Tag archives: Nidal Hasan

The Nidal Hasan Case: Justice Delayed

by Robert Morrison

May 23, 2013

It could hardly be more of what we used to call an “open and shut” case. Nidal Hasan, an active duty Army major and psychiatrist, walked into a room at Fort Hood, Texas, shouting “Allahu Akbar!” and shot thirty people, killing fourteen. One of his victims, Francheska Velez, was pregnant at the time.

She cried out “My baby! My baby!” but Hasan killed her and her unborn child anyway. The Obama administration has elected not to charge Hasan with violation of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, even though the law was passed explicitly to cover such instances.

The Fort Hood shootings occurred in November 2009. Hasan is only now slated to be brought before a court martial. The proceedings are scheduled to begin by July 1st, three and a half years after the killings. The old maxim is: “Justice delayed is justice denied.” The foot-dragging on the part of the Obama administration in this case is unconscionable.

Because of these interminable delays, Hasan has been allowed to accumulate some $278,000 in pay and benefits as he awaits his court martial. Army spokesmen say Hasan has “earned” that much because he has not yet been convicted of anything and we must presume his innocence.

Must we presume it for three and a half years? It’s useful to compare the Obama administration’s treatment of Nidal Hasan with the Roosevelt administration’s actions toward captured Nazi saboteurs in World War II.

Eight German and German-American fighters in two squads were landed in June 1942, by U-boats on the beaches of Florida and Long Island. The Long Island group was spotted by a young U.S. Coast Guardsman. Seaman John C. Cullen refused a bribe from the Nazis and alerted his superiors back at his station. Because they had changed into civilian clothes, the saboteurs would be regarded as spies if apprehended.

Apprehended they soon were, as one of their number, George Dash, ratted out his cohorts. They had orders from their Nazi superiors to blow up war industries and military installations. By order of President Roosevelt, they were tried before a secret military tribunal on July 2, 1942.

The National Archives tells the story:

Matters moved quickly for [Army Judge Advocate General Myron C.] Cramer since he and [U.S. Attorney General Francis] Biddle began presenting evidence to the tribunal on July 8. Preliminary arguments and the taking of testimony took 16 days—an average of two days for each accused. The military commission completed its work on August 1, when it found all eight defendants guilty of “attempting to commit sabotage, espionage, and other hostile acts” and “conspiracy” to commit these same offenses. Cramer and Biddle argued that the Germans must be sentenced to death, and the commission agreed. Roosevelt approved the death sentence for six of the eight men, and those six were electrocuted on August 8, 1942. The other two were imprisoned and later deported to Germany after the war. The U.S. Supreme Court later upheld the jurisdiction of the military commission, and the lawfulness of its proceedings, in the case of Ex parte Quirin, which continues to be cited with approval by today’s Supreme Court.

Cramer’s work as co-prosecutor was praised by his superior as “historic evidence of his legal ability and sound judgment.” He and Biddle had successfully completed the first military commission convened by a President and had achieved the best possible results for the government.

I am not necessarily endorsing capital punishment in this column. FRC has not taken a position on that question. But clearly this was no drumhead court martial. Instead, it was a serious and expeditious judicial proceeding. Our government was then able to act with speed and justice in prosecuting our enemies in wartime “to the full extent of the law.”

Nidal Hasan was known to federal investigators. He had been under surveillance for some time. As a medical graduate student, he had openly advocated jihad and justified killing “infidels.” And still he was allowed to continue in uniform as a major in the Army.

Even after his murderous spree in 2009, political correctness was not furloughed. The Army’s Chief of Staff, General George Casey, rushed to the Sunday TV talk shows and said: “As great a tragedy as this was, it would be a shame if our diversity became a casualty as well.” What the general seems not to have understood is that it is only by enforcing the Oath of Office that all service members voluntarily take that we can have the level of trust for all our troops that a vigorous national defense requires.

While Nidal Hasan continues to accrue pay and benefits, this administration has classified his killings as “workplace violence.” Thus, his injured victims have been denied Purple Hearts and the status of combat-wounded veterans. A bi-partisan group of congressmen, including Reps. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.), Frank Wolf (R-Va.) and Chaka Fattah (D-Penn.) have written to Defense Sec. Chuck Hagel urging him to re-classify theFortHood killings as “combat-related.”

This would seem to be the bare minimum this administration could do to show it is serious about the defense of theUnited States. And it could also benefit from reading how their great liberal Democratic model, Franklin D. Roosevelt, acted in time of war.

Explaining the Inexplicable

by Robert Morrison

November 11, 2009

President Obama spoke to an interviewer about the Ft. Hood shootings. He had just come from the Memorial Service for the fourteen people whose lives were taken by the terrorist, Nidal Hasan:

OBAMA: In a country of 300 million people, there are going to be acts of violence that are inexplicable, even within the extraordinary military that we have. I think everybody understands how outstanding the young men and women in uniform are under the most severe stress. There are going to instances, in which an individual cracks.

Forget, for the moment, this confused part of the statement that seems to psychologize the killers actions. I want to focus on the inexplicable part.

This is a serious problem for liberals. They are forever finding such murderous acts inexplicable. They often employ words like random and senseless acts of violence. One of their favorite bumper stickers is Practice random acts of kindness. Random is okay if its kind. But if kindness and terror are truly random, whats the moral difference?

Whatever.

Historian John Lukacs can help these confused people. Lukacs has developed deep insight into the mind and character of Adolf Hitler. In books like The Duel and The Hitler of History, Lukacs enables us to understand some of what is inexplicable to President Obama.

Hitler, Lukacs writes, was not a monster. He certainly did monstrous things. Think of all those childrens shoes in the Holocaust Museum. Thats enough to appreciate monstrous acts. But if we think of Hitler as a monster, then there really is no lesson to be drawn from his life. Monsters are like aliens. Theyre inhuman. They are not like us.

Nor was Hitler insane. It may seem insane to us for anyone to plan to murder all the Jewish people, enslave all the Poles, and sterilize all the Ukrainians. Simply to dream that anyone could invade Russia and give orders to shoot millions on sight partakes of madness. But if Hitler was insane, Lukacs teaches us, then he is not morally responsible.

We do not hold even mass murderers responsible for the actions. He was not mad.

No, Hitler was evil. Not a monster, not a madman, but a very, very evil man. We need to understand mans capacity for evil. Didnt the Twentieth Century teach us anything? Lets all take time off and read Dostoevskys Crime and Punishment.

This week, weve seen another great public ceremony, the celebration of the anniversary of Fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Retired NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw managed to hold forth for 1 12 hours at the Newseum last week about the great events of that November evening. He never mentioned Reagan. Well, we understand why. Nor did he mention Communism. Or the KGB. Nor did he use the word evil.

Similarly, President Obama hailed the coming down of the Wall. But his remarks seemed more to be commemorating the removal of an architectural barrier than the end of something cruel and unjust. After all, the Soviet puppet regime in East Germany managed over twenty-eight years to shoot 136 people who tried to escape. Is it somehow more explicable to kill ten times as many innocent people as the Ft. Hood shooter if we stretch out the killings over three decades?

According to the Zentrum fur Zeithistorische Forschung (ZZF) (Center for Research on Contemporary History) in Potsdam, East German border guards were given these inhuman orders: Do not hesitate to use your firearm, not even when the border is breached in the company of women and children, which is a tactic the traitors have often used.

Germany has worked hard to reconcile its people, or peoples. But avoiding mention of the evil implicit in orders given to armed young men to shoot women and children will not help national reunification.

What happened at Ft. Hood was evil. What happened at the Wall was evil. We need to face reality. It is especially important that our President understand reality. Three hundred million lives depend upon it.

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