Local Texas news reports indicate that the reaction to the Fort Hood massacre may be having some reaching and current consequences.
The Dallas Morning News reportedly asked why Louay Safi was allowed to lecture about Islam on US military bases. Initially, the Army praised Safi, but it subsequently announced that he had been banned from military bases due to a criminal inquiry initiated by NCIS. According to The News, Safi Read more
The Air Force Times has editorialized that
Before the Air Force can move past its reputation for religious intolerance, it must do one more thing: Eliminate prayers from official events.
Beginning an editorial with such a statement certainly reveals the tone. After all, while the Air Force has been accused of intolerance by vocal critics, no institutional intolerance has ever been substantiated, and there is no public indication that intolerance is a valid “reputation” of the Air Force.
The editorial also treats a fairly complex issue rather whimsically. The simple and unexplained demand that the Air Force “eliminate prayers from official events,” after all, would have prevented a Chaplain from praying at the nationally-televised memorial service at Fort Hood attended by the President. Read more
The investigations into the Fort Hood massacre are increasingly highlighting the less-than-optimal military evaluation system. They ask a simple question: how can a person with identified deficiencies be rated as satisfactory or outstanding rather than having those faults documented? One reporter (at both the LA Times and Baltimore Sun) caught on to this indicator of a wide-spread problem with the military rating system (key points highlighted):
As widely practiced in Army culture, few performance reviews contain negative comments, and almost all seem outwardly positive. However, at senior levels and in competitive fields, where only a few officers are promoted, an evaluation that is less than effusive in its praise can derail an officer’s promotion.
In less competitive fields and at junior levels, the Army has promoted the vast majority of its officers.
As noted here in 2006 and in Christian Fighter Pilot is Not an Oxymoron, these criticisms of the evaluation system apply outside of the Army, and likely apply to the military as a whole. Embellishment and overly positive reviews Read more
As noted at a variety of sites, a Defense Department review has found that Army Maj Hasan’s superiors were routinely concerned about his performance and his views, but continued to promote him anyway. This seems to already confirm what has previously been said about Hasan: people knew and were concerned about him.
Between 2003 and 2007, Hasan’s supervisors expressed their concerns with him in memos, meeting notes and counseling sessions. He needed steady monitoring, especially in the emergency room, had difficulty communicating and working with colleagues, his attendance was spotty and he saw few patients.
The question that isn’t (officially) answered is why they didn’t do anything, though speculation has already arisen that people were afraid to say anything out of fear of being considered prejudiced against Islam.
The discussion in the article about officers being promoted despite poor performance Read more
The lawyer for accused Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Malik Hasan has said his client’s religious rights have been violated by policies that restrict his freedoms during his confinement in the hospital.
Pretrial restrictions on Hasan [include] a requirement that he speak only in English with visitors or on the phone, unless an Army-approved translator is present…
Attorney John P. Galligan said he learned that police guarding Hasan…cut short a phone conversation Hasan was having with one of his brothers on Friday because Hasan was not speaking in English.
“Police at the hospital refused to let him pray, in Arabic, from the Quran with his brother,” Galligan said. “I think it’s illegal and a violation of his religious rights.”
The article cites “those familiar with” military justice in saying that the restrictions, while potentially non-standard in the civilian sector, would not necessarily be unusual within the military criminal justice system.
The Alliance Defense Fund has been calling on the US military to charge Maj Nadil Malik Hasan with 14 murders, not 13.
Private Francheska Velez was three months pregnant when Hasan allegedly killed her and her unborn child. If her child was included, the massacre would have claimed 14 lives.
The ADF accurately notes that the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) reflects the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, and specifically cites the death of unborn children Read more
Michael Weinstein and his Military Religious Freedom Foundation have been repeatedly called out over the past few weeks for displaying an odious double standard: Weinstein has demanded various military Christians be court-martialed, accusing them of using their positions of power to proselytize and coercing subordinates based on their religion. He has failed to make any similar call against accused Fort Hood gunman Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, even though Hasan has been accused of doing exactly the same things.
However, Michael Weinstein has finally asked, “Should Hasan be court-martialed?” Oddly, he never answers his own question.
To his credit, Weinstein does make a (qualified) statement that Hasan should have been court-martialed. That would be the most serious, if parsed, statement Weinstein has made against a person not of the Christian faith in the military. However, Read more