Published November 13, 2009
This is a rush transcript of "Special Report With Bret Baier" from November 12, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS GREY, ARMY CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION DIVISION: U.S. Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan, a 39-year-old psychiatrist assigned to Darnell Medical Center here at Fort Hood has been charged with 13 specifications of premeditated murder under article 118 of the uniform code of military justice.
HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY JANET NAPOLITANO: This is a matter under investigation. It's going to be looked at, obviously, very, very fully. And the number one issue, I think right now, is that Major Hasan be brought to justice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRET BAIER, HOST: Well, it's official. Major Nidal Hasan has been charged and now he will face a military trial on these charges.
In addition to this, a new discovery: Today, officials coming out with this business card that was found inside his apartment, boxes of these business cards that he had made. There you see it there. No mention of his military affiliation with the U.S. army, but underneath his name, you can see "SOA" and "SWT."
"SOA" is commonly used on jihadist Web sites as the acronym for "Soldier of Allah."
"SWT" is commonly used we're told as an acronym for "Glory to God." Again, no mention of the U.S. army on that card.
We are here to analyze the investigation and where it is headed from here. Let's bring in our panel: Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard; Mort Kondracke, executive editor of Roll Call, and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer.
Charles, in addition to that, ABC News is reporting that he used numerous names, e-mails, to get on to jihadist Web sites and had contact with other jihadists even in Europe outside of this one radical imam in Yemen we have reported on.
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Look, this is the kind of evidence you would expect from someone who was reported at the time of the shooting to have been shouting out "Allah Akbar," which is the battle cry of jihadism. I mean, this is not is a surprise.
The amazing part is in the business card. Here is a man whose entire adult life essentially — or professional life — has been spent in the U.S. army. This is a business card. There is no mention whatsoever of the U.S. army, but he says himself, in the business card — imagine, it is a card, it is not just something in his head, it is something he presumably wants to hand out — "Soldier of Allah."
If that is not slam-dunk evidence of what he thought of himself, then nothing is.
This, remember, comes after days and days of the media trying to avoid any implication that there was any connection between his Islamist beliefs, which many of which he expressed to colleagues and in lectures, and his actions.
I mean, what we heard about was secondary post-traumatic stress disorder, a disorder which incidentally doesn't exist. If you look in the DSM IV, which is the current statistical manual of the American Psychiatric Association, it isn't in there.
And those who do believe it exists have a synonym — "compassion fatigue." Imagine: What we're say something this is a guy who killed 13 people cruelly — he pursued the wounded to finish them off — and the cause: Excess of sentiment and compassion.
If we can't speak clearly in moral terms about this kind of absolute evil, then we are in trouble.
MORT KONDRACKE, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, ROLL CALL: With all due respect to Secretary Napolitano, the number one issue is not to bring this guy to justice. The number one issue here is to find out, and even the president said that they're going to conduct an extensive investigation and so is Joe Lieberman of the Homeland Security Committee in the Senate, of why weren't the dots connected here?
I mean, his colleagues at Walter Reed knew that he was uttering this wild jihadist stuff, that he was also, by the way, incompetent and belligerent.
We had evidence — the NSA undoubtedly had intercepts of his contacts with various jihadists. And there was even a Defense Department analyst who tracked all this stuff, his connections with Al Alwaki.
So why wasn't something done? A hundred years ago when I was in the Army Counterintelligence Corps, there was a category of people called "disaffected," and we conducted security investigations on these people. This guy was totally disaffected and blatantly disaffected and why he wasn't closely monitored is the question.
BILL KRISTOL, EDITOR, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: I guess parts of the army are not on war footing, they on diversity footing here at home, maybe especially in the medical services profession, especially not on the front lines.
I was very struck also by Janet Napolitano's comment — I hadn't read it before — to see her say that the number one priority is to bring him to justice is such a knee-jerk comment and such a stupid comment. He is not going to be brought to justice. He is not going to be innocent of murder. They should just go ahead and convict him and put him to death.
Mort is absolutely right. The head of Homeland Security, shouldn't you say the number one priority is figuring out what went wrong?
This is what is most disturbing about this. What is disturbing is that it happened, and there were huge failures I think within the Army and the intelligence community connecting the dots. We know that.
Al Alwaki, the cleric, he's not just a radical cleric, he is an Al Qaeda cleric. And that connection alone was just huge alarm bells should have gone off.
But what has happened since the killing is what has me most upset. The FBI director says, oh, right away, no terrorist connections without thinking really about a terrorist connection.
When they had these business cards, presumably, with these "Soldier of Allah," "Slave of Allah," I guess it is, acronym on it, General Casey goes on TV Sunday saying diversity can't be a casualty of this.
And now the Homeland Security Secretary saying we have to bring people to justice.
Are we still not going to be serious about dealing with jihadists in the U.S., in the Army who are killing soldiers at a base in the United States?
BAIER: So is there a point where this evidence adds up and there is a tipping point and somebody starts talking about terrorism?
KRISTOL: Yes, I think so.
BAIER: From the administration, not the commentators or the news people, but from the administration?
KRISTOL: We don't know everything yet. There were multiple e-mail accounts, some which seem to have been disguised. He had a shredder in his apartment which shredded stuff and was emptied out before people got there. That's why they're searching through these garbage cans and dumps elsewhere in Killeen, near Fort Hood.
We don't know what the terror connections were. At best, he is a lone, you know, a lone terrorist with connections with jihadists, which is itself a huge problem. At worst, there actually were much more serious connections with people abroad and elsewhere in the U.S.
KRAUTHAMMER: I think it is worse if he acted alone, because if there are connections you have agents of those abroad. We have been rather good since 9/11 preventing outsiders from infiltrating, but the idea of someone who grows up here and on his own becomes a jihadist with the sort of spiritual or intellectual influence of outsiders.
He is not directed, he's not hired, he's not owned, he is not an agent, but he acts as a self-agent on behalf of jihadism, that is harder to find. And it is harder to go after because, as happened at Walter Reed, people will be worried about if you questioned this guy, and it was a question among all the psychiatrists, is he a nut, is he a terrorist? They didn't want to raise it. Why? Because you would be accused of prejudice against him on the account of religion.
KONDRACKE: There is the STRATFOR, which is a private intelligence gathering operation, had an e-mail that got sent out about another Yemeni terrorist, the guy who is in charge of Al Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula sent out worldwide this e-mail saying you don't have to knock down buildings. You don't have to stage spectaculars. You can engage in small attacks with knives, guns, whatever, on soft targets.
And for all we know, this was inspired by that.
KRISTOL: Al Alwaki was a big hero to the people who wanted to kill the soldiers at Fort Dix two or three years ago. They found all of his sermons preserved on the computers of those people.
This guy — I agree it is a terrible problem with self-starting jihadists who read something and get inspired and do things. He was in touch with Al Alwaki should be such an unbelievable alarm bell, that is worrisome.
And then afterwards half the U.S. government seems to be saying let's not be alarmed even though we now know that's the case is even more worrisome.
BAIER: President Obama says the latest unemployment numbers are a hopeful signs, but that he needs a summit to come up with new ideas about job creation. We'll talk about that, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Through the Recovery Act, we have cut taxes for middle class families, extended and increased unemployment insurance, and created and saved more than a million jobs.
As a result, the economy is now growing again for the first time in more than a year, and faster than at any time in the past two years.
But even though we have slowed the loss of jobs, and today's report on the continued decline of unemployment claims is a hopeful sign, the economic growth that we have seen has not yet led to the job growth that we desperately need.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: President Obama today announcing that he is going to hold a summit, a jobs summit at the White House, with CEOs, small business owners, economists, financial experts, labor unions, non-profit groups, they're all coming to talk about how to get jobs.
Back with the panel — Mort?
KONDRACKE: I was talking to someone who is on Air Force One about the economy, actually, today, and my strong impression is that they don't know what to do about jobs.
You know, the economy grew at 3.5 percent. Productivity is up and yet the unemployment number keeps rising. And they don't know what to do.
They're hoping that the second half of the stimulus package, which is yet unspent, is going to improve things, but they're not sure that is going to work. And they don't know what to do about further measures. Further measures might be taken, you know, but they probably can't get another stimulus package out of Congress.
Also, it would raise the deficit, which they don't want to do. So I guess this meeting that they will have, they're looking for ideas.
Now, for sure, what they should not be doing is handing out $250 checks to seniors, you know, which is what the president wants to do. If he wants to send the money to somebody, he ought to send it to the unemployed who actually go out and spend it.
But the idea that seniors across the board, including me, are going to get, you know, 250 bucks is just crazy. And it's $14 billion that is just being wasted.
BAIER: Bill, the president repeated 1 million jobs created or saved by the stimulus package. You have not-so conservative media outlets like the Boston Globe saying that the stimulus jobs numbers are wildly exaggerated.
KRISTOL: Plus we've lost more than a million jobs in terms of total employment in the year since the stimulus package has been in effect. I wouldn't boasting about it.
I wouldn't have a job summit. There may not be much that he can do at this point. I think it was idiotic to do the stimulus and not focus on the economy and to propose cap-and-trade and health care, which I think are having a non-trivial effect in deterring businesses, especially smaller businesses beginning to hire up again.
He didn't solve the credit crunch problem. He has all these potential tax hikes and burdens on the economy out there, which I think is slowing down the recovery. We will have a slower fourth quarter than third quarter — every economist I know thinks — unemployment will keep going up for a few months and when it comes down it will be very slow. I think he's in very bad shape on this, and he's highlighting now, the job summit almost highlights they don't know what to do. I think it kills health care. I'm more and more convinced health care does not pass the Senate because health care is a job killer, a job burden, a burden on you unemployment. And how can you pass this huge piece of legislation when unemployment is going up from 10.2 percent?
KRAUTHAMMER: So he proposed a stimulus which he tells us at the beginning of the year would prevent unemployment hitting 8.8 percent. Of course we're now at 10.2 percent with the stimulus. And what does he do? He calls another summit. It is actually another seminar. Professor Obama, as with Afghanistan, he is going to have a seminar.
I hope it lasts longer than the Afghanistan seminar. I hope it lasts six months or a year, because while it is happening, he won't be adding onto any more mischief with more stimuli. The best he can do is to cancel the rest of the stimulus and return the money in a reduction of payroll tax, which would stimulate our economy and create jobs. Of course, that's not going to happen. But you know, as a student of — as a former graduate student, I think the more seminars the better.
BAIER: And you have Senator Reid in the Senate is talking about a payroll tax increase to help pay for health care. So it is an interesting dynamic, as you talked about in this panel, thank you.
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