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Multiple Hill probes of Fort Hood take shape

By Ben Pershing
Less than a week after the deadly shootings at Fort Hood, multiple congressional probes of the incident have already begun to take shape.

The House is out of session this week and the Senate is only in town Monday and Tuesday, so many of the details will have to wait until at least next week. But comments by several different lawmakers since Friday make clear that at least three different committees plan to probe the Fort Hood shooting on two separate tracks -- the motivations of the suspect, and the broader military system that failed to detect his intentions.

On Fox News Sunday, Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) said his committee would focus on the motives of the alleged gunman, Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, and his potential ties to extremists. "We don't know enough to say now, but there are very, very strong warning signs here that Dr. Hasan had become an Islamist extremist and, therefore, that this was a terrorist act," Lieberman said.

Asked Sunday to elaborate on Lieberman's investigative plans, Homeland Security panel spokeswoman Leslie Phillips said: "I expect this will be a continuation of the more than two years of work by the ... committee into the growing threat of homegrown terrorism. The terrorist threat keeps evolving and the senator will continue to work to understand that threat."

On the House side, a knowledgeable source said the Select Intelligence Committee would also probe Hasan's potential ties to extremist groups, though that investigation will take place behind closed doors. The House Armed Services Committee, meanwhile, is poised to act in full view of the public, though the angle that panel will take remains unclear.

Asked whether he will investigate Hasan's specific motives, Armed Services Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) said on "Face the Nation" Sunday that he would reserve judgment until the Army and the FBI make progress on their own probes, "I'm going to wait and see what they do. If they are not thorough we will, of course, have additional hearings, briefings on this," Skelton said.

But even if Armed Services doesn't probe Hasan himself, the committee is likely to continue its examination of "stress factors and psychological preparedness as a major institutional concern" in the military, Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii), a senior member of the panel, said Friday. "We're already on that," he said.

"The difficulty here is that it's like trying to account for atoms in a physics course," Abercrombie said of the Ft. Hood incident. "You don't know what an individual atom is going to do."

Abercrombie and other lawmakers said Congress was all but certain to focus on how to spot troubled personnel like Hasan in the future.

"There will be inquiries," said Rep. Mac Thornberry (R), a Texan who sits on Armed Services. "When flags go up [about members of the military], when should there be action? What should merit further scrutiny?"

Rep. Susan Davis (D-Calif.), who chairs the Armed Services subcommittee on military personnel, said her panel would push forward with its ongoing efforts to highlight what she described as a key systemic deficiency in the military. "We know that, just like in the rest of the country, there are not enough mental health providers," she said.

By Ben Pershing  |  November 9, 2009; 10:15 AM ET
Categories:  Hearing Watch , House , Senate  
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Comments

Hasan's classmates at military courses in 2007-2008 quoted the US-born major of Palestinian parents as quite openly justifying suicide bombing and telling classmates that Islamic law trumped the US Constitution. One said students had complained to their professors but no action was taken.

The question MUST be asked: Why was this man allowed to serve in our military? If the above is true then any superior officers who were notified about his views should be discharged for ignoring the obvious threat he posed to his fellow soldiers and our country.

Posted by: mjkoch* | November 9, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

It is time to take a close look at Muslims in our military.This was a terrorist attack on America no matter what the PC say. It is purely stupid and blind to ignore the fact that there is little or no support from the American Muslim community for America's war on terror.We should not employ our enemies to protect us.

Posted by: mikem12 | November 9, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

It is time to take a close look at Muslims in our military.This was a terrorist attack on America no matter what the PC say. It is purely stupid and blind to ignore the fact that there is little or no support from the American Muslim community for America's war on terror.We should not employ our enemies to protect us.

Posted by: mikem12 | November 9, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

"On Fox News Sunday, Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) said his committee would focus on the motives of the alleged gunman, Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, and his potential ties to extremists. "We don't know enough to say now, but there are very, very strong warning signs here that Dr. Hasan had become an Islamist extremist and, therefore, that this was a terrorist act," Lieberman said.

Lieberman has a flair for self-aggrandizement, as evidenced also in his threat to filibuster healthcare reform.

Posted by: FirstMouse1 | November 9, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Daniel Pipes has tracked several of these instances and has labeled them SJS or Sudden Jihad Syndrome. Just last evening I received a new column from him about Fort Hood, http://www.danielpipes.org/7737/sudden-jihad-inordinate-stress-ft-hood to which I commented, the best way to determine the cause of something is to use Occam's Razor. It appears that under that standard, SJS is a winner by a long stretch.
Ms Chesler suggests that the shooter is always the victim.
http://pajamasmedia.com/phyllischesler/2009/11/05/the-jihadist-is-always-the-victim/

Posted by: webrand | November 9, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

There are reasons, motives and ways on how to prevent this kind of situation.

Watch this interview on an Expert regarding the Ft Hood incident: http://tinyurl.com/yh8hhf9

Posted by: dnrocket | November 9, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Why has Cheney prevented so many attempts to curb Wahhabism?

Did you know Saudi Arabia could never overthrow Saddam Hussein because he kept the Wahhabi faith out of Iraq?

Why did Cheney support the Monarch of Saudi Arabia forcing the Wahhabi faith into Iraq after the invasion?

Did you know that the Saudis fund the orphanages of the Middle East Afghanistan and Pakistan and Palestine with one requirement; that the Wahhabi sects ideas are those taught to the children?

Did you know Al Qaeda is Wahhabi?

Did you know the Madrassas that taught the Taliban were Wahhabi?

Did you know that all Al Qaeda terrorists were under Wahhabi Imams before they attack?

I guess if you read this article you now know Maj. Nidal M. Hasan Imam was Anwar al-Aulaqi yet no where is that very pertinent fact that he is Wahhabi mentioned in the article?

Try using goggle Anwar al-Aulaqi is clearly listed as being Wahhabi.

Did you know Wahhabi is NOT a even a valid religion, and is actually anti Islamic in that they want to, and have actually made attempts to destroy the Muslim Prophet Mohammed's grave just the same as the Taliban destroyed the Buddhist statues in Afghanistan?

Do you now understand that America's enemy is Wahhabism?

Posted by: walker1 | November 9, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Put your efforts on correction and prevention, not blame who missed what.

Be aware, we are doing the same thing in Iraq and Afghanistan, training Muslims to fight Muslims, giving them weapons, paying them, and not knowing where their true alliance is. It will ALWAYS be with God, fighting a nation that promotes indecency and immodesty and does not want God's wisdom guiding them.

Now how do we prevent copy cat attacks? The only way is to show how he was wrong and the errors in Islam according to what the prophet Muhammad conveyed. If Muslims are not submitted to the will of God, they are infidels whether they know it or not.

Muhammad's primary message was to follow all God sent down, specifically mentioning the Torah and Gospel of Jesus Christ. They were to submit to following it. Jesus said to love your enemies and do good to them that persecute you. (It disarms your enemy.) Jesus said to live by EVERY word of God. It is easy to see that Christians are infidels for not following Jesus Christ; but the Muslim is also an infidel in need of correction if he wants to go to paradise.

We need corrections in religion by going back to IT IS WRITTEN instead of following religious leaders. Muslims are expecting to be cleansed from the errors of their faith. That is what the Mahdi is; but the real Mahdi is the word of God that has been waiting for them to follow in truth. The Christian and Jewish Messiah is also the word of God waiting to be followed in truth. Cleansing and peace are ready when we want them.

Marie Devine
http://www.divine-way.com
God has solutions to world problems we created by ignoring His wisdom.

Posted by: MarieDevine | November 9, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Major Nidal Hassan is a psychiatrist whose main prescription is counseling, not full course medicines. An excellent psychiatrist will listen to any patient to get the proper mental torments of the patient in order to treat him by counseling. Such psychiatrist will not be shaken by the horrible incidents he is about to listen to. His profession does not allow him to be moved by such things. If it so, he is not fit for that profession. In that context, if Nadal’s such failure was earlier notified to the concerned, he should have not been allowed to continue his duty. The man who is susceptible to religious fanaticism has already offered his brain for brain washing by fanatics. His profession seems to be a mask here.

All peace loving people unequivocally urge terrorism is the greatest menace of our time. And the brains and hands that work behind terror attacks belong to those who have no claim to call themselves human beings. Those who bring death to innocent people could not have had human emotions. So it is wrong to argue that there is good terrorism and bad terrorism. The subject of terrorism should not get any such lame excuses. As we can see, those actions have not defeated terrorism. Instead, they have bred and encouraged more terrorism.

Equally responsible for the growth of terrorism has been the silence of many of Muslim scholars and institutions. There should be no lukewarm attitude toward such crimes. They must condemn in no uncertain terms the heinous crimes that holders of Muslim names commit in the name of Islam. Evil will not go away by itself, it has to be driven away by iron fist. It can be done, if peace favourites take a firm step for isolating them outright.

The misguided souls who fell sympathy for the terrorists because they claim to champion causes dear to Muslims must learn from the experience of these past years that terrorists will never achieve any goal. History is witness that they suffer humiliating setbacks. That was inevitable because what they set out to do is create fear. That rouses public anger, which no force on earth can defeat.

Prem Nizar Hameed

Posted by: prem149 | November 13, 2009 3:24 AM | Report abuse

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