The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


Barack Obama

Did Obama Just Convict the Suspected Fort Hood Shooter?

By Scott Butterworth
President Obama began his weekly Internet and radio address on Saturday with these words: "This past Thursday, on a clear Texas afternoon, an Army psychiatrist walked into the Soldier Readiness Processing Center, and began shooting his fellow soldiers."

Did the president, speaking directly about the man suspected in the killings, prejudice any jury that might be called to hear the case? At the least, he appeared to fall afoul of a lesson that every journalism student -- and law student -- learns early: The safest way to avoid yourself some trouble is to couch such a flat assertion of guilt.

That is why news organizations scrambled to rewrite their stories Thursday night after an Army general changed his story about the suspected gunman. You can't libel the dead, goes the legal doctrine, and the general had said the gunman was dead. So the media felt pretty comfortable with stories asserting that Maj. Nidal M. Hasan was the man who had killed so many at the Army post.

But once Lt. Gen. Robert Cone, the commander at Fort Hood, said that Hasan had not been killed but rather was hospitalized and in no imminent threat of dying, news anchors, reporters and editors hurried to add the words "suspected" and "allegedly" and "believed to have" to their scripts and stories.

Obama said the "act of violence" by the psychiatrist was "heartbreaking" and "despicable" and "horrified us." It was even "the worst of human nature on full display." The speech included not a single "reportedly."

Then again, Obama is not the first president to stray from the well-trod path of "not prejudging an investigation." For instance, President George W. Bush did so in December 2005, saying in an interview with the Fox News Channel that he believed former House majority leader Tom DeLay was innocent of money laundering and conspiracy charges.

Asked about whether Bush had just prejudged -- and prejudiced -- a criminal case, White House press secretary Scott McClellan replied, "Call it a presidential prerogative."

The Obama White House had no comment.

Posted at 5:06 PM ET on Nov 7, 2009  | Category:  Barack Obama
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If Obama puts predjudice into a trial and this guy walks for it, at least there is no doubt of sheer motives afoot.

Looks like Obozo puts his foot in it again.

Posted by: dottydo | November 10, 2009 10:36 PM

Fort Hood soldiers and victims all know he is guilty. Everyone in the nation knows he is guilty, so when Obama said that he did in fact, commit this act of violence he wasd only speaking the truth. He shot 47 people, and terrified the rest of the people on base, myself included. A fair trial is going to be hard to find anyway, so why bother sitting and whining about Obama saying what he said?

Posted by: elissareynolds | November 10, 2009 11:14 AM

Obama is sly like a fox. By saying what he said 1. He pleases the American people who are outraged, 2. He gives legal ammunion to this jerks lawyers to say the President of the US found him guilty (this the American people found him guilty) before his trial and therefore the guy can't go anywhere for a fair trial, wha hoo, the guy gets off.

Obama knew exactly what he was doing. Don't doubt it for a minute.

Posted by: mmg16 | November 9, 2009 9:20 PM

[Posted by: JRM2 | November 9, 2009 5:44 PM]: It is amazing that BH O'Carter supporters will go so far to dig him out from his own incompetency. Both Hasan AND the Cambridge Police officer enjoy the 'presumtion of innocense' under the law. BH O'Carter, the esteemed teaching assistant of constitutional law, granted neither their constitutional rights in his decree of their guilt.

Posted by: IQ168 | November 9, 2009 8:54 PM

Get a life. Obama just called it what we all know it was. If he had tiptoed around a frank statement, the same people who are criticizing him now would be accusing him of not being tough enough.
I have never seen a president treated so unfairly. You ought to be ashamed of yourselves. As you judge, so shall you be judged.

Posted by: rooster54 | November 9, 2009 6:49 PM

jpeppe wants to apply a different standard to Bush than to Obama, since Bush was arguing for the innocence of one of his cronies (as opposed to assuming the guilt of the man seen by dozens of witnesses gunning down his fellow soldiers).

jppeppe argues: "As others have said here, our judicial system carries the bedrock assumption of innocence, so for the President to assert his belief in any defendant's innocence would only serve to reinforce that assumption and the burden on the prosecution to prove guilt."

But the President is not part of the judiciary. He is the Chief Executive... leader of the same branch of government as the JAG or US Attorney who will formally and publically accuse, and then prosecute. There is no Constitutional requirement that officials of the executive branch go about pretending that the people they are prosecuting are factually innocent...that would be absurd.

IF the President's statement put any finger on the scales at all, it is also silly to contend that it is worse to use that influence to tar one guilty man than it would be to use it to whitewash another.

Posted by: Iconoblaster | November 9, 2009 6:28 PM

Hasan is legally presumed innocent of any crimes, because he has not yet been convicted. That is a LEGAL presumption... it isn't a logical, objective or accurate one. Our Courts, our government, are not permitted to punish Hasan, and must regard him as innocent until a conviction occurs, but THAT LEGAL FICTION (which it is, being a required and legitimate, though factually false presumption) is not binding on anyone else.

The rest of us, who are NOT going to be on this man's jury, and are among the officers of the court that tries him, are free to form whatever opinion the reported facts may indicate. It would be a little silly for people commenting on these events to be required to pretend Hasan DIDN'T walk in and shoot a bunch of people.

Posted by: Iconoblaster | November 9, 2009 6:13 PM

"Hard to be surprised by this - since BH O'Carter assumed a police Officer was guilty of 'racial profiling' when he questioned a man breaking into a house?
Posted by: IQ168 | November 9, 2009 12:14 PM"
OK, MORON, let me set you straight. What President Obama said was that the "Cambridge police acted stupidly". Do you know that a person cannot be arrested for verbally abusing a Peace Officer even in public in the state of Massachusetts?, that several court cases have upheld this precedent?, did you know that the police report was either intentionally or accidently altered to state that the person reporting the alleged break-in were black when she said she thought they were hispanic?

So in that case, given that the police were unaware of THE LAW and altered a police report to include bogus information I'd say that qualifies as acting stupidly.

Furthermore, there were over 50 witnesses during Hasan's rampage there is no doubt that he did it.

Get off your hating horse and look at what is in front of you.


Posted by: JRM2 | November 9, 2009 5:44 PM

The strange part of the excution of the army troops by their OINC who just happens to be a devoted Muslim is that nobody saw that coming.Its dificult to believe that someone apparently in conflict with training our men to go into battle with people of his faith and upbringings would not have not have been obvious and consequently prevented.

Posted by: rvaw120 | November 9, 2009 5:12 PM

Reality and legality sometimes just don't agree. If this man did not shoot the soldiers, the the brave police woman shot the wrong man. I don't think that any would doubt the fact that he was the shooter. The major question will be what motivated him to commit such an act. Is he of sound mind? Or pushed by someone else? Or acting alone? The only other question is what do we do after his conviction. Fix whatever failed, so our soldiers will not be subjected to this kind of wanton act.

Posted by: attl | November 9, 2009 4:07 PM

Admit it, you would have all bi**hed and moaned if he would have said alleged shooter because the you would say he was "protecting his Muslim brother" or being "weak on terrorists" or "not leading in a time of national tragedy" or some other crap. It doesn't matter what he says, you don't like it because you don't like him. The fact that he laid it squarely at the door of the "alleged" shooter is exactly what you are doing. How many of you have written or posted on some other site about the shootings and used alleged? From what I'm reading, most of you don't. This isn't someone who is going to go on trial in the civilian courts. This is the military- he will be court martialed and will have a jury of his peers- military officers. They are expected to do their duty no matter what they know. If he survives to go to trial. From all reports, he is paralyzed. Not everyone with that type of injury will survive to make it to trial. And he could just plead guilty and avoid trial. You just want to post something negative about the president. He could tell you he was going to give every white male $1000.00 out of his own pocket and you would still find something to *itc* about.

Posted by: alaskan2 | November 9, 2009 2:08 PM

It must be Miller Time again! Let's have the Major and Reverend Wright join the President in the Rose Garden for beer, or since they are all such devout men, perhaps a tea party would be in order. Obama loves to talk if only listen to what he's saying he might learn to not try to be so "Presidential" with his pronouncements. The good President is at least causing us to celebrate America with many, many tea parties.

Posted by: murzek1 | November 9, 2009 1:34 PM

This guy killed or wounded 50 people and there were witnesses galore. A young woman risked her life stopping this jerk. The president said nothing wrong.

Posted by: Kansas28 | November 9, 2009 12:54 PM

Obama definitely should have known better. But obviously, he is as lousy an attorney as he is a president.

Posted by: lesturgill | November 9, 2009 12:21 PM

Hard to be surprised by this - since BH O'Carter assumed a police Officer was guilty of 'racial profiling' when he questioned a man breaking into a house? Can we anticipate a beer party at the White House for Husim - when he recovers?

Posted by: IQ168 | November 9, 2009 12:14 PM

The so called mainstream media quickly tries to cover up Pres. Barack Hussein Obama's mistakes and then weakly tries to equate a Pres Bush opinion on a man's innocence. Rubbish! The fact is Obama makes mistakes regularly when he is off script and off teleprompter which proves his Harvard Law experience and "success" was loaded with politically correct influences. The man is intelligent but clearly is not the superior intellect the socialist progressives and other supporters from the left try to make him out to be. A Harvard Law review and later Constitutional Law Asst. Professor should not make such errors. This may have been calculated to provide for a defense for a brother Islamist. It's getting harder everyday to trust what this man says. For example for the last 6 months,up to and including three weeks ago he has been saying to American citizens that his policies have been creating 10's of thousnds of jobs while the official statistics out of Washington has consistently shown unemployment rising to a now disastrous 10.2%-the highest in over 20 years. When will the media call him out on this consistent fabrication-I'll call it a lie because he knows better. But then, why should we trust the current media to do their job.

Posted by: mrtro | November 9, 2009 11:21 AM

Looks like it's time again for the President to host another Rose Garden sit-down over beers to discuss different perspectives on terrorism and stupid comments.

Posted by: mpwynn | November 9, 2009 11:00 AM

This is a ridiculous article. Of course the shooter is guilty. There were tens of witnesses and he was captured fighting. What is wrong with this Mr. Butterworth? What a non-sense!

Posted by: andrea33 | November 9, 2009 10:56 AM

Command influence is often an issue in courts martial. It is usually palpable: senior officer tells JAG he wants a conviction. That has happened in some of the detainee cases, if you have been following. JAG has complained.

The military justice system will be unruffled by this Presidential assertion, IMO.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 9, 2009 10:06 AM

A bit of mixed feelings here. First, I share the common sense frustration of many that the President cannot state the obvious without causing a legal controversy. It is difficult to imagine any circumstances under which the defense in this case will argue that the accused did NOT commit the act. However, President Obama is a lawyer (the celebrated former editor of the Harvard Law Review, no less)and reported regularly in the media and by all who know him to be brilliant, so he doesn't have much of an excuse for such a fundamental error. Second, I can't help view the analogy of Obama's slip to GWB's opinion about DeLay's innocence as another example of the insidous media compulsion to protect Obama. As others have said here, our judicial system carries the bedrock assumption of innocence, so for the President to assert his belief in any defendant's innocence would only serve to reinforce that assumption and the burden on the prosecution to prove guilt. Unless you are simply talking about an informal (as opposed to legal) propriety of the POTUS using the weight of his office to influence a legal outcome, Bush's remark does not at all seem innapropriate and/or analogous to Obama's.

Posted by: jpeppe | November 9, 2009 10:04 AM

To state it this bluntly is a mistake as had previously be stated chain of command should remain impartial so as not to prejudice future jurors. Let us not forget he is commander and chief, and as such has access to a vast amount of information (shat did he know and when did he know it)on this act that the common man does not. Can this man get a fair trial now? It would appear (boy that was easy) that this man is guilty beyond any doubt.
Pres. Clinton may some similar remarks about the Murrah bombing, were they brought up in court? Of course Timmy didn't put up much of a defense.

Posted by: norm814 | November 9, 2009 9:33 AM

Mr. President:

"My fellow Americans, this past Thursday, on a clear Texas afternoon, an Army psychiatrist walked into the Soldier Readiness Processing Center, and began shooting his fellow soldiers.

But before I talk about the victims of the shootings, I'd like to give a shout out to Kenny Ortega, director of "This Is It," just a fantastic movie about musical icon Micharl Jackson. Michelle and I and the kids watched it this weekend at Camp David. Also, a shout out to actress Rue McClanahan, who backed my candidacy. She's recovering from heart bypass surgery. Also,a major shout out to my good friend Oprah, who I think is making a brilliant decision by moving her talk show to cable.

As I was saying, just a terrible tragedy the other day..."

Posted by: bacala1 | November 9, 2009 9:27 AM

If it walks like a duck, looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, odds are it's a duck.
Clearly, with so many eyewitnesses, Hassan is a murderous, whacked-out duck. Time we stop constantly equivocating. I'm so sick of "allegedly" I could scream. And while I'm at it, if I were of the Muslim persuasion, rather than whining about "discrimination" and "oppression" I would sincerely express deep sorrow that another Muslim caused such destruction in the name of God. And I would re-evaluate whether my priority is loyalty to America, or to fellow Muslims, and if the latter, I'd get out of this land of opportunity and go live in the chaos of Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan.

Posted by: arussell91 | November 9, 2009 9:16 AM

"For instance, President George W. Bush did so in December 2005, saying in an interview with the Fox News Channel that he believed former House majority leader Tom DeLay was innocent of money laundering and conspiracy charges."

You know, we still (I think!) have the right "to the presumption of innocence", so comparing President Bush's comments to obama's "he walked in and shot 'em"-type comment is comparing apples to oranges...

Bush said HE thought that DeLay was innocent, obama stated, ""This past Thursday, on a clear Texas afternoon, an Army psychiatrist walked into the Soldier Readiness Processing Center, and began shooting his fellow soldiers."

One comment is stating an OPINION; the other was given as if being reported on the news as a FACT....

Posted by: jammies | November 8, 2009 8:41 PM

A man gets shot,stopped and caught in the act of killing innocent people in front of a hundred eyewitnesses and the President is wrong for calling him out for it ? This is a stretch even for the birthers.

Posted by: metroman76 | November 8, 2009 11:37 AM

Your not that bright are you? Sorry LIB T@RD but you don't have the luxury of using the CONSTITUTION when you wish. I thought Obama was dense but you are running a close second.

Posted by: askgees | November 8, 2009 7:38 PM

And to think we thought lead was the densest material on earth.

Posted by: askgees | November 8, 2009 7:31 PM

If you want to read the premier article of the day on Left wing treason and it's war AGAINST the war on terrorism, go here:

Posted by: devan95 | November 8, 2009 7:19 PM

You would have thought Newbi would have learned from the Harvard Prof/Boston Cop debacle! But then, this guy can't tell you the time of day without a frakin' teleprompter! And he has a strange sense of confidentiality - bluts out his daughter's school grades but won't release his own....

Posted by: devan95 | November 8, 2009 7:12 PM

Was Fort Hood a Criminal act or Terrorism?


Posted by: usadblake | November 8, 2009 5:12 PM

Yep,you betcha a Special Counsel Investigation into every aspect of this horrible mass murder at Ft Hood is damn sure fully warranted. And that has to also
include our Covert Muslim Fake President
and Worthless Commander in Chief Barack
Hussein Obama role in it and you bet Obama
personal ties to this Muslim Murderous Treasonous Scumbag Hasan too now then.

Since,far too many people are musteriously
turning up dead,every since Barack Obama
showed up on the political scene and all the more so now that Obama has known ties
to this Major Hasan,that directly link the
two of them to the Obama Presidential Campaign and Obama's suspicious keeping all
the documents relating to Barack Hussein
Obama locked up and kept secret. I bet that
Barack Hussein Obama is the Real Muslim
Extremist Sleeper Cell Operative here.

Som,damn right investigate and try Obama
for Treason and Conspiracy to Commit Murder
as well. No Damn White Wash Or Cover Up
on this One and NO FREE PASS FOR OBAMA!

Posted by: redheadclaudine | November 8, 2009 5:01 PM

Apparently our leader is not aware, decent person like he is, of all the use of the CIA by the republican party for influencing the political arena in the media and by extension our country. He better check in all the undeclared wars and other activities. Starting with Bahia of pigs till 9/11 and specially the Iran contra affair, the Iran hostage crisis and the Sha of Iran relations with the Congress and the services of the CIA to that country that make the students rebel and later lost the batle against the Komeni like the students in Cuba lost to Castro. I think Codoleezza could be a good help to the president, at least in data furnishing.

Posted by: zayxln | November 8, 2009 4:15 PM

Give me a break, Obama could resign tomorrow and you wingnuts would blame him for being arrogant about it.

Posted by: republican_disaster | November 8, 2009 4:10 PM

So,this is more of a direct question of exactly what is Comrade Marxist Dictator
and Covert Muslim Terrorist Leader Barack
Obama's exact relationship with this psycho
fellow Muslim Mass Murderer Major Hasan?...

And,yes indeed as Ralphinphnx so clearly put it,frankly did,in fact Barack Obama even order his Muslim Terrorist Sleeper Cell Killer to kill all those troops at
Ft Hood that definitely requires the immediate appointment of a Special Counsel
Investigation here as well as,looking into
the never questioned as of yet role Obama
may also have played in the death or was it
murder of Obama's own reported gay boyfriend from the Obama Campaign that most
definitely needs investigated too.

So,you betcha I too find it damn odd that
Photo Op President Barack Hussein Obama,
never even went to out to Dover Air Force
Base to meet the remains of these slain
American Soldiers from Ft Hood after Obama
pulled his fake photo op at Dover AFB previously. The only reason Barack Obama
Failed To Do So This Time Is Obama Must
Have Ordered Them Murdered! Impeach Obama.
Investigate These Murders Here & Now,Not
White Wash It Or Cover It Up Damn It!

Posted by: carleen09 | November 8, 2009 3:53 PM

Hilarious! A journalist claiming to have a standard. Defending the law. What a load of crap. Not a big fan of the President, myself. I do believe the man is right on this one. Mr. Butterworth, please climb back under your rock.

Posted by: tonestein1 | November 8, 2009 3:32 PM

Once again WaPo just can't resist "blaming Bush"! How does Tom DeLay compare to the rampant slaughter of our soldiers at a military installation by a deranged terrorist? Obama's is supposed to be a lawyer! He's supposed to know better! Why didn't you suggest THAT???

Posted by: vgailitis | November 8, 2009 3:18 PM

Josephjolly, the White House press secretary was McCellan who worked for Bush as the article stated. Please read thoroughly before criticizing.

Posted by: truth1 | November 8, 2009 2:52 PM

Hey come on here,as there is a lot more then meets the eye here. And,not just if
Muslim in Chief Barack Hussein Obama did
mispeak or not now then. And I bet Obama
wishes his Muslim Terrorist Mass Murderer
was dead,since there is a very strong real
possibility that our Muslim Extremist Covert Terrorist Barack Hussein Obama had
ordered his Sleeper Muslim Killer to go
kill these American Soldiers & Civilian
at Ft Hood,while this creep was serving
as an Advisor to Obama's Presidential
Campaign as well. So isn't an Independent
Counsel Investigation In Order Here?

So,just remember Barack Hussein Obama said
"I Stand With The Muslims!" Impeach Obama!

Posted by: Ralphinphnx | November 8, 2009 2:27 PM

Wouldn't this be a military tribunal anyway? Not held in criminal court? If so , this article is useless.

Posted by: jbartoszek | November 8, 2009 2:03 PM

Oh, surely our president could never make such a rookie mistake as this. After all, he's a graduate of Harvard Law School, former president of its law review and a Constitutional law expert. In addition to which, he has one of the biggest brains and most celebrated intellects EVER. You must be mistaken about the implications of a few of what were surely well-considered, well-chosen remarks made by this most remarkable of men.

Posted by: SukieTawdry | November 8, 2009 1:53 PM

You guys are a bag of idiots!!!

Posted by: poet1 | November 8, 2009 1:16 PM

An excellent expert on the causes of the Ft. Hood and Orlando shootings,explains *why* it happened, and *what* are the warning signs, from CBS News' Early Show.
If we're going to stop this kind of violence, we have to see and understand the warning signs to prevent it.

Posted by: jendalessandra | November 8, 2009 7:32 AM

I AGREE ..That is very Well said.
BTW I also found a video regarding this topic...

Posted by: fozzy13 | November 8, 2009 12:16 PM

"Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader, Barry?"

Sadly, no.

Posted by: Jerzy | November 8, 2009 11:53 AM

A man gets shot,stopped and caught in the act of killing innocent people in front of a hundred eyewitnesses and the President is wrong for calling him out for it ? This is a stretch even for the birthers.

Posted by: metroman76 | November 8, 2009 11:37 AM

This article is on point. Obama screwed up big time. It probably wasn't slander (after all, truth is a defense to slander), but something far worse: as a military commander ("Commander in Chief" actually does mean something), he has committed an impropriety under the Uniformed Code of Military Justice. Members of the chain of command are duty-bound to remain impartial, and to not say anything that might influence a court-martial. I guarantee you Obama wasn't aware of his military responsibility (and his civilian advisors utterly failed to remind him of it), otherwise he would have chosen his words far more carefully.

Thanks to Obama's words, Hasan's attorneys now have a very viable "unlawful command influence" defense to raise at the court-martial. I would not be surprised if the Government therefore chooses to take Hasan to trial in civilian Federal court instead, where such military concepts do not apply.

Posted by: DupontJay | November 8, 2009 11:19 AM

Of course the White House had no comment on the bungled statement your president made. And, of course this person is innocent until proven guilty even though he is caught on video camera. That's the way we do things in America. The only people who would not be guilty would be Barry Soetoro Hussein's buddies. We have to take a close look at the people who are in this country that have this guys background and not worry about offending them. If they don't like the attention I suggest they go live somewhere else. I am tired of all of them. Oh how nice it would be to go back to the 40s, 50s and 60s. Remember those years? Of course, with better conditions for minorities included. We opened this country up for all the clowns of the earth to come here and now we are paying the price. This all being lead by the "Court Jester", you president, Barry Soetoro Hussein. The top clown in the world. Sting said he was sent here by God to clean things up. That's the biggest laugh I've had. The guy in my OPINION is the farthest thing from God ever. The man is a farce, joke, hypocrite, racist and oh yeh, LIAR as Joe Wilson said. Not too politically correct? Too bad. More and more people are feeling the same way I do. In 2010 the real people of the United States will speak. Maybe the minorities will have had enough by then. Oh, you will always have the takers and something for nothing guys but the minorities with a brain will realize they made a big mistake voting for this jerk.
Concerned AMERICAN,
Larry Velasco.

Posted by: landlvinternet49com | November 8, 2009 10:56 AM

I have to ask how such a stupid article made it this far ? This paper is going downhill fast.

Posted by: metroman76 | November 8, 2009 10:45 AM

The President was only stating the obvious. This is the most stupid piece of work I have ever read on the Washington Post website!

Posted by: paris1969 | November 8, 2009 10:36 AM

What utter nonsense. This is just a perpetuation of the political correctness that destroys us. We have far too many lawyers in this country.

Posted by: icmop911 | November 8, 2009 9:32 AM

Didn't he learn anything in Harvard Law? Posted by: joanne600 | November 8, 2009 9:12 AM
Since he didn't actually write anything, or at least anything that people can find, the most one can reasonably assume is that he mostly learned how to play the system at Harvard. His later time as a touch-and-go Seagull Senator, isn't much help either. His reputation there, such as it is, is based on consistently voting "present".

Bottom line: we don't know much about him at all. I often wonder if he could pass a Security Clearance background check. Probably not.

Posted by: SUBLIMEWOODY | November 8, 2009 9:29 AM

"...Obama is not the first president to stray from the well-trod path of "not prejudging an investigation." For instance, President George W. Bush did so in December 2005, saying in an interview with the Fox News Channel that he believed former House majority leader Tom DeLay was innocent of money laundering and conspiracy charges..."

If Bush used the phrase "I BELIEVE Delay is innocent...", isn't that enough of an equivocation? He was just rendering his opinion; he did not state as fact that Delay WAS IN FACT INNOCENT.

Posted by: Missy5537 | November 8, 2009 9:16 AM

It's one thing to say someone is innocent, because in our justice system we are innocent until proven guilty. It was a foolish statement for the president to make. Didn't he learn anything in Harvard Law?

Posted by: joanne600 | November 8, 2009 9:12 AM

Slam the door on muzlum immigration and get rid of all those muzlums who have immigrated to the US already.

They are no good.

Posted by: rcubedkc | November 8, 2009 8:53 AM

Mr.Butterworth has carried the "political correctness" to an idiotic, moronic level & has made this aticle s***worth. Is there any doubt that Hasan may not have done it?
I heard that the president & first lady will be attending the memorial service for the victims of this "alleged" massacre.
Rush Limbaugh, Charles Krauthammer, Micheal Gerson & Scott Butterworth, get ready to bad mouth it.

Posted by: sarvenk63 | November 8, 2009 8:41 AM

Stupid story. Stupid editor. Stupid writer. WaPo beginning to = Fox News.

Posted by: therev1 | November 8, 2009 8:19 AM

Why is our government more concerned about a backlash against Muslims than copycat killings done by other radicals?

Why are they making up victims (American Muslims) when the real victims aren't even buried yet, and the injured are still struggling to survive?

Why is Homeland Security more worried about perpetrators being safe than about victims being protected?

Posted by: Cornell1984 | November 8, 2009 8:14 AM

Oh, please. What a load of 100% prime BS. Did Obama even mention motive? No. Did he stick to well-known and reported facts? Yes. So how could his statement possibly "convict" someone? This is just the Washington Post begging for readers by writing the most salacious headline it can. How pathetic. On-line journalism has come to this. No matter WHAT the story, someone has a headline that is "outraged" by what Obama has done.

Posted by: gasmonkey | November 8, 2009 7:50 AM

An excellent expert on the causes of the Ft. Hood and Orlando shootings,explains *why* it happened, and *what* are the warning signs, from CBS News' Early Show.

If we're going to stop this kind of violence, we have to see and understand the warning signs to prevent it. This lays it out so clearly and well. Please pass it on!

Posted by: jendalessandra | November 8, 2009 7:32 AM

For someone who is supposed to be "brilliant," Obama acts "stupidly" a lot

Posted by: jimbevan | November 8, 2009 7:31 AM

I notice that so far in the news reports, our Kenyan born Prsident has failed to to note that the gunman was one of his "Muslim Brothers" and this was a terrorist act!
And before anyone finds fault with my description, show me the proof he was born anywhere else. Until you do, you don't know anymore than I do!

Posted by: TexRancher | November 8, 2009 7:12 AM

Alleged writers and editors at the Washington Post appear to be suffering from some form of dementia that prevents them from covering news stories. This form of dementia appears to cause the writers to stray away from the news and look for some political angle to use in an attack. These alleged writers find some minutia that has no bearing on the news and print and article designed to create a new story. The new story is then followed as if it were a news event and countless hours are then wasted by other alleged media personnel to comment endlessly on the fake news story. While the original event that triggered the the news is then brushed aside in favor of the alleged writers created news. The alleged newspaper is following in the path of other alleged news organizations in the Washington area one allegedly owned by The Revered Moon and another alleged to be owned by Rupert Murdoch. It has been alleged by some that these organizations have not provided proof of origin and maybe part of a communist plot to overthrow the government of the U.S.. Some have alleged that one or more of the alleged news organizations may be based in Manchuria

Posted by: | November 8, 2009 6:58 AM

Obama graduated from Harvard; isn't he supposed to be brilliant? And as someone else commented, he claimed to be a "Constitutional scholar".

And let's stop parroting the notion that this was a mere "act of violence". Call it what it was: an act of Islamic terrorism on a U.S. military base. The rest of us out here recognize it for what it is. If it talks like a jihadist, threatens like a jihadist, and acts like a jihadist, it is a jihadist, and Maj. Hasan is a Muslim jihadist.

And the rest of us aren't, as Diane Sawyer is, wishing Hasan's name was "Smith."

Posted by: gjtitus | November 8, 2009 6:46 AM

OH for Heaven's sakes. It's amateur hour at the Washington Post. You are trying to turn this horrific event, and the President's comments, into what ?? ... political oneupmanship? Grammar school? Journalism 101?

Posted by: henson1 | November 8, 2009 6:26 AM

This article is "knitpicking" and written in very poor taste. The comments add to the fact that the article is poorly written. Anyone that has time to "micro-manage the President needs to consult a psychiatrist". Such a pity!! People died, where is your article for the victims. Write something about the new presidency with substance. this is just plain "ole elementary squabbling".

Posted by: catlitterpolitics1 | November 8, 2009 6:16 AM

The difference between Bush's comment about delay in 2005, and 0bama's comment about Hasan yesterday, is that at the time Bush made his statement, Delay WAS innocent (until proven guilty, remember?).

So proclaiming someone innocent before the trial does nothing more than point out his constitutional right. And since 0bama is a "Constitutional Scholar", he should recognize this.

Maybe Mr. Butterworth and his editor should do some research and come up with a statement that is analagous to 0bama's, rather than just taking another shot at President Bush.

Posted by: Nick_in_Alexandria | November 8, 2009 6:00 AM

"The Obama White House had no comment."

But I do. The President was shooting from the hip, so to say. One can't expect him to dot every "t" and cross every "i", as if he were a Constitutional Scholar, or something.

Oops, one of his claims during the campaign was that he was a "Constitutional Scholar", on account of he was a part-timer at the Univ of Chicago Law School. Well, one can't be too picky in criticizing the great Barack, lest one be termed a racist.

The inexperience shows, the affirmative action Nobel notwithstanding.

Posted by: pKrishna43 | November 8, 2009 2:33 AM

It would have been better to say "allegedly" or not speak much of the shooter at all. Wiser to focus on offering condolences for the victims and support for the investigation. But, considering the number of statements and speeches the President has to make, he is bound to misspeak occasionally.

Posted by: query0 | November 8, 2009 2:15 AM

Ah, referring to 2005 comment... got it :)

Posted by: josephjolly | November 8, 2009 1:11 AM

"White House press secretary Scott McClellan..." ??

Posted by: josephjolly | November 8, 2009 1:08 AM


President Obama first counseled against jumping to conclusions, and then the next day convicted the suspect in his Saturday video address. Why?

Perhaps he was reacting politically; POTUS came under harsh criticism in the hard-right blogosphere for counseling against a rush to judgment. The blowback may have led to imprudent overcompensation by the Commander-in-Chief. Or perhaps Obama came under intense Pentagon pressure to walk back his comments of the day before.

No doubt, it's a serious faux pas upon which defense counsel will seize -- if Hasan doesn't die in hospital, as some entities may be hoping now more than ever. It happened to Lee Harvey Oswald...

Fact is, there remain serious inconsistencies in the official accounts. Initial reports referenced three gunman, followed by claims that two persons who had been called "suspects" were released after questioning -- reportedly because interrogators believed they were simply running for safety, not to escape.

But what if these interrogators rushed to judgment? Who were they? Outside law enforcement, or Army? Has the question even been asked by a pliable, often gullible, national press corps?

There is no definitive evidence yet to rule out multiple shooters -- or even the possibility, dare anyone raise the notion, that Hasan was an innocent patsy, the target of an elaborately staged frame-up. The JFK assassination comes to mind; forty-six years later, most Americans do not accept the official version of what led to Kennedy's death.

Until an investigation independent of the military determines what happened and why, Hasan must be regarded as a suspect, and possibly, a victim who could have been under external influences -- pharmacological, technological, psychological, or any combination of same. The movie "Manchurian Candidate" comes to mind.

That's assuming credible witnesses have definitively identified him as the gunman and haven't confused him with another person, or persons, in similar attire.

On Friday, it appeared that the FBI has been designated by POTUS as the lead agency in the investigation and that the Army's own Criminal Investigations Division would assist. Hopefully, Obama won't reverse course on that prudent presidential directive.



Posted by: scrivener50 | November 7, 2009 11:54 PM

Of course the Guy is guilty! yawn..

Posted by: gregp1 | November 7, 2009 5:58 PM

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