Texas attack reverberates in D.C.
By Ben Pershing
The major political debates of the moment suddenly appeared small Thursday, after an army psychiatrist walked into a medical building at Fort Hood and opened fire, killing at least 13 and wounding 30.
The Texas army base is roughly 1,500 miles from Washington, but the reverberations were quickly felt in the nation's capital. Statements poured forth from members of Congress, the Pentagon became a vital source of information and reporters worked the local angle, as the suspect hailed from Virginia, worked at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and attended mosque in Silver Spring. Nidal Malik Hasan "began having second thoughts about a military career a few years ago after other soldiers harassed him for being a Muslim, he told relatives in Virginia," the New York Times reports. "He had also more recently expressed deep concerns about being sent to Iraq or Afghanistan." The Washington Post writes that Ft. Hood "has been hard hit by the growing strain on the Army from multiple combat deployments" and that "Army personnel are experiencing record rates of suicide, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and other mental health problems, as well as worsening alcohol and drug abuse." The New York Daily News reports that "Arab and Muslim groups were quick to condemn the Fort Hood massacre on Thursday - and to warn against anti-Muslim retribution."
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Posted at 8:39 AM ET on Nov 6, 2009
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