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06 November 2009


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Ft Hood is named after the one armed Confederate general John Bell Hood whose aggressive defense of Atlanta only wound up costing casualties. Though born in KY, Texas was his adopted home.

Some speculate if Joseph E. Johnston had remained commander of the Battle of Atlanta & employed dilatory tactics, the surrender of Atlanta may have been put off & George E. McClelan might have won the election of 1864 against A. Lincoln.

See the distinctive 1st Cav triangular patch w/ the horse on the TV reports. Used to see the that patch all over Vietnam- quite distinctive. A proud outfit. Didn't need this tragedy!


actually I am from Germany
we used to have this militaristic thing. Nowadays if you are a conscientious objector you do not have to go. Religion does qualify as any Jehovas Witness might tell you (they and the Bible Researchers were the brave ones you went to concentration camps because they refused to go to war), religion does not have to be something you are born with, you can also convert.
Institutions do not own people after they paid them an education, they can ask their money back. A doctor should be able to pay, Does the bill of rights say something else, or do you stop having human rights after you joined the army?

Patrick Lang


This guy has nothing to do with the 1st Cavalry Division. pl

Patrick Lang


You can argue with the Muslims over how much "right" one of them has to convert to another religion. Their view is NONE.

This man is a commissioned officer of the US Army. He has no legal right of any kind to resign unless the government accepts his resignation. He knew that when he became an officer.


Patrick Lang


You may have missed the fact that we do not have conscription in the US. It is now nearly 30 years that we have not had the draft.

This man went out of his way to take the government's money and education. The medical school that he attended is the property of the Defense Department. He would never have been admitted if he had not been already a soldier. With that education came the obligation to serve. pl

William R. Cumming

PL! Can the proposed issuance of a lawful order ever be considered a threat? The reason I ask is that I saw repeated circumstances while on active duty from 1967-1970 where officers or NCO's threatened someone with an order which was a completely lawful order in my opinion! Both the "Order issuer" and the potential "order receiver" seemed both impliedly and implicity to view the suggestion as a threat? IN basic training, even potential assignment to KP (completely legal) was perceived by most basic trainees as a threat. Strangely I enjoyed KP as a break but did often wonder what training I was missing that might keep me alive at later time. So always asked my DI and fellow trainees what I had missed.

Spencer Watkins

"The manager of the apartment complex said Hasan recently was involved in a spat with another soldier living there over Hasan's religious beliefs. A bumper sticker that read "Allah is Love" was ripped off Hasan's car, which was keyed, said the manager, John Thompson."

Thompson said the neighbor had been in Iraq and was upset to learn that Hasan was Muslim.

Another neighbor, 42-year-old Kim Rosenthal said Hasan didn't seem too upset by his scratched vehicle.

"He said it was Ramadan and that he had to forgive people," Rosenthal said. "He forgave him and moved on."



I don't know where Somebody is from, but judging his/her grammar, English is not his/her first language.

Patrick Lang


Just so we understand what Hasan got from the military I offer this quotation from the website of the Edward Hebert medical school:

"Debt Free Education
Students at the Uniformed Services University have the unique luxury of focusing on their education without the worry of incurring monetary debt. Students pay no tuition or fees, and in fact, receive the full salary and benefits of a uniformed officer throughout their four years at the university in exchange for a seven-year active duty service commitment.

Each student's monthly salary comprises three categories of pay and allowances: base pay, basic allowance for subsistence (BAS) and basic allowance for housing (BAH).

Breakdown of Monthly Salary at Grade 0-1 in 2008

Type of Pay
Without Dependents ($)
With Dependents ($)

Monthly base pay

Basic allowance for subsistence

Basic allowance for housing

Monthly total (gross pay)

And then he went on to a salaried (captain) fully funded residency in psychiatry.



Col. Lang:

Thank you for your summary. Short of the medics discovering that Major Hasan is suffering from some obscure medical disorder that prevents him from thinking clearly, I doubt very much that any additional behavioral data will change the substance of your analysis.

On hearing about Fort Hood I immediately thought of the tragedy of Sgt Russell at Camp Liberty where seemingly no one wanted to believe the worst case was possible. Moreover, there were no reports of mechanisms being in place to ensure that such a possibility would even be considered. That is, despite well documented concerns about Russell’s ability to carry out his duties in an appropriate way there were no SOPs to assess the lethality of those concerns.

For Major Hasan we may well have the same problem. From all accounts he has been waving red flags that make clear for those who have eyes to see that he did not see himself as one of us. Alienation and isolation from others, with a general lack of conformity to social mores and professional practices seems to have been the hallmark of his personal life and professional military career. This behavior pattern is much more tolerable and a hell of a lot less lethal in an engineer or computer tech than it is in a psychiatrist charged with making life decisions about the military personnel he is treating.

Your precis pulls these things together in a way that makes their meaning unavoidable. Major Hasan was not ‘working out. Yet even had such a behavioral summary been at hand, it is not likely that a discharge for the good of the service would have been forthcoming. As you point out, ironically there is the possibility that even if all the ‘negatives’ about Maj. Hasan were publicly known, “. . . the Army had invested so much in him that this probably would not have affected retention decisions about him.”

This is the ultimate tragedy.

Patrick Lang


Ahlan bik!

One thing I don't understand in this is whether or not the Army paid for this guy's undergaduate degree at VPI. The university says that he was never in ROTC there, but his family says that he joined the Army right out of HS. What's the deal? pl


So they were his own personal weapons he used?
Why was a medico officer carrying on a USA soil base? That is not SOP.

Patrick Lang


An officer can carry anything on or off a post. p

Clifford Kiracofe

Well looking at breaking stories,

1. I note that the terrorist may have used an FN 5.7 pistol and authorities are investigating this angle and a local gun shop's recent sales. These are a new product line of a respected manufacturer and the clip holds 20 rounds.

Thus with the earlier reported two pistols, if there were two of this type, the shooter would have had 40 rounds to start with. Then changes one clip and keeps going.

However, I saw a story that now reports he had ONE pistol. Thus, if this were the case, he would have had to use 3 clips at a minimum to be able to kill 12, and wound 31...ie 43 rounds minimum.

I am not unfamiliar with pistols of this type and rapid fire. Certainly there are many SST readers with a lot more practical experience in this area. But I am having a hard time, however, reconstructing the crime scene based on present news reports. It may be that he could have done all this damage on his own in close quarters but: 1) did he have associates? or 2) was there an issue of friendly fire from police or whomever which resulted in some of the casualties? To me at this point, the math just doesn't "add up" yet.

2. Some news reports are now indicating that he was very vocal in a political Muslim manner. People who knew him are now quoted as saying he felt the US war in Iraq was anti-Muslim and so on.

"Nov. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people and wounding 30 others at the Fort Hood Army Base in Texas, regularly described the war on terror as “a war against Islam,” according to a doctor who was in a graduate program with him.

While studying for a masters degree in public health in 2007, Hasan used a presentation for an environmental health class to argue that Muslims were being targeted by the U.S. anti-terror campaign, said Val Finnell, a classmate.

“He was very vocal about the war, very upfront about being a Muslim first and an American second,” said Finnell, 41, a preventive medicine doctor in Los Angeles, in an interview today. “He was always concerned that Muslims in the military were being persecuted.”

Palestinian issues have not yet been mentioned from what I have seen today. Thus indications about his ideological orientation appear to be more on the political Islam side.

3. Prejudice??? Well anyone remember the "Irish Need Not Apply Here" signs? "Dagos" for Italians, "Krauts" for Germans, "Pollaks" for Polish; "Kikes" for Jews; anti-Catholicism against Italians and German Catholics? And on and on...just review US social history for the last few hundred years.

4. I am astonished to read on this SST thread the idea that US troops should not be assigned to fight for their country somewhere owing to their racial or religious sensitivities?

What about, for example, all those (German) Americans and (Italian) Americans who as AMERICAN patriots fought in WWI and WWII with NO hesitation to defend their country, namely the USA?! How about the German Americans who fought against Germans in Germany? Or Italian Americans who fought Italians in Italy? To put this on a religious basis: German American Protestants or Catholics fighting German Protestants and Catholics? American Italian Catholics fighting Italian Catholics?

Did I misread some statements here which I took to say that Muslim American troops should not be deployed in Muslim countries because they would have to shoot at, or support a US war effort, against fellow Muslims?

Are we getting into some core issues of loyalty here?


Col. I am married to a Palestinian Christian. They are a wonderful people, but profoundly exasperating in their inability to build bridges with others--or seem to understand, as you say, that the world doesn't run on justice.

I have taken one trip to the Occupied West Bank with my wife. That was enough.

"The Israelis are lucky that I am not a Palestinian. pl"



Would the Army have found a way to release this man if it were not under such strain?


Someone has leaked his Officer Record Brief. I'm not familiar with Army records, so maybe someone else can provide some analysis.

The ROTC thing is very strange. According to this release from VT, he began is undergraduate coursework in 1992 and "completed coursework" in 1995. Does that mean he actually graduated in 1995? If so, there's no way he could have been in ROTC and received a commission in 1997.

Ken Hoop

Cliff above refers to Nidal's possible interest in Palestine as evidence of "non-assimilation" of one who was born American. Might we apply that standard to Jewish American identification with Israel?

Cloned Poster

How about "US Army" turns guns on itself?

Patrick Lang


Means what?



One more thing. He was born in 1970 which means he probably graduated high school in 1988 or maybe 1989. How could he have joined the Army right out of HS since he got his commission in 1997? I don't see anything to indicate he was prior enlisted. I'm sure people will be looking at what he did during that timeframe.

Patrick Lang


And why not?

Apropos of nothing, I had an Albanian Muslim named Ali in my first rifle platoon. He was a machine gunner (Browning crew served .30 caliber). I used to have to have to "wrestle" him to carry the gun on the march. pl


I'm curious...after reading this from Fox News report (other media reportings too):

"For Military Police Sgt. Andrew Hagerman, it began with a call over the radio: "Shots fired." And then another: "Officer down." He put on his lights and sirens and raced to the scene.

The gunfire came to an end after civilian police Sgt. Kimberly Munley took the gunman down, despite being shot herself. When Hagerman arrived on the scene he saw a wounded Munley being carried into an ambulance."

What? So base MPs arrive to find civilian police have been called, have responded and have the crime scene controlled. Is this the way it's done on a base? Are MPs the primary or secondary responders on military bases?


Fox radio is calling Hasan an "embedded radical Muslim," implying he is part of an Islamic conspiracy. The right sees Islam as an inherently violent religion and the left will never admit that some Muslims think violent jihad is a duty. Both would be better informed if they would listen to Col. Lang's lecture on Islam and understand there are multifaceted interpretations and sects, and sub-sects, of Islam.

Hasan listed his nationality as Palestinian on a web page profile. That's were that came from. But on his Officer Records Brief it says "no-rel-pref." He was mentally and morally confused--he didn't know where his loyalties lay. He was alienated--had no friends or girlfriend and hadn't even told his family he was going to be deployed. He reminds me more of Travis Bickle than a dupe for al-Qaeda. That he in the end decided the only way out of his internal hell was by becoming an instrument of god tasked with ridding the world of evil is SOP for a suicidal megalomaniac. The cognitive dissonance of serving in the U.S. military that is fighting in a Muslim country sent him over the edge.

robt willmann

To guess that Major Nidal Hasan also spoke Arabic is not unreasonable.

If he did, then the question becomes: what were his deployment orders to Iraq or Afghanistan?

Was he as a person schooled in psychiatry and fluent in Arabic going to be working with young U.S. soldiers under combat stress?

Or was he going to be examining Arab prisoners, or sitting in on interrogations, or some such related activity, assuming it was not prohibited by policy for someone in his position?

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