The Devil Within
- By Ralph C. Jensen
- Jan 05, 2010
By now, the story of the Fort Hood, Texas,
massacre is old news, but the idea of security,
whether at an Army post or corporate headquarters,
is still headline worthy.
Although I haven't been on a military installation
for about 20 years, I remember that security was tight.
Those on the base or post were meant to be there, had
a reason to be there and weren't people that security
was concerned with.
Of course, in the case at Fort Hood, Texas, the devil
Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan probably wasn't part of a
terrorist sleeper-cell, but recent reports have indicated
an allegiance between him and a fiery anti-American
cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki, based in Yemen. This mass
murder isn't about the fact that Hasan is Muslim.
What this is all about is national security, or homeland
It seems to me is that Hasan wanted to disrupt
security in his own homeland. The initial reports
make me think he fits the mass-murder profile to a T.
To solve his tale of woe, he bought guns—in fact, two
pistols—one equipped with a laser sight, which he used
to gun down soldiers.
It's doubtful that he is a highly trained jihadist because
he didn't choose to blend in. There were, however,
red flags everywhere. Hasan was open and vocal
about his radical Islamic beliefs. He even tried to
convert other doctors and patients. He was aggressive
and argumentative, and there were complaints about
his erratic behavior. He complained tirelessly about
being in the Army and for being deployed to the Middle
East. I'm not sure what his vision of the Army
might have been, though he joined right out of high
school, saying he wanted to give back to his country.
The military is, first and foremost, a national security
element that will, when called to do so, protect our
liberties and freedoms.
The theory that Hasan went nuts over the threat
of a deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan, which would
so traumatize him, is simply a phantom thought. The
truth is, soldiers, sailors and airmen don't want to go
to war. They are the first people who want peace in
the world because when the fighting gets deadly, it's
their lives on the line.
The alleged assassin was born and raised in the
United States. All he has ever known is liberty and
freedom. To suggest, as some have, that he snapped
because he'd taken a bit of ribbing by other military
members because he is Muslim is an insult to anyone
who has suffered some amount of trauma. No one
goes through life without getting beat up a little bit.
The theories of deployment and taking one on the
chin because of religion are baloney.
Hasan served the military as a psychiatrist, helping
soldiers who were returning from the battle fronts,
so he hasn't been exempt from the pains of war. He
didn't socialize much and seemed to view himself as a
victim and an outsider. He openly complained about
his job and had received poor performance ratings.
He probably shouldn't have been counseling soldiers
suffering from actual combat trauma.
The one thing Hasan didn't care about was security.
It seems he was hell-bent on causing harm to
others. The security at the front gate of Fort Hood
was, by all indications, as strict as it should have been.
After all, Hasan was a major in the Army who had
open and complete access to the post. He had legally
Hasan knew he could enter the post without being
challenged. He knew he could enter the Soldiers
Readiness Processing Center without even a glance,
and he knew that when he arrived there, he would be
the only person with a weapon, which he fully expected
to use. He knew exactly where the soft spots of
security were, and he exploited them.
Officials, the FBI, the Texas Rangers and the Army
CID believe he was the only gunman involved. He
had no appointments, orders or any other legitimate
reason to be at the readiness center.
Political correctness has no place in this investigation
when officers and supervisors could have taken
preemptive steps when Hasan began to show signs
of sympathy and support for the enemy. Tolerance is
no virtue in providing a safe haven for people such as
Hasan. Nor should the fear of religious beliefs stand
in the way of investigating warning signs.
Hasan has been charged with 13 counts of premeditated
So before we jump to any conclusion about what
fueled his actions, whether they were politically motivated
or an attempt at some religious jihad, there
is one fact conclusion that already can be drawn: The
devil was within.