As President and Mrs Obama prepare to travel to Fort Hood today for the memorial ceremony for those lost in the terrorist attack upon the base by Major Nidal Malik Hasan, troubling questions about how the government dealt with Major Hasan are developing.
Various published reports indicate that government officials knew that Major Hasan had tried to contact Anwar al-Awlaki. Anwar al-Awlaki is an American Islamic cleric who embraces militant Islam from his now Yemeni home through a website. Awlaki was also a leading cleric at the mosque that Major Hasan attended in Virginia once. Further, Anwar al-Awlaki praised Major Hasan as a hero of Islam for Hasan's acts at Fort Hood.
Take a moment and let all that sink in. A United States Army psychiatrist, who sees and treats American soldiers at their emotionally weakest, was allowed to remain at his post after he tried to communicate with a cleric who embraces terrorism against the United States. It would be one thing if someone just "flipped out" so to speak in an unpredictable manner, but when the government is aware of extreme views and attempted contacts with a terrorist, how does the government allow someone like that access to military personnel?
Think of how silly things are today. We live in a society in which grandmothers can be stripped searched at the airport because their replaced knees set off the metal detectors, but we are unable to relieve an Army psychiatrist from his post after our government learns he is trying to get in touch with a terrorist. There is something seriously wrong with how we as a people approach the reality of the threats we face. It is as if our government seems determined to go out of its way to show its resolve against terrorism by being tough on people who are obviously no threat while at the same time it is determined to go out of its way to show how politically correct it can be by all but ignoring people who could be a threat so it does not "profile" or "discriminate."
The American politically correct approach is being exploited by our enemies. They do not have the same qualms we appear to have about being respectful to those who want to kill us. Our enemies do not live in the politically correct world. They live in reality, where they use every possible weakness they perceive in us to attack us.
The Fort Hood attacks should be a wake up call to Americans. There is no doubt there are patriotic Muslims who serve in the United States military. The wake up call is not about them or Islam. It is about reality. If a military member embraces skinheads, the Klan, or Islamic extremism, he should be dealt with and relieved. There is a marked difference between allowing political and religious freedom in civilian life and giving military access to those who embrace violent extremism against the United States. If we honor those who died and were wounded, we can no longer accept the notion that political correctness trumps reality when allowing access to military bases and personnel.