Jonah Goldberg writes, “After the September 11 attacks, we had the 9/11 Commission and countless knock-off studies, committees, investigations, hearings, journalistic exposés, and outings of fact-finders. The lesson from all of them was that in order to make sure ‘this never happens again,’ we must get better at connecting the dots.”
Until we all go back to sleep, and resume the mindset of better screwed than rude:
“As a senior-year psychiatric resident at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Maj. Nidal M. Hasan was supposed to make a presentation on a medical topic of his choosing as a culminating exercise of the residency program,” reports the Washington Post.
Hasan went a different way. He opted to give a bizarre PowerPoint presentation in which he defended suicide bombing, explaining that non-believers should be beheaded, be burned alive, and have boiling oil poured down their throats (presumably not in that order). He argued that all Muslims should be discharged from the military.
One slide concluded: “We love death more then [sic] you love life!”
According to the Post, the medical staff in attendance was deeply disturbed by the incident. But there’s apparently no record of anyone’s reporting it to authorities. That would be insensitive and discriminatory.
The following year, intelligence officials discovered that Hasan had been sending e-mails to Anwar al-Aulaqi, a prominent American-born radical cleric now based in Yemen with ties to al-Qaeda.
The FBI concluded it was no big deal and dropped the matter. “Investigators,” reports the Post, “said Hasan’s e-mails were consistent with the topic of his academic research and involved some social chatter and religious discourse.”
Ah yes, his “academic research,” which was laid out so rigorously in his PowerPoint presentation.
Hasan also reportedly expressed joy over the murder of an Army recruiter in Arkansas. His views were not a secret to his colleagues, nor apparently to his patients, whom he tried to proselytize.
Maybe the e-mails seemed innocuous enough. Maybe.
But you know, I’ve been interviewed by the FBI a few times as part of routine background checks for friends and colleagues seeking government jobs. The G-Men ask all sorts of probing questions. If a friend of mine supported suicide bombings and attacks on American soil, I think it would have come up.
When my wife was up for a job at the Justice Department, her background-checker grilled her relentlessly over the fact she once had a reduction in her rent by $100 a month. It was as if this proved she had a gambling problem, or credit issues, or was a sleeper agent for the Bulgarian KGB or something.
Apparently, the FBI’s investigation of Hasan was not that thorough. When the FBI “investigated,” it seems they went looking for a reason not to investigate — and they found it.
No dots there. Johnell Bryants everywhere.
If Bryant’s name understandably doesn’t ring a bell, click over to the beginning of Jonah’s essay; and check out this Mark Steyn column from 2005 referencing her role in, as he put it, “the defining encounter of the age.”
Related: Patrick Poole explains, “Why There Will Be More Military Base Shootings”:
I was giving a briefing on Islamic radicalization and current domestic terror threats at a military conference earlier this year when I was approached afterward by an Army colonel who asked exactly what could be done to counter such threats. He was taken aback when I replied, “The military can’t and won’t do what it needs to about jihadism, and we are going to see body bags coming out of our recruiting centers and military bases for the foreseeable future.”
Read the whole thing.