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Who promoted Hasan?

Who promoted Peress? That was the question posed by Sen. Joseph McCarthy, the indefatigable red-hunter of the 1950s, regarding an obscure army dentist named Irving Peress who was promoted from captain to major despite having refused to answer questions regarding his loyalty. That right-wing rallying cry ought to be revived, only this time to pose a much more serious question: Who the hell promoted Nidal Malik Hasan?

The case of the Army psychiatrist charged with the murder of 13 persons at Fort Hood raises many questions -- about terrorism, of course, and whether the massacre could have been prevented. But it also makes me wonder how Hasan went from captain, which he was in April, to major, which is what he was the day he allegedly went on his homicidal rampage. The question is pertinent because while he was a mere captain and stationed at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, he was evaluated as supremely incompetent.

The evaluation, obtained by National Public Radio, shows that Hasan’s superiors had serious concerns about him. He was accused of having a “poor record of attendance,” of inappropriately discussing religion his patients, of being “consistently late,” of not being available even for emergencies, of permitting a “homicidal patient” to escape the emergency room and of simply not showing up for a night shift.

NPR went to private psychiatrists and asked them if they would hire someone with such a record. They all said no -- they’re not crazy, after all. That being the case, this raises the question of how and why Hasan went from captain to major. Was it because of an excess of caution regarding political correctness? Was it because no one cared enough or paid enough attention to stop it? Was it because Hasan filled a slot -- and the poor patients be damned? Whatever the case, Hasan moved up a grade. The Senate is now investigating what went wrong at Fort Hood. It ought to start with a simple question:

Who promoted Hasan?

By Richard Cohen  | November 19, 2009; 10:16 AM ET
Categories:  Cohen  | Tags:  Richard Cohen  
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Next: Ruth Marcus going rogue

Comments

You can't criticize or question blacks or Muslims without being called a racist in the US. That is the legacy of a generation of mindless liberal guilt.

Posted by: pkhenry | November 19, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Who cares? Would his crime have been any less atrocious had he not been promoted to major? Find out why no one saw the warning signs, sure. But loony captains aren't really that much better than loony majors.

Promotion just has nothing to do with it. If he was clearly nutty, he should have been discharged. If it wasn't clear, then this is the price we pay for freedom. Done.

Posted by: jamesdg | November 19, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Here's the problem...we don't know what was is his fitreps which are generally what are used for promotion. Moreover, in the medical corps, this promotion is largely ceremonial and reflects level of education rather than leadership or ultimate skill. The important question is how was he evaluated on his fitreps, was this information transmitted beyond the credentialling committess and did Maj Hassan respond positively after being shown the memorandum.

Posted by: jrav | November 19, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Political correctness is no excuse for failing to report a dangerous situation.

Posted by: blasmaic | November 19, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

if anyone is interested go to the following sight on a Homeland Security meeting and on page 29 you will find Major Hasan listed as a member of the group giving advice on Homeland Security matters.has been snoped and have not heard this from the media but what you will look at is an Official Document
http://www.gwumc.edu/hspi/old/PTTF_ProceedingsReport_05.19.09.pdf Goto page number 29, scroll down toward the bottom on the Left Column.

Posted by: robertbeaver | November 19, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

the quotas for Majors was not met---and he fit a profile demographic that they thought reflected well on the armed services.

there are plenty of other Joe Plumber kooks alongside him, so just because he had his quirks and shoddy performance didn't disqualify him.

the other possibility is that this rampage was his Mission(crusade), serving both sides of his lobes, and thus took promotions to Major and Martyr in one fell swoop.

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

Might his promotion have anything to do with the fact that the Army is short of personnel and wanted to keep him because they need "someone"? After all, if the Army can waive restrictions on those who have been in trouble with the law before enlistment, how likely are they to let someone go during this time of shortage?
Furthermore, the Army is coming late to the dance about the whole mental health aspects of war on our warriors. They don't really value mental health so it seems to me it would be easy for this guy to simply be overlooked, discounted, and simply expected to "be present".

Posted by: cms1 | November 19, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

More and more the behavior of Nidal Hasan seems to indicate he was out of step and probably severely disturbed. He was of concern at Walter Reed Army Hospital because his religious behavior seemed to indicate hs was delusional and yet he was retained, promoted. Apparently no one questioned wheather he was unstable. His behavior should have put up red flags. His supervisors should have looked very serious mental health. The intelligence service should have let the Army know that Hasan was contacting the Imam who was involved with the 9/11 attacks.
Something seriouly fell through the cracks.Let's hope Congress and the military makes changes which will avoid similar occurances.

Posted by: OhMy | November 19, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Cohen if you bothered to read the paper you work for the question was already answered. The Army is short of Majors especially in the MD areas and every darn one of them gets promoted unless they are in the stockade.

Posted by: FLvet | November 19, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Geez, in this time, Richard Cohen could make major in the Army...why not Hasan?

Posted by: diehlwithit | November 19, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Who promoted Hassan? The usual military idiots.

Posted by: robfield | November 19, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Alas Richard,

Political correctness is thy name.

And so it goes...

Posted by: pgould1 | November 19, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

George W. Bush prompted Hasan when he said "Islam is a religion of peace." When Hasan wrote "Son of Allah" on his business card, the Army was force to interpret it as a religious statement and not "I am a terrorist" which it was known to mean.

Posted by: ajahns1 | November 19, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

This is a good question, but the answer should not be prejudged. It is quite possible that Hasan was promoted because with a shortage of such psychiatrists promotion was routine.

There is nothing wrong with asking questions, and the one posed here seems to be a very good one. There is something wrong with asking questions, making up the answers without evidence, and pretending that what one is doing is evidence based.

Posted by: beckerl | November 19, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure aligning oneself with McCarthyism is the best opening rhetorical gambit here. Kind of makes people think they may not want to go down that particular road, which is probably the opposite of what you intended. Just saying . . .

Posted by: Patroklus | November 19, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Military mental health people speculated last week that he was transferred to Ft Hood so he could be swept under the rug. That base has the most mental health professionals in the entire military, so sitting him in an office with no scheduled appointments was less of a burden to the rest of the staff there than it would have been at Walter Reed. Presumably, the promotion made it easier to justify keeping him away from seeing patients. Kicking him out was not an option, due to the negative PR implications of discharging one of the few Muslim psychiatrists while fighting two wars in majority-Muslim countries.

Posted by: zenwick | November 19, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

this is indicative of standard government B.S.... and we want government to take over
our healthcare !!!??? Wake up America before its too late.

Posted by: ohioan | November 19, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

If Hasan's tenure as an army psychiatrist and his promotion to major have anything to do with "political correctness", it is supremely ironic. The military hasn't given a d*mn about that matter when it has come to discharging perfectly qualified homosexuals with skills that the military sorely lacks.

Posted by: njva17420 | November 19, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

What a bunch of BS Ohian. All areas of America promote similarly. Of course political correctness occurs but in the military with the large number of minorities this happens less than in American business. There are primarily two reasons. First to "bury" "get rid of" or hide a problem by promotion. For example, can't deal with patients move the man up the chain till he doesn't deal with patients or can't deal with subordinates move the man up the chain till he has fewer subordinates. Second promote to fill a slot. Sometimes you can do both. My real point is most major business' do exactly the same thing. Stop with your BS of trying to fit facts to your political agenda by speaking on issues you know nothing about.

Posted by: qcdude3 | November 19, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Idiot or beside-the-point commenters, for the most part. (Sorry to the one or two sensible commenters.)

Cohen, good for you: stay focused on this question.

Follow the story, find a name, and maybe you can rouse some bureaucrats out of their torpor and timidity.

The piece, though, would read better if it showed any legwork. Did you go and try to talk to Hasan's superiors? Do you have any name at all to give us? Let's see the next chapter. . . .

Posted by: farstriker | November 19, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

To me the question isn't how was he promoted from captain to major but how he was allowed to graduate from residency to a full fledged psychiatrist. The memo from NPR appears to be part of a clinical competence evaluation used by training programs to determine if a resident should graduate and be recommended to the accrediting board for psychiatry for board certification. Dr. Moran, who wrote the memo, is listed as the program director for that residency; he had obligations beside his military ones; as residency director he is charged by both the ACGME and the professional psychiatry board to make sure his graduates are prepared to practice their specialty, not just in knowledge, but also in skills and character/professionalism. It doesn't matter if he responds well to criticism or can correct his behaviors; if the behaviors are a problem (and that memo is pretty damning) he should have been dismissed from the training program. That doesn't necessarily mean dismissed from the military (I don't know much about that) but in my opinion he should have been dismissed from medical training. That he wasn't should trigger an in depth review by the accrediting bodies of the military's training programs. As a side note, I don't believe this is just a problem of military residencies; residencies are loath to dismiss any of their trainees. My guess is that Hasan's medical school was paid for by the military and he was supported through his training and now he owed the military for that support; there would be obvious pressure not to scuttle this obvious substantial investment.

Posted by: pdiana | November 19, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

pkhenry

"...you cannot question blacks of Muslims..."

yes, well trying to talk about Jews, as in
what greedy "international banker" bstards
brought down the American economy...the world economy.

Abroad they talk about it all the time. Here, cannot. Who owns the newspapers?

As far as the military, no problem, there are few if any Jews in the military fighting the wars they wanted.

Posted by: whistling | November 19, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Cohen obviously never spent any time in the US Military himself defending his beloved Israel. The promotion of a military physician from Captain to Major is automatic. There is no review. If the doctor is not at Leavenworth, he is promoted.

Posted by: coloradodog | November 19, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Is Cohen's apparent admiration for "Sen. Joseph McCarthy, the indefatigable red-hunter of the 1950s" inferring that he is a McCarthy wannabe? An indefatigable Muslim and those he and AIPAC are quick to label "anti-Semite" hunter of the 21st century?

Posted by: coloradodog | November 19, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Another thing, wasn't is just a few weeks ago that conservatives and Republicans jumped down the throat of Homeland Security for suggesting current and former military could be targets for inclusion in home grown terrorism. Now we have a military guy co-opted by a Muslim imam for just such reasons as were given by HS. Repuke conservatives are destroying the country with there refusal to aid in fixing the mess they've created.

Posted by: qcdude3 | November 19, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Before you right wingnuts dump this mess on Obama - - - - let this sink through your thick skulls:
"I know there will also be inquiries [into the Fort Hood massacre] by Congress, and there should."
-- President Obama, 11/14/09

Posted by: lufrank1 | November 19, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Outside of the tragic consequences, this is no different than what was reported in today's Huffington Post about the collision of two US warships in the Persian Gulf. Inattentive sailors on watch,some sleeping, another listening to an I-Pod. A complete lack of any sense of responsibility that now permeates all areas of society, where everyone is in charge of something, but no one is responsible for anything.

Posted by: slim2 | November 19, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

JAMESDG,

I am very open-minded myself and, on top of that, I am a Muslim. But I have to strongly disagree with you when you write: "If he was clearly nutty, he should have been discharged. If it wasn't clear, then this is the price we pay for freedom. Done". It is precisely this kind of ill-informed, lazy liberalism, if not libertarianism, that gave us the Long Term Capital Market, Enron, Parmalat and then Lehman fiascoes that culminated in the worst global financil crisis since the Great Depression (and we are not done yet!).

Of all the opinion pieces I have read about Malik Hasan's case, none beats the original Thistlethwaite one. It brings to bear on the issue the really relevant parameters: a good psychiatrist (or even a really good doctor, generalist or specialiat) has to internalise his patient's mindset and his pains in order to be fully effective in counselling. Hasan may have been showing increasing signs of mental instability and/or inceasing signs of being vulnerable to whatever preachings his now-Yemen-based spiritual guide may (or may not) have been dishing out. So,your argument that "if it was not clear {that he was a nut}then this is the price we pay for freedom" is to me, as monstrously irresponsible as Alan Greenspan, Robert Rubin and Larry Summers brushing off Brooksley Born's warnings about the toxic financial derivatives way back in 2004, and then conveniently not recalling the encounter, when Wall Street crashes.

Said with all due respect.

Posted by: FUZZYTRUTHSEEKER | November 19, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

seems to me when at war with islam, promote muslims in the military...
our troops should know that if your commanding officer was one of these and is giving commands that is getting you killed...
do what they did in vietnam...

Posted by: DwightCollins | November 19, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

"Before you right wingnuts dump this mess on Obama - - - - let this sink through your thick skulls:
"I know there will also be inquiries [into the Fort Hood massacre] by Congress, and there should."
-- President Obama, 11/14/09
Posted by: lufrank1 | November 19, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse "

one sentence doesn't exonerate obama...
his words are worthless...
he can't be believed...

Posted by: DwightCollins | November 19, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

To begin with, I want to know who the dealer was that sold him the firearms. It would be interesting to know what the Major was wearing when he bought it/them. I'll bet he was wearing his white robe. The dealer didn't care; he just wanted a sale. I hope some FBI agent checks this out & lets us all know. Of course the only way we will know is if Congress asks the FBI & then leaks it to the Press (Fox, hopefully).

Also, I hope that the Army now takes a good look at it's internal reviews of wing-nut personnel. It's one thing to be goofy, but I'll bet there's a ton of folks who deserve to be looked at for highly deviant (meaning, grossly anti-American rants) behavior. Just saying....

Finally, the guy who has a beef with the Jews. Get a grip, pal. Financial crooks come in all faiths & colors. No one group has sole possession of the trait. It's universal. Look in the mirror.

Posted by: sdansker2002 | November 19, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

The great noble (or is that Nobel?) PC nation rears its' ugly head.
Ah! Isn't it cute!

Posted by: adamnescot1 | November 19, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

"To begin with, I want to know who the dealer was that sold him the firearms. It would be interesting to know what the Major was wearing when he bought it/them. I'll bet he was wearing his white robe.".......

This might be the wingnutism of the week.
If you can't sell a firearm to an army major, who can firearms be sold to?

Posted by: slim2 | November 19, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

I doubt it was a case of political correctness. Probably it was bureaucratic inertia and ineptitude. There was a lack of "qualified" people to fill open requisitions. The good major was a warm body holding a rank in the Army. He poor work record and improper behavior in front of patients doesn't register with military high command. The Army exists to make people's health worse, not better.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | November 19, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Just another example of no or lackluster accountability by those professionals tasked with the responsibilty. Intelligence, Medical, Military it appears they all couldn't foresee this train leaving the tracks.

Posted by: snake_taylor | November 19, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Whoever actually promoted Hasan the real culprit is Obama and his whole blasted administration.

Posted by: ravitchn | November 19, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

For the 13 innocents killed and the 30+ wounded, it's too late.

Political correctness killed them.

Will it kill you or your family members?

Posted by: tjhall1 | November 19, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Is it true that Hasan served on a Federal task force on terrorism here?

Why is Napolitano still in power. She should face the same charges as an accessory to his crimes shouldn't she?
That one is an ongoing nincompoop.

Posted by: dottydo | November 19, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse


All I have noticed here seems people are trying to make excuses about the man.A unworthy fellow who should not have been accepted into the military PERIOD.
Shortages?What shortaged would that be?Is the military so depleted of personell to employ this creature? Has no one looked into his background before he applied,let alone enlist him to work in one of the most sensitive job in the US. I mean recrute one man and all problems of shortages would have been sorted out?A load of rubbish,sorry people.
Forgive my ignorance on American judicial affairs of this nature,but what of the CSI?
Aren't they supposed to take charge when this type of problem arise?
Action should have been taken sooner when there was a whisper about this man in the American military particularely.
The whole thing sound ludicrous,plus the American Secret Services were remise in letting it go that far.
My point for what is worth once he is COURT MARTIALED,just dispatch him where he belongs.i.e in jail FOR LIFE

Posted by: Solange1 | November 19, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

"To begin with, I want to know who the dealer was that sold him the firearms. It would be interesting to know what the Major was wearing when he bought it/them. I'll bet he was wearing his white robe.".......

This might be the wingnutism of the week.
If you can't sell a firearm to an army major, who can firearms be sold to?

Posted by: slim2
-----------------------------

Hey, slim2, you missed my point! The fact that NO ONE in the Army had even begun to check this guy out for deviant behavior meant that he could buy a commercial firearm on the open market without question. Now, IF HE HAD BEEN UNDER OBSERVATION, the fact that he bought a gun/guns could very possibly have prevented the whole episode from happening. Ya think? Get it now?

Posted by: sdansker2002 | November 19, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

NPR went to private psychiatrists and asked them if they would hire someone with such a record.

A military short of psychiatrists with large numbers of suicides, and a previous soldier shooting other soldiers incident in Iraq in 2009.

If the draft was brought back there would be no shortage of psychiatrists in the military and I am sure the private psychiatrists would be happy.

Posted by: bsallamack | November 19, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

NPR went to economists and asked them how there would be jobs in America if American companies are allowed to simply export American jobs, and the economist answered that they did not know.

Posted by: bsallamack | November 19, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Hassan was just following orders:
ll these crimes and sins committed by the Americans are a clear declaration of war on God, his messenger, and Muslims. And ulema have throughout Islamic history unanimously agreed that the jihad is an individual duty if the enemy destroys the Muslim countries. This was revealed by Imam Bin-Qadamah in "Al- Mughni," Imam al-Kisa'i in "Al- Bada'i," al-Qurtubi in his interpretation, and the shaykh of al-Islam [not further identified] in his books, where he said "As for the fighting to repulse [an enemy], it is aimed at defending sanctity and religion, and it is a duty as agreed [by the ulema]. Nothing is more sacred than belief except repulsing an enemy who is attacking religion and life."

On that basis, and in compliance with God's order, we issue the following fatwa to all Muslims

The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies -- civilians and military -- is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque [Mecca] from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim. This is in accordance with the words of Almighty God, "and fight the pagans all together as they fight you all together," and "fight them until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in God."

This is in addition to the words of Almighty God "And why should ye not fight in the cause of God and of those who, being weak, are ill- treated (and oppressed) -- women and children, whose cry is 'Our Lord, rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from thee one who will help!'"

We -- with God's help -- call on every Muslim who believes in God and wishes to be rewarded to comply with God's order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they find it. We also call on Muslim ulema, leaders, youths, and soldiers to launch the raid on Satan's U.S. troops and the devil's supporters allying with them, and to displace those who are behind them so that they may learn a lesson.

Almighty God said "O ye who believe, give your response to God and His Apostle, when He calleth you to that which will give you life. And know that God cometh between a man and his heart, and that it is He to whom ye shall all be gathered."

Almighty God also says "O ye who believe, what is the matter with you, that when ye are asked to go forth in the cause of God, ye cling so heavily to the earth! Do ye prefer the life of this world to the hereafter? But little is the comfort of this life, as compared with the hereafter. Unless ye go forth, He will punish you with a grievous penalty, and put others in your place; but Him ye would not harm in the least. For God hath power over all things."

Almighty God also says "So lose no heart, nor fall into despair. For ye must gain mastery if ye are true in faith."

Posted by: mharwick | November 19, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

We wouldn't even know the term political correctness were it not for the centuries of racism scorned on everyone not male and white. If you are looking for a culprit, look in the mirror...

Everyone decrying the loss of freedom in this country should take a look at our history. This country was founded by a bunch of English elites that didn't want to pay their taxes. Of course they didn't want to work either, so they had to buy other people and force them to build this nation.

Posted by: maurban | November 19, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I don't care what his pay grade was and that's all a rank is with medical officers. I care about 2 things.
1) This guy expressed his views in a powerpoint presentation for God's sake. How could they miss that?
2) This guy's job was to counsel war returnees about lingering problems...PTSD...Now, that's sick!
Now we get to see the spectacle of hearings before a committee chaired by "democrat" Lieberman...he of the neocon Kool-aid variety...now I'm sick!

Posted by: mfkpadrefan | November 19, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Sure, Cohen, a revival of McCarthyism is all we need. We already have the teabaggers, the birthers, the death-panellers, Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann. Let's just throw in a bit more insanity.

What were you smoking when you wrote that pompous piece of garbage?

Posted by: Gatsby10 | November 19, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Gee, Rick, leave it to you to try to revive the McCarthyite witch hunt. Apparently you think fascism is an effective weapon against the dreaded plague of political correctness and hysterical fears of terrorism. I guess we could all take it as a warning not to be late for work, in case we get called before a Senate committee.

Posted by: handle | November 19, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Hasan is just a symptom of what is wrong with our Afghan policy. We think by controlling the "source" of the 9-11 attacks we can prevent it from happening again.

Our Afghan policy is premised on a false assumption. In fact - the reverse is true. By occupying Afghanistan - we are creating thousands of Hasans all over the world - willing to become a martyrs for a failed policy.

Posted by: alance | November 19, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I think it's a joke to think this guy promoted only because he was Muslim. I know plenty of Muslims and most haven't found any added success in life because they were Muslim. In fact, they would claim that the reverse is true.

It seems to me that dozens of clues about this guy were ignored, clues that would have set off bells and whistles even in the Muslim community to turn this guy in.

Posted by: rhf123 | November 19, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

My guess is he was promoted because a) he was a doc, had the time in grade/service, and hadn't been videotaped in bed with the hospital commander's daughter (or son). That's about the rigor of the screening to get to major as a doc.

With regard to political correctness, I reject this notion. I believe the Army just carried out the Commander in Chief's orders, which have been repeatedly to note that "Islam is a peaceful religion," or "Muslims are people of peace," etc.

Perhaps if someone in the administration would admit that there is a faction of Islam that is violently, virulently anti-American, anti-Jewish, and anti-Christian, and those that subscribe to that faction of Islam are not "people of peace," then we'd have a heightened awareness of the dangers we all face.

No, we no longer have a "war on terror," and we still have "Islam is a religion of peace." You get what you pay for.

Posted by: Curmudgeon10 | November 19, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Richie,

Joe McCarthy?

You get that one from Avigdor Lieberman and AIPAC or did you think of it all by yourself?

One can just see the high-five you got from Freddy Hiatt for that line.

Posted by: MarkinJC | November 19, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

The question to ask those who hired is not whether you would promote someone on the basis of their objective qualifications, but whether or not you would promote an ethnic/racial minority in order to get a more diverse leadership. To what degree is minority ethnicity/race important in promotions?

I know a friend who used to tell me about how a woman of eastern Indian ancestry would come in and shout at her branch chief. She would scream so loud that people several offices away could hear her. She would frequently toss around charges of racism, and that branch chief decided it was easier to give her a promotion than risk the mess that would occur if he denied her promotion. The entire management chain was deathly afraid of EEO lawsuits and would instruct supervisors to take personal abuse in order to avoid them.

Posted by: Wiggan | November 19, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

If you are a physician, a psychiatrist or even a lawyer, why would you agree to work for the Army instead seeking a well paid civilian career? Could it be that the Army is full of incompetent professionals who would perish if they were in private practice? Of course it is. After eight or nine years of constant war, the Army will now take high school drop outs, 40 year olds and convicted criminals to fill the enlisted ranks. It’s not much of stretch to believe that it would also promote a psychotic maladroit to fill a slot for a mental health professional.

In an organization that is trained to follow order, to fight and to kill, is it likely that Hassan was ignored due to political correctness? Or is it more likely that nine years into a long war that has no end in sight, an incompetent was allowed to be promoted? The question is not who promoted Hassan; the question is who could have been promoted in his place?

Posted by: codexjust1 | November 19, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

If NPR could dig up this info, why couldn't WaPo reporters??? Too unsettling?

Posted by: mftill | November 19, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Just to chime in with what a few others have said: Cohen's wording here suggests that he thinks Joe McCarthy was a tireless champion for American safety and that his tactics should make a comeback. That puts Cohen on the same page as ... guess who ... Ann Coulter! Nice job, buddy. Way to undermine a good argument (yes, we DO need to know why Hasan's growing extremism seems to have gotten no response from his superiors).

Posted by: gmg22 | November 19, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Who promoted him? The guy who was told that it might adversely impact his own career if he failed to promote him.

Remember that the two people who checked Mohammed Atta and henchman at the Portland Maine airport said they never worried more that a passenger might be a terrorist than the belligerant, angry Atta. BUt they said they passed him through because he did not meet the criteria to stop him, and if they stuck their necks out and Atta was NOT a terrorist, the airline would be sued and they would likely be fired. And the reward if they had stopped him was non-existent.

We haven't learned. We have a culture where lawyers have made erring on the side of caution - if anyone is inconvenienced by the caution or God forbid..."Discriminated Against under Civil Rights Statutes" - in exceptional danger of liability and job loss.
A few days before Hasan "went Jihadi", US Airways settled out of court to pay the Flying Imams and their lawyers off.

And Atta? If Atta had been a white red-headed guy, belligerant and as agitated as he was - both airline employees said they would have "felt safe" stopping him...and likely would have.

Of course, after 9/11, we went through an extended debate on this. And the anti-profiling Left and Black Caucus and media eventually won that battle. Now with Hasan, the questions about dangers being allowed to persist against all common sense by PC-handcuffed employees and public safety personnel start again.

Posted by: ChrisFord1 | November 19, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Who promoted Hassan? The usual military idiots.

Posted by: robfield | November 19, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

==================================================================

His promotions orders, like all promotion orders, begin with the following words: The President of the United States, having...

Yep, usual idiots, all right.

Posted by: hofbrauhausde | November 19, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

I am still waiting for an APOLOGY to the American people on behalf of the main stream news media networks for their relentless and pathetic attempts to cast Maj. Hasan as some sort of PTSD victim.

Gleefully jettisoning even the vaguest relationship with reality, multiple outlets including the NY Times, the Washington Post, Newsweek, and the Huffington Post ran article after article speculating as to whether some sort of slight or "contagious pre-PTSD" or kitten stuck in a tree in Hasan's childhood was actually to blame for the whole thing. These "reporters"/bull**** artists willfully ignored pretty much every single fact that pointed directly to militant Islamic beliefs.

And now we learn from the NPR-obtained memo that Hasan barely even interacted with the PTSD victims he supposed was "infected" by -- and that he mistreated them so badly it could have made THEIR PTSD worse.

I'm angry, but this is not a baseless rant. The major news media that ran with those fundamentally wrong and dishonest articles pitching their imaginary theories about Hasan being an innocent victim of a merciless Army culture need to stand up one by one and apologize to their readership. Even taking as true the likely fact that many such outlets obviously have left wing biases and ulterior motives in defending every Islamic terrorist they fall in love with, you still well and truly embarrassed yourselves.

Posted by: zippyspeed | November 19, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Think the armed forces have enough docs to handle PSTD and stress, think again. That is the reason, lack of qualified personell in the field. Bad decision, yes. Rectified, we'll see. The chaplains all should be purged of fundamentalist bent in the armed forces regardless of faith. The acadamies had scandals, and now this known to all anti-war officer should have been drummed out of the corps. Our best assets in the Afghan theater are the muslim soldiers doing morning prayers with the locals. They are more trusted than other troops. There are too many men seeing the guy that saved their life blown to bits to stop the anti-Islamic ethic altogether, but these muslim soldiers winning the locals will change that thought.

Posted by: jameschirico | November 19, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

He got promoted because we are so desperate for live bodies to fight eight years into what has turned into a 2 soon to be 3 war debacle.

Yet we are kicking out dedicated gay and lesbian soldiers. Oh in case anyone missed it 74% of people under 24 years old are either too unfit medically or too under educated to actually join the army.

Don't blame the messenger here, the order was to fill slot find bodies and continue the war.

Posted by: crete | November 19, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Dottydo wrote, "That one is an ongoing nincompoop."

As opposed to a reformed nincompoop or a recently minted one, presumably.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | November 19, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

It's pretty easy to go from O3 to O4. It takes a long time too so he probably just slid thru the system.
Still...

Posted by: mharris3 | November 19, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

It's pretty clear who promoted him. The best and brightest promote the best and brightest. If we didn't tell them they were the best and brightest they might leave. Then we would have to lower the bar further for qualifying as the best and brightest.

Posted by: James10 | November 19, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

You can't criticize or question blacks or Muslims without being called a racist in the US. That is the legacy of a generation of mindless liberal guilt.

Posted by: pkhenry | November 19, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

===========

Sure you can. It's just that some people don't think burning a cross on someone's elses' property is simple honest criticism.

You might think that dragging a black dude in your pickup truck until his head is separated from his body is simple criticism. Others go wild with what you call "political correctness" and call it racism.

I came across someone in Florida that used n____s, to refer to a group of black people. I said that was racist. They said, "No, it's not racist, that's what they are." Perhaps that was you.

Posted by: James10 | November 19, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

"The case of the Army psychiatrist charged with the murder of 13 persons at Fort Hood raises many questions -- about terrorism, of course, and whether the massacre could have been prevented."

Sure it could have been prevented. The shooter wasn't born wanting to do what he did.

The United States could have NOT invaded Iraq that might have helped.

On balance I think the United States had to go into Afghanistan after 9-11 to defend itself but it could have gone in in a more focussed way.

Democracies get the governments they deserve. And the nutters.

But there is a pattern and logic to instances of nuttiness that can be worth a deeper look than the labelling exercise of calling someone a nut to alienate them and to insulate ourselves usually allows.

An army Psychiatrist that is either a captain or a major is probably a little smarter than the average American bear from a purely statistical point of view.

Posted by: BrettPaatsch1 | November 19, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

"...this raises the question of how and why Hasan went from captain to major. Was it because of an excess of caution regarding political correctness? Was it because no one cared enough or paid enough attention to stop it? Was it because Hasan filled a slot -- and the poor patients be damned?"
**********************

How extraordinarily disingenuous, Mr. Cohen. Gee, I dunno: why don't you do a little leg work yourself instead of simply throwing garbage on the wall and seeing what sticks???

Here are some possibilities for you to start researching (that's that thing most real journalists do before they write):

* How many people with Hasan's training, regardless of their performance, does the Army have available? Might that have affected their decision? Might the real story here be how critically undermanned the Army is with respect to mental health professionals?

* Ignoring your characterization of his review, what was the actual characterization/rating?

* Was there any indication in that/those review(s) that Hasan might be a threat? All I see, from your report, is that he was a slacker.

* What exactly is the connection between Hasan and Peress? History tells us Peress did nothing but refuse to answer McCarthy's obnoxious questions: are you aware of additional info that he shot and killed a bunch of people?

* "Who Promoted Peress" was McCarthy's idiotic rallying cry in the midst of his shameful witch hunt; why would anyone in their right mind (e.g., presumably Cohen) resurrect that shameful memory as if it were something to be proud of and crow about??

You have a lot of homework ahead of you, Cohen. I give you until tomorrow to submit your work.

Posted by: abqcleve | November 19, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Who promoted him? The same society that teaches kids how to Twitter and Facebook but not how to use a turn signal properly in traffic. We're getting ahead of ourselves, and the current generation of "leaders" hasn't a clue as to how things really work. Bosses post "Dilbert" cartoons on their office walls, little realizing that they themselves are Dilbert's pointy-headed boss. I mean really: I fear for America. And it's got nothing to do with politics. We're all just dumber'n dirt.

Posted by: barnesgene | November 19, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Well, of what use is the Huckabees' beloved "right to bear arms" if one can't shoot someone with them?

Posted by: coloradodog | November 19, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

This is a very good question. I think the promotion was do to him being transfered. Was do to the fact that Hasan was going to be deployed into battle. The repercussions of the misguided train wreck known as the Iraq war are still being felt. During the Bush years, even hardened criminals were allowed in the military. That's how desperate it got. And it got so desperate that the Army promoted a nut case who never deserved a promotion in the first place.

Posted by: kubrickstan | November 19, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Previous posters have presented a wide range of possible explanations for the promotion of Hasan from Captain to Major. Obviously, no poster would have advocated his promotion, but in the end, how would it have prevented or changed the tragic outcome?

Mr. Cohen's article is the second one that I have seen recently on the Washingtonpost.com website that consists of pure speculation (Mr. Ponnuru's was the first), as opposed to considering patience as a virtue, and providing a thoughtful analysis of facts resulting from careful and full investigations.

In essence,it's a premature diatribe. Even worse, the McCarthy analogy is not worthy of a college journalism class project.

Posted by: MillPond2 | November 19, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

"You can't criticize or question blacks or Muslims without being called a racist in the US"

You could just as easily say that you can't be black or Muslim in the US without being criticized or questioned by racists.

So what's your point?

Blacks and Muslims can deal with this on a daily basis, most do without going on a homicidal rampage. Why can't you?

Posted by: dubya1938 | November 19, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

I think it was clear that Major Hassan should not have been promoted to Major and that he was unfit for his job. The causes of why this was allowed to happen were as follows.
1. Its far too hard to discharge or to even force a career change on officers who do not break hard and fast rules.

2. The military taking care of its own meant they had a responsibility to deal with his problems, not simply dump him.

3. Apparently there wasn't a way to force him to deal with his problems without killing his career.

4. Major Hassan was smart enough to make barely adequate corrections to behavior when challenged.

5. There were shortages of Majors, Muslims and Head Doctors in the military all of which made it much harder to do any of the steps.

6. Since it takes so long to get rid of some one, and if you start the process you get to keep the bad apple for the duration, so the fastest way to get rid of YOUR problem is to transfer it.

However, I have not seen any clear demonstration that the Major should have been seen as a threat. True his radical views and his willinginess to share them at the wrong time was another major strike against him as a career officer, but not enough to arrest him.

Number one seems to be far more

Posted by: Muddy_Buddy_2000 | November 19, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

I see Cohen is letting his inner Joe McCarthy breath a little. So how many card-carrying Muslims are there in the Pentagon, Rich? Sounds like a conspiracy to me.

Posted by: PeterPrinciple | November 19, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

coloradodog:

Cohen obviously never spent any time in the US Military himself defending his beloved Israel. The promotion of a military physician from Captain to Major is automatic. There is no review. If the doctor is not at Leavenworth, he is promoted.
-------------
Cohen is not Israeli. Moreover, Israeli military defend themselves. They are not soft-butted christians; they're Jews. Men and women serve compulorily. They know what they're doing.

Our servicemen, however, die while you and that bastard Whistling, of the rich christoislamics live safe.

What's that?

Posted by: Farnaz1Mansouri1 | November 19, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Officer promotions up to and including LTC are so routine that if you are alive and didn`t make anyone mad you are promoted.

Posted by: nanonano1 | November 19, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

In the US Army, officers aren't promoted by one person, they are promoted by a promotions board. All of the eligible candidates are collected into a group and the board goes through each candidate and gives him a numeric rating after looking through his service record. Then they fill the slots with the candidates who had the highest vote scores. It's a little more complicated than that, but essentially, if you have 10 open slots for major, then the candidates with the 10 highest scores are promoted.

Posted by: tauman | November 19, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Why can't you remain calm and quiet so that a proper and thorough investigation can take place without pressure being exerted by your speculation and accusations.

After the investigation a trial should be held without members of the public and politicians demanding a conviction. That is what happens in other nations. Your comments, and those hostile statements made by others, pervert the atmosphere in which the investigation and trial will take place.

The evidence has not been heard and yet there are demands for the death sentence coupled with claims that a lesser sentence will mean that the trial is fraudulent.

I contend that Cohen and others make wild and violent claims cause damage to the judicial process. They are unwilling to examine their own behaviour. The speculation is running rife and the theories and claims are being treated as incontestable facts. Is this the American substitute for fair play?

When things go wrong it is imperative that a rational atmosphere prevails in order to permit a fair trial. Punishment by acclamation is tantamount to the abandonment of the rule of law.

The real point about Senator McCarthy is that he was a brutal and indecent fellow who perverted concepts of fair play just as you and many of the bloggers on these pages have done. McCarthy had widespread support for the damage that he caused.

Posted by: robertjames1 | November 19, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Cohen's question is important, but it is secondary importance. Cohen's question speaks to the incompetence and the hollowness of Army culture, which makes the promotion a trivial, almost automatic event. We certainly should find out the members of the board that approved the promotion and bring up on charges or throw out of the Army the dweebs who could not be troubled to look at his record. We do not want those people treating the patients or making medical or administrative decisions, unless we want to to harm our heroic women and men in uniform. The promotion is absolutely gross. But again, it is not of primary importance. But it is about making the Army think, which is hard.

Posted by: axolotl | November 19, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

I sincerely hope that prior to any further discussion of the nature of Maj. Hasan's promotion, that reporters and posters take the time to understand the process of which he was a part. Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, (right there in Bethesda) requires a payback of seven years AFTER training has been completed. Promotion in the Medical Corps (and Dental Corps, Medical Service Corps, JaG, and Veterinary Corps for that matter) is different than say, the Infantry. Promotion is contingent more on the completion of the educational requirements, because they don't have a command, per say. I understand that he also completed a fellowship, which is additional training after residency. Those training years often require 1:1 or 2:1 payback as well. It's quite likely that he owed more than seven years for the USUHS commitment plus the fellowship at the time of the shooting. That's how he was promoted. Could they have removed him from the residency? Yes, it has happened. However, he's still an MD and would have been an MD even if they had removed him from the residency program. You cannot buy your way out of the commitment, you can't even fail your way out of the commitment. The bottom line is that he owed us (the US Taxpayer) for his education. Even those who are removed from their residencies (and they're few and far between) are still obligated to serve in some capacity until the time is completed. The Medical Officer signs a contract at the beginning of each year that outlines exactly what they owe, and exactly what they receive. The Military pay scale including the various physician bonuses are all public knowledge and are avaiable at www.military.com. There is nothing secret or nefarious about how this works. Thus ends Military Medical Education 101.

Posted by: DCJenninTX | November 19, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

"You can't criticize or question blacks or Muslims without being called a racist in the US. That is the legacy of a generation of mindless liberal guilt."

Maybe, but it has no effect. Does anyone remember General William G. Boykin?
"there is no greater threat to America than Islam"
"I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol."
And lots more about the enemy being Satan & such.

He was indeed criticized, but he was censured or reprimanded, reassigned or demoted.

There is a problem in the US military with religious Zealots, but they are Christians.

Posted by: msh41 | November 19, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

The promotion was the military version of "cash for clunkers" and Barney Frank's "sub-prime orgy".

Posted by: um1967 | November 19, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Correction: That last post omitted a word:

Boykin was *not* censured or reprimanded, reassigned or demoted.

Please excuse the typo.

Posted by: msh41 | November 19, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Obama, it appears is the answer you seek Mr. Cohen, if Hasan was an advisor to Obama's Homeland Security team.

Look on page 29 of the Homeland Security Institute link below. Apparently at that Time he was at the Uniformed Service School of Medicine

http://www.gwumc.edu/hspi/old/PTTF_Proceedings Report_05.19.09.pdf
Go to page number 29, scroll down toward the bottom on the Left Column.

Posted by: dottydo | November 19, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Disgruntled employees are often promoted in an effort to appease them. May have been what happened here. Also, sometimes awards are given to underperforming persons in an effort to compel them to live up to the award that has been granted (i.e. Peace Prize to Obama).

Posted by: Phatty1 | November 19, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

It's not political correctness; it's tyranny of thought;
It's not political correctness; it's the mental bludgeoning of those not adhering to accepted group think;
It's not political correctness; it's the American Stassi welding the stick of conformity to those revanchists spreading counterrevolutionary foment;
It is the same accepted thought control that permits a Jesse Jackson to identify a errant black (not a real black man) congressman for not voting for the government nationalization of the medical field;
It’s the same accepted thought control that permits myriad of Liberal in the Bag (LIB) media Pravdaistas to allude, allege, and conclude every form of filth and scum about a typical American made good (Gov. Palin).

This is America, a disgusting piece of crap that will fall without a honest calling out of the mental cancer that has infected every institution in this society, now we know the Armed Forces are in an advanced stage of said disease.

Posted by: falconflight | November 19, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Jamesdg - clearly you have never been in the military. If you aren't promoted to Major, you are discharged. Problem solved.

Posted by: jbratten | November 19, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse


They practice affirmative action in the military, so my guess is that is the reason for his promotion.

I once knew somebody who's great, great grandmother was a native American and he told me he made sure he put that down as part of his ethnicity because it might help in getting him promoted. And it probably did.

Posted by: janet8 | November 19, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Appealing to McCarthyism isn't exactly the best way to frame an argument.

Posted by: js_edit | November 19, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Gee, Richard, haven't you seen the M*A*S*H episode where Major Burns leaves the unit and goes whacky at the replacement center and, after being restrained, is send stateside to a cushy assignment AND promoted to lieutenant colonel?

Posted by: ihave4ducks | November 19, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: js_edit |

Appealing to McCarthyism isn't exactly the best way to frame an argument.

====

McCarthy was right, just look whose running the Government, Academia, NonProfit Special Interest groups, and the Pravada-like-media.

Please, read a book, not a bumper sticker, you TaxEater.

Posted by: falconflight | November 19, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

If you have to ask this question, you're not qualified to write this editorial because the answer is obvious.

Posted by: ASW02 | November 19, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Obama, it appears is the answer you seek Mr. Cohen, if Hasan was an advisor to Obama's Homeland Security team.

Look on page 29 of the Homeland Security Institute link below. Apparently at that Time he was at the Uniformed Service School of Medicine

http://www.gwumc.edu/hspi/old/PTTF_Proceedings Report_05.19.09.pdf
Go to page number 29, scroll down toward the bottom on the Left Column.

___________________________________

Well, dotty, I usually deliberately avoid getting enbroiled in bickerfests with you, but this time I'll take the bait. But only long enough to refer you to PolitiFact.org. They rate this chain-mail nonsense not simply as false, but as a "pants-on-fire" out-and-out lie. Turns out that Hasan attended a conference once, and that conference had NO connection whatsoever with Obama. Read the story. (For you adults in the room who may not know, PolitiFact.org is (actually!) non-partisan fact-checking news organization and has won a Pulitzer prize.) But hey, dotty, why spoil a good story with those pesky facts? Facts are conspicuously absent in your rants at any rate, and I wouldn't expect you to actually use them now.

Posted by: post_reader_in_wv | November 19, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: js_edit |

Appealing to McCarthyism isn't exactly the best way to frame an argument.

====

McCarthy was right, just look whose running the Government, Academia, NonProfit Special Interest groups, and the Pravada-like-media.

Please, read a book, not a bumper sticker, you TaxEater.

Posted by: falconflight |

----------------

Now there's a sensible reply, you TaxCheater.

Seriously, I thought that Reagan defeated the Commies single-handedly. Are we still supposed to be afraid of them? I thought we were supposed to be all about the Muslims, these days.

Please, let me know who I'm supposed to hate. I'm very confused.

Posted by: js_edit | November 19, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

We already know from media reports that the army felt they had a severe shortage of Majors in the ranks, and so Captains were getting promoted at the drop of the hat. That answers "how" someone with bad evaluations got promoted.

Now for the "how on earth is this question relevant?" part. Can anyone help me with that? Does Cohen think Hasan only went on his shooting rampage because he was emboldened by a recent promotion? I mean really, this is a silly column. And after the brief allusion to loyalty oaths (invoking the proud chapter in our history of McCarthyism), Cohen mysteriosly leaves that one hanging.

Is this Cohen's subtle way to get the "Muslim Americans have questionable loyalty" meme lodged more firmly into readers heads, without actually having the balls to say it? Tell us what you meant by that - or what AIPAC wanted you to mean by that, rather. Spill.

Posted by: B2O2 | November 19, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

It's not political correctness; it's tyranny of thought;

It's not political correctness; it's the mental bludgeoning of those not adhering to accepted group think;

It's not political correctness; it's the American Stassi welding the stick of conformity to those revanchists spreading counterrevolutionary foment;

It is the same accepted thought control that permits a Jesse Jackson to identify a errant black (not a real black man) congressman for not voting for the government nationalization of the medical field;

It’s the same accepted thought control that permits myriad of Liberal in the Bag (LIB) media Pravdaistas to allude, allege, and conclude every form of filth and scum about a typical American made good (Gov. Palin).

This is America, a disgusting piece of crap that will fall without a honest calling out of the mental cancer that has infected every institution in this society, and now we know that the Armed Forces are also in an advanced stage of said disease.

Senator McCarthy was right, just look whose running the Government, Academia, Nonprofit Special Interest groups, and the Pravda-like-media.

Posted by: falconflight | November 19, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

If you can't think, cut and paste.

Posted by: js_edit | November 19, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Richard should have called his gumbahs at the WarshPost in DC (Dana what'shername ~ how quickly we forget them) who interviewed the dickens out of EVERYBODY at Walter Reed in 2007 while working on a Pulitzer Prize (which she got).

It is inconceivable that a schlub like Hasan could have escaped her notice ~ Richard should ask to read her notes!

Posted by: muawiyah | November 19, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: js_edit |

Appealing to McCarthyism isn't exactly the best way to frame an argument.

====

McCarthy was right, just look whose running the Government, Academia, NonProfit Special Interest groups, and the Pravada-like-media.

Please, read a book, not a bumper sticker, you TaxEater.

Posted by: falconflight |

----------------

Now there's a sensible reply, you TaxCheater.

Seriously, I thought that Reagan defeated the Commies single-handedly. Are we still supposed to be afraid of them? I thought we were supposed to be all about the Muslims, these days.

Please, let me know who I'm supposed to hate. I'm very confused.

====
Your confusion (hopefully that's the motivation) goes without saying. TaxEater, I bet I paid 11000 in Federal Income taxes last year, how bout you? Nah, didn't think so.

I'm not afraid of Muslims or Communists, except the scum currently in office.

Posted by: falconflight | November 19, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

A lot of people are posting here who don't know a damn thing about anything. Let me clear a few things up.

1) The letter NPR published was sent by the director of his residency program (not his commander) to the credentials committee of the hospital at Ft. Hood (also not his commander). It was not an officer evaluation, which is called Officer Evaluation Report, or OER, in the Army. Fitrep is the Navy term. The respective commanders may or may not have been party to this confidential information.

2) Army physicians are promoted to captain on graduation from medical school, and are promoted to major pretty much automatically 6 years later. He would have had to have gotten some really bad OERs to have gotten passed over for major. It only gets selective at lieutenant colonel. His being a Muslim had nothing to do with being selected for promotion.

3) The real question I have is what, in God's name, were the legal and administrative barriers that prevented the Army from identifying this incompetent sociopath and firing him? Was there the perception that they couldn't fire him because it would be viewed as religious or racial discrimination? Were there too many privacy and due process concerns to get him fired? Or did everyone just pass the buck and figure he couldn't cause too much trouble and would be out of the Army in a few years anyway?

Posted by: Peejay | November 19, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Total liberal dem here, but this is really dumb. 1. What does it remotely matter that he was promoted (much less who did it)? He would have been able to do the same thing regardless of his rank. Completely immaterial, like who washed his car and who cleaned his teeth. 2. So we're supposed to believe that he was a neon-bright psycho simply because he was late a few times? The other doctors wouldn't have hired him - since "they're not crazy" - because of tardiness? Really? That's your entire thesis? That the guy was late and therefore everyone should have known he was a mass murderer? I mean, your job evaluation of him describes half the US workforce. 3. You Jew-haters and Obama-haters really really need to stop. Stop the hate and listen. You'll see that our President is helping our country more than you can even imagine.

Posted by: Urnesto | November 19, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

You don't get "fired" from the Military, dummy. You get "boarded out," an Administrative Discharge for "Unsuitability."

Posted by: falconflight | November 19, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

I bet I paid $20,000 in Federal taxes last year. I also own a mansion and a yacht. Plus, I know where to place the dollar sign and the comma. Hooray for me!

Posted by: js_edit | November 19, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Major Malik Hassan, is a traitor to the United States of America, by every legal, ethical, and moral standard.

Your moral compasses are so woefully corrupted, it is a mirror by which we can see what ails this faultering once Democratic nation.

Posted by: falconflight | November 19, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

The Big FAT Incompetents of the Military promoted this Islamic Idiot. This is not surprising. The Morons in the military can't even win wars against undermanned, underarmed, untrained ragtag sand fighters. The only superpower's military is full of losers like the overweight Hasan and his superiors. All these losers join the military to get easy money and have the public pay for their medical, schools and retire with big pensions. None of these Cowards want to fight that is not why they signed up. The military is just another form of the welfare state living large on the public's penny.

Why is everyone in the military so OBESE???

Posted by: mawt | November 19, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: js_edit | November 19, 2009 8:19 PM | I bet I paid $20,000 in Federal taxes last year. I also own a mansion and a yacht. Plus, I know where to place the dollar sign and the comma. Hooray for me!

===

I doubt it sincerely, but if true, you are a sick sick puppy. Hopefully you don't work for the Feds.

You said Federal taxes, do you mean Federal INCOME taxes? What form did you file for 2008? What schedule if any did you file?

Posted by: falconflight | November 19, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Good question! I've been wondering that since I read the first background story on him the day after the shootings. Given that presentation he reportedly gave at Walter Reed a couple of years back, I'm amazed that he was even granted a medical degree. He reportedly got not only his medical education, but also his undergraduate education courtesy of Uncle Sam and the U.S. taxpayer and he repays our generosity by not doing his assignments, not responding to phone calls when he was supposed to be on duty in the ER and eventually by murdering 13 innocent people. Nice guy.

Posted by: laSerenissima2003 | November 19, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: js_edit: bet I paid $20,000 in Federal taxes last year. I also own a mansion and a yacht.
======
Paying that much in federal INCOME taxes wouldn't support a Mansion or a Yacht.

You're a TaxEater duck!

Admit it, it's something you've been suckled on to believe that the rich robber barrons at Exxon, or WalMart stole something from ya and Obama and the Demosocialists are getting it back for you. Duck

Posted by: falconflight | November 19, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

I was lying, falcon, just like you. Or would you care to post your estimable tax record for all to see?

Oh, except there was one thing that I didn't lie about. I really do know where to place the dollar sign and the comma, so I've got that going for me.

All to say, no one believes the anonymous Internet poster who brags about his/her economic status.

Posted by: js_edit | November 19, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

I served as an Army Major for a number of years as a psychologist. Hasan was promoted because of a severe shortage of psychiatrists. Also, since the military paid for his schooling, if they didn't promote him and discharged him, then they would have to release him from any remaining monetary obligation. Only with a discharge for a severe offense, such as breaking military law, can the military still collect on a residual monetary obligation for not serving the full obligated period. Lastly, the press and others are over-blowing the idea of some kind of PC because the guy was a Muslim. I doubt the promotion board even knew it or noticed.

Posted by: magnifco1000 | November 19, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

This is an easy one. Army manning, particularly in the officer ranks is in dire straights. Pretty much everyone without a DUI or an article 15 is being promoted to major. Oh in normal times he would have been a marginal candidate for promotion, but right now it's virtually automatic. Liberal writers like Cohen can second guess this all they like, but it only shows their ignorance or blatant disregard for what goes on in the military.

Posted by: kilgore_nobiz | November 19, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Why hasn't Barry invited his Muslim brother to the White House for a beer summit?

Posted by: Jerzy | November 19, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

It appears the Army really screwed up on this guy. If his evaluations were as negative as they say, he should not have been promoted. Instead he should have been drummed out of the service. People like him, inept at what he does and did should not be allowed to serve. The evaluators and the promotion boards he went in front of should also be dishonorably discharged and charged with Derelection of Duty. Let them also pay for their mistakes. They deserve it also for what they created/caused.

Posted by: wilson0004 | November 19, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Why hasn't Barry invited his Muslim brother to the White House for a beer summit?

Posted by: Jerzy | November 19, 2009 8:40 PM | Report abuse

What's with this word 'alleged'?

Did the bum do the shooting or didn't he?

Is he a muslim killer or isn't he?

Why do we have to try him at all?

Can't we just hang him high now?

Posted by: DeLyonGetty | November 19, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

I was lying, falcon, just like you. Or would you care to post your estimable tax record for all to see?

Oh, except there was one thing that I didn't lie about. I really do know where to place the dollar sign and the comma, so I've got that going for me.

All to say, no one believes the anonymous Internet poster who brags about his/her economic status.

====

I'd say that after working for 25+ years w/ the same employer, I ain't doin too good. Bragging, not at all. You misinterpret what I'm saying. My salary is very middle class.


My point is that it angers me when people lap up that crap about the rich this the rich that, somehow they are responsible for what in God's name I don't know.


Not one red cent of wealth is created by the US Gov't, not a penny. It is created by those risk takers who created businesses, ideas, products, services. They haven't done jacksh1t to us.

Yet, these politicans try to create tension between you and me, class envy, jealousies, hiding behind the cloak of diversity. It's a gigantic lie. Call the Major for what he is...a traitor. What the hell is so complicated about it? Nothing. Pols. are trying to divide us along class, race, religion to control us.

I bet there isn't a nickel's difference between you and me sitting around shooting the breeze. But the Pols. use us and want us to believe otherwise.

Politicans are not friends of you or me, not now, not ever. It is a truism of the human existence. Politicans crave power and control over the people. period.

Posted by: falconflight | November 19, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Chief of Staff of the Army, General Casey, along with several Cols. on down the chain of command should receive letters of reprimand at least, to end their careers, failures that they are that caused death, pain, and not least of all the destruction of the military's morale, all for the mirage of "diversity." Cruel cruel hoax on us all.

Posted by: falconflight | November 19, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

An modern day American Military Traitor.

He was not a nut gone nuts. He was a tortured, conflicted Arab-Muslim, imbued with the associated values.

He could not bring himself to support America and his solemn oath as an Officer in the US Army.

He had to resolve the inner conflict and he chose to defend Islam against the Infidels.

Major Hassan is a murderous traitor.

May his wretched dog soul and his family rot in pig slime for eternity.

That is all. Yes I am allow to hate those who are traitorous. A very normal and appropriate reaction. Allah Akbar

Posted by: falconflight | November 19, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Well, this is utterly typical of Richard Cohen. Being a jew who has never served a day in American uniform, he knows nothing about how the U.S. military operates, but he sure does know he hates Muslims. If he were smarter (yes, oxymoron, I know) he would know that first promotions among officers are more or less routine and automatic unless the officer has screwed up bigtime. As a medical corps officer, Hasan began as a captain, so his more or less automatic one was to major. Yes, Hasan did a terrible thing, but one must also ask how many of Richard Cohen's jewish soul brothers have brutally murdered as many innocent Palestinians or even more? The final proof of Cohen's utter cravenness is his call for the return of the moral standards of the McCarthy era. That in itself should be a war crime.

Posted by: dsrobins | November 19, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

I don't know, because I'm no longer close to the military, but I'd guess that Hasan's promotion to Major was automatic once he "earned" his MD as a psychiatrist at taxpayer expense - and, as others have said, didn't find himself in Leavenworth.

Cohen's point still stands. This guy's rise through the ranks warns that the USA's political correctness is opposed to the USA's safety.

Only the question isn't, "Who promoted this guy?", it's "How did we get this foolish as a people?"

I've long felt that using the military as a locus for liberal social experimentation is bad policy.

Our armed forces have one purpose: to be more deadly than the deadliest adversary who might dare to attack us.

Do your social experiments in universities and corporations. Not the armed forces.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | November 19, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Richard Cohen asks a question so profound, and with such distressing implications, that it's pretty much guaranteed it won't be asked or answered by any of the pending probes. There will be plenty of effort to identify potential mass murderers, but none to weed out incompetents or deny promotions in a way that could be alleged by someone, somewhere, as discriminatory.

Posted by: Rob_ | November 19, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

NPR has done some reporting on this question. Does NPR have MORE reporters? Or better ones?

Posted by: mftill | November 19, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm in the Army JAG corps. The JAG, medical offiers and Chaplains make up the so-called "special branches" in the Army. The promotion schedule for these special branch officers is different than the other branches, i.e. infantry, armor, etc.

Special branch officers, which included Hasan, are promoted when they are "fully qualified," meaning they completed their educational requirements and served the requisite time in grade. Hasan completed his educational requirements, albeit barely, and served his minimum time in grade, thus he was promoted. Simple as that.

If he was infantry, armor, etc. he would not have been promoted, as they use "best qualified" as their standard. Special branch officers routinely get promoted quickly to CPT, then MAJ, due to shortages of their specialties, needs of the Army, etc. After MAJ though, it does slow down and shifts more towards best qualified, that's because basic schooling is out of the way by the time you reach Major.

It is what it is, basically you're just moved through the system so long as you serve your time and complete your education, that'll get you to Major in the Army, and deadbeats like Hasan can usually hang on that long.

Blame the promotional system, which has been in place for years, no one particular officer is to blame for his promotion. He apparently met the minimal standard required for special branch officers as fully qualified.

Posted by: adhughes | November 19, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

It is a very good question, because if there was any real review of this man's records and interviews with peers and others, he may have been found out.

Posted by: paris1969 | November 19, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Cohen has obviously never been in the military and has no idea what he is talking about. dsrobbins is right about automatic promotions, but a little harsh on poor Richard.

Still any old school editor worth a box of red pens would have caught that one, and ask Richard about his real agenda. What a clown?

Posted by: protagoras | November 19, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

adhughes wrote, "Blame the promotional system, which has been in place for years, no one particular officer is to blame for his promotion. He apparently met the minimal standard required for special branch officers as fully qualified."

Thanks for adding some great information to the discussion here.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | November 19, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Stay tuned for AIPAC's, er I mean Cohen's next brilliantly-researched column. In which he will hotheadedly argue why the Fort Hood shootings mean we should urge Israel to slaughter some more Palestinians.

Oh, what a wonderfully edifying newspaper this has become! Thank you Fred Hiatt, for defecating on this city on a daily basis.

Posted by: B2O2 | November 19, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

I hate to remind everyone of something but the military is where the Peter Principle works BEST. I LEFT the military rather than let a military doctor do surgery on my ankles: I'd rather be able to walk for the rest of my life thank you very much.

How in the hell to you all think that John "senator senility" McCain got not only to be a jet pilot (he was NEVER qualified to be one) but was able to crash his planes NUMEROUS TIMES and remain a jet pilot? HMMMMMMM? For crying out loud they even let "idiot boy" fly planes.

I'm sorry folks but the military is EXACTLY the place where I would look for something like Fort Hood to happen and not because it is a military base per se but because it has people in its employ that it has trained and promoted.

One does not look to our military for the rocket scientists but rather for the "cannon fodder".

Posted by: spike591011 | November 19, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Military psychiatry is to psychiatry as military music is to music.

Posted by: RossPhx | November 19, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

It's amusing to see the military put down here, when what's apparently wrong with the military is its necessary genuflecting to the momentary fads in Congress.

Seems like a no-win situation for the military. Organize yourself according to the politically correct congressional theme of the moment, and something blows up? Blame military culture.

And you wonder why so many of them commit suicide.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | November 19, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

You are asking the wrong question: Who promoted Hassan?

The question that should be asked is: Who hired Hassan in the first place?

Posted by: Yuri_Akilev | November 19, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

"You can't criticize or question blacks or Muslims without being called a racist in the US. That is the legacy of a generation of mindless liberal guilt."
Posted by: pkhenry |
-------------------------------------------
Spoken like someone who's never been near the military except in their dreams. There are more than a few incompetent white doctors in the military who don't get criticized because doing so would be "insubordinate". If that isn't "mindless liberal guilt", what is it?

http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=8150409&page=1

Posted by: pga6 | November 19, 2009 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Most of you just don't get it.

The understrength Army, dependent entirely on VOLUNTEERS even though we are in two wars, and stretched thin by multiple deployments in nasty combat zones in the most stressful type of combat operations on this planet, that guarantees mental strain, PTSD,and suicides, requiring even more mental health professionals per thousand Army men than were we in high intensity conventional combat against the Russians, and you, including Richard Cohen, sit around second guessing the Army's administrators for not evaluating Hassan as if he were being considered for promotion in a fully staffed major US hospital with no crises of shortages facing them.

The Army is scraping the bottom of the personnel barrel because of the failure of both Congress - which is charged by the Constitution to 'Raise and Support' the Army and the civilian Executive Branch is charged with ordering the Army to carry out missions within its means for foreign policy.

The question is not 'who' (in the Army) promoted Hassan, but 'who' in Congress maintains the fiction that those wars can be won on the manpower cheap? Spend your time hammering Congress and get them to start muttering 'Draft' or else cut off all support and force Obama to abandon Afganistan.


Posted by: dave19 | November 19, 2009 11:47 PM | Report abuse

It always concerns me when people start using Joseph McCarthy as a positive role model. He wasn't an "indefatigable red-hunter" - that's far too neutral an evaluation - he was a publicity seeking nutball. Mr. Cohen, surely you can come up with a better analogy than that. And in what world is Hassan's rank relevant to this particular issue anyway? Anyone got any data on how many murders have been prevented by timely denial of promotions? Just curious.

We have met the enemy and he is . . . etc., et. al.

Posted by: MycroftH | November 19, 2009 11:48 PM | Report abuse

MycroftH wrote, "It always concerns me when people start using Joseph McCarthy as a positive role model."
----------

It always concerns me when we're learning the lessons of the last war.

To suggest that it's McCarthyistic to be wary of people named "Hamad", who give presentations suggesting that suicide bombing is akin to falling on a grenade to save your fellow soldiers, is silly.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | November 20, 2009 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Cohen,

Unlike Charles Krauthammer, you are a wolf in sheep's clothing. You know that every word uttered about Islamic terrorism is a lie and a pretext for Zionist atrocities. See

Veterans Today
Military Veterans & Foreign Affairs Journal

TERRORIST HASAN WAS BUSH HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISOR
Posted on November 09, 2009 by gordonduff
FT. HOOD TERRORIST ON BUSH PRESTIGIOUS HOMELAND SECURITY TRANSITION TEAM

HASAN TIES TO GOP SUBJECT TO MASSIVE DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN AND COVERUP

By Gordon Duff STAFF WRITER/Senior Editor

"Lucy, you got some splainin' to do."

The task force at George Washington University designated with establishing transitional procedures in the Global War on Terror included Major Hasan, mass murder and terrorist, and, as we now learn, long time terrorist suspect. Where do we start? Do we wonder why our troops have a psychiatrist who is not only a potential terrorist but known to be extremely mentally unbalanced? Who, in the Bush Administration chose Hasan and helped him pass America's highest security clearances?

Do any of us wonder why President Bush would have a terrorist helping with his transitional policy? This put Hasan, under investigation for ties to Al Qaeda, at the heart of our government's counter-terrorist planning organization with full daily access to nearly all major leaders in Homeland Security, Defense, the FBI, CIA, NSA and other key agencies. He was one of them, along with representatives of conservative "think tanks" that advised the Bush Administration on a daily basis. Was he there because he reminded them of an Islamic version of Dick Cheney? Please, someone, let's hear an explanation for this.

http://www.veteranstoday.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=9315&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0

Posted by: markoller | November 20, 2009 2:59 AM | Report abuse

Below is a cutout from the membership roster of those advising the Bush Administration. You will note Hasan's name among some of the best known security experts in America. We were told he was an Army psychiatrist with severe psychological problems who belonged to a mosque run by terrorists.

Hasan served with these individuals. Why was he here?

Richard V. Allen Former National Security Advisor
Stephen E. Flynn Ira A. Lipman Senior Fellow for Counterterrorism & National Security Studies Council on Foreign Relations
Charles B. Curtis President & Chief Operating Officer Nuclear Threat Initiative
Judge William H.Webster Former Director of Central Intelligence and Former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
James Lee Witt Former Director Federal Emergency Management Agency
R. James Woolsey, Former Director Central Intelligence Agency
Edwin Meese, III Former U.S. Attorney General
General Edward "Shy" Meyer Former Chief of Staff U.S. Army
General Edward L. Rowny Former Ambassador and Lt. General USA (Ret.)
Judge William S. Sessions Former Director Federal Bureau of Investigation
Bobbie Greene Kilberg Member President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology
E. Floyd Kvamme Former Co-Chair President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology
Senator Connie Mack (R-FL) Former United States Senator, Florida
Secretary John O. Marsh, Jr. (D-VA) Former Secretary of the Army Former U.S. Congressman
and many others
Major Hasan was briefed by these individuals:
Michael Alexander, Majority Staff Director, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate
John Cohen, Senior Advisor, Office of the Program Manager for the Information Sharing Environment , Office of the Director of National Intelligence
Rosaline Cohen , Chief Counsel, Committee on Homeland Security, U.S. House of Representatives
Beth Grossman, Senior Counsel, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate
Alethea Long-Green, Program Area Director, National Academy of Public Administration
Mark Lowenthal, President and CEO of the Intelligence & Security Academy, LLC, Former Assistant Director of Central Intelligence for Analysis and Production
Monica Schoch-Spana, Senior Associate, Center for Biosecurity, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and Assistant Professor in the School of Medicine Division of Infectious Diseases
Fran Townsend, Former Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism

http://www.veteranstoday.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=9315&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0

Posted by: markoller | November 20, 2009 3:01 AM | Report abuse

Fort Hood Shooting 'Oddities'
By Lori Price, www.legitgov.org Updated: 07 Nov 2009

'Three people are involved. That, by definition, means it is a conspiracy.'

•Curiouser and Curiouser: -Video surfaces of alleged shooter, Major Nidal Hasan, attending Homeland Security Task Force conference --Major Hasan's name appears on page 29 of The George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute's 'Thinking Anew—Security Priorities for the Next Administration' --Proceedings Report of the HSPI Presidential Transition Task Force - April 2008 - January 2009. The report is dated 19 May 2009.
•Numerous media accounts: Major Hasan's neighbors, medical trainers, colleagues, friends, cousin, uncle-- even the store owner to where he bought his food -- all heap praise on Major Hasan's temperament. This appears to be psy-ops, six ways to Sunday. --LRP
•The alleged shooter received his medical degree from the military’s Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md., in 2001 and is a graduate of Virginia Tech. Early on Thursday, he showed no signs of worry or stress when he stopped at 7-Eleven for his daily breakfast of hash browns, said Jeannie Strickland, the store's manager. "He came in (Thursday) morning just like normal," she said, "nothing weird, nothing out of the ordinary."

Breaking: Army: Shooting Suspect Taken Off Ventilator --Army officials: Hasan is 'not able to converse.' 07 Nov 2009 A U.S. Army spokesman says the man authorities say went on a shooting spree at Fort Hood has been taken off a ventilator but still remains in intensive care at a military hospital. Spokesman Col. John Rossi told reporters on Saturday at Fort Hood that he is not sure if Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan is able to communicate. Hasan was shot during an exchange of gunfire during Thursday's attack. The military moved him on Friday to Brooke Medical Center in San Antonio, about 150 miles southwest of Fort Hood. Army officials have said Hasan is "not able to converse." http://www.legitgov.org/attack_on_fort_hood_051109.html

How convenient that he can not converse. Is anyone allowed to see him to prove that he is still alive and is really at the Brooke Medical Center?

This is a link to 'Thinking Anew—Security Priorities for the Next Administration' http://www.gwumc.gwu.edu/hspi/policy/PTTFProceedingsReport.pdf

Posted by: markoller | November 20, 2009 3:03 AM | Report abuse

Not to put too fine a point on it, Mr. Cohen, I think you are insane.

The term McCarthyism, coined in 1950 in reference to McCarthy's practices, was soon applied to similar anti-communist pursuits. Today the term is used more generally to describe demagogic, reckless, and unsubstantiated accusations, as well as public attacks on the character or patriotism of political opponents.

Joe McCarthy was an alcoholic, publicity-seeking right-wing whack job who brought great shame to this country and was eventually censured by Congress, but not until he had done a great deal of damage. And he's your role model? Move to Faux News. Glenn's waiting for you.

Posted by: gurvitch | November 20, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Let us consider where Joseph McCarthy's question(s) finally led us in those dark days in that period justly named for the senator from Wisconsin.

"Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"

In the end, it came down to these two sentences spoken by Special Counsel for the Army, Joseph N. Welch. These two lines encapsulated exactly how history has come to see one of the most vicious and unjust prosecutors in our history.

What on earth could have possessed Richard Cohen to propose Joseph McCarthy as the appropriate sort of lead in for his column and model for a government investigator? Does Cohen believe McCarthy was an especially effective truth seeker, or just a really scary one? And who are they that Cohen wishes to subject to "that right-wing rallying cry (that) ought to be revived?"

I find it creepy that Cohen uses Joseph McCarthy in such a non-judgmental fashion, as if he were speaking about Estes Kefauver. Not to set up a moral equivalence, but many of us find it absolutely disgusting for some in the Tea Party movement to liken our current government to Nazism and our President to Adolf Hitler. Personally, I find it disturbing that an op-ed columnist for the Washington Post apparently wants to bring back the inquisitorial methodology of a man whose name is remembered more so for his unscruplulous and deceitful lack of concern for the niceties of the American legal system than for his superior sleuthing skills.

So what is it Cohen is looking for? Let's face it McCarthy wasn't looking for the truth. No, his purpose was really of a political nature. The consequences were devastating to a great many people, people who were singled out for selective investigation because of their politics, not because they had committed crimes, or because they represented security threats.

No one really doubts that an investigation needs to take place in order to understand what happened and how it can be prevented in the future, but who thinks a witch hunt is an appropriate or effective response.

Cohen's question is appropriate, but I think he should have given a bit more thought to the sort of tone set in this very strange column.

Posted by: myownprivatenc | November 20, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

test

Posted by: adhughes | November 20, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

It's my impression that graduates of a medical school are automatically ranked and paid as captain. When they are certified by the Boards in their respective specialty, they become Majors. The rank is not as important here as the pay grade. If Hasan passed the Boards exams in Psychiatry (he was Board eligible upon finishing his residency at Reed), he would have almost automatically promoted.

The Boards are mostly paper and pencil. The candidate is then questioned by a senior psychiatrist and the questions are usually quite formulaic. If the examining psychiatrist was a civilian and unfamiliar with issues peculiar to military psychiatry, he might not have picked up issues of authority. Also, Hasan may have been smart enough to keep his mouth shut about any extreme views he had. I worked in a psychiatric hospital and one of our trainees was paranoid to the hilt. He got certified because he was smart enough to hide behind what was expected.

Posted by: moninga1 | November 20, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

markoller:

Mr. Cohen,

Unlike Charles Krauthammer, you are a wolf in sheep's clothing. You know that every word uttered about Islamic terrorism is a lie and a pretext for Zionist atrocities
-------------------------
Like the other bastard Whistling, this christo/islamist thinks only in terms of oil, killing Afghanis and Iraquis in the process.

Posted by: Farnaz1Mansouri1 | November 20, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Of course you know it is a system of "punching tickets." And he got all his tickets punched and was promoted. Who cares what people actually do - unless they are enlisted. Then they work.

"Don't call me Sir. I work for a living."

Posted by: gary4books | November 21, 2009 5:04 AM | Report abuse

One reason why Hasan was promoted is that all military doctors are promoted, no matter what, up to and including the rank of Colonel. Doctors protect doctors. It is little different in the civilian sphere where punishment for gross malpractice is very, very rare.

As for "gary4books" comment above, it is absurd. As someone who enlisted as a Recruit E-1 and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel, I think I am qualified to say that whether or not a military person "works" has nothing at all to do with rank or grade.

Posted by: bezvodka | November 21, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Farnaz1Mansouri wrote: "Like the other bastard Whistling, this christo/islamist thinks only in terms of oil, killing Afghanis and Iraquis in the process."

I detest Christianity, Islam and Judaism--both religious and atheist. Assuming I am a 'christo/islamist', however, how can I can I think "only in terms of oil"?

CIA shills pretending that Islamic terrorism is real are the cockroaches which infest the Internet. No amount of disproof is ever enough. Click markoller and comments.

Posted by: markoller | November 21, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

This may be off topic, but considering that the war on terror is a proxy war for Israel, nothing is more relevant.

HAARETZ Thu., November 12, 2009 Cheshvan 25, 5770

America, stop sucking up to Israel

You read right. Haaretz published a column by Gideon Levy, entitled, "America stop sucking up to Israel."


America, stop sucking up to Israel
By Gideon Levy

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1124928.html

Posted by: markoller | November 21, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

A little history helps-When Nixon abolished the draft the Military realized they would be bereft of MD's without it. So they conned us into funding a Military Medical School. Basically it guarantees students who otherwise couldn't get into regular US Med School physician status free of charge. This avoids the very awkward situation of the sons and daughters of the power elite of our medical establishment of having to serve their country. The nerve asking for 4 years from those who enjoy the best of life and grow up privileged. When the student emerges as a physician they automatically become a Captain. After X number of years they must be promoted to Major or rifted. That is one side of the equation. The other side is that Political Correctness, Affirmative Action and a failure to confront those of middle eastern persuasion over their conduct for fear of EEOC, ACLU or CAIR retaliation pretty much sealed the deal. So the answer to your question is the politicans in Washington who architected the social policies the past 40 years that now dominate the landscape are the guilty parties.

Posted by: ALANROBINSON | November 21, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

WE have all read about the meeting of Walter Reed psychiatrists and the speech Hasan gave to them. NOT ONE of them was concerned enough to report its incendiary content to anyone higher up in the military.

If these are the types of psychiatrist available to our troops, no wonder the suicide rate is rising! Probably any layman would have been concerned enough to report Hasan's comments.

Or was this the same kind of "protect our own" that we see so often in the medical field?

Posted by: Utahreb | November 23, 2009 7:50 AM | Report abuse

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