"What happened at Fort Hood was a tragedy, but I believe it would be an even greater tragedy if our diversity becomes a casualty here." Those words were spoken not by some diversity guru but by the Army Chief of Staff, Gen. George Casey, on ABC last week in the aftermath of the slaughter of 13 people at the hands of a fellow officer. Nor were they isolated comments open to misinterpretation. Casey repeated them, in virtually identical form, in interviews with NBC and CNN.
Casey's remarks should lead to his immediate firing. But, of course, that won't happen because he is merely echoing the official government line. From the moment word leaked out that the suspected shooter at Fort Hood was Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, government officials began to weave their Orwellian cocoon. The commander in chief warned Americans not "to jump to conclusions," while Casey and others dismissed as "anecdotal evidence" eyewitness reports that Hasan shouted "Allahu Akbar" before pumping 100 rounds of ammunition into his fellow soldiers. The only ones that jumped to conclusions were the U.S. government; immediately after the attack, the Obama administration shot down the notion that this was an act of terrorism.
But not even the mainstream media are buying this nonsense. Journalists have tracked down Hasan's colleagues at Walter Reed Army Hospital, where Hasan served as a staff psychiatrist until he was transferred to Fort Hood prior to his intended deployment overseas. They've talked to local imams with whom he had contact, and have even found investigators willing to reveal, albeit anonymously, details of botched investigations of Hasan. And the story line emerging is increasingly clear: Hasan had become a radical Islamist who reached out to jihadists in Yemen, and perhaps elsewhere, as he prepared to launch a terrorist attack on a military installation.
Hasan initiated contact with Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born imam now living in Yemen, who had ties to three of the 9/11 hijackers. Hasan sent 10-20 e-mails to Awlaki before the Fort Hood shooting, and Awlaki has since praised Hasan for the attack.
Linda Chavez is chairman of the Center for Equal Opportunity and author of Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics .
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