"It was a year ago today that 12 soldiers and one civilian died in a shooting rampage [allegedly] carried out by U.S. Army psychiatrist Major Nidal Malik Hasan on the Ft Hood military base in Texas."
I was reading through media coverage over the past couple days on the anniversary plans and all the various recaps of that sad and violent day when it occurred to me that the unifying thread among all the various stories was the apparent inability to directly address the Muslim angle.
While not a scientific survey, I must've gone through 8 newspaper articles and half a dozen write-ups from television online websites and none could bring themselves to refer to Hasan as an American-born Muslim, nor could they mention his contact with Yemeni radical cleric and Al Qaeda synchophant/recruiter Anwar Al-Awlaki.
There were no references to Hasan's increasing disaffection with America and certainly nothing noting he kicked off his shooting rampage by shouting "Allah Akbar."
Wait. That's not entirely true. The magazine Esquire ran a lengthy piece on the Ft. Hood shooting anniverary in which the author did mention that Husan allegedly shouted "Allah Akbar" at the outset of his killing spree. Here's the relevant portion from the article; (note to reader...you might want a stiff drink before reading the following):
".....But the real story at Ft. Hood was never terrorism. Yes, Hasan shouted Allah Akbar before he shot 13 people to death and wounded 32 more one year ago this Friday. That's a terrorist sort of thing to say. But for a lonely, socially maladjusted outcast, righteousness and piety can be a comfortable cloak under which to hide. Of course, one needn't be a hardened jihadi to commit an act of terror. Being duped, misguided or just pathetic can be reason enough -- and Hasan was all those, as well as scared stupid by his impending deployment to Afghanistan. But whether or not Hasan was an Al-Awlaki puppet, the story of Ft. Hood was Ft. Hood itself -- all war, all the time..."
Seriously. The real story was never terrorism. What a load of crap.
For the better part of a year since the shooting, you'd be hard pressed to find an occasion when the current administration, the Defense Department or the majority of the media made any reference to the role that Hasan's religion and radicalization over a period of time influenced his actions.
The prefered storyline omits the role of radical Islam in the tragedy and focuses on standard aspects of a rampage...trying to equate Hasan with any other mad gunmen such as the Beltway snipers or the Columbine shooters.
Hasan did what he allegedly did because he became a radicalized Muslim with an increasing hatred of America and a willingness to follow the violent rantings of Al-Awlaki to his death. Thirteen people died one year ago because terrorism was the story.
Mike Baker served for more than 15 years as a covert field operations officer for the Central Intelligence Agency, specializing in counterterrorism, counternarcotics and counterinsurgency operations around the globe. Since leaving government service, he has been a principal in building and running several companies in the private intelligence, security and risk management sector and has recently returned to Diligence LLC, a company he cofounded in 2000, as President. He appears frequently in the media as an expert on counterterrorism, intelligence and homeland security. Baker is also a partner in Classified Trash, a film and television production company. Baker serves as a script consultant, writer and technical adviser within the entertainment industry, lending his expertise to such programs as the BBC's popular spy series "Spooks," as well as major motion pictures.