The Memory Scrub About Why Ft. Hood Happened Is Almost Complete ... If It Weren't for Archives
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It wasn't just his superiors; even young grunts were having a laugh at this ranking senior office, because to them Maj. Hasan was nothing but a camel jockey. It was this culture that transformed Maj. Hasan from a patriot who eagerly joined the Army as a teenager, so eager to Americanize himself apart from his Jordan-born parents that he enlisted over their objections. Hasan then traveled down a 20-year transformation from wide-eyed Arab-American patriot to the increasingly angry, alienated, and finally murderously insane Maj. Hasan.
That's the Hasan one we know, the one who unleashed a bloodbath on military personnel, whom he targeted specifically like so many rage murderers do, perhaps even targeting people he knew whom he believed had destroyed him, as Sen. Hutchison suggested. That's the version that could cause a lot of problems and a lot of cognitive dissonance here, so it had to be scrubbed out with a new unsourced and slyly-crafted lie claiming what everyone hoped to hear: that Maj. Hassan never tried to get discharged, and the poor military and intel people were helpless to stop the crazed terrorist in their midst.
The Washington Post, as we saw, subsequently altered this story the next day, once the damage was done, transforming it into an even weirder story about Army sensitivity to Maj. Hasan's religious needs, enrolling him in a kind of Islam Sensitivity Training course. Note again how there's not a single named source for the story, headlined " Army sought ways to channel Hasan's absorption with Islam":
Army psychiatrists at Walter Reed Army Medical Center who supervised Maj. Nidal M. Hasan's work as a psychiatric fellow tried to turn his growing preoccupation with religion and war into something productive by ordering him to attend a university lecture series on Islam, the Middle East and terrorism, according to a Walter Reed staff member familiar with Hasan's medical training. The psychiatric staff at Walter Reed did not discuss kicking him out of the service, according to the staff member. In fact, Hasan was initially considered a good medical school candidate because he had spent time as an enlisted soldier and had cared for his siblings after his parents died, both attributes that supervisors believed indicated he had a healthy work ethic. ...
The idea that Hasan attend the lectures, which he did late last year or early this year, came up during discussions among the psychiatric staffs of the hospital and the Army's medical university about what was perceived as Hasan's lack of productivity and his constant interest in Muslims whose religious beliefs conflicted with their military duties.
"You're at an institution of higher learning. He seems to want to do work in an area no one knows anything about," the staff member, who also requested anonymity because he had not been authorized to speak publicly, said of the order. "You don't want to close him down just because it's different."
Meanwhile, the Hasan-Never-Told-Us-He-Was-Unhappy story ran again under a different outlet, the AP. And just as with the Post's account, the AP relied on the same "unnamed" sources to back it up while totally omitting all the credible sources who were already on the record contradicting these "unnamed sources":
Meanwhile, the Pentagon has found no evidence that Hasan formally sought release from the Army as a conscientious objector or for any other reason, two senior military officials told The Associated Press. Family members have said he wanted to get out of the Army and had sought legal advice, suggesting that Hasan's anxiety as a Muslim over his pending deployment overseas might have been a factor in the deadly rampage.
Hasan had complained privately to colleagues that he was harassed for his religion and that he wanted to get out of the Army. But there is no record of Hasan filing a complaint with his chain of command regarding any harassment he may have suffered for being Muslim or any record of him formally seeking release from the military, the officials told the AP.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the case is under investigation.
With the AP and Washington Post both running versions of this new line within 24 hours of each other, every paper and media outlet in America would pick it up.
The other key element in making this rather crude fact-scrubbing work is that the audience--Americans--didn't really want to hear the depressing truth of what this bastard went through before he went postal. It's easier to make him out to be "evil" and a "terrorist" from an entirely alien, bloodthirsty religion which bears no relation to our civilized, peace-loving Judeo-Christianity.
It was amazing how quickly everyone rallied around the facile "terrorist" explanation, as if by osmosis. One hack who was instrumental in pushing this new, pat "terrorist" explanation was Time magazine's Nancy Gibbs, who wrote the cover story, featuring a giant close-up photo of Hasan's face and a black bar with the words "TERRORIST" postered across his eyes. Gibbs dismisses the idea that Hasan's environment, rather than his evil Muslim soul, drove him to massacre, despite all the evidence.
This isn't the first time Nancy Gibbs has whitewashed a massacre to make it fit a facile, comforting narrative. A few months after the Columbine massacre in 1999, as more Americans started to question whether bullying and the schools' toxic culture might have helped cause the shootings, Gibbs sneered at the sudden cultural change acknowledging bullying's toxic effects on kids, and the sense that it shouldn't be tolerated--a sensibility that Gibbs dismissed as nothing but a bunch of politically-correct namby-pambies:
So if you aren't allowed to wear a hat, toot your horn, form a clique or pick on a freshman, all because everyone is worried that someone might snap, it's fair to ask: Are high schools preparing kids for the big ugly world outside those doors -- or handicapping them once they get there? High school was once useful as a controlled environment, where it was safe to learn to handle rejection, competition, cruelty, charisma. Now that we've discovered how unsafe a school can be, it may have become so controlled that some lessons will just have to be learned elsewhere.
Gibbs was telling her readers that bullying makes you a man, and anyone who says it had anything to do with causing rampage shootings was nothing but a touchy-feely politically-correct wimp. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth, and only a willfully ignorant jerk could possibly go on the record dismissing bullying. In the months and years since Gibbs defended the positive educational and character-building benefits of bullying, several states and local school districts have enacted laws and rules outlawing bullying. Numerous studies show that bullied kids tend to suffer serious psychological and cognitive damage throughout their lives--they have a much greater chance of suffering from depression, and have difficulties making friends, socializing, and succeeding as compared to other children.
Researchers have detailed just how savagely the Columbine killers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were bullied, and how their school tolerated and nurtured the bullying jocks while dismissing, Gibbs-style, the whining complaints of bullied kids and their parents. Before their massacre, Klebold and Harris left behind diaries explaining their goals and their plans. Unlike people searching for meaning in Maj. Hasan's "Allahu Akhbar" Klebold and Harris left no doubt at all that their goal was to commit terrorism: "we will hijack a hell of a lot of bombs and crash a plane into NYC with us inside firing away as we go down."
That wasn't Hasan or any other Muslim: that was the white Christian American Eric Harris, and his half-Jewish co-murderer, Dylan Klebold.
But again, just as with the Maj. Hasan rampage, it's too disturbing for too many Americans--so bullying has nothing to do with it in Columbine or Walter Reed.
At last, we have the new nicely-scrubbed Soviet version of events that we've come to accept: No one told the Army that Maj. Hasan wanted a discharge. Army officials figured out that he was a crazy Muslim--because that $700 billion we pour into our military every year isn't wasted!--and they even tried to enroll him into Islamic sensitivity training. But the problem is, our 2 million man military was so terrified of hippies and feminists terrorizing them with political-correctness-hectoring that our nation's finest kept all of their fears about Hasan to themselves.
That's it. That's the story. Sure, it's fucking ridiculous. But it's what the country now all agrees happened.
Here, for example, is Rush Limbaugh:
"I tell you something, folks, political correctness and a lot of other things are gonna lead to our downfall."
And then here is Newt Gingrich on Fox News's Greta Van Susteren show: