Fort Hood Massacre: A Day of Courage and Cowardice

Anderson Cooper 360 was somewhat more informative than what had gone before. But at 11 P.M., halfway through his program, CNN International cut away from Cooper to return to its own programming -- which consisted of essentially the same lineup of not terribly earthshaking international stories that they’d been serving up hours earlier. Fortunately, I was able to listen to the second half of Cooper’s program on Sirius radio. Thanks to Sirius I was able to hear Cooper speak warmly of CAIR at 11:30 EST, saying that the organization had “condemn[ed] the attacks in the strongest terms possible.” Cooper also quoted a posting by Hasad on an Islamist website about martyrdom and jihad. Case closed, one would think -- but no, Cooper immediately glided from this damning evidence into a description of Hasad not as a jihadist but as a man deeply troubled (just as you or I might be) by “the war in Iraq” and by disagreement with “U.S. foreign policy.”

Also included on Cooper’s show was an exclusive report revealing that Hasan had sometimes worn traditional Muslim garb (this was accompanied by a surveillance-camera video, which I later watched here, showing him actually wearing such garb on Thursday morning), had described himself to a local merchant as “a devout Muslim,” and had tried to persuade the merchant to accompany him to his mosque. Yet this information was left hanging. Cooper said nothing to indicate that these revelations suggested any particular interpretation of Thursday’s events. On the contrary, after wrapping up this story, he reiterated for the umpteenth time that we still don’t know anything -- other than that this had been a day no one at Fort Hood would ever forget.

Then, after Cooper was over, we got a “special edition” of Larry King Live hosted by Wolf Blitzer. This one really took the cake.  By way of “illuminating” Hasan’s actions, Blitzer interviewed a panel of -- no, not experts on Islamic jihad, but psychiatrists.  Blitzer endlessly repeated the mantra that Hasan had been “taunted” for being Muslim, had feared going to a war zone, and had ultimately gone “berserk,” and the docs echoed this line. “He did not reach for help when he should have," lamented one panelist. Another opined: “It sounded like it got to be too much for him.” Yet another told us: “All kind of people need help who aren't getting help. ... He was feeling picked on by his colleagues. ... He was strained. He was scared.”

Could there be a more bitter contrast? At Fort Hood, so many courageous GIs, all of them prepared to risk their lives fighting the Islamic jihadist enemy in defense of our freedom, several of them now dead. And, on our TV screens, so many apparently craven journalists, public officials, psychiatrists, and (alas) even military brass -- all but a few of whom seemed unwilling to do anything more than hint obliquely at the truth that obviously lies at the root of this monstrous act.