Saturday, November 21, 2009

LIEberman Showboats in Hasan Case

I have delayed posting an article on murders perpetrated by Major Hasan at Fort Hood until I could reach an objective conclusion.  While my view is not yet set in stone, it appears that a Radical Cleric may well have taken advantage of Hasan’s psychosis and influenced his actions.

hasan US Army Major Nidal Hasan, accused of killing 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas, intensified contacts with a radical Yemeni American cleric just months before the shootings and began discussing surreptitious financial transfers, The Washington Post reported Saturday.

"Mourners attend the funeral of one of the Fort Hood shooting victims. US Army Major Nidal Hasan, who is accused of killing 13 people earlier this month at Fort Hood, Texas, intensified his communications with a radical Yemeni American cleric just months before the shootings and began discussing with him surreptitious financial transfers, The Washington Post reported Saturday"

Citing two unnamed sources briefed on a collection of secret e-mails between the two, the newspaper said the e-mails were obtained by an FBI-led task force in San Diego between late last year and June but were not forwarded to the military.

Some were sent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Washington field office, triggering an assessment into whether they raised national security concerns, but those intercepted later were not, the report said.

Hasan's contacts with extremist imam Anwar al-Aulaqi began as religious queries but took on a more specific and concrete tone before he moved to Texas, the paper noted.

One source said the two discussed in "cryptic and coded exchanges" the transfer of money overseas in ways that would not attract law enforcement attention, according to The Post.

"He (Hasan) clearly became more radicalized toward the end, and was having discussions related to the transfer of money and finances," the paper quotes on of the sources as saying. "It became very clear toward the end of those e-mails he was interested in taking action."

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin said Friday that he would investigate the handling of the e-mails and why military officials were not aware of them before the deadly attack… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Alternet>

Assuming that the Post’s sources are reliable, this provides a strong indication that Hasan did commit an act of terrorism.  There is much more we need to learn about this and Levin’s investigation of the FBI handling of emails in their possession long before the crime is a good place to start.  Sadly there is another player in the Senate with far more nefarious motives.

lieberman-mcconjob Sen. Joe Lieberman insists on pushing ahead with a Senate inquiry into the mass murder at Ft. Hood, despite White House and Pentagon anxieties that the probe could compromise the prosecution of alleged killer Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan.

It's always interesting to see how many friends due process has in times of extreme stress. Given what looks like the security authorities' wretched mishandling of the Hasan case -- the guy appears to have done everything but paste an "Osama bin Laden Rocks" bumper sticker on his car -- there's every reason for the administration and the FBI to want to put off a legislative reckoning for as long as possible. "We want to guarantee everyone a fair trial" is always good cover. But in this case, it has the additional virtue of being true.

For Lieberman's part, the Connecticut independent -- funny how that latter noun seems synonymous with "opportunist" in his case -- has an unerring instinct for plucking the political moment's low-hanging fruit. The chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs told Fox News that he wants to know whether Hasan's signs of "Islamic extremism" were "missed or ignored."

Those of us who have followed this terrible story can answer "yes" -- a conclusion we've reached even without the benefit of subpoena power. But these aren't questions that should be addressed in the politically charged, highly partisan atmosphere of Capitol Hill.

Meanwhile, Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates this week ordered an emergency investigation into all aspects of the massacre. Two outsiders -- former Army and Veterans Affairs Secretary Togo West and retired Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Vernon Clark -- will conduct the probe. Gates charged them with looking into not only the obvious security lapses but also the military's handling of Hasan's career in the years leading up to the shootings that left 13 dead and dozens more wounded. West is particularly suited to the task: When media reports several years ago revealed systemic mistreatment of severely wounded veterans of the Iraq War at Walter Reed and other military rehabilitation facilities, it was West, a one-time Clinton administration official, who was recruited to straighten things out.

West and Clark should give particular scrutiny to Hasan's career as a military psychiatrist. Such an inquiry may not be as rhetorically sexy as those involving terrorism or Islamic extremism, but it is critical to the issue of whether veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are receiving anything close to the sort of treatment they deserve from military health services.

The best reporting being done on this aspect of the Hasan debacle is that of National Public Radio correspondent Daniel Zwerdling. This week, for example, he obtained a 2007 report on Hasan's fitness by Maj. Scott Moran, then the Army doctor supervising psychiatrists at Walter Reed, where the alleged killer was then working. As NPR summarized the evaluation, Hasan's superiors believed he was "an incompetent psychiatrist and an unprofessional officer who often neglected his duties and his patients."

Zwerdling quoted from the evaluation: "The faculty has serious concerns about Capt. Hasan's professionalism and work ethic. He demonstrates a pattern of poor judgment and a lack of professionalism." According to Zwerdling, "the memo shows that Hasan proselytized to patients. He mishandled a homicidal patient. He allowed her to escape from the emergency room. The memo shows that when Hasan was supposed to be on call for emergencies, he didn't even answer the phone."

According to NPR, Hassan's colleagues described him as "disconnected from other people," and more than one speculated that he might be psychotic. Several reported his obsessive fixation on Islamic religiosity; one reportedly officially raised the issue of whether that religious fanaticism might trigger an act of betrayal, and another colleague raised the possibility that he might be capable of the sort of fratricide of which he is now accused… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <LA Times>

There is a lot here that needs to be investigated, but we need to wait for Hasan’s criminal prosecution to proceed, before we publicly investigate issues germane to that case.  In addition, the last person who ought to head up such an investigation is Traitor Joe, who can get the most attention and cement his future with the Republican Party by blaming Obama, without considering that the majority of the mistakes were made before he became President.  There will be plenty of blame to go around here, but lets have that assessment done at the proper time by an individual whose integrity supersedes partisan politics.  When it comes to integrity, LIEberman has none,


the walking man said...

If Reid wanted to take care of his lieberman problem he could but this is where the Majority Leader displays his ongoing lack of courage in the face of politics as usual.

TRUTH 101 said...

Maybe they're waiting for Lieberman's health care vote.

I'm from Illinois. I love hardball. I'm looking forward to Rahm bringing the hammer down on this asshole Lieberman.

I also wonder if it had been a Jewish man that murdered a bunch of people if Lieberman would be taking this course.

TomCat said...

Mark, I'm with you 100%

Truth, my bet is that LIEberman will go along until the last possible moment, and then try to defeat health care reform as a gift to his GOP buddies.

ivan said...

Lieberman a hawk. And he don't rock.

libhom said...

When it comes to the corporate media, have Lieberman's signs of corruption been "missed or ignored."

TomCat said...

Quite right, Ivan.

Well said, Libhom. That is certainly true.

John Byrnes said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Distributorcap said...

quite possibly the worst senator in history - at least with asses like Jesse Helms and Mitch McConnell you knew what you were getting. Lieberman is a complete engima - and in a bad way

and the fact that Mrs Joe (Hadassa) works for big pharma...

TomCat said...

John, while you said nothing with which I disagree, SPAM is not welcome here.

DC, it's not for nothing that he's called the Senator from Aetna. But instead of worst, I'd rate him just behind Joe McCarthy.