of the victim’s first. That is our duty as a nation. Then we turn our attention to his motives. I just feel a lot of people are so partisan all they care about is political implications. That’s tasteless and thanks for the excellent article.

    Comment by funny man — 11/6/2009 @ 11:23 am

  2. The shooter might be closer to Charles Whitman than Tim McVeigh. I’m surprised the name hasn’t come up more.

    Charles Joseph Whitman (June 24, 1941 – August 1, 1966), a student at the University of Texas at Austin, killed 14 people and wounded 32 others during a shooting rampage on and around the university’s campus.

    Comment by Richard bottoms — 11/6/2009 @ 11:34 am

  3. [...] I agree with Rick Moran to some extent that casting this as an example of a pending wave of Islamic jihad in the US is just [...]

    Pingback by Hot Air » Blog Archive » Why was Hasan still in the Army? — 11/6/2009 @ 11:39 am

  4. Thank you for a completely rational, sane, measured, and clear-minded post. It’s one of the few out on the blogs.

    And, heartfelt sympathies to the families of the victims, and to the larger Fort Hood community. They should be our first concern.

    Comment by sue — 11/6/2009 @ 12:10 pm

  5. Bravo, Rick. Bravo.

    Comment by JerryS — 11/6/2009 @ 12:18 pm

  6. When I was in college (back in the old days before the Internet, before color TV even), it was pretty much accepted wisdom that one didn’t date med students who planned to become psychiatrists because chances were pretty strong that they were already or were shortly to be batshit crazy. That may be the simplest explanation for the Major disaster that happened yesterday at Fort Hood. But for the families of the victims, they may NEED to know the reason this happened. When one is the victim of inexplicable violence, one needs many more answers than people assume!

    Comment by Gayle Miller — 11/6/2009 @ 12:36 pm

  7. The usual suspects are waving their respective bloody shirts to get attention. Reminds me of the 2007 bridge collapse here in Minneapolis. The bodies weren’t even cold when lefty bloggers were trying to blame Gov. Pawlenty’s budget cuts for the disaster. When the NTSB report was issued a year later, faulting the bridge design from 1967, you could have heard a pin drop.

    Comment by Dan Smith — 11/6/2009 @ 12:43 pm

  8. Rick said:

    I would rather be accused of waiting until the facts are in before making a judgment like that.

    Not jumping to conclusions is SO booooorrring. This is the internet Rick, get with the times.

    Comment by Chuck Tucson — 11/6/2009 @ 12:54 pm

  9. What sue said. I only recently found your blog and am very glad I did. Keep thinking, keep posting, hit the “Publish” button more often than not.

    Comment by Roberta — 11/6/2009 @ 1:01 pm

  10. [...] one person said in Rick Moran’s comments, it reminds me of the conclusion-leaping that took place when the St. Anthony Bridge collapsed in [...]

    Pingback by Hot Air » Blog Archive » Video: Obama says to wait for facts before reaching conclusions — 11/6/2009 @ 1:30 pm

  11. Since it looks like I am going to hit the “publish” button, better batten down the hatches and lay out the plastic over the furniture. The spittle will be flying shortly.

    Not this time, Rick. This is a very well thought out post with any anger being discretely placed at those bloggers jumping to conclusions and blowing sh*t out proportion. However, you didn’t say a word about the MSM blowing spittle into the wind as their “news teams” wasted countless hours on television debating the supposed motivations of the attacker. We may decry bloggers for spewing garbage and disinformation about the Ft. Hood massacre, but such bad jumps of logic and thought tend to come with the territory that is the developing world of the blogisphere. By contrast, nearly all of the television coverage of the event was a total waste of time that took the nations focus off of the day’s remaining important news. To me, that’s the greater crime than a few rash bloggers!

    Comment by Surabaya Stew — 11/6/2009 @ 1:37 pm

  12. The Party of Perpetual Outrage swings into action.

    Well, if you were wondering what paranoiac smear artist would be the first to step out and attempt to name President Barack Obama as the man who guided Nidal Malik Hasan to his murderous rampage at Fort Hood yesterday, the answer — naturally! — is Jerome Corsi. Corsi has a long history of lunatic, fact-averse ravings and he fails to disappoint on that regard on the pages of World Net Daily, today, in a piece entitled “Shooter advised Obama transition.” Except, of course, he didn’t do any such thing.

    Essentially, what the HSPI did (and all of this is spelled out explicitly in this document’s executive summary) is convene a giant group of security wonks and academics, heard some briefings, made some “internal deliberations,” and generated a set of priorities and recommendations. Then those recommendations got published, and maybe someone at the White House read them, but it’s more likely that the content ended up as material to cite in the middle of further security-wonk discussions.

    And at some point in the process, Nidal Hasan might have sat in a room while this was happening, with a few hundred other people.

    But none of this constitutes formal advice given to the president on homeland security during the transition of power. This was a university panel that has sod all to do with the White House, generating ideas, and calling it “advice” for the president. If two or three of you wanted to meet up with me at the Au Bon Pain on Pennsylvania Avenue this afternoon and chat today, we will have accomplished basically the same thing.

    Corsi, in fact, knows this. He writes:

    While the GWU task force participants included several members of government, including representatives of the Department of Justice and the U.S Department of Homeland Security, there is no indication in the document that the group played any formal role in the official Obama transition, other than to serve in a university-based advisory capacity.

    In short, the facts Corsi obtained torpedo the premise of his piece, which, I remind you, is that the “shooter advised [the] Obama transition.” Were this being written for a responsible journalistic entity, some creature called an “editor” would have stepped in and said, “Hey, Jerome, you realize that by your own findings, you article is complete horseshit, right?” But this is World Net Daily, written by and for complete charlatans.

    UPDATE: I contacted Frank Cilluffo, the director of the HSPI at George Washington University, who tells me that Nidal Hasan has no affiliation with the HSPI or with George Washington University, at all. “[Hasan] has no role on the task force, other than the fact that he attended these meetings as an audience member, as did hundreds of others.” Hasan’s name appears on the list of participants only because he provided the HSPI with an RSVP, indicating his attendance. Cilluffo told me, “We always record RSVPs and publish them as a matter of transparency, and will continue to do so.”

    Comment by Richard bottoms — 11/6/2009 @ 2:12 pm

  13. “Trying to glean motive when a madman acts insanely is an exercise in futility. ”

    Not just an exercise in futility. I would submit that trying to glean a motive when a madman acts insanely is….well insane in and of itself.

    My prayers are with the families of those killed and wounded. Major Hassan’s motives, whatever they may be, will probably not come out until after the Court Martial trial - if then.


    Comment by Lady Logician — 11/6/2009 @ 2:45 pm

  14. Nutcases always have something to prop up their madness;
    But waiting until all the facts are in? Fact-checking?


    How do you expect to fill the 24/7 newscycle?

    Comment by Reason60 — 11/6/2009 @ 3:11 pm

  15. He was clearly, at a minimum, a Islamic terrorist sympathizer (assuming the anecdotal comments from co-workers is true). There is a grand leap from sympathizing with a cause to actually committing the crime. I hate child predators, and sympathize with a parent cutting off the perp’s balls. But for me to actually go slash somebody’s privates would probably indicates a diseased mind.

    An open question: what would be the defining evidence that it was a terrorist attack? Collusion with others? Detailed plans? A homemade video intended to be viewed after his death?

    Comment by lionheart — 11/6/2009 @ 3:24 pm

  16. [...] Rick Moran, in a highly recommended post, described the entire process of figuring these motives out thusly: News flash: Everyone can’t be right. In fact, it is likely everyone is wrong. Was it an example of Muslim extremist terrorism? Or a reaction to bullying and name calling by brother officers? Or the prospect of being deployed to Iraq? A combination? None of the above? [...]

    Pingback by Allah Akbar & the Problem of the Word “Muslim” — 11/6/2009 @ 3:39 pm

  17. Good Lord, Rick! Do you NOT realize at the very least this guy’s views are sypathetic to radical Islamists? The fact is the more that comes out proves the point. Do you not think that a member of the army showing up at a 7-11 or Circle K in full Islamic garb the DAY he commits the act is just a wee bit of something to the fact that while he may have not been connected to al-Queda, he sure as hell thought that they were A-OK. Also, where was the “let’s sort it out” when the late-term abortion dr was killed in Kansas earlier this year? Or when there was the Oklahoma City bombing? Only now because of fear do we not call terror-Islamofacsist terror-by its name.

    Comment by Mark J. Goluskin — 11/6/2009 @ 3:43 pm

  18. The actual dynamic of a MALE person contemplating the performance of a radical bris on another male person is a fascinating one and I’m intrigued that you brought it up lionheart. Historically speaking, aren’t women the ones who are typically quick with the old kniferoo? And don’t they generally claim good reason? (I’m not saying they HAVE good reason, just that they claim it!) Rick, the comments to your posts are generally nearly as entertaining and thought-provoking as your posts themselves.

    Comment by Gayle Miller — 11/6/2009 @ 3:45 pm

  19. [...] Rick Moran The rationalizations for Major Hasan’s rampage – his motives, his state of mind, even the [...]

    Pingback by Tragedy In Texas « Around The Sphere — 11/6/2009 @ 3:50 pm

  20. @lionheart:

    Generally speaking, a video (or note) would be expected if it was a terrorist attack. It’s done specifically to denote the attack AS terrorist, and not just some whack-a-doodle going off the deep end (presuming there is a difference). Terrorists want to make a “point” and so they state it out.

    All I can say is I’m glad he’s not dead (yet). Questions need answered, and he’s the best source for the information. After we pump all we can out of him . . . well, I hope he like very small, uncomfortable enclosed spaces.

    Side question: It seems like this is a military case (mil base, mil shooter), so the prosecution would be by JAGs instead of Fed prosecutors. I’m not up on mil law — is there a death penalty in a case like this? I know there is in “heat of battle” scenarios, but this doesn’t seem like it would fall under that.

    @Gayle: Signed up for Psychology when I went to college — seemed pretty interesting. Decided to pursue other avenues after a week. You could smell the “deeply disturbed” even before you got in the room. I guess some things don’t change.

    Comment by busboy33 — 11/6/2009 @ 4:18 pm

  21. The shooter was transferred to Fort Hood with a “poor” rating from his previous post. If he was an Irish American and a member of the IRA, and he snapped, killing all British soldiers on the post, would it still be terrorism?

    The Army missed this one. Not to blame them - but to pay attention to their performance ratings.

    Comment by Sharon Furst — 11/6/2009 @ 4:51 pm

  22. It is a definitional problem: people equate “terrorism” with “Islamist nutjob outrages”. Just because the perpetrator is one of Allah’s Little Helpers doesn’t mean that his actions are intended to terrorize the population.

    Comment by Person of Choler — 11/6/2009 @ 5:23 pm

  23. I still suffer a little from PTSD as the result of an automobile accident years ago. The textbook definition is - Post-traumatic stress disorder is a type of anxiety disorder. It can occur after you’ve seen or experienced a traumatic event that involved the threat of injury or death.

    I don’t see how PTSD could possibly be transferred by talking to someone who underwent a traumatic event. The definition requires that the sufferer went through the event.

    I don’t believe PTSD could have anything to do with it.

    Comment by Juan Paxety — 11/6/2009 @ 5:24 pm

  24. I can excuse much of the internet reaction as nothing more than an emotional response to a tragedy where some of the authors will no doubt wish they had hit the delete button before posting. As to whether or not he is a terrorist, we won’t know the answer to that until the investigation is complete. I would like to point out that to be a terrorist has more to do with his intent and motivation than participation in a larger group or conspiracy so it cannot be ruled out either. The most troubling part of this so far is that he had brought attention to himself first at Walter Reed and then with his internet postings and yet he was still seeing patients and scheduled for deployment. Does the Army have so many psychiatrists named Major Hasan that they could not connect the one leaving posts on websites that are monitored for terrorist activity with the one who had human resource type problems at his last duty station. The website does not make him a terrorist, nor do issues with patients and coworkers make him a potential mass murderer, but both together should have put him on the receiving end of therapy rather than as a provider.

    Comment by Don Marion — 11/6/2009 @ 5:51 pm

  25. @Sharon Furst:

    How is the example you gave similar to what happend?

    “he was an Irish American and a member of the IRA . . .”

    IRA makes your example confusing because that umbrella encompases different sub-groups. If he was in Sein Fein, then he’s not a terrorist. If he was a Provo (Privincial I.R.A.), then he’s a member of a violent group. I assume you’re referring to the bombing and killing wing of the IRA.

    The point is . . . for your analogy to be applicable there has to be a similar terrorist membership associated with Hasan. What is it? What violent group was he a member of?

    If I oppose abortion, and I flip and go on a rampage, should somebody have noticed that I have beliefs that doctor-assassins have? That’s not fair to legitimate opponents of abortion, and may not have had anything to do with the rampage.

    As Rick said, until we have the evidence we’re just guessing, and we don’t have enough pieces of the puzzle to make an educated guess yet.

    Comment by busboy33 — 11/6/2009 @ 6:14 pm

  26. I don’t see how PTSD could possibly be transferred by talking to someone who underwent a traumatic event.

    It can’t be. The stupidity of this “hypothesis” is astounding.

    Comment by angullimala — 11/6/2009 @ 6:25 pm

  27. That’s only because you haven’t heard of the latest (as in, from the last 24 hours) fad in mental health — SPTSD, or Secondary Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. You don’t actually suffer from any traumatic stress, but you feel bad for people that do.

    When did mental illness become interchangable with “I feel sad”?

    Comment by busboy33 — 11/6/2009 @ 7:07 pm

  28. The more I think about it though,

    It is a false dichotomy to assume that the only to options are that he was an irretrievable nutcase or a completely normal person who was “pushed over the edge” by some particular thing.

    It is totally plausible that counceling wounded vets could make a stressed & depressed person even more stressed and depressed. The same would be true of counceling victims of CSA and hearing day after day of stories of adults who molest children, or any other job involving constant exposure to unpleasant realities.
    While this might not make the majority of the populace snap, it is possible that it might make a person who is already suffering from a chemical imbalance in the brain (depression, bipolar, whatever) snap.

    Similar with the whole “Islam caused it” thing. A guy who is on the borderline anyway might well seek out a radical cause, religious or not, to give him the feeling his life has meaning again. This doesn’t mean that “Islam” in general is to blame or that listening to a radical imam is likely to turn a mentally healthy muslim into a terrorist.

    The same is true of he whole Pittsburgh shooter thing. It might well be true that listening to Glen Beck was the proverbial straw that broke the camels back, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that Glen Beck is “responsible” in any reasonable meaning of the term. The guy was borderline. The world is filled with things that could set off such a person.

    It doesn’t seem that subtle to me. In large numbers the distribution of damn near any, and all but the simplest, biological trait approximates the normal distribution. That means that there are going to be people who appear to be within the range we would define as “normal” but close enough to be pushed over into “crazy” by things that would not push the vast majority of people over.

    Comment by angullimala — 11/6/2009 @ 7:11 pm

  29. Hey Rick — it seems to me that you’re doing what you’re knocking left and right bloggers for doing. One of many examples from your post: how do you “know” that Hasan joined the Army out of “duty?” Because some relative told some reporter that and you read it somewhere online? If I had to guess, I’d guess that he joined to get a free college and medical education — but I’d only be guessing. Maybe he thought the uniform would attract girls. Isn’t your whole point that we — you and I — don’t know?

    Anyway, all this speculation to boost one’s own preferred narrative is hardly confined to bloggers. Most of it is driven by the MSM. For example, the NYT — hardly before the blood dried — put up a big prominent story online to the effect that Hasan had been “harassed” for being a Muslim and was “mortified” about being deployed to Afghanistan?

    How did the Times know this? The harassment thing did not come from Hasan or any witness to such harassment. It came again from a relative, who might just have a reason to throw up excuses for Hasan.

    As for being “mortified” about deploying because of the horror he heard about from patients — wait, would Major Hasan, the psychiatrist, have had to dig into a firebase in Helmand? Would he be on the firing line? Frankly, at a big US base in Afghanistan, he’d be as safe as I am, iF he did not want to go, perhaps it was because he opposed the war, but it certainly wasn’t because he feared combat or killing.

    You’d have been better off not hitting the publish botton.

    Comment by John Burke — 11/6/2009 @ 7:18 pm

  30. I don’t see how PTSD could possibly be transferred by talking to someone who underwent a traumatic event. The definition requires that the sufferer went through the event.

    The military makes bravery in the face of battle it’s highest honor. It might simply come down to Hasan not being willing to face his fear of going to war, of being thought a coward.

    One of many examples from your post: how do you “know” that Hasan joined the Army out of “duty?”

    How do you know he didn’t? It underlies why most people join in the first place, even with the enticements of college and such.

    Perhaps he wasn’t able to live up to what a soldier should be. Not the first time it’s motivated a terrible act.

    Captain Jeffery MacDonald comes to mind.

    Comment by Richard bottoms — 11/6/2009 @ 7:57 pm

  31. I equate “terrorism” with feminism.

    Comment by Samantha — 11/6/2009 @ 8:55 pm

  32. One close source stated that he was a devout Muslim and had an enormous problem with being deployed with infidels to kill other Muslims. Which rings true to Islamic religion dictates. Still, it is a huge step from there to the actual event and his ultimate motive.

    There is another aspect that should be brought out. It was suggested by Rand Paul that the US government and its investigative arms would do almost anything not to bring out and publicize a religious motivation for the shootings, so we should expect some convoluted PTSD explanation, regardless whether the truth is the guy had signed up in his own mind to perform an act of Islamic jihad, and and proceeded very deliberately to do so all by his lonesome.

    It was also cited that he must have had significant prior deliberation, because no one (except possibly an MP) carries around two loaded 9mm weapons and extra clips inside an army base on the off chance they will be needed to repel boarders. A Doctor, no less? Nor do they give away their personal belongings to neighbors earlier in the week.

    So let us indeed wait for the “official” story and hope it isn’t a fairy tale dictated by PC. Any bets?

    Comment by Mannning — 11/6/2009 @ 10:03 pm

  33. Excellent post, would read again.

    Comment by PotVsKtl — 11/6/2009 @ 10:46 pm

  34. Excellent post.

    What’s becoming clear is that this guy was going nuts. The Army had reason to know he was going nuts. They may need to look at their procedures for identifying nuts.

    This is awful for the people involved. F@cking awful. The one place a soldier should be safe is on his post. These guys deserve a safe haven. They deserve a place where they can stop flinching every time they hear a loud noise.

    I don’t think this qualifies as terrorism, but it has that effect anyway, except that those terrified aren’t civilians but soldiers and their families.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 11/6/2009 @ 11:00 pm

  35. Rick, you might find this interesting:


    Comment by michael reynolds — 11/6/2009 @ 11:04 pm

  36. @angullimala:

    I buy that the stories that he heard in his job may have driven him over the edge — there’s no evidence yet that it did, but there’s no evidence that it didn’t, either.

    But that ain’t PTSD (or SPTSD). That’s just the thing his crazy grew off of. Like a kid that commits suicide because his Dungeons & Dragons character got killed, it may be the “reason”, but its not the reason.

    Comment by busboy33 — 11/6/2009 @ 11:18 pm

  37. I agree it’s best to refrain from pre-judging this case and waiting for all relevant facts to be known. But ultimately we are going to have to categorize this crime as either: terrorism, insanity, deliberate treason, hate crime, “ordinary” criminal behavior, or some combination thereof. How do we distinguish between these terms and their differences in motivation?

    Comment by Doug King — 11/6/2009 @ 11:34 pm

  38. Why would he need to be brain washed at a Mosque? Jihad is one of the seven pillars of Islam.

    Out of a billion people there are some who are going to take it seriously. And some one heard him yell the jihadis death cry. Allah Ackbar. And then the firing starts.

    Is is he unbalanced? Yep. Not part of a plot? High probability. Did his religion have some influence in his choice of suicide methods? Well duh.

    And this isn’t the first “Islam Is Not The Problem” shooting in the Army. Why don’t Protestants go out in a blaze of glory as often? Or Catholics? Or Jews? Or Atheists?

    What makes Islam different? Really tough question. Can I have a week or two to do some Google searches?

    Comment by M. Simon — 11/7/2009 @ 12:31 am

  39. @M. Simon:

    “Why don’t Protestants go out in a blaze of glory as often? Or Catholics? Or Jews? Or Atheists?”

    All the postal rage mass shootings, school shootings, “suicide by cop”, people who opened fire in McDonalds, and all the other blaze of glory mass killings in the United States . . . you think the majority of them were Muslim?

    If that makes you feel better . . . sure.

    Comment by busboy33 — 11/7/2009 @ 1:44 am

  40. An excellent take, sir… I’m beginning to think it likely that his warped understanding of his faith and his obligations to it is what drove him–with apologies to some, it’s not the faith, but the man’s understanding of it that drives some (like this guy, and like abortion clinic bombers, too) to kill in the name of… — but I prefer to keep an open mind as more facts are released and more people who’re familiar with the case speak out. Fear and stress over his deployment, after years of hearing and seeing so many of the physically & psychologically injured (which is, I think, what many who say “PTSD” as regards this case really mean) is still running a close second in my mind, but some of his statements about radical islam are pretty damning.

    how do you “know” that Hasan joined the Army out of “duty?” Because some relative told some reporter that and you read it somewhere online?

    By that logic, how can we “know” anything about this guy? Almost all of what we’re hearing is second hand, offered by people who likely have their own prejudices for or against the guy, the Army, muslims, America, …, …? People report what they claim to know, or hear, or see, and we evaluate both the people making the claims and the claims themselves, and judge the credibility of both.

    Generally, one assumes that folks who join the military do so for noble and selfless reasons, but there’s no doubt that some do it to get out of their one horse town, to get the school benefits, or for some other reason that revolves around what they can get, rather than what they can give. Still, we assume the best, and give soldiers the benefit of the doubt until they say or act otherwise.

    Comment by repsac3 — 11/7/2009 @ 3:38 am

  41. This post has been linked for the HOT5 Daily 11/7/2009, at The Unreligious Right

    Comment by UNRR — 11/7/2009 @ 4:26 am

  42. Great post Rick. Personally, I think he was an alienated individual, as many similar mass-murderers are. The factors that led to his alienation aren’t as important, IMO, to understanding why he did what he did.

    Comment by Andy — 11/7/2009 @ 1:17 pm

  43. He attempted to contact Al Qaeda. He told his neighbor “I’m going to do good work for God.” He attended a militant Islamic mosque. He praised suicide bombers as being the equivalent of heros that die SAVING other people. Oh yeah, he killed 12 people while shouting God is great.

    Are you ready to call him a terrorist yet? How much more proof do you need?

    You know Rick, sometimes a person is not a partisan racist when they draw conclusions based on stereotypes and empirical evidence. It seems like the world is much too worried about offending every identity group from homosexuals to Muslims.

    In the end, when something walks and quacks like a duck, it’s almost always a duck, and it doesn’t make you wrong to state the obvious, even if you’re wrong. Of course, this time, nobody was.

    Comment by lionheart — 11/9/2009 @ 12:13 pm

  44. The Hasan debacle is just another example of political correctness run amok.

    Comment by No Bull Mom — 11/10/2009 @ 1:46 pm

  45. “Trying to glean motive when a madman acts insanely is an exercise in futility. ” You are spot on! Trying to tie Hasan to radical Islam is like trying to link Jodie Foster to John Hinkley.

    Comment by Dee — 11/18/2009 @ 10:46 pm

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