Fort Hood Murders: What Won't Be Discussed

On Thursday, November 5th, Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan used handguns to fire upon fellow soldiers at Fort Hood Texas, killing 13 and wounding 30.

The base commander says soldiers who witnessed the shooting reported that Major Hasan shouted “Allah Akbar!” (God is great) before opening fire. Hasan, an American citizen and a practicing Muslim, himself was shot four times, and is presently hospitalized in stable condition. Originally it was thought that Hasan was killed, but later his survival was confirmed.

Hasan is a physician…a psychiatrist in fact. He recently worked at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Maryland, one of the primary places that wounded Gulf War soldiers are treated for horrific injuries. But those same wounded soldiers bring back deep mental wounds, and Hasan's specialty was in counseling and helping soldiers suffering the mental anguish from war.

Major Hasan was scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan, and reports say that he was angry about his deployment.

Over the coming weeks and months, military investigators will work to determine Major Hasan's motivation for the murders. If found competent, he will likely stand trial for the murders and injuries. However, you should expect that the findings will be "spun" in a way that absolves Washington and the military from any responsibility for their part in the murders.

Nothing in this article should be misconstrued as a tacit approval of Hanan's acts. Murder is always murder, and killing 13 and wounding 30 is an horrific slaughter. No justification exists for this act.

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Here are some points that likely will be off-limits in the mainstream media:

1. The morality of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. George Bush's administration and Congress lied the US into an Iraq war against their own puppet dictator Saddam Hussein. It was never proven that Hussein or Iraq had ANY involvement in the 9-11 attacks. President Obama has now fully embraced war in Iraq and Afghanistan which continues unabated.

2. The legality of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. No declaration of war has ever been enacted by the US Congress, which is required in the Constitution.

3. Base security and the Second Amendment. Military personnel do not forsake their rights under the Second Amendment when they take their Oath of Service, do they? The fact that the soldiers on bases across the world are unarmed makes it easy for any assailant to do his work. Universities like Virginia Tech (curiously Hasan's alma mater, where another mass murder incident took place), public schools, and government buildings are also open kill zones for armed gunmen. Just one soldier carrying his sidearm at Fort Hood could have stopped the slaughter. One soldier. One.

4. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Part of PTSD is the mental anguish military personnel experience when they have done unspeakable things in war that conflicts with their moral code. How do you live with yourself when your actions caused the deaths of women and children who never did anything to deserve death? How do you cope with seeing thousands of people bombed out of their homes and turned into refugees? How do you cope with seeing your buddies blown to bits by IEDs? How do you deal with the disease, displacement and death that your very presence in a foreign country delivers? Most military personnel live through it, albeit mentally tortured. But some choose #5.

5. Suicide rates in the military. News stories about alarmingly high suicide rates in the military have been surfacing since 2001 when the US began its military adventures in Iraq. The fact that military personnel have been deployed multiple times is a giant factor. The fact that National Guard and Reservists have also been deployed to "the sandbox" multiple times is another suicide factor. Finally, soldiers see…and cause…thousands of civilian deaths in both countries. The military personnel ask "what are we doing here?" and find no answer. They can't escape their service, can't desert their post and hop a plane for home, find themselves 5,000 miles from home with no solutions, or are scheduled for a mandatory deployment that they cannot avoid without court martial. So, in hopelessness and despair, many kill themselves.

6. Desertion: defined in Article 85 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice as "Any member of the armed forces who (1) without authority goes or remains absent from his unit, organization, or place of duty with intent to remain away therefrom permanently; or the abandonment of military duty without leave and without the intent to return." Only in the military…or slavery… is a soldier "owned property," subject to court martial, death or imprisonment for "quitting" his job. Desertion rates are up significantly since 2001, with many deserters heading to Canada or some other nation for asylum.

Major Hasan is a devout Muslim, so his story will likely be spun about Islam and terrorism. Reports say that he has expressed grave concerns about waging war against fellow Muslims. This is a legitimate concern for any devout believer.

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But Hanan had other options. He could have refused the deployment for religious reasons (Conscientious Objector status), or simply the reason that he refused to obey an order he believed to be an unlawful order. Lieutenant Ehren Watada refused to deploy to Iraq in 2006. Watada said he believed the war to be illegal and that, under the doctrine of command responsibility, it would make him party to war crimes. The Army lost the initial court martial ruling, dropped the second court martial in 2008 and discharged him from the Army.

Washington's leaders and minions set the stage for this tragedy. But don't look to them to take any responsibility for the toxic environment that our military personnel are forced to live under. Isn't this akin to abusing a dog over years, and then feigning surprise when the dog attacks someone? Should we not treat our fellow humans better than our pets?

Think about this. Do you believe that any military personnel, constitutionally deployed within the borders of the Unites States of America in a purely defensive status would ever have reason to react in this manner?

Does this have anything to do with state secession? Yes, it does.

Hanan’s actions are what is commonly referred to as “blowback”…the unintended consequences of government policy. Nations that don’t invade other nations don’t have these kinds of tragic events as a rule. And states that eventually secede from the US, and keep their militias within their own borders, defending the new nation from invasion, won’t have them either.

November 7, 2009