Of Heroes, Hormones And Fort Hood

Brian Birdnow

11/23/2009 12:00:00 AM - Brian Birdnow

Much has been written in recent weeks about the craven response of the U.S. military establishment in the face of revelations concerning the terrorist nature of Major Nidal Malik Hasan’s recent shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas. The army immediately assumed crisis mode and denied any connections between Hasan’s religious beliefs and his actions, they summarily dismissed the idea of misfeasance in ignoring warnings of a potential fifth columnist in their midst, and they are now instructing high level officers to sing from the Political correctness hymnbook as General Casey now yammers on about the glories of diversity and that this is the strength of our great republic.

This development should come as no surprise since the U.S. defense establishment long ago capitulated to the P.C. onslaught. This disease now infects the highest echelons of the American military and its efforts to bend over backwards to appease American Muslims are not unexpected. What most observers have missed, however, is an effort to turn this to sociocultural advantage by trying to create a female military hero where none currently exists.

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In the immediate aftermath of the rampage, news reports celebrated the actions of Sergeant Kimberly D. Munley of the Fort hood civilian police force. Sgt Munley, badly wounded in an exchange of gunfire with Major Hasan, held her position and finally dropped her opponent with precision shooting. The officially approved account of Munley’s heroism attracted widespread international attention from most media outlets including print, television, and of course the talk shows.

It turns out, however, that the official line id untrue. Eyewitnesses report that Major Hasan shot and dropped Munley as she arrived at the scene. Hasan began to reload his weapon and he was shot by Sergeant Mark Todd, a veteran officer who approached Hasan from the blind side. The eyewitnesses have requested anonymity, saying that their fidelity to truth could damage their careers. How and why the authorities decided to issue the original version of the story and made Kim Munley a national hero remains under investigation. Those who created the myth are now charged with investigating it!

No one knows how the authorities decided to issue a doctored version of the truth but let us hazard a guess as to why they did so. Certain interested parties in the media and in Congress have searched relentlessly for a female military hero and have been doing so for the last twenty years, as a means of lessening opposition to the still hotly contested idea of women in combat. If women soldiers are portrayed as courageous and heroic those who oppose the idea of female combat soldiers can be discredited and the social experiment can proceed apace. The military has been complicit in this effort as recent events have shown, but the facts are quite clear that this has gone on for years.

In 1989, Army public relations officials hyped the supposedly heroic actions of Captain Linda Bray, during the Panama operation. The military issued a report stating that Captain Bray had led an infantry charge against an occupied Panamanian defensive position and took this blockhouse by force. Congresswoman Pat Schroeder got into the act and recommended Captain Bray for a Congressional Medal of Honor. The officer seemed reluctant to discuss her actions publicly and she earned credit for exhibiting becoming humility and modesty regarding her own accomplishments. Actually, Captain Bray declined to discuss these matters because she knew the story would fall apart under close scrutiny. Indeed, the story did fall apart when people began asking questions. It turned out that the entrenched Panamanian defensive position was actually a kennel where Panamanian police housed guard dogs. The kennel was empty at the time, and Captain Bray was positioned at a regimental staging ground miles from the battle scene.

When military journalists portrayed Linda Bray as a hero of the Audie Murphy variety, politicians and an eager media hyped this for all it was worth. When the truth emerged Captain Bray, understandably humiliated, resigned her commission and returned to civilian life. The standard liberal line has been that she was hounded out of the military by sexism and male chauvinism. In fact, Linda Bray left the army because she had become a laughingstock among her peers because of the phony nature of her service record.

This also brings to mind the story of PFC Jessica Lynch during the early stages of the Iraqi War. The DOD initially reported that Lynch had been captured after a Davy Crockett-like stand during which she emptied her entire magazine at the Iraqi enemy before being taken by force. Miss Lynch, to her credit, admitted readily, that she had been knocked unconscious when the truck she was riding in overturned, and that she had been taken without ever firing her weapon. This admission angered PFC Lynch’s superior officers who followed orders from higher up to create a female war hero.

Now we have Sergeant Kimberly Munley. It seems that Sgt. Munley did demonstrate exemplary behavior when faced with a harrowing decision on that grim afternoon. She chose to confront an armed assailant when she could, credibly, have taken cover and called for assistance. Sergeant Munley’s coolness under fire does not, however, change the fact that she was unable to stop Hasan’s murderous rampage. Sergeant Mark Todd shot Hasan and politically correct myth-making will not alter facts.

The point of this column is that few Americans realize the degree to which political correctness has preempted the old-fashioned warrior ethos of the U.S. armed services. The rush to proclaim ordinary female soldiers as “heroes”, the scramble to whitewash the Hasan-Islamic terrorism links, and the continuing efforts to emasculate the armed forces by characterizing soldiers, sailors, and marines as “caregivers” shows the depths to which the leadership of our fighting forces have sunk. In this brave new world, the American military is one of the most politically correct of all institutions. General Casey’s mindless bloviations about diversity as strength perfectly illustrates this point.