Thursday, November 05, 2009

Details Emerge

As the Fort Hood community deals with the horror of today's mass murder at the Texas base, details are beginning to emerge about the alleged killer, Army Major Nidal M. Hasan.

A psychiatrist assigned to the Darnall Army Medical Center at Fort Hood, Hasan had been assigned to the post since 2007, when he completed training at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

In fact, all of Hasan's medical training was provided by the U.S. military. According to a provider database maintained by the state of Virginia (where he was licensed), Hasan earned his medical degree from the F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS). Located in Bethesda, Maryland, the university operates the only medical school in the U.S. military.

After earning his M.D. degree, Hasan moved on to Walter Reed for a four-year residency in psychiatry. The Virginia medical database also indicates that Hasan completed a fellowship in Disaster and Preventive Psychiatry at Walter Reed earlier this year.

According to his professional profile, listed on the website, Hasan saw patients at Fort Hood five days a week, and spent "90% of his time" at the installation. The profile also reported that Hasan had been in clinical practice for "less than a year" at the time the website was updated last month.

There were no reports of past disciplinary action against Hasan, according to the database. He was licensed to practice medicine in Virginia 2005 and his license was up for renewal next year.

However, sources tell the Associated Press that Hasan received a poor performance evaluation during his time at Walter Reed. Despite that, he completed his residency on schedule, was transferred to Fort Hood, and promoted to Major in May of this year.

Various media outlets report that Hasan was "upset" about his deployment to Iraq, scheduled for later this month.

Using two handguns, Hasan opened fire around 1:30 p.m. today, targeting soldiers at a readiness center on the western side of the sprawling base. A Fort Hood spokesman said soldiers "cycle through" the facility as they prepare to deploy. It's unclear if Hasan was participating in pre-deployment processing when he opened fire, killing 12 soldiers and civilians before being shot by a security guard.

Two other soldiers were taken into custody shortly after the shooting but were later released, according to Republican Congressman John Carter, whose Texas district includes Fort Hood.

Some reports suggested the Hasan was a convert to Islam, but that was not immediately confirmed. Hasan was a U.S. citizen. Students at the USUHS are required to be citizens before graduation, so they can be commissioned as military officers.
UPDATE: 11:00 p.m. EST. The commanding general at Fort Hood now says that Hasan did not die in the shootout. Though he was hit multiple times, the gunman somehow survied and is hospitalized in stable condition. Looks like death row at Leavenworth will be getting a new senior ranking officer in the near future. On a happier note, the civilian security guard who first engaged Hasan also survived. That lady deserves a medal, a pay raise, or both.

We've also noted that the post-shooting spin has already begun, with various "experts" offering possible explanations for Hasan's murderous rampage. At least one pundit suggests the shooter was feeling the effects of "second-hand PTSD," caused by being around those who experience the condition first-hand. And predictably enough, a member of Hasan's family claims the Major experienced "anti-Muslim" discrimination in the Army. But apparently, the discrimination wasn't enough to deny him a decade of taxpayer-funded education and a commission as an Army officer--and not to mention his recent promotion to field-grade rank.


Gordon Freece said...

Hm. Yeah. Ten years education and promoted to major. Maybe if he'd been handed the presidency too, he'd've been "proud of his country" for the first time in his life.

I eagerly await what the White House has to say about this creature. I bet they'll find a way to work in some "understanding". Any takers?

Kitty said...

According to his cousin, Hasan has always been a Muslim.

Also, it is now being reported that he shouted "Allah" while shooting. This sounds like a jihad to me.

Why was this man NOT discharged earlier, especially since they were well aware of his feelings?


Anonymous said...

Just a clarifying note: medical students at USUHS are commissioned as officers *prior* to beginning their studies.

Ed Rasimus said...

Some day we will learn that doctors are not military. They should not be given rank and should not wear the uniform. Pay them what you need to and let them wear what doctors wear. But, under no circumstances are they military officers.

John said...

I've got to respond to Ed Rasimus here. I've posted it on Thunder Tales already but I'm putting it here too:

Regards military doctors:

Things have changed somewhat. My son is a graduate of the same military medical school as this POS major. I know several of the doctors produced there over the last few years. Many of them are prior service (my son has 8 years as an F16 and C130 crew chief with two tours in the sand box). One I know was a Navy nuke officer, and one is a former SF MSG medic. Many of these docs are as as hardcore as they come.

That said - Back in the 80s when we took the Army back from the dopers and criminals a refrain often heard was "Not in my Army". That has relevance today when I ask, How did this Islamist Jihadist not only be accepted into my Army but become a doctor? It is not easy to be accepted to the USHHS medical school. For what possible reason, other than political correctness are we recruiting "these people"? And I'm not afraid of being labeled by using that term.

Officers preaching Islam? Not in my Army!

Aerospook said...

although I am as hardcore as they come, and shudder at making any comment even remotely similar to president obama, we must wait for the investigation. When we see proof of his statements, then we shall judge.

His religion should not have been a factor in his acceptance, however, "if" he was known to make jihadist statements, then, yes, these were MAJOR issues that should have caused investigation.

Are we (and the active duty mil) becoming far too politically correct and afraid to point out critical issues?

I also await more presidential comment, unlike the Cambridge incident, in which he quickly condemned the police, now he states we must await the facts.....

tfhr said...

Ed Rasimus,

I get your point but when was the last time you saw a civilian contract doctor serving forward?

There are simply places we cannot expect a civilian doctor to go. And quite frankly, there aren't many civilians that would agree to go for a short tour, long tour, or a second tour.

A nut like Hasan could also have been hired on as a civilian if he had managed to fund his training himself, at least to the point of qualifying to serve DoD personnel. I don't believe that gripe about deploying. So what?! He could have taken any number of legal or at least non-violent measures to avoid living up to his obligations.

Peaceful Crusader said...

Paradise is guaranteed to those who “slay and are slain” for Allah: “Allah hath purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise): they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in truth” (Qur’an 9:111).

What is "Occupation" said...

It's JIHAD stupid...

What is the BEST place for a Jihadist to murder the infidel?

In the BELLY of the BEAST..