Ft. Hood shootings a "terrorist attack"?

Really? He was motivated by mysogyny, if I remember correctly. So please point out to me (1) spiritual advisors he sought out (and who responded) to answer questions on when it’s appropriate to shoot women; (2) mysogynist organizations he supported financially, (3) policy changes he was pressing for (at risk to his career) for the sake of mysogyny, and (4) a well known and deadly mysogynist organization based in a foreign country that applauded his actions.

I think some of the dogged obtuseness not to see an easily foreseeable threat, call it “terrorism” or what have you, because we’re afraid of seeming insensitive – is in large part what allowed this mass murder to happen.

I disagree, but fair enough. Thanks for the answer. Myself, I think a ‘terrorist’ attack is one meant to cause ‘terror’, and isn’t limited to only attacks on civilian targets. I concede that MMV, wrt definitions like this.


As well as this kind of ridiculous parsing. Bob at the FBI: “Hmmm, it looks like Major Hasan has been in correspondence with a known al Qaida spiritual leader, asking him for advice on when its appropriate to shoot civilians in jihad. Hmmm, and he’s been remitting a good bit of his salary overseas to “Islamic charities”. But let me see my definition book . . . nope, that doesn’t fit Directive 12 B subsection viii of what we should alert other agencies to be a ‘terrorist attack’ threat. Personally, I think he may be capable of an attack ‘with a terroristic bent’ but it’d probably just be on other soldiers, so what the hell–my ass is covered by the Rule Book and I’m in no danger of seeming Insensitive to Muslims.”

They were traced back to an organization that orchestrated them. I don’t understand why you find this to be such a difficult concept. Until we see further evidence, the Ft. Hood shooter was a religious zealot who was about to be deployed to a war zone and acted on his own volition and desperation.

The Cole was clearly traced back to Al Qaeda. Do some homework. Read The Looming Towers among a bunch of other books and research that trace the history of “terrorism” as we know it.

You know, I’m getting really tired of people telling me stuff I already know, as if it’s new and interesting.

Really? It was Al Qaeda? No shit (Sherlock)? Who knew?

I don’t see why these convoluted and narrow definitions are so important to some folks either…so, I guess we are both puzzled at this point, ehe? I also don’t see why these label wars are so seemingly earth shatteringly important to some folks either, but it’s pretty obvious that they are.


Let me ask you this, and I really want an answer: Was Major Hasan’s attack foreseeable in light of his correspondence with and financial support of suspected or known Islamic extremists? Could the Army and/or FBI done anything beforehand to prevent 13 deaths in light of his correspondence with and financial support of suspected or known Islamic extremists?

I don’t know. I really don’t. But again, that’s like asking if the guy that killed the doctor that performed abortions was a “terrorist”. The signs were there. He had the correspondence. He sympathized with people and organizations that implied that such doctors were murderers and should be killed. He killed. The doctor had done nothing illegal. The killer took justice into his own hands based on religious beliefs. If one is a terrorist, the other is a terrorist. Once again, did anyone in Congress get up and denounce and define him as a terrorist? What’s good for the gander . . .

One difference is that our country is explicitly at war with the foreign organization and religious faction that Major Hasan appears to have been in contact with and lending financial support to. Another difference is that Major Hasan was a relatively high-ranking member of the Army charged with fighting that war. I don’t know if that fits your “terrorism” peghole, but it looks to me to be treason, which wasn’t the case with the abortion doctor killer and the mysoginistic gym shooter.

Or perhaps you’ll argue that “this isn’t really a war war, you big silly, and anyway we shouldn’t be fighting it in the first place.”

Treason is a totally different principle than terrorism. I have no problem with anybody that wants to label Hasan as being guilty of treason. Let the military charge him on that count. I have a problem with empty-suit congressmen standing up on the national stage and mis-characterizing the event for media and political points.

Would you agree that a Congressional investigation would be appropriate if they left out the word “terrorism”? Would it be OK with you for congresspeople to point out Hasan’s ties to radical Islam if they didn’t use the T-word?

I have no problem with that. Psychological analysis and preemptive avoidance is totally appropriate. The Pentagon should totally investigate the incident and learn how to recognize and intervene in such situations. I’m not giving the guy a pass. I’m just not willing to throw this incident in the bucket with “terrorism” when it is probably the act of a singular whack-job.

So what it really comes down to is you’re interpreting “terrorism” as a code word for “Islam”, and you object to the suggestion that inculcation into radical Islam just might have had something to do with Hasan’s decision to shoot 13 of his fellow soldiers.

I often wondered why there was never much “controversy” over whether or not the DC sniper case of 2002 was a “terrorist act” or not. Even after the guy ended being named “Mohammad”. And the anthrax case either wasn’t a terrorist act or got melded magically into the “9/11” attack because “no terrorist attacks happened after 9/11”.

If it political aims are part of terrorism, then the recent assassination of Dr. Tiller was surely a terrorist act, no?

How about the Tylenol tampering incidents in 1982? Was that terrorism?
It caused panic and resulted in much safer packaging. It was a huge scare.
But there was not political or religious reasons for the poisonings.
The Oklahoma bombers were affiliated with the Michigan Militia. They are an underground group that see themselves in some kind of twisted war with the government. It is not that they are part of a group that determines terrorism. it is the political aims and stances of the group that is the deciding factor.

I don’t understand the motivation for pointing out certain domestic crimes and asking why they are not labeled as terrorism, when the political pressure not to label them as terrorism comes from both the right and the left. The Obama administration has embraced a definition of domestic terrorism that includes violence against abortion providers, as well as eco-terrorism on the left. Given the nature of Hasan’s communications with a radical cleric who is believed to be a recruiter for Al-Qaeda, it is reasonable to question whether his crimes were politically or ideologically motivated, and whether he acted alone or as an agent of a group.

Frankly, I find it disturbing that random shootings in this country are virtually accepted as a sad but unavoidable fact of life. Americans go completely bonkers over “traditional” terrorism, to the point where we can’t bring nail clippers or shampoo onto airplanes anymore, but some nutjob shooting random people doesn’t even make the national news unless the body count reaches the double digits. The same week as Ft. Hood, there were random shootings in Oregon and Florida, but hardly anyone knew about them.

Perhaps it’s time to focus on what aspect of our society is making these people snap, and how to prevent it from happening in the future…or is that too much to ask?

If I’m reading you correctly you have it backwards. I’m suggesting that Senators like Lieberman (not me) are using “terrorism” as code word for “Islam”. They are not so quick and vociferous in using the “terror” label when it doesn’t involve a Muslim. Hasan obviously was motivated by his religious beliefs. I’m not questioning that. I’m suggesting that the shooting were a heinous crime but not a “terrorist act” in the way that the term currently resonates with the public. Would Lieberman label the VA Tech shooting a “terrorist act”? If a whacked out soldier that was not a Muslim had done the same thing under the same circumstances would these Senators be using the “terror” label?

The killer of Dr. Tiller was religiously motivated and his killing had to have scared the shit out of a lot of people. I didn’t hear the same people that label Hasan a terrorist attaching the same label to Tiller’s shooter. My concern is that we have elected officials standing up in Congress and are using the word “terror” as a code word for Islam for purely political purposes.

I agree that Hasan is being called a terrorist for political reasons, but I don’t think that the murders committed by Scott Roeder and Hasan are comparable.

Eric Rudolph, the white man who bombed two abortion clinics (killed 2 and injuring 110), is a terrorist. Timothy McVeigh was a terrorist. Even though religion and politics motivated the murder of Dr. Tiller, Scott Roeder has been charged with killing one person. IIRC Roeder will not face the death penalty if convicted because killing one person is not sufficient under Kansas law for punishment by death.

Hasan killed 13 people and wounded 30 more. Hasan’s crime involved an extreme breach of trust because it was soldier-on-soldier violence, and even more so because he was an Army-trained psychiatrist entrusted to take care of the mental health of traumatized soldiers.