The report by Senators Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins is a departure from the scrambling by the mainstream media and other politicians to avoid any mention of Islam or jihad. This document at least calls attention to the role of “homegrown Islamic extremism,” unlike a New York Times report that insisted Hasan and his motive “remain an enigma.”
Army officials “valued the diversity of having a Muslim psychiatrist,” but Nidal Malik Hasan could only have broadcast his intentions more clearly if he wore a blinking, green neon sign over his head that said “I’m going to kill you.” He more or less did just that with his now infamous PowerPoint presentation which discussed jihadist doctrine at length and openly declared: “We [Muslims] love death more than you love life.”
For now, the report recommends that the Pentagon “revise its policies and training in order to confront the threat of Islamist extremism directly.” But even short of tackling chapter and verse, any such activity will be met with howls of “profiling” and “Islamophobia,” and resisted by Muslim sympathizers setting policies within the Pentagon.
The price of continued inaction and half-measures may be another massacre. “Report: FBI, Army failures preceded Fort Hood massacre,” by Charley Keys and Alan Silverleib for CNN, February 3:
Washington (CNN) — FBI and Army officials repeatedly ignored multiple warning signs that could have prevented the November 2009 massacre at Fort Hood, Texas, according to a long-awaited report released Thursday by two U.S. senators.
The inability to act was a result of both bureaucratic inefficiency and an unwillingness to identify and confront homegrown Islamic extremism, the report concludes.
Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan is accused in the shootings, which left 13 people dead and 32 wounded. He faces a likely court-martial and potential death penalty.
Thursday’s report — titled “A Ticking Time Bomb” — was written by Sens. Joseph Lieberman, I-Connecticut, and Susan Collins, R-Maine. Lieberman is the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee; Collins is the committee’s top Republican.
“Although neither the Department of Defense nor the FBI had specific information concerning the time, place, or nature of the attack, they collectively had sufficient information to have detected Hasan’s radicalization to violent Islamist extremism but failed both to understand and to act on it,” the report says.
“Our investigation found specific and systemic failures in the government’s handling of the Hasan case and raises additional concerns about what may be broader systemic issues.”
Among other things, the report notes that a FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force had learned that Hasan was communicating with a suspected terrorist and flagged his communications for “further review.” A second task force, however, subsequently dismissed the evidence and “dropped the matter rather than cause a bureaucratic confrontation.”
Hasan reportedly communicated by e-mail with radical Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. Al-Awlaki’s name is not included in the publicly released version of the report.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon “possessed compelling evidence that Hasan embraced views so extreme that it should have disciplined him or discharged him from the military, but (Defense officials) failed to take action against him,” the report says.
It concludes that Hasan’s military officer evaluation reports were “sanitized” to minimize his “obsession with violent Islamic extremism.”
“It is clear from this failure that (the Pentagon) lacks (an) institutional culture … sufficient to inform commanders and all levels of servicemembers how to identify radicalization to violent Islamist extremism and to distinguish this ideology from the peaceful practice of Islam,” the report states.
The report claims that the Defense Department’s alleged failure to identify the threat of Islamic extremism “explicitly and directly conflicts with (the Pentagon’s) history of directly confronting white supremacism and other threatening activity among servicemembers.”
It recommends that the Pentagon “revise its policies and training in order to confront the threat of Islamist extremism directly.”
At the same time, the report says the FBI faces a series of “internal challenges — which may include cultural barriers — that can frustrate … ongoing institutional reforms” designed in part to facilitate better intelligence sharing.
The report criticizes an FBI inquiry on Hasan for focusing “narrowly on whether (he) was engaged in terrorist activity — as opposed to whether he was radicalizing … and whether this radicalization might pose counterintelligence or other threats.”