Jonah Goldberg

Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan demonstrated many things when he allegedly committed treason in the war on terror. For starters, he showed -- gratuitously, alas -- that evil is still thriving.

He demonstrated that being a trained psychiatrist provides no immunity to ancient hatreds and religious fanaticism, nor does psychiatric training provide much acuity in spotting such things in others. For example, the London Telegraph reports that, in what was supposed to be a medical lecture, Hassan instead gave an hour-long briefing on the Koran, explaining to colleagues at Walter Reed Army Medical Center that nonbelievers should be beheaded, have boiling oil poured down their throats and set on fire.

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His fellow psychiatrists completely missed this "red flag" -- a suddenly popular euphemism for incandescently obvious evidence this man had no place in the U.S. Army.

He proved how lacking our domestic security system is. According to ABC News, intelligence agencies were aware for months that Hasan had tried to contact al-Qaida. His colleagues reportedly knew he sympathized with suicide bombings and attacks on U.S. troops abroad, and one colleague said Hasan was pleased by an attack on an Army recruiting office and suggested more of the same might be desirable. That's treason, even if you're a Muslim.

Which raises the most troubling revelation: For many people, the idea that he is a Muslim fanatic, motivated by other Muslim fanatics, was -- at least initially -- too terrible to contemplate. How else to explain the reflexive insistence after the attack that the real culprit was post-traumatic stress disorder? The fact that PTSD is usually diagnosed in people who've been through trauma (hence the "post"), and that Hasan had never seen combat, didn't seem to matter much.

Apparently the "P" in PTSD can now stand for "pre."

A few months ago, an anti-Semitic old nut named James von Brunn allegedly took a gun to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to get payback against "the Jews" and killed a black security guard in the process.

In response to this horrific crime, the leading lights of American liberalism knew who was to blame: Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and the GOP. One writer for the Huffington Post put it succinctly: "Thank you very much Karl Rove and your minions."


Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
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