Army Kept Passing Buck on Alleged Fort Hood Shooter, Review Says
By Mary Jacoby | January 15, 2022 10:53 am

A Pentagon review has found that supervisors and colleagues of Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, who is accused in a shooting spree that left 13 people dead at the Fort Hood military base in Texas in November, failed to confront obvious issues about his behavior and performance, The Associated Press reported.

The review, expected to be released on Friday, doesn’t examine whether Hasan’s alleged shooting spree was terrorism, a subject of a criminal inquiry. But it says as many as eight Army officers could face discipline for failing to report Hasan’s erratic behavior, which included an apparent fixation on religion.

Writes the AP:

Hasan was often late or absent, sometimes appeared disheveled and performed to minimum requirements. The pattern that was obvious to many around him yet not fully reflected where it counted in the Army’s bureaucratic system of evaluation and promotion, investigators found.

Hasan nonetheless earned some good reviews from patients and colleagues. His promotion to major was based on an incomplete personnel file, one official said, but also on performance markers that Hasan had met, if barely.

The Pentagon report also says the military should participate more fully in FBI-run Joint Terrorism Task Forces, including fully staffing teams of f investigators, analysts, linguists and others.

UPDATE: Defense Secretary Robert Gates addressed the report’s findings in a news conference this morning. Read the New York Times report here.


One Comment

  1. NavyHelo says:

    I believe this correctly summarizes a long-term problem that I have observed over many decades of up-close connection with the military. The central topic of this article discusses the failings of the military performance evaluation system, not whether Major Hasan was or was not Muslim, or a terrorist, or whether the Pentagon is “politically correct”. These factors may be relevant, but they are “off-topic”. Critically needed specialists such as psychiatrists are in short supply; the Army’s mental health program has been described as virtually broken. Supervising officers that overtly criticize under-performers in these situations often jeopardize their own careers.

    Senior Pentagon officials have tried before without much success to reform the evaluation system, as during the Vietnam War. Having said that, Major Hasan’s poor performance should have caused at least one selfless officer to rise to the challenge and correctly evaluate him. That would not have stopped world terrorism, but it would have saved lives and encouraged the vast majority of Army officers who regularly perform “above and beyond” but get evaluations little different from Major Hasan’s. More leadership from the top of the Pentagon would have helped too, but don’t hold your breath on that.

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