THE PLANK NOVEMBER 19, 2009
Putting aside the whole was-he-a-terrorist debate, there's another troubling question about Nidal Hasan: namely, how did he manage to keep his job as an Army psychiatrist? This NPR report, about a memo written by a psychiatrist supervising Hasan's training at Walter Reed, is damning:
On May 17, 2007, Hasan's supervisor at Walter Reed sent the memo to the Walter Reed credentials committee. It reads, "Memorandum for: Credentials Committee. Subject: CPT Nidal Hasan." More than a page long, the document warns that: "The Faculty has serious concerns about CPT Hasan's professionalism and work ethic. ... He demonstrates a pattern of poor judgment and a lack of professionalism." It is signed by the chief of psychiatric residents at Walter Reed, Maj. Scott Moran.
When shown the memo, two leading psychiatrists said it was so damning, it might have sunk Hasan's career if he had applied for a job outside the Army.
But, by staying in the Army, Hasan was able to keep practicing psychiatry--on a patient population (returning soldiers from Afghanistan and Iraq) that needs and deserves top-notch treatment. Ugh.