Monday, November 09, 2009

'Military intelligence'? The joke's Hasan them.

So all the discussion over Ft. Hood and Hasan seems to be focusing in on whether the Army "missed any signs." Missed any signs? Are you freakin' kidding me? The guy spoke constantly against U.S. actions in Iraq and Afghanistan (which he viewed as a "war against Islam"), tried repeatedly to get out of the Army, was strongly opposed to his deployment overseas, defended suicide bombings, told people he was "a Muslim first and an American second," gave away his furniture along with copies of the Qur'an right before the incident and, sort of anticlimactically, had received poor performance reviews for his work as a psychiatrist counseling soldiers (!). Now it comes out that he had ties to the same Virginia mosque that the 9/11 hijackers were attending just prior to their tribute to Allah in 2001.

What kind of "sign" did they need, exactly? Would he have had to come to work with dynamite strapped to his back, wearing a sandwich board that said ALL AMERICANS MUST DIE FOR ALLAH?


Anonymous said...

What a difference three months make!

Remember this gem from August 12th, 2009, Steve? You had a slightly different perspective on crime prevention when you wrote:

"I should be able to walk into a bank in a full Michelin-man outfit, with sunglasses like people wear after cataract surgery, two violin cases and a box that's marked "dynamite" on the side, and no one should have a damned thing to say about till I actually do something criminal. We have gone way too far in this country in terms of "proactive steps" to combat crime. It started with the metal detectors in airports, and now it's everywhere. Punish people when they commit crimes. Until then, leave 'em alone, no matter what they look like or how they act."

Steve Salerno said...

Anon: Hey, I never claimed or promised consistency on this blog. (See "a few explanatory thoughts," which is my blanket cop-out.) And I could always fall back on that old chestnut from Ralph Waldo E., but why bother? We've all heard it a thousand times.

However, in my defense, remember that I'm not the one who's raising the issue of missed signs and what should've been done about them. I'm simply saying that if the Army and its critics are going to make that case, then certainly the signs were there for the seeing...just as, if I walked into a bank with sunglasses and a giant suitcase and a machete, anyone later would be able to say, "He gave all the indications of being a criminal." What happens after that--i.e. the question of whether we're entitled to act on that knowledge--is a related but separate issue.

Steve Salerno said...

Incidentally, why do people assume on this blog that I'm necessarily talking for myself, anyway? If I write today "what the Republicans are saying about healthcare reform doesn't really make sense because...," why does that preclude me from saying, tomorrow, "What the Democrats are saying about healthcare reform doesn't make sense because..."? A lot of this is just observational stuff.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the military intelligence personnel were too busy staring at goats.

someone who knows the drill said...

We can joke, but the sad truth is this is life in today's military. The realities of the all volunteer army and the Pentagon's desperation to keep coming up with new cannon fodder are such that people like Hassan slide through. They'll take almost anybody nowadays, and before you get kicked out you have to do something like this. If he heals up, I'd almost be surprised if they don't offer the guy some counseling along with incentives to reinlist.

Steve Salerno said...

"Someone": From what I've heard, that's not that much of a stretch.

Anonymous said...

You make me laugh ....

bur seriously, if he wante dto leave the army, why didn't they just let hime go?


Anonymous said...

Two things, completely unrelated to your post, Steve (so don't post my comment, if you don't want to -- I don't mean to derail the thread) -- just think they may interest you.

There is going to be a new series on PBS, This Emotional Life, hosted by Dan Gilbert (of Stumbling on Happiness), premiering in January 2010.

Part 2 of the series deals with the subject of self-help:

Is America's $10 billion a year self-help industry really helping?

and promises the following content:

Michelle, a cancer survivor, talks about her search for strength. Dan Gilbert interviews author Louise Hay, TV psychologist Dr. Phil and self-help researcher Dr. John Norcross.


On a somewhat related note, the Senate health care bill includes a provision that would require insurance companies to pay for intercessory prayer as a legit treatment, on par with other clinical modalities. I am not making this up (though I wish I were). Read more here.

Republican Senator Orrin Hatch (from Utah, of course), who introduced the provision, said this:

I offered this amendment because I believe that everyone, regardless of religious affiliation, should have access to healthcare.

Steve Salerno said...

Eliz: Thanks for this. I hadn't heard either fact. However, it doesn't surprise me at all, since Hatch for so long has been one of the alt-med camp's staunchest and most reliable advocates in D.C.; it is he, along with his pal Tom Harkin, who's chiefly responsible for the constant upsurge in funding for NCCAM (the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine), a $1 billion-plus boondoggle that, to date, has not paid a single verifiable dividend in terms of "certifying" the value of an alt-med treatment. In fact, if you skip past all the propaganda and read the "what the science says" part of NCCAM's Web listing of its various modalities (probably inserted by some cooler head at NCCAM's parent org, the National Centers for Health), it sounds like a strong argument for why no one should ever use any of this crap.

Anonymous said...

Steve, crap is right.

Personally, I am astounded by this news (reimbursement for prayer in the Senate health care bill). My health insurance does not pay for medications, but it would pay for prayer??

This is insane.

How idiotically low are we going to sink in order to appease religious fundamentalists (because this is what this amendment is about)?

Sen. Hatch, the noble soul, wants everybody to have access to healthcare, so he's proposed reimbursement for prayer, but opposes the public option...

What a strange country we live in.

Steve Salerno said...

And returning to the subject of missed signs--now it comes out that he had business cards on which he described himself as a "soldier of Allah." At least according to FOX News:,2933,574546,00.html

You know, I was only kidding about the sandwich board. But this is pretty damn close.