Thursday, January 21, 2010

Robert Spencer: Pentagon on Fort Hood: Jihad? What Jihad?

The Defense Department released its report Friday on the jihad massacre at Fort Hood, and it is hard to imagine a document more full of denial and deception.

Above all, the Pentagon seems intent on ignoring and obfuscating the reasons why Nidal Hasan murdered thirteen people at Fort Hood in November.

Although there were numerous signs that Nidal Hasan was an Islamic jihadist who believed it part of his religious responsibility as a Muslim to wage war against Infidels, the words “jihad,” “Muslim,” “Islam” and even “Islamist” never appear in the 86-page mélange of droning bureaucratese.

Echoing hapless Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s reaction to the Christmas Day attempted bombing of Northwest Flight 253, the report claims that, despite the thirteen murders, the system worked well at Fort Hood: “Leaders at Fort Hood had anticipated mass casualty events in their emergency response plans and exercises.

Base personnel were prepared and trained to take appropriate and decisive action to secure the situation. The prompt and courageous acts of Soldiers, first responders, local law enforcement personnel, DoD civilians, and health care providers prevented greater losses.” The only negative note in the report is the delicately stated idea that the military could be better prepared for the next jihad attack -- uh, that is, the next “tragedy”: “The tragedy, however, raised questions about the degree to which the entire Department is prepared for similar incidents in the future -- especially multiple, simultaneous incidents.”
And how does the report propose to make sure that the military is prepared for “similar incidents in the future”? By acting upon a series of empty, platitudinous recommendations: “identifying and monitoring potential threats;” “providing time-critical information to the right people;” “employing force protection measures;” and “planning for and responding to incidents.” That’s right: the Pentagon is recommending that the military could be more prepared for the next terror attack by “planning for” it.

And the irony is thick when the report recommends that the military improve its ability to identify and monitor “potential threats” -- this from a report that steadfastly refuses even to acknowledge the existence of the Islamic jihad doctrine that motivated Nidal Hasan to murder in the first place.

Could belief in that doctrine be a “potential threat”? Of course not. At least not in a military which permits the Chief of Staff of the Army -- Gen. George Casey -- to say that as bad as the Fort Hood shootings were, it would be an even greater tragedy if the Army’s diversity were damaged.

A glimmer of reality threatens to break through when the report suggests that “DoD standards for denying requests for recognition as an ecclesiastical endorser of chaplains may be inadequate” -- in other words, the Pentagon has no efficient way to screen the groups that endorse chaplains for the military.

And that is certainly true: for a considerable period only two Islamic groups, both Saudi-funded, had the authority to train and approve Muslim chaplains for the military: the Graduate School of Islamic and Social Sciences and the American Muslim Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs Council. Both of these were linked to the Islamic activist Abdurrahman Alamoudi, who is now serving a 23-year prison sentence for financing jihad terrorism. If the Pentagon increased scrutiny of such “moderate” organizations, well and good. But by what criteria will it do so, since it doesn’t seem to have noticed that there is any problem of supremacism or violence in Islam in the first place?

Political correctness was responsible for the murders of thirteen people at Fort Hood. If it had not held the political and military establishments in a stranglehold, Nidal Hasan would never have remained in the U.S. military, much less risen to the rank of major. He would have been removed from the ranks long before he had had a chance to murder anyone at Fort Hood. Political correctness was responsible for the fear among his superior officers -- they knew that if they disciplined or removed Hasan, they would have faced charges of “discrimination” and “bigotry.” And such charges can ruin careers these days.

But that same political correctness is still very much in place, as the Fort Hood report abundantly indicates. And so for all its bluster about preventing the next attack, it will stand -- after the next jihad attack, and the one after that -- as a monument to the cowardice and myopia that held sway at the highest levels in Washington during the first year of the Obama Administration.
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