Walter Reed Official: ‘You Would Not Want Nidal Hasan in Your Foxhole’

November 12, 2009

(ChattahBox)—A group of Walter Reed Army Medical Center officials began to voice their increasing uneasiness, as early as the spring of 2008, with the odd behavior and mental state of the Fort Hood mass murderer, Maj. Nidal Hasan, accused of gunning down his fellow soldiers, killing 13 and wounding 30. The top mental health officials at Walter Reed and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, met several times to discuss whether Hasan was psychotic and fit to serve as a military psychiatrist.

According to a NPR piece, the mental health officials regularly convened in a monthly committee meeting to discuss pressing issues surrounding the personnel who worked and trained at the military institutions. Frequently on the monthly agenda, was the topic of Maj. Nidal Hasan’s continued poor job performance and his alarming behavior, described at times, as “disconnected, aloof, paranoid, belligerent and schizoid.”

Since first arriving at Walter Reed in 2003 to work as a psychiatrist, officials there began to closely monitor him. Hasan began to vocalize extremist Islamic views to students, colleagues and even patients, telling one patient “Islam can save your soul.”

The committee members began to ponder whether Hasan posed a danger to his fellow soldiers and whether he was capable of fratricide.

There is no doubt that the Walter Reed psychiatrists were spooked by Hasan. One official is quoted as saying about the Fort Hood killer, “Everybody felt that if you were deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, you would not want Nidal Hasan in your foxhole.”

In the end, Hasan was transferred to Fort Hood and the committee members reasoned that the Killeen, Texas military base, with its large crop of mental health specialists could better monitor his behavior. But Walter Reed officials were essentially punting the problem over to Fort Hood.

Why didn’t officials at Walter Reed force Hasan to undergo a mental health evaluation or even strip him of his duties? A big part of the officials’ inaction was due to bureaucratic hurdles that made it virtually impossible to expel military doctors.

And there was the fact that there was really no clear evidence that Hasan was mentally unfit, which gave them pause, concerned with the appearance of religious discrimination, because of Hasan’s Muslim beliefs.

Lastly, the officials debating the “Hasan problem” were not made aware that Hasan had communicated with an Islamic extremist.

Soon after Hasan left Walter Reed all of the officials’ worst fears came true. Could the Fort Hood tragedy have been prevented? The Military, the psychiatrists at Walter Reed and the FBI will all be trying to answer that very question in the weeks ahead.

See NPR for more.


3 Responses to “Walter Reed Official: ‘You Would Not Want Nidal Hasan in Your Foxhole’”

  1. Adam C. Sieracki on November 12th, 2009 6:31 pm

    The sad reality is that the Muslim ‘Ummah’ is becoming homogenised, under the spell of Saudi Arabia’s Salafi sect. Other sects of Islam–the Ismailis, the Alevis–are more ‘Western’ than many Christians. However, they’re becoming the minority, as Salafi Islam rides Gulf petrodollars to top-dog status. Most ‘reverts’, including those converted in prisons, adopt Islam under the guidance of Salafi Imams, many of whom were trained in Saudi-funded madrassas. Salafis control most Islamic lobby groups in North America and Britain, such as CAIR and the Muslim Students Associations.

    Since Salafi Islam is highly intolerant of post-Mohammedian religions (e.g., the Baha’is, Druze), viciously antisemitic, terribly homophobic (although, like Sufism, tolerating pederasty) and brutally misogynistic, Westerners should have grave reservations about allowing this religion to spread in our countries, let alone the armed forces. Canada and the U.S. made the cruel mistake of racially-profiling Japanese Canadians and Americans in WW II, when NONE of them displayed a single incident of sedition. Yet, we’ve gone 180 degrees here, with our kid-glove treatment of openly seditious, jihadist radical Muslims.

  2. Steve L on November 21st, 2009 9:29 pm

    I agree with Adam’s 180 comment-

    The first reaction of CNN etc. was to fall over themselves telling us that this was nothing to do with terrorism or Islam -and that if anything, it was our unfair prejudice and harassment that provoked this poor man. I heard this point hammered over and over again. Meanwhile everybody privately guessed the truth pretty quickly.

    I get that not all Muslims are terrorists, and that you will always score more intellectual-sophistication points being self deprecating. But to completely misrepresent the situation for ideological reasons is a very expensive pretension in terms of the lives of military and civilians around the world.

    As for the Japanese internment, we will never know how many innocent lives that saved.- Which is a lot better than being able to count the dead as in this case.
    Stopping Saddam years earlier would have saved 600,000 documented executions, and we’d have never known that either.

  3. Ft. Hood Shooting Report Cites Army Officers for Discipline | ChattahBox News Blog on January 15th, 2010 12:55 pm

    […] official said that the seriousness of Hasan’s professional deficiencies over the course of his career should have resulted in his removal from service. “Had those […]

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