THE SPINE NOVEMBER 15, 2009
Well, yes, of course, you've read about the lecture Major Nidal Malik Hasan, M.D., delivered at Walter Reed Hospital in 2007. Hasan's ostensible topic was "The Koranic World View As It Relates to Muslims in the U.S. Military." It might as well have been titled, as the scholar Barry Rubin suggested, "Why I Intend to Murder 13 American Soldiers at Foot Hood." But, since nobody in the higher-up military actually noticed that a very shaky psychiatrist, indeed, gave an official medical rounds talk--maybe even grand rounds--on Islam, Hasan did, in fact, go on to kill 13 men and women and wound another 28. Had two police not brought him down he would have gone on to shoot (how?) many others.
I assumed, presumably like you, that the text of the now notorious lecture had been deep sixed by the authorities after the event. Not at all. So who unearthed it? The Washington Post, on whose web-site it has been (virtually unnoticed) for a few days. Dana Priest, a Post correspondent covering the case, has written about Hasan's power point presentation and even did a question-and-answer colloquy on the site.
The lecture is hard evidence on what everybody has been pondering about, pondering sympathetically like poor Joe Klein who, I am afraid, has lost his bearings.
Yesterday, I also happened to listen to "On Point" with Tom Ashbrook on NPR. David Gergen held up the sensible side. But, well, you can imagine the mental pyrotechnics Jack Beatty and Ellen Goodman put themselves through to lift the pall that has now fallen over militant Islam. Apologists always sound pathetic.