“A Ticking Time Bomb”: the Hasan Fort Hood Shooting report

| February 7, 2011


“Although neither DoD nor the FBI had specific information concerning the time, place, or nature of the attack, they collectively had sufficient information to have detected Hasan’s radicalization to violent Islamist extremism but failed both to understand and to act all it. Our investigation found specific and systemic failures in the government’s handling of the Hasan case and raises additional concerns about what may be broader systemic issues.”

Unsurprisingly, there were a host of errors that were unveiled by this report from the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. The report was a bipartisan product led by Senator Lieberman of Connecticut, and my birth-state Senator Susan Collins of Maine. Apparently everyone just looked the other way to avoid a PC problem. Well done there I’d say….

Here are some key excerpts:

Major Nidal Hasan’s public displays of radicalization toward violent Islamist extremism during his medical residency and post-residency fellowship were clear and led two officers to describe him as a “ticking time bomb.”

During his medical residency and post-residency fellowship, his vicws were no secret to his superiors and colleagues, and he showed clear evidencc of escalating radicalization to violent Islamist extremism. Witnesses reported that Hasan expressed support in open class presentations for many of the principles of violent lslamist extremism, and this support is reflected in written academic papers Hasan prepared during this time frame.

That conduct disturbed many of his superiors and colleagues, yet no action was taken against him. In fact, his Officer Evaluation Reports were uniformly positive – and even described his exploration of violent lslamist cxtremism as something praiseworthy and useful to U.S. counterterrorism efforts. Notwithstanding his manifestations of violent Islamist extremism and his concomitant poor performance as a psychiatrist, Hasan was not removed from the military but instead was promoted to the rank of major in May 2009 and eventually ordered to be deployed to Afghanistan in the fall of 2009.

Apparently there was one guy that got it:

While Hasan’s evident radicalization to violent Islamist extremism occurred gradually and escalated over time, the fact that he obviously had strong religious views that created conflicts with his military service manifested during the early part of his residency (2003-2006). One classmate told investigators that Hasan openly questioned whether he could engage in combat against other Muslims.

During the third year of his residency, Hasan’s conflicts with service obligations ripened to the point that one of his supervisors tried twice to convince him to leave the military. The first time, Hasan’s superior told him, “I don’t think you and the military will fit,” and offered Hasan “a way out” to “just say goodbye.” Later, after that adviser and Hasan unsuccessfully explored whether Hasan qualified for conscientious objector status, that supervisor again tried to convince Hasan to resign.

Just how obvious was it that this guy was fruitier than bat guano? You judge:

The next two years were the final year of Hasan’s Walter Reed residency and the first year of his USUHS fellowship (2006-2008), and it was then that his radicalization to violent Islamist extremism came into plain view. In the last month of his residency, he chose to fulfill an academic requirement to make a scholarly presentation on psychiatric issues by giving an off-topic lecture on violent Islamist extremism. The presentation was a requirement for graduation from the residency, commonly referred to at Walter Reed as “Grand Rounds.” Hasan’s draft presentation consisted almost entirely of refernces to the Koran, without a single mention of a medical or psychiatric term. Hasan’s draft also presented extremist interpretations of the Koran as supporting grave physical harm and killing of non-Muslims. He even suggested that revenge might be a defense for the terrorist attacks of September I I, 2001. Hasan’s superiors warned him that he needed to revise the presentation if he wanted to graduate and concluded that it was “not scientific,” “not scholarly,” and a mere “recitation of the Koran” that “might be perceived as proselytizing.”

Might be? Wonder what they thought about this:

The most chilling feature of both the draft and final presentation was that Hasan stated that one of the risks of having Muslim-Americans in the military was the possibility of fratricidal murder of fellow servicemembers.

In case the subtlety (or lack thereof) of Hasan’s statements is lost on anyone, the report details the following:

In sum, Hasan engaged in the following conduct in front of or as reported to his superiors within little more than one year:

• Making three off-topic presentations on violent Islamist extremist topics instead of medical subjects.

• Giving a class presentation perceived as so supportive of violent Islamist extremist conflict against the United States that it was almost immediately stopped by an instructor after classmates erupted in opposition to Hasan’s views.

• Justifying suicide bombings in class at least twice, according to the accounts of classmates.

• Suggesting in writing in his proposals lor presentations that some actions of Osama bin Laden may be justified.

• Telling several classmates that his religion took precedence over the U.S. Constitution he swore a military oath to support and defend.

• Stating three times in writing that Muslim-Americans in the military could be prone to fratricide.

Remember, this guy didn’t just graduate, he was advanced to the rank of Major. I can’t even imagine signing off on this guy being promoted to PFC, but they just kept moving him through the ranks.

I was overjoyed when I was judged in the middle of my peers on my NCOER, since I had a habit of disagreeing with my CO and 1SG. Not Hasan, or, atleast according to his rater:

• His Officer Evaluation Report for July 2007 to June 2008 described Hasan as “among the better disaster and psychiatry fellows to have completed the MPH at the Uniformed Services University.” The report described how Hasan had “focused his efforts on illuminating the role of culture and Islamic faith within the Global War on Terrorism” and that his “work in this area has extraordinary potential to inform national policy and military strategy.” The report also stated, “His unique interests have captured the interest and attention of peers and mentors alike.”

• His Officer Evaluation Report for July 2008 to June 2009 gave him passing marks for all seven Army Values and all 15 Leadership Attributes. “Islamic studies” was listed under the category or “unique skills” Hasan possessed. The evaluation commented on Hasan’s “keen interest in Islamic culture and Jaith and his shown capacity to contribute to our psychological understanding of Islamic nationalism and how it may relate to events of national security and Army interest in the Middle East and Asia.”

I remember seeing a joke thing sent around about sentences from OERs, and one of the funniest I read said:

This Lieutenant is of two minds: one is lost and the other is out looking for it.

Apparently Hasan was of two minds as well, one was a military officer, and the other was trying to blow it up.

My dopey underground newspaper I wrote while in my unit probably didn’t help my NCOER, but it did help with morale, or so I am led to believe. And what did these positive OERs do for Hasan?

In sum, the officers who kept Hasan in the military and moved him steadily along knew full well of his problematic behavior. As the officer who assigned Hasan to Fort Hood (and later decided to deploy Hasan to Afghanistan) admitted to an officer at Fort Hood, “you’re getting our worst. On November 5, 2009, 12 servicemembers and one civilian employee of DoD lost their lives because Hasan was still in the U.S. military.

Just thinking about Hasan makes me mad. The Army’s non-reaction made me even more angry. I still leave the room every time my wife has Dr. Phil on, and I can’t take anything that “Veterans for Common Sense” says seriously. If everyone is going to pad the OERs to just keep crappy officers in service, why even bother doing them? He has an OER that says he is among the best and brightest, and then another officer says “you are getting our worst”? How on Earth does that make any sense?

You can read the entire report here.

Category: Politics

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Blatantly obvious, but how do you remove him without the P.C. police totally screwing anyone who tries to do so?


The question looms…

…have we learned anything?

I doubt it. The next MAJ Hassan will also be treated with kiddy gloves, completely untouchable until the day he snaps and starts killing people.


This just make me ill. The survivors must be going crazy at the thought that they might not be where they are had the US ARMY been prudent.

Anonymous in Jax

I 100% agree with this posting. Why the hell does the Army even have OER’s when they are just padded to keep the officer from filing a complaint of discrimination? Because we all know that if Hasan had received a negative OER, he would have immediately done just that!

I personally worked with Dr. Hasan at Walter Reed, although in a limited capacity. His patients didn’t like him and frequently asked for a different doctor because a lot of his patients were returning combat vets and Dr. Hasan wanted to preach his religion to them. I have heard Jonn and a lot of other people on this website complain about just that sort of thing. Whats done is done, but I hope that Dr. Hasan pays for his actions. Unfortunately, unhealthy people are never executed….and I am sure that Dr. Hasan’s paralysis will keep him from receiving the punishment he deserves.

Doc Bailey

MEDDAC, and MEDCOM in general is the worst most political branch I’ve ever seen. For one thing the ratio of officers to enlisted is a LOT higher than most branches. Far worse, are some of the insane rules that civilian medicine must already follow, although insulated from lawsuits, this culture has none the less infected MEDCOM leaving command so paralyzed sometimes that they are able to do little more than give basic care.

Hassan *should* have been a wake-up call, but I can not tell you if that has happened. I think that of all the branches, AMEDD is the most insulated, and least likely to change.


What I’m trying to figure out is why his trial is taking so long? He’s been declared compentent to stand trial. There were multiple witnesses to his rampage. They have physical evidence against him. Trying to figure out why he did what he did seems rather irrelevant at this point. There is enough evidence to convict him of his crimes. Why can’t the trial simply move forward, this guy be found guilty and be duly punished? (Preferred punishment would be public hanging, IMO.)

Chuck Z

The DoD study found that there indicators that Hassan may have been nucking futz. Grand. Wonderful. Let me ask you military leader-types, when you assess risk, do you do so before or after the accident happens? I assume you all said before, and then if an accident happens, you mitigate circumstances so that it is less likely to happen again, right? So… Q: What has the Army done to mitigate the risk to soldiers that an assbag nutjob will kill them while a) standing outside a recruiting station b) conducting unit PT c) doing pre-deployment processing? A: Here’s the answer you don’t want: NOTHING. Q: Can any soldier carry a concelaed personal weapon on base? A: Nope. Carrying concealed weapons on a federal installation, or while in uniform, is illegal. Q: Are soldiers, NCOs, or Officers routinely allowed to carry loaded, issued weapons while in uniform? A: Not unles syou are an MP or on a range, skippy. Q: Is there anything a servicemember can do, if a nutjub decides today is the day they will make everyone pay because they weren’t held as a child? A: Absolutely! You can use the less-than 3″ blade pocketknife you are allowed to carry to slit your throat before you get shot! We ask our servicemembers to go in harm’s way, and we trust them with lives and lillions of dollars worth of US property, trust them to make life and death decisions in a split second on a battlefield, and yet, if some haji-come-lately decides to shoot up the PX on payday, they can do NOTHING to defend their own lives, or the lives of others. They can do NOTHING to protect their families. That isn’t entirely true… they can call the MP’s, who will respond just as soon as they can. All of our “force protection” measures start–and stop–at the gate. If you live on post, you can have firearms, but if you take them out of your quarters, they must be unloaded, and locked in the trunk. The military will recognize my state-issued marriage license, drivers license, and license plates,… Read more »

Doc Bailey

I don’t know how many of you have actually BEEN to Ft Hood. Its HUGE. Its so big its actually broken up into three installations, which means that the “Gate” is really a highway entrance, and DA cops don’t really do that much on the checking of IDs. While I was there 2nd Chem Bn had a jilted lover try to shoot up their formation, and another unit in 13th COSCOM almost had its formation run over with a pick up truck on the III Corps track (again Jilted lover) There were active GANGS in housing, and most of the units had major drug problems.

I always thought if something big happened on Hood it would be a repeat of San Diego where a nut took an M-60 for a joy ride. Didn’t think it would be, well, this.

I will say CRDAMC the hospital there, is a rat trap, and the insanity level there is enough to tempt the staff to have a short stay on the 5th floor (psych ward). That is not enough though. Not enough to excuse a shooting rampage.


Didn’t the Army do a report about the shootings a few months ago that magically avoided mentioning radical Islam at all? Or did I dream that?

Virtual Insanity

Actually, Chuck Z, AR 190-11 para 4-5 b says the installation commander can authorize the carry of privately- owned weapons. I’m about to begin the campaign on my installation. Should be interesting.


[…] “A Ticking Time Bomb”: the Hasan Fort Hood Shooting report, as quoted and analyzed by the perceptive souls at This Ain’t Hell. […]

Argentina Keener

I really enjoyed this post! Many Thanks!