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I just don't think he was a stable guy, you know? I think he had lots of issues that were overlooked or minimized by the military.

<snip>

But if there is a long trail of red flags waving furiously, it seems like someone would have taken a bit more heed prior to now.

 

I do agree with you, somewhat. I think part of the problem is the way personnel files and such are handled within the military. Not every infraction, evaluation exactly follows you from post to post. Some discipline problems are therefore hard to track. It's just such a *huge* bureaucratic machine that things and people do slip through cracks.

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There are so many ways this guy was different than McVeigh. For starters he was still in uniform after having received a free education that allowed him to earn $80k/year.

Second, he was in contact w/foreign nationals who were intent on harming Americans. Americans in uniform in particular.

Third, he probably won't get the death penalty.

Fourth, this is post 9/11 and his crime and prosecution are likely to inspire others outside the country (and inside as well).

Fifth, this was about religion for him. A personal jihad.

Finally, it looks like political correctness enabled this guy to go this far. McVeigh was able to fly under the radar.

 

Laura

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This is going to no doubt bring a sh*t storm of criticism down on my head, especially since most of you posting in this thread seem to want to eviscerate this guy, but nevertheless, I feel the need to say it. Deep breath. Here goes:

 

What he did was heinous. I don't support the death penalty, so I just can't say so quickly that he deserves to face a "firing squad" or have an air bubble put into his IV line. But he does deserve a fair trial and punishment, whatever form that takes.

 

HOWEVER, from most accounts I read, his colleagues and superiors in the military had been waving red flags around this guy for YEARS. Evaluations were done, letters were written, grave concerns were voiced, and still, nothing was done. This guy was, among other things, mentally ill, and it seems from the media coverage I've heard and read that several years ago his peers were worried that he could be homicidal. His ties to terrorists were investigated several years ago.

 

I don't know....

 

I just don't think he was a stable guy, you know? I think he had lots of issues that were overlooked or minimized by the military. I"m not minimizing what he did, but it sounds like it really didn't come as that big a surprise to some folks who had dealth with him in the past, and I think some responsibility. It seems to me that somewhere in this guy's past, SOMEONE should have intervened and either forced him to get some counseling himself or stripped him of his post/position/whatever the military calls it. No, you can't control everyone's actions. But if there is a long trail of red flags waving furiously, it seems like someone would have taken a bit more heed prior to now. Please understand I"m not defending what he did, but I do think that the tragedy here doesn't lie only with those who were his victims.

 

Now, those are just my personal, random thoughts. I fully realize that 99% of you will vehemently disagree with me.

 

Flame suit on!

astrid

 

No flames from me. You are right - he is definitely not stable. He, like any and all Americans, will get a fair trial. I just hope the end result is whatever will make him most miserable. In all honesty, that would probably be "life without parole" and lots of male suitors in jail. :001_huh: From what I have read about the Muslim Jihad, those who DIE for the cause are considered martyrs or saints. It would "tarnish" him to not die for the cause. I also highly doubt that he didn't mean to die himself. I am sure he did.

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Texas is a death penalty state. I think he should be tried in court, and if found guilty, he should pay the penalty according to the law.

 

This is likely what will happen if he does get tried. His lawyer is having trouble getting info though and a couple of mistakes have been made already, so hopefully the case will not get ousted based on technicalities. Grrr...

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This is going to no doubt bring a sh*t storm of criticism down on my head, especially since most of you posting in this thread seem to want to eviscerate this guy, but nevertheless, I feel the need to say it. Deep breath. Here goes:

 

What he did was heinous. I don't support the death penalty, so I just can't say so quickly that he deserves to face a "firing squad" or have an air bubble put into his IV line. But he does deserve a fair trial and punishment, whatever form that takes.

 

HOWEVER, from most accounts I read, his colleagues and superiors in the military had been waving red flags around this guy for YEARS. Evaluations were done, letters were written, grave concerns were voiced, and still, nothing was done. This guy was, among other things, mentally ill, and it seems from the media coverage I've heard and read that several years ago his peers were worried that he could be homicidal. His ties to terrorists were investigated several years ago.

 

I don't know....

 

I just don't think he was a stable guy, you know? I think he had lots of issues that were overlooked or minimized by the military. I"m not minimizing what he did, but it sounds like it really didn't come as that big a surprise to some folks who had dealth with him in the past, and I think some responsibility. It seems to me that somewhere in this guy's past, SOMEONE should have intervened and either forced him to get some counseling himself or stripped him of his post/position/whatever the military calls it. No, you can't control everyone's actions. But if there is a long trail of red flags waving furiously, it seems like someone would have taken a bit more heed prior to now. Please understand I"m not defending what he did, but I do think that the tragedy here doesn't lie only with those who were his victims.

 

Now, those are just my personal, random thoughts. I fully realize that 99% of you will vehemently disagree with me.

 

Flame suit on!

astrid

 

No tomatoes or flames here. I completely agree with you.

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I don't know that I would go so far as to say that he was mentally ill. It does seem that he holds to some ideals that are certainly anathema to my way of thinking. But I can't go so far as to determine that everyone who holds his views are mentally ill.

 

I will say that the reluctance to be dilligent in checking out the concerns voiced about this guy concerns me because it is symptomatic of a far deeper problem. If you have a group of people who have declared war on you and act accordingly and then you have someone in your own ranks who is exhibiting signs of believing the same way, then you need to really check it out.

 

We certainly make sure that we investigate allegations of sexual harrassment (which is based mostly on the perception of the listener, not the intentions of the speaker). There were recent calls to closely examine anyone making "right wing extremist" statements on the internet (which was very loosely defined by the civilian group that was suggesting it). My husband has traveled to well over a dozen countries and had close relationships with many members of foreign militaries. This is examined with a fine toothed comb every time his security clearance is reviewed. When I had a clearance I had to once explain a $130 phone bill that was turned over for collections because of a paperwork error.

 

But for some reason, we have an aversion to taking certain statements at face value, if they come from someone of a certain background. This seems more than a little odd to me.

 

I think there is a reluctance to be seen to paint Muslims or Arabs with a broad brush. And that is good. But to go to the extreme other end and fail to adequately investigate concerns is more than foolhardy.

 

One final thought. Once upon a time in the military you could d*mn with faint praise. The idea was that things were so competitive that giving someone less than highest marks would doom them to fail to be promoted and retained. And that is still the case in some branches and specialties. But at least in the enlisted field that my dh supervises, recent boards have promoted people to senior enlisted ranks who a few years ago would not have been maintained. The board basically said that if you were going to mark someone promotable (albeit with lower marks) then that still meant that they were promotable. Folks really need to man up (to borrow Spy Dad's phrase) and decide if they really want someone running the show in a few years. If not, then give them the marks that they deserve instead of hoping that someone else down the line will do the work to document failings and give them more correct evaluations.

 

Having said all of that. The Major did what he did. I don't think that there is a punishment that a court could hand down that I would think was too harsh.

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I don't know that I would go so far as to say that he was mentally ill.

 

I have a hard time believing he was of sound mind. The fact that he didn't turn the gun on himself is telling, imo.

 

One final thought. Once upon a time in the military you could d*mn with faint praise. The idea was that things were so competitive that giving someone less than highest marks would doom them to fail to be promoted and retained. And that is still the case in some branches and specialties. But at least in the enlisted field that my dh supervises....

 

There is demand for military physicians and specifically deployable psychiatrists so many are held on to that might be let go with more competition. Physicians with rank are especially sparse in some specialties.

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I have a hard time believing he was of sound mind. The fact that he didn't turn the gun on himself is telling, imo.

 

I will reiterate: there is no evidence that he was/is mentally ill. The criteria for mental illness is quite specific.

 

There is demand for military physicians and specifically deployable psychiatrists so many are held on to that might be let go with more competition. Physicians with rank are especially sparse in some specialties.

 

All doctors enter military service at the rank of Captain. He was a major (one rank above Captain). It is not particularly difficult to go up one rank in the medical corps. In fact, it is practically automatic nowadays. Going up 2 or 3 however, is difficult.

 

 

a

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I will reiterate: there is no evidence that he was/is mentally ill. The criteria for mental illness is quite specific.

 

While there is no evidence as of yet, it is certainly a strong possibility. It isn't hard to surmise that opening fire on a military base would help someone meet the criteria, regardless how stringent, for a psychotic episode. *We* (the American public) will probably never know the full story.

 

 

All doctors enter military service at the rank of Captain. He was a major (one rank above Captain). It is not particularly difficult to go up one rank in the medical corps. In fact, it is practically automatic nowadays. Going up 2 or 3 however, is difficult.

 

 

a

 

It is actually almost guaranteed you will go up at least one rank because of your service commitment length post medical school. In the USAF docs are sometimes automatically promoted all the way up to Lt Col depending on the year.

 

The fact that he is a major gives him the ability to fill slots that can't be filled by a new captain. Regardless of how difficult it is to become a major, the fact is that majors are more experienced than captains and have added value.

 

Psychiatrists are very high in demand right now due to the war. I can see his value being a consideration (as opposed to say a dermatologist) when trying to figure out rather or not bench him.

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I don't know that I would go so far as to say that he was mentally ill. It does seem that he holds to some ideals that are certainly anathema to my way of thinking. But I can't go so far as to determine that everyone who holds his views are mentally ill.

 

I will say that the reluctance to be dilligent in checking out the concerns voiced about this guy concerns me because it is symptomatic of a far deeper problem. If you have a group of people who have declared war on you and act accordingly and then you have someone in your own ranks who is exhibiting signs of believing the same way, then you need to really check it out.

 

We certainly make sure that we investigate allegations of sexual harrassment (which is based mostly on the perception of the listener, not the intentions of the speaker). There were recent calls to closely examine anyone making "right wing extremist" statements on the internet (which was very loosely defined by the civilian group that was suggesting it). My husband has traveled to well over a dozen countries and had close relationships with many members of foreign militaries. This is examined with a fine toothed comb every time his security clearance is reviewed. When I had a clearance I had to once explain a $130 phone bill that was turned over for collections because of a paperwork error.

 

But for some reason, we have an aversion to taking certain statements at face value, if they come from someone of a certain background. This seems more than a little odd to me.

 

I think there is a reluctance to be seen to paint Muslims or Arabs with a broad brush. And that is good. But to go to the extreme other end and fail to adequately investigate concerns is more than foolhardy.

 

 

Having said all of that. The Major did what he did. I don't think that there is a punishment that a court could hand down that I would think was too harsh.

 

(bolding mine) The fact is that failing to investigate will have done more harm than good in the long run. If there was a soldier who worked with dh who has an Arab sounding name who was openly religious - now there is automatically doubt and fear. I know I could get past it if I was able to get to know the individual, but my immediate gut reaction is fear. I'm sure I'm not the only person around with that response. It may have been there before, but it would have been a baseless fear. Now the fear seems more justified because of the actions (or lack of action) by the groups that investigated this.

 

That isn't fair to Muslim individuals, it isn't fair to other soldiers and it was all caused by a reluctance to hold the Major accountable for his words and actions before this happened.

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HOWEVER, from most accounts I read, his colleagues and superiors in the military had been waving red flags around this guy for YEARS. Evaluations were done, letters were written, grave concerns were voiced, and still, nothing was done. This guy was, among other things, mentally ill, and it seems from the media coverage I've heard and read that several years ago his peers were worried that he could be homicidal. His ties to terrorists were investigated several years ago.

 

 

Flame suit on!

astrid

 

No flames, but I do disagree.

 

It bothers me that people feel they cannot voice or act on concern towards someone who could potentially be a danger, because they don't want to be accused of discriminating (in this case) one's religion. Hassan should have been dismissed from duty long ago, imo.

 

I absolutely do NOT believe this man is/was mentally ill. He absolutely knew what he was doing and I fully believe this was a terrorist attack. I agree with others who feel no punishment will be harsh enough.

Edited by TN Mama
trying to clarify :)
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There are so many ways this guy was different than McVeigh. For starters he was still in uniform after having received a free education that allowed him to earn $80k/year.

Second, he was in contact w/foreign nationals who were intent on harming Americans. Americans in uniform in particular.

Third, he probably won't get the death penalty.

Fourth, this is post 9/11 and his crime and prosecution are likely to inspire others outside the country (and inside as well).

Fifth, this was about religion for him. A personal jihad.

Finally, it looks like political correctness enabled this guy to go this far. McVeigh was able to fly under the radar.

 

Laura

 

If we're not willing to call this a terrorist act, we invite more of the same.

 

Terrorist acts have been interrupted or caught every few months since 9/11. This one was successful. We can debate all day long what this man's particular state of mind was, what his childhood was like, how he related to people, whether or not someone should have taken action on their concerns, and how his murderous rampage should be handled now.

 

What we should not be debating is the fact that this was, at its core, an act of terrorism against the US.

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I think that in the military, people have to be even MORE politically correct that in the outside world, or else YOU will suffer on your performance evaluations. If, for example, you have a supervising officer who is a female, and she is really terrible--man-bashes all the time, changes orders all the time, makes false accusations that are disproved about you, whatever--you could NEVER complain about her, because then you (if you were a man) would be accused of not being a team player, not accepting women in the military, being of some pre 1970 mindset. This happened to a very good friend of ours. I am positive that all these people who raised red flags about this guy were absolutely correct, and I am more sure that no senior officer would ever have risked his career being to one to investigate them and corroborate them. He would immediately have been charged as a racist, and anti-muslim. That is just the way it is. Will things change now? I doubt it. Those changes have to come down from the top, and we already have very clear examples of people in high offices calling "racism" for everything. And even now, in the reaction to this, people in higher positions are jumping all over themselves to say it was stress, whatever. Those people would not have backed some poor captain whistleblower who was a squeaky wheel about this guy several years ago. SO the captain would be out, and the crazy man still free to shoot up people who he disagreed with and didn't like. It's sort of like tenure in the public school system. Once you're in, it's very hard to get you out, especially if you are a minority (and even more so, one that must be treated with kid gloves).

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I think that in the military, people have to be even MORE politically correct that in the outside world, or else YOU will suffer on your performance evaluations. If, for example, you have a supervising officer who is a female, and she is really terrible--man-bashes all the time, changes orders all the time, makes false accusations that are disproved about you, whatever--you could NEVER complain about her, because then you (if you were a man) would be accused of not being a team player, not accepting women in the military, being of some pre 1970 mindset. This happened to a very good friend of ours. I am positive that all these people who raised red flags about this guy were absolutely correct, and I am more sure that no senior officer would ever have risked his career being to one to investigate them and corroborate them. He would immediately have been charged as a racist, and anti-muslim. That is just the way it is. Will things change now? I doubt it. Those changes have to come down from the top, and we already have very clear examples of people in high offices calling "racism" for everything. And even now, in the reaction to this, people in higher positions are jumping all over themselves to say it was stress, whatever. Those people would not have backed some poor captain whistleblower who was a squeaky wheel about this guy several years ago. SO the captain would be out, and the crazy man still free to shoot up people who he disagreed with and didn't like. It's sort of like tenure in the public school system. Once you're in, it's very hard to get you out, especially if you are a minority (and even more so, one that must be treated with kid gloves).

 

Yep.

 

I just posted this article from Forbes on the S/O thread, and I think the guy is spot on:

 

Analyzing Major Nidal Hassan by Melik Kaylan

 

 

a

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I think that in the military, people have to be even MORE politically correct that in the outside world, or else YOU will suffer on your performance evaluations. If, for example, you have a supervising officer who is a female, and she is really terrible--man-bashes all the time, changes orders all the time, makes false accusations that are disproved about you, whatever--you could NEVER complain about her, because then you (if you were a man) would be accused of not being a team player, not accepting women in the military, being of some pre 1970 mindset. This happened to a very good friend of ours. I am positive that all these people who raised red flags about this guy were absolutely correct, and I am more sure that no senior officer would ever have risked his career being to one to investigate them and corroborate them. He would immediately have been charged as a racist, and anti-muslim. That is just the way it is. Will things change now? I doubt it. Those changes have to come down from the top, and we already have very clear examples of people in high offices calling "racism" for everything. And even now, in the reaction to this, people in higher positions are jumping all over themselves to say it was stress, whatever. Those people would not have backed some poor captain whistleblower who was a squeaky wheel about this guy several years ago. SO the captain would be out, and the crazy man still free to shoot up people who he disagreed with and didn't like. It's sort of like tenure in the public school system. Once you're in, it's very hard to get you out, especially if you are a minority (and even more so, one that must be treated with kid gloves).

 

:iagree::iagree:

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No flames, but I do disagree.

 

It bothers me that people feel they cannot voice or act on concern towards someone who could potentially be a danger, because they don't want to be accused of discriminating (in this case) one's religion. Hassan should have been dismissed from duty long ago, imo.

 

I absolutely do NOT believe this man is/was mentally ill. He absolutely knew what he was doing and I fully believe this was a terrorist attack. I agree with others who feel no punishment will be harsh enough.

 

 

I guess I don't see how walking into a building and mowing down a crowd of people is the work of a sane individual. IMHO, that's some sort of psychotic break, at the very least.

 

Again, not saying this guy is lily-white or not deserving of every level of hell that's coming his way. I'm just saying that it doesn't seem like this guy woke up that morning and decided to go on a killing spree for the heck of it.

 

astrid

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I guess I don't see how walking into a building and mowing down a crowd of people is the work of a sane individual. IMHO, that's some sort of psychotic break, at the very least.

 

Again, not saying this guy is lily-white or not deserving of every level of hell that's coming his way. I'm just saying that it doesn't seem like this guy woke up that morning and decided to go on a killing spree for the heck of it.

 

astrid

 

So are you saying that every suicide bomber in the Middle East or the Philippines etc. is insane? Are you saying that the people who flew into the World Trade Center were insane? I'm sure none of them just woke up one morning and decided to go on a killing spree for the heck of it. And I doubt that he did either.

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I guess I don't see how walking into a building and mowing down a crowd of people is the work of a sane individual. IMHO, that's some sort of psychotic break, at the very least.

 

Again, not saying this guy is lily-white or not deserving of every level of hell that's coming his way. I'm just saying that it doesn't seem like this guy woke up that morning and decided to go on a killing spree for the heck of it.

 

astrid

 

He planned this. It isn't like he snapped and freaked out and started shooting. Anyone who can kill another person has issues, imo. But I wouldn't call them all mentally ill. Not by a longshot.

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So are you saying that every suicide bomber in the Middle East or the Philippines etc. is insane? Are you saying that the people who flew into the World Trade Center were insane? I'm sure none of them just woke up one morning and decided to go on a killing spree for the heck of it. And I doubt that he did either.

 

Exactly my point.

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I guess I don't see how walking into a building and mowing down a crowd of people is the work of a sane individual. IMHO, that's some sort of psychotic break, at the very least.

 

He got coffee at the 7-11 that morning, just like every other morning. Being a cold-blooded killer doesn't necessarily make you insane.

 

I'm just saying that it doesn't seem like this guy woke up that morning and decided to go on a killing spree for the heck of it.

 

 

Very few people murder for "the heck of it," even sociopaths have a reason.

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Ummm......I think I"m being misunderstood.

 

What I"m saying is that normal people don't do this sort of thing. They don't. He isn't normal. Maybe he was good at acting normal, getting coffee, etc.

 

I'm getting the feeling that you are all thinking I"m excusing his behavior somehow. I"ve said several times that I"m not. I don't know how much more clear I can make that.

 

astrid

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But, Astrid, normal people can do this if they believe strongly enough in their ideals. It just so happened that his ideals are the same ones that normal people with an allegiance to certain Islamic beliefs hold. (Note I said certain Islamic beliefs, not all Islamic beliefs). It may seem insane to us because we don't believe that we should pursue our ideals at the expense of the lives of others but some do and have throughout history. Can mentally ill people buy into this stuff? Sure. But there isn't a one-to-one correspondence to killing for idealogical reasons and insanity.

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Ummm......I think I"m being misunderstood.

 

What I"m saying is that normal people don't do this sort of thing. They don't. He isn't normal. Maybe he was good at acting normal, getting coffee, etc.

 

I'm getting the feeling that you are all thinking I"m excusing his behavior somehow. I"ve said several times that I"m not. I don't know how much more clear I can make that.

 

astrid

 

My question to anyone who believes his murders were an act of sanity is why did he do it?

 

If you answer this was his personal expression of religious jihad, then why did he join the US military in the first place? Do you believe his intent all along was to murder US troops? Has he been posturing himself for years just waiting for the chance to kill? Why did he bother doing all of the hard work of residency and med school when he could have just enlisted and done the same thing?

 

This guy is a doctor. His career was about helping people. He joined the military probably to fund his education not to find an opportunity to kill military members. A lot of physicians join for the money but start getting resentful about the commitment after med school's been paid for and the reality of deployments and service are breathing down their necks.

 

IMO, this guy has heard one two many horror stories about the war from his patients and he probably bubbled over with fear and anxiety about having to deploy. I bet his anxiety has been building since the day he graduated and had to start acting like an officer and participate in a war he finds objectionable. It sounds like his anxiety has been building for years, as is evidenced by stories of his past problems in the workplace, and he finally snapped.

 

If he's working as part of an organized terrorist group, he probably would have killed himself before he could be captured and questioned. Also, I haven't heard of any organized terror group taking credit for this guy's actions. All the suicide bombers and plane crashers make sure they're not around after the damage is done. The suicide is part of the mission.

 

He should have thought about all of his religious objections before he took money from the military for school. You can't have your cake....

 

And, ftr, I agree that his penalty should be harsh. I don't care that he went nuts. If you're the kind of person that isn't going to be able to handle the stresses of the military, you shouldn't join. He made the decision to join in his right mind knowing full well his religious beliefs. It's not as if we just started warring with the middle east.

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My question to anyone who believes his murders were an act of sanity is why did he do it?

 

If you answer this was his personal expression of religious jihad, then why did he join the US military in the first place? Do you believe his intent all along was to murder US troops? Has he been posturing himself for years just waiting for the chance to kill? Why did he bother doing all of the hard work of residency and med school when he could have just enlisted and done the same thing?

 

This guy is a doctor. His career was about helping people. He joined the military probably to fund his education not to find an opportunity to kill military members. A lot of physicians join for the money but start getting resentful about the commitment after med school's been paid for and the reality of deployments and service are breathing down their necks.

 

IMO, this guy has heard one two many horror stories about the war from his patients and he probably bubbled over with fear and anxiety about having to deploy. I bet his anxiety has been building since the day he graduated and had to start acting like an officer and participate in a war he finds objectionable. It sounds like his anxiety has been building for years, as is evidenced by stories of his past problems in the workplace, and he finally snapped.

 

If he's working as part of an organized terrorist group, he probably would have killed himself before he could be captured and questioned. Also, I haven't heard of any organized terror group taking credit for this guy's actions. All the suicide bombers and plane crashers make sure they're not around after the damage is done. The suicide is part of the mission.

 

He should have thought about all of his religious objections before he took money from the military for school. You can't have your cake....

 

And, ftr, I agree that his penalty should be harsh. I don't care that he went nuts. If you're the kind of person that isn't going to be able to handle the stresses of the military, you shouldn't join. He made the decision to join in his right mind knowing full well his religious beliefs. It's not as if we just started warring with the middle east.

Dis-:iagree:I would have to disagree with this.

This was a well planned out plot to kill his enemies. His laptop and his bank records are going to show this to be true. He purchased a gun for this reason. The FBI dropped the ball on this one, and army personnel were afraid to report him do the political correct atmosphere.

 

He can be in a group of one. This is what OBL wants his followers to do.

 

He could have changed his mind afterwards. He did give speeches at Walter Reed. They were not exactly pro USA either.

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Dis-:iagree:I would have to disagree with this.

This was a well planned out plot to kill his enemies. His laptop and his bank records are going to show this to be true. He purchased a gun for this reason. The FBI dropped the ball on this one, and army personnel were afraid to report him do the political correct atmosphere.

 

He can be in a group of one. This is what OBL wants his followers to do.

 

He could have changed his mind afterwards. He did give speeches at Walter Reed. They were not exactly pro USA either.

 

Why did he bother to become a physician, of all things? He could have had any of a number of other careers that would have been less demanding.

 

A lot of doctors go nuts just because of the stress of that job alone. His career field is incredibly INCREDIBLY stressful. Stress like most people can't imagine. He's staring down the barrel of deployment in a war he finds objectionable to the max.

 

Yes, he probably did this for religious reasons. Yes, it was obviously somewhat planned out, although not for very long, because again, why the heck did he bother with all of the education and years of training when he could have had a much easier job that would have given him better access to military secrets and opportunities to thwart the US.

 

His career field belies the idea that he has had a long standing plan to be a military murderer. His career field also explains a lot of his stress and personality.

 

Doctors are counseled in med school about how many of them will become drug addicts, alcoholics, and divorced lonely people. It's tough enough to be a doctor let alone a military psychiatrist who has conservative/rigid/extremist religious beliefs and will be asked to shelve those beliefs and follow orders.

 

Again, he snapped. He hasn't been planning this since med school. He hasn't had a long range plan to do evil. The stress overwhelmed him and his mental health has probably become more and more fragile over time as a result.

 

He may have thought he was killing in the name of religion, but so do many people who have psychotic episodes. Hearing God instructing you to kill is kind of hallmark psychosis, in fact.

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I guess I don't see how walking into a building and mowing down a crowd of people is the work of a sane individual. IMHO, that's some sort of psychotic break, at the very least.

 

Again, not saying this guy is lily-white or not deserving of every level of hell that's coming his way. I'm just saying that it doesn't seem like this guy woke up that morning and decided to go on a killing spree for the heck of it.

 

astrid

 

So, do you think the people who rammed into the twin towers were also insane or purposeful?

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So, do you think the people who rammed into the twin towers were also insane or purposeful?

 

Can't they be both? I think they were nuts. I think anyone who goes to such an extreme is nuts. I don't care if they want to call it religious fervor or even religious fanatacism. Once you go to that point where you are going to kill others or yourself, you've crossed the line into insanity. Sure, you can still have a purpose, but it's a crazy purpose.

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Why did he bother to become a physician, of all things? He could have had any of a number of other careers that would have been less demanding.

 

A lot of doctors go nuts just because of the stress of that job alone. His career field is incredibly INCREDIBLY stressful. Stress like most people can't imagine. He's staring down the barrel of deployment in a war he finds objectionable to the max.

 

Yes, he probably did this for religious reasons. Yes, it was obviously somewhat planned out, although not for very long, because again, why the heck did he bother with all of the education and years of training when he could have had a much easier job that would have given him better access to military secrets and opportunities to thwart the US.

 

His career field belies the idea that he has had a long standing plan to be a military murderer. His career field also explains a lot of his stress and personality.

 

Doctors are counseled in med school about how many of them will become drug addicts, alcoholics, and divorced lonely people. It's tough enough to be a doctor let alone a military psychiatrist who has conservative/rigid/extremist religious beliefs and will be asked to shelve those beliefs and follow orders.

 

Again, he snapped. He hasn't been planning this since med school. He hasn't had a long range plan to do evil. The stress overwhelmed him and his mental health has probably become more and more fragile over time as a result.

 

He may have thought he was killing in the name of religion, but so do many people who have psychotic episodes. Hearing God instructing you to kill is kind of hallmark psychosis, in fact.

 

 

YES. This is EXACTLY what I've been trying to say. Crazy-busy, and every time I sat down the dogs or the kid wanted something, so my thoughts didn't exactly come out as completely or as coherently as I would have liked. But yes. I completely agree.

 

astrid

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Wow, lots of deleted posts...

 

I think the issue with whether or not he was nuts lay more in the insanity plea than anything else. If he was insane, then could he/ should he stand trial? Is he mentally ill? Is he sick? Can he be cured?

 

I watched a program today on a rapist in Syracuse. He kept a "torture chamber" in his basement. Now, this guy WILL say that kidnapping is wrong, raping is wrong, torture is wrong, but he will also tell you that he is not guilty of those things. His "victims" weren't victims at all. They wanted to be there. Is he crazy/mentally ill/sick/insane? NOPE. He's got it together enough to justify his actions to himself. Has he misled himself through those justifications? Absolutely, but that does not mean he's nuts.

 

It wouldn't surprise me if the Fort Hood shooter could justify every moment of what he did. It wouldn't surprise me if he could almost sound rational while doing so. I don't think he's nuts. I think he convinced himself it was the right thing to do. I think he's probably already justified this action to himself.

 

Before saying this directly points to insanity, remember, someone can justify nearly any action, even the more benign crimes, without being crazy. They're just wrong.

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If we're not willing to call this a terrorist act, we invite more of the same.

 

Terrorist acts have been interrupted or caught every few months since 9/11. This one was successful. We can debate all day long what this man's particular state of mind was, what his childhood was like, how he related to people, whether or not someone should have taken action on their concerns, and how his murderous rampage should be handled now.

 

What we should not be debating is the fact that this was, at its core, an act of terrorism against the US.

 

:iagree:

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My question to anyone who believes his murders were an act of sanity is why did he do it?

 

Religious fanaticism.

 

If you answer this was his personal expression of religious jihad, then why did he join the US military in the first place?

 

To be in a position that is considered above reproach.

 

Do you believe his intent all along was to murder US troops?

 

Yes.

 

Has he been posturing himself for years just waiting for the chance to kill?

 

Yes.

 

Why did he bother doing all of the hard work of residency and med school when he could have just enlisted and done the same thing?

 

He couldn't have enlisted and done the same thing. Enlisted personnel do not have the same freedom of movement as do officers. Nor do they have the ability to rise to a position of authority in such a short period of time. Nor do they have the opportunity to lay the groundwork for a defense of "I had to listen to horrible stories". Nor are they able to establish years of contacts via the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences while simultaneously not having to deploy to a combat zone that would put them into an ideological quandary.

 

This guy is a doctor. His career was about helping people. He joined the military probably to fund his education not to find an opportunity to kill military members.

 

Actually, you do not know that.

 

A lot of physicians join for the money but start getting resentful about the commitment after med school's been paid for and the reality of deployments and service are breathing down their necks.

 

This is a specious argument. Were this true, the hundreds of physicians and other healthcare personnel throughout the armed forces would be in the news every day for "going postal" on their fellow service members. Not to mention the hundreds of civilian healthcare providers who voluntarily leave their private practices to do tours in combat zones.

 

IMO, this guy has heard one two many horror stories about the war from his patients and he probably bubbled over with fear and anxiety about having to deploy. I bet his anxiety has been building since the day he graduated and had to start acting like an officer and participate in a war he finds objectionable. It sounds like his anxiety has been building for years, as is evidenced by stories of his past problems in the workplace, and he finally snapped.

 

Perhaps had he not been having to to try so hard to act like an officer (playing a role wears on one after a while, after all), his anxiety level would have been lower. What I am reading here is a case of "blame the victims" rather than "blame the perpetrator".

 

If he's working as part of an organized terrorist group, he probably would have killed himself before he could be captured and questioned. Also, I haven't heard of any organized terror group taking credit for this guy's actions.

 

There is no evidence that he was working as part of an organized terrorist group. AQs current modus operandi (and their mo for quite a few years now) has been that of the lone operator. People who are quietly encouraged, but not formally trained or recognized.

 

All the suicide bombers and plane crashers make sure they're not around after the damage is done. The suicide is part of the mission.

 

No, it is not. You cannot continue to "fight the good fight" if you are dead.

 

He should have thought about all of his religious objections before he took money from the military for school. You can't have your cake....

 

IMO, he was well aware of his religious differences. I'm also quite certain that he knew that, in the current PC climate, no one would call him on them. And he was correct. He was able to have his cake. With frosting.

 

And, ftr, I agree that his penalty should be harsh. I don't care that he went nuts. If you're the kind of person that isn't going to be able to handle the stresses of the military, you shouldn't join. He made the decision to join in his right mind knowing full well his religious beliefs. It's not as if we just started warring with the middle east.

 

I still maintain that he didn't go nuts.

 

But you are correct, warring between the west and the middle east has been occurring since the 11th century.

 

 

a

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So, do you think the people who rammed into the twin towers were also insane or purposeful?

 

How can these cases even be compared?? One was an undercover group that had been meeting and recruiting forever, working with apparent ties to what is deemed a terrorist org. (even though it seemed some of the recruits had no idea what their mission was, just signed up).

 

This case here is a guy with a deep level of double-standards? But to my knowledge then you don't have to be a Muslim military to feel oposed to the war. There are other military people feeling the same way, no? He felt trapped. As far as has been apparent then he was totally working on his own. Sure, he planned it in advance (weeks? months?), but lots of crazy people appear quite normal and then do random, weird acts. Usually their religious background is not the culprit.....

 

I just think it is so obvious that the cases are so different from eachother.

 

A post like KJB's is to me borderline paranoid. But many people apparently feel that way. The guy was apparently having a personal crisis. Rhetoric didn't help him. He felt bullied and to him felt stuck. He had no wife and had been looking forever for one, so loneliness and seeing things in perspective were probably also causes. Obviously a rational person would go to prison if not wanting to go to war and that is where my reasoning stops. I just don't see any deeper than that...

 

From everything I have read then he was an excellent psychiatrist -are we reading the same news? I mean, as a psychiatrist, wouldn't it be easy to manipulate patients??If it "had been his mission all along to get all Americans"??

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I saw an interview with a colleague (a female psychiatrist) who said he so and prior to that -when the news came out at first- it said so as well. Don't have a link, but I was not under the impression otherwise at all. I mean, I did hear military personel say otherwise, however, this was in hindsight and not his peers/colleagues so I was putting more weight on what his actual colleagues were saying. And oh yes, there were also a couple of former patients who said he had been an excellent doctor (this was from one of the very first articles I read on cnn.com).

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So are you saying that every suicide bomber in the Middle East or the Philippines etc. is insane? Are you saying that the people who flew into the World Trade Center were insane? I'm sure none of them just woke up one morning and decided to go on a killing spree for the heck of it. And I doubt that he did either.

 

OK, so obviously we are only discussing the sub-group of Muslim attackers here. OK. Probably most acts of violence is done by us Muslims, right??

 

I think the cases you are comparing are so different. 9/11 was an obvious masterminded attack; tons of proofs there. However, please do not forget that the master minds were not practising Muslims and that one of the most fundamental tenets of our religion is *moderation* (in everything), just FYI.

 

Suicide bombers, not unique to Muslims. Islam opposes suicide and taking of innocent lives. What Muslims decide to do does not necessarily mean it is endorsed by their religion. I'm just saying. Study some sociology, go visit a Palestinian camp and see how people live, how no hope their youth is growing up with and you might start seeing where that kind of desperation comes from.

 

I am obviously not condoning any acts of violence. Islam is a derivative that means Submission to God and Peace. I am not meaning to start a religious campaign here, but there seems to be a lot of stereotyping going on.

 

N.B. Living in the US then I agree that the Muslim communities need to be more community-oriented. America is built on community-service and I don't think most Muslims living here realise that. Instead they keep to themselves (and their own, usually by nationality), trying to keep a low profile like they are used to from their home countries. So, the American public only hears about Muslims when it is some tragic, awful piece of news.

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Why did he bother doing all of the hard work of residency and med school when he could have just enlisted and done the same thing?

 

 

He couldn't have enlisted and done the same thing. Enlisted personnel do not have the same freedom of movement as do officers. Nor do they have the ability to rise to a position of authority in such a short period of time. Nor do they have the opportunity to lay the groundwork for a defense of "I had to listen to horrible stories". Nor are they able to establish years of contacts via the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences while simultaneously not having to deploy to a combat zone that would put them into an ideological quandary.

 

Why couldn't he have done the same thing as an enlisted soldier? I am not sure what you mean as enlisted soldiers not having the same freedom of movement as officers. In the military I am familiar with, anyone can buy and hide a handgun and show up at a populated area and start shooting. In fact, you can be a civilian and do this if you have base/post accesss. You don't need any special freedom of movement to accomplish this goal.

 

A far as not having to deploy as a med student, there are other specialties where he would *NEVER* have to deploy such as a pediatric dentist. Further, there are other career fields that would offer him better access to military secrets if his plan was to be a double agent all along. It does not add up that he'd choose medicine.

 

 

This guy is a doctor. His career was about helping people. He joined the military probably to fund his education not to find an opportunity to kill military members.

 

Actually, you do not know that.

According to his aunt, he was trying to get out of the Army but was refused because of his commitment to pay back the military for paying for his education. I don't know how formal his efforts were, but I do know if he'd mentioned this he would have been told by superiors that getting out would be impossible. The demand for psychiatrists is just too high right now.

 

 

A lot of physicians join for the money but start getting resentful about the commitment after med school's been paid for and the reality of deployments and service are breathing down their necks.

 

This is a specious argument. Were this true, the hundreds of physicians and other healthcare personnel throughout the armed forces would be in the news every day for "going postal" on their fellow service members. Not to mention the hundreds of civilian healthcare providers who voluntarily leave their private practices to do tours in combat zones.

 

 

Many people are resentful and fearful. Many people have integrity and fulfill their obligations anyway. Also, I'm not sure who the private citizens doing tours in combat zones are?

 

 

 

 

Perhaps had he not been having to to try so hard to act like an officer (playing a role wears on one after a while, after all), his anxiety level would have been lower. What I am reading here is a case of "blame the victims" rather than "blame the perpetrator".

 

It is absolutely 110% NOT the fault of the military that this guy lost it. It IS HIS OWN FAULT and he should be held accountable. He knew when he joined that he wasn't on our side. I think he thought he could stomach it until he'd fulfilled his commitment and could get out.

 

He was playing the role for money, not for religion.

 

 

 

 

There is no evidence that he was working as part of an organized terrorist group. AQs current modus operandi (and their mo for quite a few years now) has been that of the lone operator. People who are quietly encouraged, but not formally trained or recognized.

 

I agree there is no evidence he was part of organized terror.

 

 

 

 

No, it is not. You cannot continue to "fight the good fight" if you are dead.

 

It's tough to fight from the inside of a prison cell, too. If his actions were fueled by religion alone, he'd be happily in his version of heaven right now following the logic that he acted solely for religious zealotism. He would have chosen suicide.

 

 

 

a

 

Anyway, it's a good discussion. I read the Forbes article and I found a lot of it interesting and true. However, the initial premise that he must have been either a religious Jihad guy OR a psycho is inaccurate.

 

IMO, he was both a religious conservative AND a man who needed psychiatric intervention. He wanted to use the system to pay for his life but he wasn't able to handle the commitment that choice entailed.

Edited by KJB
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How can these cases even be compared?? One was an undercover group that had been meeting and recruiting forever, working with apparent ties to what is deemed a terrorist org. (even though it seemed some of the recruits had no idea what their mission was, just signed up).

 

This case here is a guy with a deep level of double-standards? But to my knowledge then you don't have to be a Muslim military to feel oposed to the war. There are other military people feeling the same way, no? He felt trapped. As far as has been apparent then he was totally working on his own. Sure, he planned it in advance (weeks? months?), but lots of crazy people appear quite normal and then do random, weird acts. Usually their religious background is not the culprit.....

 

I just think it is so obvious that the cases are so different from eachother.

 

A post like KJB's is to me borderline paranoid. But many people apparently feel that way. The guy was apparently having a personal crisis. Rhetoric didn't help him. He felt bullied and to him felt stuck. He had no wife and had been looking forever for one, so loneliness and seeing things in perspective were probably also causes. Obviously a rational person would go to prison if not wanting to go to war and that is where my reasoning stops. I just don't see any deeper than that...

 

From everything I have read then he was an excellent psychiatrist -are we reading the same news? I mean, as a psychiatrist, wouldn't it be easy to manipulate patients??If it "had been his mission all along to get all Americans"??

 

Could you clarify what part of my post you find "borderline paranoid"?

 

I think I'm offering one of the least paranoid perspectives on the board, but that could be my paranoia talkin'. :D

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????

 

Neither did any of the folks who were in or near that building that day.

I don't understand your question marks. My "if" is very clear. He has not been found guilty in a court of law (either military or regular). He is entitled to that under our Constitution. I have no doubts as to his guilt but, until he is given a trial, my "if" stands and for good reason.

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A religious conservative? When he enrolled or when? What *is* a religous conservative? Is it only when someone snaps that he is a conservative?

 

Do you characterize him differently?

 

How about just a religious guy? Is that better?

 

Do you not think he had religious objections to the war?

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Could you clarify what part of my post you find "borderline paranoid"?

 

I think I'm offering one of the least paranoid perspectives on the board, but that could be my paranoia talkin'. :D

 

Perhaps you are paranoid about being labelled paranoid?

 

If you admit to this, then you are indeed, paranoid.

 

:lol:

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