Scrubbing Major Hasan: The Strange & Silly Media Rewrite Of The Fort Hood Shooting Spree
Written by Mark Ames
What happened to all the initial reports that accused Fort Hood killer Maj. Nidal Hasan snapped because he was distraught over the Armys refusal to grant him either a discharge or an exemption from being deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, wars which the Muslim psychiatrist abhorred and how it was this callous Army refusal to accommodate Maj. Hasan that led to his downward spiral into despondency, rage and mass murder?
We heard quite a bit about this in the first couple of days, and then poof! That part of the Fort Hood story disappeared so neatly that I almost started to wonder if Id imagined it such is the power of media bombardment versus a mere soap bubble like the human memory. I might have forgotten too and gone along with the reality-scrub, the way all of Official America has gone, but thanks to all the news archives, it was possible to check the record as it was first reported on November 5, and trace how a key part of the Nidal Hasan story was airbrushed away from reality.
The Armys pig-headed failure to accommodate Maj. Hasan was, for a time, the most important and most damaging detail forunderstanding his shooting rampage. Because if Maj. Hasan tried to get out of his deployment, and if he telegraphed every warning signal possible (emailing terrorists, cruising 7-11s in his Al Qaeda costume) to bolster his case to reverse his deployment orders, and all the while the Army bureaucracy ignored him despite his 20 years service then that means the massacre cant be blamed just on one crazy Islamofascists inner evil.
Instead, much of the blame for driving Maj. Hasan to crack would fall on his superiors in the Army, who held his fate in their hands. They could have shown some flexibility, but instead treated with the kind of callous bureaucratic insolence and nasty ethnic harassment youd expect to find in a 19th century army, not 21st century America. If the Army really did fail to respond to a million-billion signals from Maj. Hasan, then it means wed have to investigate more than just his evil little Muslim soul. Wed also have to look at the environment that changed him from a good loyal soldier into a cracked lunatic. That would mean examining just how screwed up the Army culture really is, how poorly it manages its resources and personnel, and why we went so long without knowing how bad things were
Wed also have to examine the link between Hasans rampage and the Armys record number of suicides this year which so far nearly equals the total number of US combat deaths in Iraq. A lot of this years suicides involve Army personnel which hadnt yet shipped out to the war zones, like Maj. Hasan a grim statistic that belies the chickenhawks screeching attacks denying the existence of pre-combat stress syndrome.
But the problem with investigating questions like these is that the answers could be one giant bummer nothing makes an Americans brain switch into hibernate mode more quickly.
The point being that as the horror of the Fort Hood massacre started to emerge, a lot of people were interested in superimposing a more comforting, simplistic version of events over the ambiguous, demoralizing reality. According to the new version of what led to the Fort Hood Massacre, all along Maj. Hasan was a sleeper-jihadist moled up inside the Army structure, patiently waiting for his Al Qaeda handlers in AfPak to give him the Jihadi signal and in the meantime, the Islamofascist sleeper cell ran around Walter Reed scaring the shit out of his Army colleagues for two years straight with his frothing lectures threatening to behead Infidels and pour hot oil down their necks.
This counter-intuitive version has so far managed to stick, but only because everyones officially forgotten how Hasan had desperately tried to convince his superiors not to deploy him. There was no way that this detail could be allowed to survive if the new official version was going to take hold; it wouldnt make sense that Hasan would simultaneously be plotting for two straight years to commit mass-murder, while at the same time trying to find a way out of deployment. A Jihadist would not try to get discharged from his terror target. Doesnt make sense. Hed keep quiet as he successfully wormed his way closer and closer to his Fort Hood target, if thats their story (why didnt he shoot up Walter Reed if hes a jihadist?), and not do anything that might alert his superiors to potential danger. So you can see why a lot of people would have liked to make disappear the part about how they ignored Hasans repeated requests not just the Army personnel whose asses are on the line, but the entire country which has invested so much faith and trust into the military.
As Americans lost faith in every other institution, the military stands as the last thing we believe in. According to a recent Gallup poll, the military is by far the most trusted institution 78 percent of Americans have a favorable view of the military, as opposed to a 20 percent favorable rating for the federal government.
Can we survive another attack of cognitive dissonance by popping that bubble too? Now that weve dispatched with the embarrassing detail about how the Army failed to respond to Maj. Hasans pleas, honest patriots were finally freed up to tell the harsh truth: that Major Hasan actually wanted to remain in the Army and in Fort Hood, because he was a Muslim sleeper-cell terrorist on a mission to kill Americans and though the always-alert, ever-sensitive Army personnel spotted the terrorist early, they were oppressed by the terror of political-correctness, a terror which trumped Islamic terrorism. And just like that, everyone high and low echoed the new line. Whether it was John McCain saying in a speech this month, We ought to make sure political correctness never impedes national security. Or way down the power-chain to bland middle-of-the-road columnists like Margaret Colson at Bloomberg: Whod think the U.S. Army could be seized with a sudden case of political correctness? And with regard to Muslims, no less.
Yeah, whod think?
But heres the problem: theres far too much evidence out there in the public record that contradicts our new Army-friendly version of events, which implicates the exact opposite of political-correctness. What this evidence shows is that if the Army been even marginally politically-correct, or at the very least, intelligent and reasonable, the massacre could have been avoided, lives saved, and Maj. Hasan might have been discharged to freely marry his online Burqa Queen. Instead, he faced a cold, unresponsive and abusive Army bureaucracy which over time drove Maj. Hasan to despair.
Ive gone back through the record and collected the early accounts that were more sympathetic to Maj. Hasan, and the point at which those sympathetic details got scrubbed out of the narrative, allowing the rightwings Monty Python version to replace it. There are some other surprising details I found, details which show even more parallels to a classic going postal rampage shooting. First, here are some of the most credible early sources which prove that Maj. Hasan tried and failed to get the Army to relieve him. On November 5th, I found these statements by Texas Republican congressman Michael McCaul:
U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, a Republican from Austin, was briefed by military officials and said Hasan had taken some unusual classes for someone studying about mental health.
He took a lot of extra classes in weapons training, which seems a little odd for a psychiatrist, McCaul said.
McCaul said Hasan had received poor grades for his work at Walter Reed and was not happy about his situation in Fort Hood, where Hasan apparently felt like he didnt fit in.
Hes disgruntled because he had a poor performance evaluation, he doesnt believe in the mission, hes looking at getting transferred to Afghanistan or Iraq, McCaul said. Hes not happy about all that.
McCaul added that officials planned to interview Hasan to try to determine for sure that he was not working with foreign agents.
Note the Republican congressmans use of the word disgruntledthe adjective synonymous with going postal workplace shooters. Already one of the best-informed locals likens the shooting to a workplace massacrehe didnt fit in, hes not happy about all thatand makes no suggestion of terrorism. Another thing that stands out: early reports of Maj. Hasan taking several weapons training classes have also vanishedand Id doubt there are too many people at Fort Hood eager to offer details about who trained him, how many classes he took, and how he behaved during training. And then theres Texas Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, who was the most quoted and best informed of all public figures on the day of the massacre. As early reports of the shooting were making news, Sen. Hutchison repeatedly said the shooter was a disgruntled military man:
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.) said Hasan who had worked with the wounded for years at Walter Reed Army Medical Center was angry about being sent to war and tried to get his orders changed.
Later that day, on CNNs Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, Sen. Hutchison repeated again that he was disgruntled, and that hed tried to get out of his deployment but was rebuffed. She added another key detail that again proves this was a workplace rage massacre rather than terrorism: Hasan didnt fire at random but rather singled out his perceived tormentors, many of whom he knew. He went to the center for a reason: to avenge those he believed had destroyed his life. This again shows that Maj. Hasans motive wasnt a random hatred of all Americans, but rather a going-postal attack on his tormentors:
BLITZER: Joining us on the phone is Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, Fort Hood obviously in her state. Shes been very helpful to us in our coverage Do you have any more information about this individual and what his motive may or may not have been?
SEN. KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON (R), TEXAS: Well, all I can say is that I know he was scheduled to be deployed and appeared to be upset about that.
And so I think that there is a lot of investigation going on now into his background and just, you know, what he was doing that was not known before.
BLITZER: When you say he was being deployed, was he off to Iraq, to Afghanistan? Do you know?
HUTCHISON: I have heard Iraq. I was told earlier that he was scheduled to go to Iraq, as most of the people there were. It was a number of guard units that were there who were being processed to go to Iraq and possibly some to Afghanistan. It was not clear if there were some going to Afghanistan, but I think so. And it was some guard members and others who were in the processing facility. And I heard that he probably knew some of the people that he was shooting, but thats not confirmed.[Bold by author for emphasis]
This incredible detail, that he targeted his victims and spared others, was confirmed by a Dallas TV reporter from KXXV who was at Fort Hood:
Texas TV station KXXV reported that the gunman told a civilian as he passed that he was shooting only military men.
She said he targeted specific people as he stalked through a deployment center, two handguns blazing.
As late as November 9, four days after the shooting, there is this account which again shows that Maj. Hasan targeted specific people whom he knew. An Islamofascist terrorist by definition doesnt selectively murder Infidels he knows while sparing others in his guns sights. But this is how the shooting was described by Texas Republican Congressman Michael Conaway and investigators at Fort Hood,according to the New York Times
Mr. Hasan began shooting around 1:20 p.m., investigators say.
As he methodically moved around the room, he spared some people while firing on others several times. He seemed to discriminate among his targets, though it is unclear why. All but one of the dead were soldiers.
Our witnesses said he made eye contact with a guy and then moved to somebody in uniform, said Representative K. Michael Conaway, Republican of Texas.
Not only did politicians, reporters and investigators say that Hasan did everything he could to convince his superiors not to deploy him into combat against fellow Muslims, but so did officers and soldiers familiar with the gunman.
Fox News, oddly enough, reported in an early account:
Retired Army Col. Terry Lee, who said he worked with Hasan, told Fox News that Hasan had hoped President Barack Obama would pull troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq. Hasan got into frequent arguments with others in the military who supported the wars, Lee said, and had tried hard to prevent his pending deployment.
And again, there were others who knew Hasan whose accounts mirror Col. Lees and Sen. Hutchisons, including one acquaintance of Maj. Hasans from his time in Fort Hood as the NYT reported:
He was obviously upset, said Duane Reasoner Jr., an 18-year-old who attended the mosque and ate frequently with Major Hasan at the Golden Corral restaurant. He didnt want to go to Afghanistan.
On top of this were the numerous accounts by Maj. Hasans Arab relatives all confirming that not only was he trying to get out of being deployed this year, but that hed been pushing for a full discharge from the Army as early as 2004, and that Maj. Hasan had even seen a lawyer and had offered to pay the Army back for the money theyd invested into his education but he was denied then as he was denied this year, and subsequently he grew desperate, distant, and increasingly bat-shit insane as the deployment date neared.
Reading through these credible accounts now, you can see how everyone from the PR flaks in the military to the rightwing machine would want somehow distract people from all the accounts of their pigheaded refusal to exempt or discharge Maj. Hasan, and you can then start to imagine how a lot of editors and viewers wouldnt put up much of a fuss if the story changed to something more palatable to the American public. So with no one interested in protecting Maj. Hasans motives, and everyone interested in protecting the Armys behavior, the story gets changed from one of it could have been prevented if Army bureaucrats/officers werent such raging assholes to Maj. Hasan to a barrage of leaks from unnamed Army officials, who argued that Maj. Hasan never said peep to anyone about wanting out of the service (note however the fine languagethey narrowed from deployment to discharge to record of requesting a discharge). And that it was really the US Armys Judeo-Christian word against Major Hasans Muslim-terrorist relatives word. And who best to print a made-to-order reality-scrub than the corrupt neocons running the Washington Post:
Hasan Did Not Formally Seek To Leave Military, Army Official Says
WASHINGTON The Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people last week at Fort Hood, Texas, did not formally seek to leave the military as a conscientious objector or for any other reason, an Army official said, despite claims by one of his relatives that he had done so.
Note the sly re-framing from not getting deployed to discharge, a significant technicality; and the glaring omission here of all the other credible sources who were already on record testifying that Hasan had tried to get out of being deployed, in addition to getting a discharge. Theres no more mention of all the Christian Americans the military sources and Republican politicians familiar with the case who supported the familys version. [Oddly enough, the original version of this Washington Post story, posted November 11, 2009, no longer exists on the Post‘s site.
Even the cached version is gone from Google and Bing; all redirect to a new address of a totally modified version of this story, with a new headline, angle and new lead paragraphs, and this lead paragraph I quote above pushed lower down in the story. This original Post version was widely distributed all over the internet and printed in newspapers all across America–it was the big scoop on that day. A friend tracked down a yahoo cached version of the original article, which is still up (poor lowly Yahoo, the Post‘s scrubbers didn’t even bother tampering with it). In case that gets scrubbed, here is a .pdf file of the article. Even though the Nov. 11 web address exists, it automatically redirects to the newer modified version of this article, which changes the headline from “Hasan Did Not Formally Seek To Leave Military, Army Official Says” to a completely different story: “Army sought ways to channel Hasan’s absorption with Islam.”
So a day after the Post disseminated an unsourced story that ended talk about how the Army callously dismissed Maj. Hasan’s repeated pleas, the rewritten Nov. 12 version of the same article takes the PR whitewash to an even more ludicrous level: now we’re told that rather than treating Maj. Hasan poorly, the multiculturalism-friendly Army was Maj. Hasan’s bestest buddy and life coach, going the extra mile to accommodate Hasan’s Islamic alienation, enrolling him in Islamic sensitivity classes. So now the question is: Why did the Post furtively rewrite the original own story and scrub all the cached versions? The question has to be asked because there’s no explanation of the modification, which usually appears at the end of the story. It may be nothing. But if the purpose of this rewrite-and-scrub of the original story was because some editor understood that the story was too poorly sourced to stand behind, then the Post should acknowledge the modification somewhere. Whatever the reason for that mystery, the effect was very clear: after this was published, the media stopped talking about how Maj. Hasan tried getting out of the Army, and turned instead towards making Hasan into the face of Islamofascist evil.] The Post makes yet another false assertion, that only one of his relatives Maj. Hasans aunt claimed Hasan had tried to get a discharge, when in fact several of Maj. Hasans relatives confirmed it.
For example, theres a cousin, Nadar Hasan:
Around 2004, Major Hasan started feeling disgruntled about the Army, relatives said. He described anti-Muslim harassment and sought legal advice, possibly from an Army lawyer, about getting a discharge. [Bold mine-author]
But because the Army had paid for his education, and probably because the Army was in great need of mental health professionals and was trying to recruit Arab-Americans, he was advised that his chances of getting out were minuscule, relatives said.
They told him that he would be allowed out only if Rumsfeld himself O.K.d it, said a cousin, Nader Hasan, referring to Donald H. Rumsfeld, then the secretary of defense. Relatives said they were unclear whether Major Hasan sought assistance from a private lawyer; then, about two years ago, his cousin Nader Hasan said, he resigned himself to staying in the Army through the end of his commitment.
And heres Number 3, also a cousin, this one named Malik Hasan, as reported in the AP:
He told (them) that as a Muslim committed to his prayers he was discriminated against and not treated as is fitting for an officer and American, said Mohammed Malik Hasan, 24, a cousin, told the AP from his home on the outskirts of the Palestinian city of Ramallah. He hired a lawyer to get him a discharge.
Whether you choose to believe them or not is one matter; but its another matter when the Post reporters or fact-checkers, among the best-trained in the business, are suddenly struck with a case of collective laziness, and dont bother fact-checking the most significant assertion in the articles lead paragraph.
Again, the fact that they wiped the original version off the net may suggest that thePost realized that the original version was problematic enough to warrant a rewrite and thematic-shift. To see just how big a difference the WaPos article claiming that Maj. Hasan hadnt sought a discharge makes, imagine if that same lead paragraph above, quoted all over the country on November 11, was rewritten according to the true facts:
The Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people last week at Fort Hood, Texas, did not formally seek to leave the military as a conscientious objector or for any other reason, an Army official said, despite claims by at least three relatives that he had sought a discharge, as well as public statements by three Texas Republican congressmen, officers and others who knew Maj. Hasan.
Put this way the accurate, factual way it makes the Army look bad. As if theyre hiding something. The Army official claim lacks credibility and looks incredibly suspicious. Because the unnamed Army official has a reason to want to lie to us (which is why hes always unnamed): to divert attention away from the Armys failure to respond in any reasonable way to Maj. Hasans desperate pleas to be discharged exploring that angle means exploring the toxic culture of callous bureaucratic indifference and ethnic bullying and discrimination that Maj. Hasan faced in the Army.
It wasnt just his superiors; even young grunts were having a laugh at this ranking senior office, because to them Maj. Hasan was nothing but a camel jockey. It was this culture that transformed Maj. Hasan from a patriot who eagerly joined the Army as a teenager, so eager to Americanize himself apart from his Jordan-born parents that he enlisted over their objections. Hasan then traveled down a 20-year transformation from wide-eyed Arab-American patriot to the increasingly angry, alienated, and finally murderously insane Maj. Hasan.
Thats the Hasan one we know, the one who unleashed a bloodbath on military personnel, whom he targeted specifically like so many rage murderers do, perhaps even targeting people he knew whom he believed had destroyed him, as Sen. Hutchison suggested. Thats the version that could cause a lot of problems and a lot of cognitive dissonance here, so it had to be scrubbed out with a new unsourced and slyly-crafted lie claiming what everyone hoped to hear: that Maj. Hassan never tried to get discharged, and the poor military and intel people were helpless to stop the crazed terrorist in their midst.
The Washington Post, as we saw, subsequently altered this story the next day, once the damage was done, transforming it into an even weirder story about Army sensitivity to Maj. Hasans religious needs, enrolling him in a kind of Islam Sensitivity Training course. Note again how theres not a single named source for the story, headlined Army sought ways to channel Hasans absorption with Islam:
Army psychiatrists at Walter Reed Army Medical Center who supervised Maj. Nidal M. Hasans work as a psychiatric fellow tried to turn his growing preoccupation with religion and war into something productive by ordering him to attend a university lecture series on Islam, the Middle East and terrorism, according to a Walter Reed staff member familiar with Hasans medical training. The psychiatric staff at Walter Reed did not discuss kicking him out of the service, according to the staff member. In fact, Hasan was initially considered a good medical school candidate because he had spent time as an enlisted soldier and had cared for his siblings after his parents died, both attributes that supervisors believed indicated he had a healthy work ethic.
The idea that Hasan attend the lectures, which he did late last year or early this year, came up during discussions among the psychiatric staffs of the hospital and the Armys medical university about what was perceived as Hasans lack of productivity and his constant interest in Muslims whose religious beliefs conflicted with their military duties.
Youre at an institution of higher learning. He seems to want to do work in an area no one knows anything about, the staff member, who also requested anonymity because he had not been authorized to speak publicly, said of the order. You dont want to close him down just because its different.
Meanwhile, the Hasan-Never-Told-Us-He-Was-Unhappy story ran again under a different outlet, the AP. And just as with the Posts account, the AP relied on the same unnamed sources to back it up while totally omitting all the credible sources who were already on the record contradicting these unnamed sources:
Meanwhile, the Pentagon has found no evidence that Hasan formally sought release from the Army as a conscientious objector or for any other reason, two senior military officials told The Associated Press. Family members have said he wanted to get out of the Army and had sought legal advice, suggesting that Hasans anxiety as a Muslim over his pending deployment overseas might have been a factor in the deadly rampage.
Hasan had complained privately to colleagues that he was harassed for his religion and that he wanted to get out of the Army. But there is no record of Hasan filing a complaint with his chain of command regarding any harassment he may have suffered for being Muslim or any record of him formally seeking release from the military, the officials told the AP.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the case is under investigation.
With the AP and Washington Post both running versions of this new line within 24 hours of each other, every paper and media outlet in America would pick it up.
The other key element in making this rather crude fact-scrubbing work is that the audienceAmericansdidnt really want to hear the depressing truth of what this bastard went through before he went postal. Its easier to make him out to be evil and a terrorist from an entirely alien, bloodthirsty religion which bears no relation to our civilized, peace-loving Judeo-Christianity.
It was amazing how quickly everyone rallied around the facile terrorist explanation, as if by osmosis. One hack who was instrumental in pushing this new, pat terrorist explanation was Time magazines Nancy Gibbs, who wrote the cover story, featuring a giant close-up photo of Hasans face and a black bar with the words TERRORIST postered across his eyes. Gibbs dismisses the idea that Hasans environment, rather than his evil Muslim soul, drove him to massacre, despite all the evidence.
This isnt the first time Nancy Gibbs has whitewashed a massacre to make it fit a facile, comforting narrative. A few months after the Columbine massacre in 1999, as more Americans started to question whether bullying and the schools toxic culture might have helped cause the shootings, Gibbs sneered at the sudden cultural change acknowledging bullyings toxic effects on kids, and the sense that it shouldnt be tolerateda sensibility that Gibbs dismissed as nothing but a bunch of politically-correct namby-pambies:
So if you arent allowed to wear a hat, toot your horn, form a clique or pick on a freshman, all because everyone is worried that someone might snap, its fair to ask: Are high schools preparing kids for the big ugly world outside those doors or handicapping them once they get there? High school was once useful as a controlled environment, where it was safe to learn to handle rejection, competition, cruelty, charisma. Now that weve discovered how unsafe a school can be, it may have become so controlled that some lessons will just have to be learned elsewhere.
Gibbs was telling her readers that bullying makes you a man, and anyone who says it had anything to do with causing rampage shootings was nothing but a touchy-feely politically-correct wimp. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth, and only a willfully ignorant jerk could possibly go on the record dismissing bullying. In the months and years since Gibbs defended the positive educational and character-building benefits of bullying, several states and local school districts have enacted laws and rules outlawing bullying. Numerous studies show that bullied kids tend to suffer serious psychological and cognitive damage throughout their livesthey have a much greater chance of suffering from depression, and have difficulties making friends, socializing, and succeeding as compared to other children.
Researchers have detailed just how savagely the Columbine killers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were bullied, and how their school tolerated and nurtured the bullying jocks while dismissing, Gibbs-style, the whining complaints of bullied kids and their parents. Before their massacre, Klebold and Harris left behind diaries explaining their goals and their plans. Unlike people searching for meaning in Maj. Hasans Allahu Akhbar Klebold and Harris left no doubt at all that their goal was to commit terrorism: we will hijack a hell of a lot of bombs and crash a plane into NYC with us inside firing away as we go down.
That wasnt Hasan or any other Muslim: that was the white Christian American Eric Harris, and his half-Jewish co-murderer, Dylan Klebold.
But again, just as with the Maj. Hasan rampage, its too disturbing for too many Americansso bullying has nothing to do with it in Columbine or Walter Reed.
At last, we have the new nicely-scrubbed Soviet version of events that weve come to accept: No one told the Army that Maj. Hasan wanted a discharge. Army officials figured out that he was a crazy Muslimbecause that $700 billion we pour into our military every year isnt wasted!and they even tried to enroll him into Islamic sensitivity training. But the problem is, our 2 million man military was so terrified of hippies and feminists terrorizing them with political-correctness-hectoring that our nations finest kept all of their fears about Hasan to themselves.
Thats it. Thats the story. Sure, its fucking ridiculous. But its what the country now all agrees happened.
Here, for example, is Rush Limbaugh:
I tell you something, folks, political correctness and a lot of other things are gonna lead to our downfall.
And then here is Newt Gingrich on Fox Newss Greta Van Susteren show:
I think the American people and the Congress should look at the kind of political correct indoctrination now under way at the FBI and elsewhere, designed to make sure that theyre not insensitive.
And finally, going back to the Washington Post again, here is their star pundit, the man who fucked up and called wrong every important event of the last decade-plus:Charles Krauthammer:
Was anything done about this potential danger? Of course not. Who wants to be accused of Islamophobia and prejudice against a colleagues religion?
We know that the FBI and the Army knew how dangerous Hasan was. Those soldiers were scared for their lives and tried to do something. This is what happens to everyone who speaks out about jihad in the private sector, in academia, in the media, etc., but for the FBI and the Army to be more concerned with the feelings of terrorists and pedophiles than with the lives of our soldiers, first responders, and civilians is unconscionable. It appears that the CIA, the NSA, and the DNI have the same priorities.
I could never have imagined the pervasiveness of out-and-out treason in our government and our military.
Yowza, hes on fire! Okay but seriously, what can you expect from an imbecile like Krauthammer, whose columns consist of nothing but a series of reckless lies, lazy posturing, and an unusual talent for predicting everything exactly wrong, with disastrous results every time, like some kind of fascist Mr Magoo hellbent on subjugating the planet through military force if only he can find his glasses, hell start subjugating O where did he put them?
To see just how totally unreliable Krauthammers fungus-infested mind is, I offer his reading into the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007, when Korean-American student Seun-Hui Cho killed 33 people. Krauthammer answers it as though his brain has been sucked into a parallel universe very close to our own, and hes responding to a question about Middle East violence:
KRAUTHAMMER: What you can say, just not as a psychiatrist, but as somebody whos lived through the a past seven or eight years, is that if you look at that picture [of the Virigina Tech shooting], it draws its inspiration from the manifestos, the iconic photographs of the Islamic suicide bombers over the last half decade in Palestine, in Iraq and elsewhere. Thats what they end up leaving behind, either on al Jazeera or Palestinian TV. And he, it seems, as if his inspiration for leaving the message behind in that way, might have been this kind of suicide attack, which, of course, his was. And he did leave the return address return Ismail Ax. Ismail Ax. I suspect it has some more to do with Islamic terror and the inspiration than it does with the opening line of Moby Dick.
BRIT HUME: Which was, My name is Ishmael.
Can we call you Dumber for short? Seriously, it reads like the transcript of a couple of washed-up valium junkies sitting in front of the telly. In a meritocracy, Brit Hume would be fired and driven into exile for failing to remember three simple words in the most famous sentence in American literature. But if the point is to be wrong, and to rub it in, then it makes sense because thats exactly what Krauthammer does. Hes even lazier, in his own way: Brit vacuously reads the big news item of the day; and Krauthammer blames the same ol reliable villains: Islamofascist terrorists abroad, and the liberal fifth column here at home. Theres not even a fake attempt at linking the two, not even a conjoining clause. Its as though he just sheds his hatreds unconsciously, like flakes of dead skin.
But Krauthammers account of the Fort Hood massacre goes further than the usual cover-up and deflection. This time, he goes all the way, accusing Americas tolerance-mad liberals of not merely weakening the country from within out of naive good intentions, but instead he says something far more threatening. Krauthammer argues that Americas liberals are actually sabotaging the military and intelligence agencies as part of some kind of conspiracy to destroy America and pave the way for an Islamic-socialist-liberal takeover. Which makes the liberals guilty of treason. Treason is a capital offense.
Mark Ames is the author of “Going Postal: Rage, Murder, and Rebellion: From Reagans Workplaces to Clintons Columbine and Beyond.”
Mark Ames was founder and editor of The eXile, the notorious Moscow-based, English-language newspaper shuttered last year after a raid by Russian authorities. He is the author of two books: The eXile: Sex, Drugs and Libel in the New Russia (together with Matt Taibbi), and Going Postal: Rage, Murder and Rebellion: From Reagans Workplaces to Clintons Columbine and Beyond.