Now, thanks to a report submitted last Friday by an official inquiry, we have the answer. Incredibly, though, that answer is not to be found within the 86-page document issued by the "Department of Defense Independent Review Related to Fort Hood." Rather, it is evident from what the report does not say.
Like its name, the independent review co-chaired by former Clinton Army Secretary Togo West and former Chief of Naval Operations Vern Clark elides the central fact: The murder of twelve servicemen and women and one civilian at Ft. Hood, Texas on November 5, 2009 was indeed an act of jihad, or Islamic "holy war."
Incredibly, there is exactly one reference to the word "Islam" or its derivatives in the entire report. It is only to be found in a footnote, which cites a publication whose title is "Countering Violent Islamic Extremism."
No mention is made at all of "jihad" or "Shariah," the ideology that, according to authoritative Islam, requires its adherents to engage in holy war. Neither, for that matter, are the following terms ever used: "Muslim," "Muslim Brotherhood," "Salafi," "al Qaeda" or "enemy." Even President Obama's favored euphemism, "violent extremism" is not employed, ever.
Instead of even alluding to the wellspring of Major Hasan's antipathy towards this country and his comrades, the review goes to absurd lengths to leave the obvious unsaid. It tells us that "signs" of the "alleged perpetrator's" mindset, without telling us what the signs were. It suggests a problem with "officership standards," again without making clear how those standards should be changed.
The review concludes with a recommendation for close monitoring of what it calls "indicators of potential violence," as though that potential is something that can be reliably ascertained, let alone precluded, without acknowledging the underlying cause. Instead, we are told that what is needed is a "Secretary of Defense Initiative on Indicators of Violence" or even more absurdly, a "Defense Committee on Recognition of the Indications of Violence."
Frank Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .
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