The Los Angelas Times has done everyone who has been scratching their heads about the tragic Fort Hood massacre and the accused gunman Nidal Malik Hasan a big favor. The Times tracked down the suppossed Uncle of Major Hasan, who recently awoke from his coma and ventilator in a Texas hospital.
The Uncle, Rafik Ismail Hasan, was found in the West Bank by a Times corrospondent.
For those who linked to the article above, it is clear the man in the picture has been crying. He tells the Times that the entire family is "in a state of denial", and that none of them believe he was capable of doing something like he is accused of. "I was amazed and shocked", the Uncle is quoted as saying. "It is not like him. He is very quiet, gentle."
That, by itself, would hardly be newsworthy, as most family members state something like the above. However, it's what the Uncle says later in the article that should start raising the red flags. Mr. Hasan states that although his nephew became more religious following his parent's death, it had nothing to do with political or radical identity:
""He never knew anything about politics," Hamad said. "He didn't know who is the president or the king of any Arab country. He's American. . . . He once told me, 'The chances I have in the United States I couldn't have in any other country in the world, so I appreciate what this country has done for me.' "
Hamad also said that while his nephew had complained about racial slurs, he seemed to be handling it well:
""He told me: 'They're ignorant. I'm more American than they are. I help my country more than they do. And I don't care what they say.' He felt sorry for them. He didn't feel grudges; he felt sympathy."
Mr. Hamad also noted that his nephew once grieved for three months when he rolled over during a nap and crushed his pet parakeet. Also, during medical school his switched to psychiatry because he fainted at the sight of blood while delivering a baby. There is a nephew who is quoted in the article as well, who states that he had heard the same things from Major Hasan from the states.
The Uncle states that he would like to offer his condolences to the victims of the tragedy and apologize, and that if his nephew did what he is accused of, he must have snapped, and whatever caused it was big. There are references to the Doctor's increasing caseload, and how he was affected by the soldier's maladies.
"But for him, I don't know what I can do. If he wakes up, I want to ask him, 'Did you do it, and why?' I want to know. Otherwise, I have nothing to say to him." , the Uncle concludes.
Also see this related article from NPR (with transcript), "Fort Hood Shooting Stuns Hasan's Family".
Meanwhile, back in the States, the New York Times is reporting that the Fort Hood gunman gave signals before his rampage. "But relatives and acquaintances say tensions that led to the rampage had been building for a long time. Investigators say Major Hasan bought the gun used in the massacre last summer, days after arriving at Fort Hood."
"In recent years, he had grown more and more vocal about his opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and tortured over reconciling his military duties with his religion. He tried to get out of the Army, relatives said, and apparently believed it to be impossible, though experts say he was probably given inadequate advice." The Times article reports. This is like Alice in Wonderland, is it not?
The NY Times article stands in stark contrast to the LA Times article. Accoring to the Uncle pictured in the LA Times and NPR articles, and the nephew, Hasan was proud to be an American and in the Army, and they make no mention that he was trying (or suing) to get out of the Army.
And it comes as no surprise that the NY Times article quotes anonymous sources and does not name the family members they are quoting. As posted here earlier last Friday, a supposed Aunt and bank president made a passing reference that Hasan was trying to get out of the country. Yet the family is supposed to have been in shock and disbelief over this. The Aunt was somehow made available before they had even reported that Hasan was anything other than dead.
Radio talkshow host and Infowars.com's Alex Jones has raised the issue of whether the Major was on Prozac or some other mood altering substance, as is often the case in shooting incidents like the Columbine High School shootings in Colorado. If the Major was indeed exhibiting signs of severe stress and conflict and was giving lectures on Islam and how the nonbelievers will be ultimately be beheaded (as reported in the media), and trying to get out of the Army, then the brass who promoted Hasan and ignored the warning signs need to be held to account, and even prosecuted under the UCMJ. Their reckless disregard for the safety of the soldiers on this base, and the promotion of Hasan from Captain to Major, need to be called on to the carpet. And last and not least, Senator Joe Lieberman has asked for a Congressional investigation on how these warning signs could have been ignored.
Ultimately, this all cannot possibly be resolved. Someone is mistaken, or lying, or stretching the truth, or writing from a script. And consider this link to a quote from a SFC who was stationed at Ft. Hood for 10 years, who says "there is no way the official story is true...it stinks to high heavens." A whole plethora of oddities about the Ft. Hood shootings have been compiled here by Citizens for a Legitimate Government.
Meanwhile, as predicted here and by others on Friday, the MSM in now reporting that officials have concluded that Hasan was a lone gunman, and also that the FBI had been investigating Hasan for up to a year before the shootings, and determined he was no threat. Hasan is also reportedly awake and talking to doctors and his lawyer. The FBI will be investigating its own conduct in dropping the ball on Hasan, so expect heads to roll over that (not).
Several days later, heartbroken family members and questions of terrorism and stunned family members are still not resolved. And the story grows stranger and still does not add up. I fully expect some sort of confession to be attributed to Hasan, although many will wonder why the confession raises yet more questions than answers. Like I said, these tragedies follow a pattern, like an illness. It's part of the reason that many of the families from Columbine, Oklahoma City and 9-11 sued the federal government and other agencies. I hope this was just a random tragedy, but this appears to be something deeper (whether actual terrorism or made to look like terrorism). And, of course, we haven't even addressed to gunshop issues and the gun control cries that will come out of this.