There are two basic problems with the grotesque non-report on the Islamist- terror massacre at Fort Hood (released by the Defense Department yesterday):
* It's not about what happened at Fort Hood.
* It avoids entirely the issue of why it happened.
Rarely in the course of human events has a report issued by any government agency been so cowardly and delusional. It's so inept, it doesn't even rise to cover-up level.
"Protecting the Force: Lessons From Fort Hood" never mentions Islamist terror. Its 86 mind-numbing pages treat "the alleged perpetrator," Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, as just another workplace shooter (guess they're still looking for the pickup truck with the gun rack).
Reading the report, you get the feeling that, jeepers, things actually went pretty darned well down at Fort Hood. Commanders, first responders and everybody but the latest "American Idol" contestants come in for high praise.
The teensy bit of specific criticism is reserved for the "military medical officer supervisors" in Maj. Hasan's chain of command at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. As if the problem started and ended there.
Unquestionably, the officers who let Hasan slide, despite his well-known wackiness and hatred of America, bear plenty of blame. But this disgraceful pretense of a report never asks why they didn't stop Hasan's career in its tracks.
The answer is straightforward: Hasan's superiors feared -- correctly -- that any attempt to call attention to his radicalism or to prevent his promotion would backfire on them, destroying their careers, not his.
Hasan was a protected-species minority. Under the PC tyranny of today's armed services, no non-minority officer was going to take him on.
This is a military that imposes rules of engagement that protect our enemies and kill our own troops and that court-martials heroic SEALs to appease a terrorist. Ain't many colonels willing to hammer the Army's sole Palestinian-American psychiatrist.
Of course, there's no mention of political correctness by the panel. Instead, the report settles for blinding flashes of the obvious, such as "We believe a gap exists in providing information to the right people." Gee, really? Well, that explains everything. Money well spent!
Or "Department of Defense force protection policies are not optimized for countering internal threats." Of course not: You can't stop an internal threat you refuse to recognize.
The panel's recommendations? Wow. "Develop a risk-assessment tool for commanders." Now that's going to stop Islamist terrorists in their tracks.
The Fort Hood massacre didn't reflect an intelligence failure. The intelligence was there, in gigabytes. This was a leadership failure and an ethical failure, at every level. Nobody wanted to know what Hasan was up to. But you won't learn that from this play-pretend report.
The sole interesting finding flashes by quickly: Behind some timid wording on pages 13 and 14, a daring soul managed to insert the observation that we aren't currently able to keep violence-oriented religious extremists from becoming chaplains. (Of course, they're probably referring to those darned Baptists . . .)
To be fair, there's a separate, classified report on Maj. Hasan himself. But it's too sensitive for the American people to see. Does it even hint he was a self-appointed Islamist terrorist committing jihad? I'll bet it focuses on his "personal problems."
In the end, the report contents itself with pretending that the accountability problem was isolated within the military medical community at Walter Reed. It wasn't, and it isn't. Murderous political correctness is pervasive in our military. The medical staff at Walter Reed is just where the results began to manifest themselves in Hasan's case.
Once again, the higher-ups blame the worker bees who were victims of the policy the higher-ups inflicted on them. This report's spinelessness is itself an indictment of our military's failed moral and ethical leadership.
We agonize over civilian casualties in a war zone but rush to whitewash the slaughter of our own troops on our own soil. Conduct unbecoming.
Ralph Peters' latest book is "The War After Armageddon."