Blaming the Army for Hasan's Terrorism

Major Nidal Malik Hasan’s deadly terrorist attack last week at Fort Hood is generating plenty of finger pointing at the military for the debacle. While the indignation is understandable, and while the army brass bears a share of the responsibility for Hasan’s terrorism, having the military bear a disproportionate share of the criticism is both unfair and misguided. Doing so plays right into the hands of liberals, who would rather have America’s warriors take the heat.

A good deal of conservative ire has been leveled at the military for adopting political correctness codes. But is the military really to blame for this development, or are the culprits the politicians to whom the military brass reports?

The Constitution makes the military subordinate to civilian command. That’s more than just form, thank goodness. The military obeys the president and follows the laws established by Congress. The Founders wanted the military subordinate to civilian command, for obvious reasons.

Liberals have had great success over the years insinuating political correctness into the very fabric of the national government. They’ve accomplished this not only by using the law and directives or manipulating budgets, but with substantial acts of intimidation.Those who oppose quotas of any sort, for instance, or who make reasonable arguments against special laws and penalties for so-called hate crimes, are vilified as bigots.

The same goes for the military, with the glaring proviso that the president and Congress hold the military’s purse strings entirely. They also have the power to promote or demote, to advance or ruin careers. They run the show.

Given Washington’s de jure and de facto control over the military, it’s no small wonder that Hasan was able to remain in the army and move up the ladder despite giving every indication that his first loyalty lay with the aims of radical Islam.

Again, that’s not to let the army brass off the hook. Regardless of Washington’s legal and practical power, there are moral and ethical imperatives. If officers need to shout it from the rooftops that a fellow officer is hostile to his own nation and, in fact, is a militant for the nation’s enemy, then that must happen, whatever the fallout is to funding or careers. When there are reasonable suspicions that innocent human beings are imperiled -- and that was most likely the case given Hasan’s public utterances -- then action is unavoidable.