Thursday, November 12, 2009

Cylinders of Excellence

After 9/11 everybody was talking about stovepiping, meaning federal and state agencies refused to cooperate with each other due to turf or territoriality resulting in unconnected dots and missed attacks. That was supposed to be in the past. Maybe not.

This NPR article sums up many angles in the Hasan case, quoting former co-workers at Walter Reed. Was he crazy? They thought so, claiming he was displaying fundie religious beliefs. Islam connection? Yep, he once told someone "Islam saves", which added more fodder to their nuts theory (which might be an interesting side debate as to how they might view or handle fundie Christians). PC? Roger, they did nothing to remove him because they were afraid of damaging their own careers since it was hard to prove he was insane based simply on being a fundie Muslim.

Dots unconnected? Roger, they claim the FBI never informed them of the intercepted emails with AQ sympathizers (which says something about the terrorist surveillance program and how Aulaqi triggered it). So, what did they do?
And finally, Hasan was about to leave Walter Reed and USUHS for good and transfer to Fort Hood, in Texas. Fort Hood has more psychiatrists and other mental specialists than some other Army bases, so officials figured there would be plenty of co-workers who would support Hasan — and monitor him.
The age-old scourge of bureaucracies is to promote the incompetents so they can be transferred out and become somebody else's problem. Hopefully that's not what occurred here.

But the question is whether any of these leaks can be taken seriously. There have been a series of dueling releases from anonymous sources for several days as the alphabet agencies attempt to cover their rears. But if true, the story shines light on his Islamic radicalism, which makes it harder to call him a lone nut and easier to call him a terrorist. A Congressional investigation seem apropos. What are the chances..

MORE 11/12/09

CNN helps with the lone nut pushback. Said one of their chosen experts:
"A lot of people are jumping to the conclusion because this man spouted violent Islamic ideology that this is a terrorist attack," criminologist Pat Brown said. Brown, who profiles killers, said Hasan's profile is that of a loner.

"He was simply a lone guy who had issues, problems, psychopathic behaviors that escalated to the point where he wanted to get back at society, and he took it out on his workmates like most of them do," he said.
Yet somehow he's NOT jumping to a conclusion--from afar--by suggesting the man's actions were no different than any other run of the mill mass shooting, Islamic component or not?

Well, a lone nut conclusion likely won't trigger a Congressional investigation and it likely keeps the criminal trial a court marshal and within the military. Just sayin'.

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