Thursday, February 23, 2012

FORT HOOD DISGRACE

Just finished reading the Wikipedia entry about the Fort Hood shooting. It makes me sick to my stomach.

At 1:34 in the afternoon of November 6, 2009, army colonel Nidal Malik Hasan walked into the Soldier Readiness Processing Center at Fort Hood Texas, sat down at an empty table, bowed his head for a few seconds, then stood up, shouted “Allah Akbar,” and started shooting an FN Five-seven pistol.

By the time he was subdued ten minutes later, he had fired more than one hundred rounds, wounded 30 people, and murdered 12 soldiers, one civilian, and an unborn baby.

Allah Akbar? Allah be praised?

Is the random slaughter of human beings an accepted way to praise Allah?

Starting in late 2008, Major Hasan wrote about 20 e-mail messages to a radical Yemeni-American cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki, asking for guidance on religious obligations, including whether it would be justified for a Muslim American soldier to kill fellow soldiers.

Some of these e-mail messages were intercepted and passed on to a Joint Terrorism Task Force, made up of FBI, CIA and DOD computer cowboys. But the analyst who examined them decided that the queries were part of Major Hasan’s research and warranted no further investigation.

The emails were only part of the gathering storm clouds. Hasan was well known to colleagues and superiors in the army for his radical opinions. But raised eyebrows were pulled down by a culture of political correctness.

Hasan was promoted and transferred from Walter Reed Hospital to Fort Hood in preparation for deployment to Afghanistan.

So much for the failure to anticipate trouble.

What exactly has happened since Hasan’s bloody rampage?

Nothing. Well, next to nothing.

Hasan is being held in the Bell County jail in Belton, Texas. It took two years for the Army to bring Hasan before a military court and arraign him for murder.

I always thought the purpose of an arraignment was to read the charges to the defendant and ask if he pleads guilty or not guilty. Apparently not so in a military tribunal. Hasan was given more time to decide if he pleads guilty or not guilty.

So now there is a trial date set for March 5, 2012, but the defendant still hasn’t entered a plea. It doesn’t take much legal savvy to conclude that there is no way the trial will actually start on March 5th.

Hasan fired his civilian lawyer. Some speculate that John P. Galligan, a criminal defense attorney and retired US Army Colonel, was urging Hasan to plead not guilty by reason of insanity.

How about that for a legal precedent?

Shall we now say that terrorists who randomly kill Americans in furtherance of Islamic Jihad are not acting rationally, don’t know the difference between right and wrong, and therefore are not responsible for what they do?

If I thought that our treatment of Hasan reflected a national commitment to the Christian ideal of turning the other cheek, I could call it noble, even if foolhardy.

But if our pussyfooting with the Fort Hood killer stems from an infatuation with diversity that borders on cowardice, it should be condemned in the strongest terms.

The Sixth Amendment to the federal constitution gives every defendant the right to a speedy trial. Unhappily, it does not afford the same right to the public.

It is long past time for doing justice in Texas.

The current occupant of the White House has a penchant for deferring decisions until after the next election.

Why the delay? Are the thirteen victims of Fort Hood to be sacrificed on the altar of political correctness?

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