Fort Hood Shootings: Fraudulent Psychiatric Analysis and Political Correctness in Dealing with an Evil, Cowardly Killer

–Richard E. Vatz

Is Fort Hood mass murderer Maj. Nidal M. Hasan a sociopath, a person who has a personality disorder marked by anti-social thoughts and behavior, a man who may have acted out of “madness,” as The Washington Post wonders? Was he motivated by “stress,” as two Washington Post headlines imply (headlines on WP front page pressing this theme on November 7, 2009 : “Psychiatric Stress Stretches Soldiers, System” and “Ideology, Stress or Another Motive?”)?

The answers are as follows: 1. The question is meaningless; and 2. The question is unimportant.

When will people stop being so mystified by motivation in terms of psychiatric etiology of killing, so that they realize that almost no murder occurs without the existence of culpable intention to end the life of the victim or victims?

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The cowardly killings by Maj. Hasan at Fort Hood were typical of such goal-driven killings: motivated by hatred of America and facing a detested personal change in venue as a deployment to Afghanistan loomed, he decided to vent his murderous rage on as many unarmed objects of hatred as he could. So he ended up killing over a dozen and wounding over two dozen people in what has been called “the deadliest mass shooting on a U.S. military installation.”

The post-traumatic stress disorder theories, which reflect genuine tension and difficulty among soldiers in combat, but which also have a high degree of self-fulfilling prophecy, are irrelevant to a calculated, pre-meditated act of murder or mass murder.

This killer’s motivations and actions do not need complicated analysis. The prurient search for complexities in the personalities of mass murderers may not be without interest, but they should have absolutely no place as arguments for exculpation.

Were there unambiguous signs of the urgent need to remove this gutless personage from Fort Hood?

You bet. On the Internet he compared suicide bombers favorably to those who throw themselves on grenades in a selfless act of protecting their fellow soldiers. His fanaticism and hatred manifested itself consistently in his “counseling” of soldiers and his open opining against America.

The best Occam’s Razor analysis I have read accounting for this massacre comes, surprisingly enough, from The Washington Post:


Military author, assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs in the Reagan administration

Maj. Nidal Hasan did not commit murder because he was ordered to serve in Afghanistan, where al-Qaeda plotted the murders of Sept. 11, 2001. Nor was he “disturbed,” an escapist word that means he was not fully responsible for his actions. The fact is Hasan had weeks to reflect before he betrayed his two sacred oaths: those he took as a soldier and as a doctor.

His fellow Muslims should be outraged that the media have portrayed him as a “devout Muslim.” Murder is a perverse definition of “devout.” Time and again, terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan shout “Allahu akbar” — “God is great!” — when they attack. Many Islamic leaders have lacked the moral courage to condemn these suicide murderers. Until Islam’s most revered clerics preach that murderers go to hell rather than to heaven as martyrs, the Muslim faith will continue to be hijacked by a tiny, evil minority.

The media — both in the West and in the Muslim world — unwittingly spread the terrorists’ chosen narrative by writing about how “devout” their leaders are. The press should substitute an appropriate adjective such as “satanic,” “depraved” or “twisted” to convey the correct message. Hasan bought and loaded guns, drove to a crowded room and opened fire on those who trusted him. He was a rational, evil murderer.

Let us be grateful for courageous Americans like civilian police officer Sgt. Kimberly Munley and Senior Sgt. Mark Todd who shot Hasan, and who at great risk to their own lives –and indeed Sgt. Munley was shot herself — saw the killer and began firing at Hasan to disable him.

God bless the victims at Fort Hood and God bless the men and women who protect this country. They deserve to have their lives protected from openly vicious, America-hating would-be killers.

The new American ethos of political correctness uber alles and unwillingness to hold people responsible for their threatening behavior may be the death of America. I humbly offer this epitaph:

America Died, Having Stopped Offending Anyone

Professor Vatz teaches political rhetoric at Towson University

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