Disturbing: Food stamp fraud rampant: GAO report
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has concluded its investigation into the Ft. Hood terror attack and – as is usually the case with government “investigations” – you have to read between the lines to get the real story. We’ll get to that in a moment. First, the official story, via CNN:
Washington (CNN) — FBI and Army officials repeatedly ignored multiple warning signs that could have prevented the November 2009 massacre at Fort Hood, Texas, according to a long-awaited report released Thursday by two U.S. senators.
The inability to act was a result of both bureaucratic inefficiency and an unwillingness to identify and confront homegrown Islamic extremism, the report concludes.
Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan is accused in the shootings, which left 13 people dead and 32 wounded. He faces a likely court-martial and potential death penalty.
Thursday’s report — titled “A Ticking Time Bomb” — was written by Sens. Joseph Lieberman, I-Connecticut, and Susan Collins, R-Maine. Lieberman is the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee; Collins is the committee’s top Republican.
“Although neither the Department of Defense nor the FBI had specific information concerning the time, place, or nature of the attack, they collectively had sufficient information to have detected Hasan’s radicalization to violent Islamist extremism but failed both to understand and to act on it,” the report says.
“Our investigation found specific and systemic failures in the government’s handling of the Hasan case and raises additional concerns about what may be broader systemic issues.”
Among other things, the report notes that a FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force had learned that Hasan was communicating with a suspected terrorist and flagged his communications for “further review.” A second task force, however, subsequently dismissed the evidence and “dropped the matter rather than cause a bureaucratic confrontation.”
Hasan reportedly communicated by e-mail with radical Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. Al-Awlaki’s name is not included in the publicly released version of the report.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon “possessed compelling evidence that Hasan embraced views so extreme that it should have disciplined him or discharged him from the military, but (Defense officials) failed to take action against him,” the report says.
It concludes that Hasan’s military officer evaluation reports were “sanitized” to minimize his “obsession with violent Islamic extremism.”
Jon Ham provides the necessary translation:
And why did the FBI and the Army “fail” in their responsibilities to notify the relevant authorities that a Muslim nutjob was operating in their midsts? Because they would have been crucified on the cross of insensitivity and political incorrectness in an atmosphere encouraged by Congress and almost every other institution in American live over the past 30 years.
The real culprit in not identifying the danger of Hasan is the far left, which has preached multiculturalism and identity politics since the 1980s. Any criticism of one of their privileged minorities, racial or religious, has immediately been branded racism. The FBI and the Army, to their discredit, cowed to this insanity, and the loss of life by the likes of Hasan is the result.
Robert Spencer adds:
For now, the report recommends that the Pentagon “revise its policies and training in order to confront the threat of Islamist extremism directly.” But even short of tackling chapter and verse, any such activity will be met with howls of “profiling” and “Islamophobia,” and resisted by Muslim sympathizers setting policies within the Pentagon.
In other words, as it is with most other Congressional investigations, panels, etc, we get the sanitized version of events without addressing the serious underlying factors that either directly or indirectly led to said events (see: the 9-11 Commission, the various economic meltdown “investigative” committees for more), thereby pretty much making it impossible for us as a country to “move forward” and “learn from our mistakes” and impliment new procedures (or modify old ones) so as to decrease the risk of said events happening again.
And why is that? Stop and think about it for a minute: The most devastating terror attack on US soil came about thanks, in part, to left’s refusal to treat Islamofascism as anything other than a law enforcement issue in the 1990s under President Bill Clinton. Not only that, but the information sharing between intelligence agencies became a major issue under the Bubba Regime thanks to then-Deputy AG Jamie Gorelick’s “wall.” Flashback (via Andrew C. McCarthy in 2004):
Gorelick did invent the wall. The wall was not a set of procedures implementing FISA as construed by federal decisional law. To quote Gorelick’s 1995 memorandum (something she carefully avoids doing), the procedures her memorandum put in place “go beyond what is legally required…[to] prevent any risk of creating an unwarranted appearance that FISA is being used to avoid procedural safeguards which would apply in a criminal investigation.” (Emphasis added.) As this rather straightforward English sentence illuminates, the wall exceeded the requirements of FISA and then-existing federal case law.
What the wall implemented was not the FISA statute as construed by the courts but rather Gorelick’s overheated view of what would be useful to avoid being accused of misusing FISA. To be sure, it is often prudent for the government to hamstring itself beyond legal requirements; going-the-extra-mile improves the (already good) chances that courts will reject motions by defendants to suppress damaging evidence (like incriminating recorded conversations). It is, however, irresponsible for the government to hamstring itself when that means national security will be imperiled — which is what happens when agents are forbidden from communicating with one another.
The wall generally forbidding intelligence agents from communicating with their criminal counterparts was a suicidally excessive way to ensure that what little information intelligence agents were permitted to pass would be admissible in court. This is the product of a mindset that insists, beyond all reason and common sense, that terrorism is just a law-enforcement problem. The object of a rational counterterrorism approach is to prevent mass murder from happening in the first place, not to improve your litigating posture for the indictment you return after thousands of people have been slaughtered.
And then there was the economic meltdown that started around 2006. Er, I don’t think I have to go into too much detail again to remind everyone how the hard left’s “chicken in every pot” ideology, as exemplified by our celebrity President in his role as both community organizer and later Senator, paved and shaped the way for the collapse of our economy which – contra to the fluffy rhetoric of the Obama administration by way of Robert Fibbs – is not recovering. Read here, here, here, here, and here for my writings on the issue of the economic crisis.
I also don’t think I have to remind anyone which political ideology helped greatly enable the “free love/gimme mine, Uncle Sam” mentality, a mindset that wasn’t predominant until the Great Society programs of the 60s were enacted, and “feminists” started burning their bras and proclaiming a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle. The biggest casualty of that belief system? The black family structure. I suppose I’m a racist for saying that. Whatever.
And then there’s the Fort Hood terrorist attack which, as Jon noted, quite likely could have been prevented if it weren’t for the screams and howls of outrage from the left everytime some “victim” group is singled out for (legitimate) criticism. The military, in particular, is being made to be hyper-sensitive about the Islamic “faith” in particular because they don’t want to be viewed as “Islamophobes” at a time when the US is at war with … radical Islam, both here at home and abroad. Who has pushed the strongest for “sensitivity” training in the military in the sincere belief that it will stop Islamofascists from hating us? Yep – you guessed it. The left.
I’m gonna go out on a limb here, but I won’t have to go too far. The left takes particular pleasure and glee in blaming so-called “violent” conservative rhetoric for political threats and murder. As we’ve discussed before, this is their way of trying to paint the opposition as nothing but a bunch of batsh*t crazy nuts whose ideas aren’t worth listening to. For purposes of discussion, let’s say that what the left says is true: “Violent” conservative rhetoric has been responsible for numerous deaths over the last few decades. Even if that WERE true, the number of isolated incidents of murder that allegedly came from such rhetoric pales considerably in comparison to the destruction, death, and catastrophe that have happened as either a direct or indirect result of liberal policies, policies that promote irresponsibility, illegitimacy, lifetime dependency, societal rather than individual blame, political correctness via written and unwritten thought and speech codes designed to try to guilt and shame people into not speaking up and/or out against conventional wisdom when it comes to any issue related to “minorities”, etc. Keep in mind that in the rare instances that conservative rhetoric has been tinged with violence, there are volumes of politicos, pundits, and other assorted right wing personalities who will eagerly and forcefully condemn it. On the other hand, the destructive social policies of the left – which I just described briefly above – are still in place, still advocated, still promoted.
I could go on and on**, but you get the picture.
As I wrote in early 2009 on the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac blame game:
The galling part – on top of the meltdown currently underway – is the fact that these SAME Democrats (Dodd, Frank, etc) were “demanding” answers from the Bush adminstration last fall on FM/FM as though the Bush administraton never did anything to try and prevent this from happening, and as if Republicans like McCain, Dole, Sununu, etc never tried to get meaningful reform passed, and as if they (Dodd, Frank, etc) were the ones who were actually trying to spearhead meaningful reform efforts. If lightening really did strike people who lied as it relates to this issue there would be a bunch of Congressional Democrats lighting up the House and Senate with enough electrical power to comfortably heat up the east coast for the entire fall and winter seasons.
None of those Democrats were/are admitting their part in enabling the financial meltdown – not admitting their role in keeping policies in place that enabled the “greedy lenders” to do what they did, not admitting their role in fostering the “gimme” entitlement mentality that has infested this country for decades, thanks in no small part to the “Great Society” programs. They’re just content in letting the blame lay squarely on the shoulders of Bush and other Republicans. Not surprising, seeing as though personal responsibility isn’t exactly a hallmark for many Democrats in Washington, DC.
Bush wasn’t a perfect president by far, and made plenty of mistakes, but he – and other Republicans – actually did try to get it right on this issue by advocating and pushing for policies that may have prevented the collapse of FM/FM, and the people who prevented meaningful reforum were race-baiting, politically correct demagoguing Democrats, many of whom were beneficiaries of campaign $$ from FM/FM.
What’s the moral of this story? When Bush made mistakes, he was made to feel obligated to admit them by Democrats as a way to “move forward so as not to repeat the mistakes of the past.” But when Democrats make mistakes, they should feel no obligation to admit them and instead should shove off the blame on everything and everyone else. That way we can continue down the same destructive path – which is exactly what’s happening as we speak. It’s all becoming much more clear to me now.
And the beat goes on.
**Like, on how many millions of unborn babies have been murdered as a result of the left’s fanatical obsession with a woman’s “right to choose.”
Update: Read more via Jane Jamison.
Phineas butts in: ST does a bang-up job chronicling the damage done by liberal-left ideology, but I want to add a couple of things.
First, back to the Senate report, this is a damning indictment of the culture of political correctness that has infested not only our military establishment, but the government and society in general, thus preventing us from taking a cold, hard look at the root of the jihadist problem: the jihad imperative and the aggressive and supremacist hardwired into Islam itself, starting with Muhammad and the Qur’an through the hadiths and tafsirs (commentaries) of learned scholars, down to the present day. As Andy McCarthy rightly points out in The Grand Jihad, we focus with almost a tunnel-vision on acts of terror themselves, but not on the driving ideology that makes jihad (both violent and cultural) its tool for its ultimate goal: the imposition of sharia law everywhere.
Secondly, and while it pains me to say this because I do admire the man, President Bush’s administration has to take quite a bit of responsibility here. While they did a superb job going after the enemy and protecting us from jihadist attacks after 9/11, they steadfastly refused to address the problem posed by the theological roots of Islamist ideology. Indeed, after that terrible day, the Bush administration went out of its way to show Muslims we meant them no harm, visiting mosques and meeting with imams and organizations whose radical connections would have become evident with the least investigation — if we weren’t paralyzed by political correctness.
If we’re ever to win this fight –or even just avoid more Ft. Hoods– we have to take the blinders off.