Nov. 12, 2009
So the emails the terrorist Hasan sent to a jihadist imam in Yemen were not deemed threatening? What if they were in code? American cryptographers succeeded in breaking the Japanese naval codes before Pearl Harbor. But they got messages like: Climb Mount Iitaka. How were U.S. intelligence officers supposed to know that that was the code name for the attack on the U.S. Naval Base in Hawaii?
Shouldnt it be our policy that any contact between anyone in the U.S. and any jihadist abroad would be enough to bring the FBI swooping in? We should not care if our person of interest is asking the radical about the weather, or mountain climbing.
Thats what we would be doing if this administration were serious about the war on terror, which it is not. Franklin D. Roosevelt was the most liberal President before Barack Obama. But FDR was serious about our nations defense. When German-Americans came ashore planning to blow up electric power grids, Roosevelt had them arrested. He didnt send them to Club Gitmo to read Mein Kampf under the palms. He had the captured saboteurs tried--in secret, by military tribunal--at the Washington Navy Yard. To make sure his Attorney General didnt spend his time searching for new precedents on the civil liberties of would-be mass murderers, Roosevelt assigned Attorney General Biddle to lead the prosecution. The convicted terrorists were swiftly executed, by electric chair.
As to the response of the Army brass to Hasans obvious, flag-waving jihadism, it keeps getting worse. Reporters viewing Hasans Texas apartment found prescription drugs--prescriptions that Hasan apparently wrote for himself. That these prescriptions were apparently filled in military pharmacies shows a near-total breakdown of security. Physicians are not permitted to write their own scrips. Thats basic.
Imagine this scene: Mo is a civilian employee in a Navy hospital. Hes a Gulf War veteran. He seems to spend an inordinate amount of time drawing pictures of the Commanding Officer (CO) with a noose around his neck. Other employees, civilian and military, are concerned. Questioned about it, Mo says: I want to see the CO with a rope around his neck, with his eyes bulging out.
The Executive Officer (XO), informed by Mos immediate supervisor, moves quickly. Mo must go, says XO. Theres resistance from civilian personnel. XO does not budge. XO does not recommend sensitivity training, or counseling by the base chaplain. Mo must go. Do you realize hell still be getting full pay and benefits, they ask XO. I dont care, says XO, hes a danger to my people. He cannot work here. Unused to such determination, civilian personnel tries another tack: Captain, have you ever worked with civilian employees before? Yes, says
XO firmly, for about 25 years. Mo must go.
Mo went. That day. No compromise was allowed when an employee threatened to go postal.
Mo knew where XO lived, just a few hundred yards from the hospital. Mo might have gone into XOs quarters and shot the place up, killing the family that lived there.
XO knew that when she gave the order Mo must go. And I will be grateful forever to my wonderful wife, Captain Kathleen Morrison, for giving that order.
Captain Kathleen Morrison retired from the Medical Service Corps of the U.S. Navy in 2001, three months before 9/11. She served for 30 years.