November 19th, 2009
02:18 PM ET

Could authorities have prevented the Fort Hood shootings?


(PHOTO CREDITS: Getty Images)


FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty

Most Americans think that authorities could have prevented the massacre at Fort Hood... and when the politicians sniff this kind of sentiment, they can't wait to rush into hearings.

A new CNN-Opinion Research Corporation Poll shows 64 percent of those surveyed say law enforcement or the military should have been able to stop the shooting rampage... 31% say the incident on the Texas Army base couldn't have been prevented. The poll also found Americans are split as to whether the attack was an act of terrorism.

U.S. Army psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hasan, who is Muslim, is charged with thirteen counts of premeditated murder. He's accused of wounding dozens more.

The Senate Homeland Security Committee held its first hearing into those shootings today. They want to know if authorities failed to "connect the dots" when it came to Major Hasan. NPR reports that Hasan's supervisor at Walter Reed wrote a memo two years ago saying he showed a "pattern of poor judgment and a lack of professionalism."

The committee also plans to look into why federal authorities didn't do anything after finding e-mails exchanged between Hasan and a radical Muslim cleric - with alleged ties to al Qaeda.

Also, there's the question of whether a joint terrorism task force that had information on Hasan shared it with the military and others. Experts say they worry about "political correctness" - and that some signs may have been ignored because Hasan is Muslim.

Pres. Obama wanted Congress to hold off on hearings until federal authorities finished their investigation.

SO HERE'S MY QUESTION TO YOU: Could authorities have prevented the Fort Hood shootings?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Anthony in New Jersey

As long as this country pacifies illegal immigrants, embraces Islamic sensitivities and handles our minorities with kid-gloves for fear of legal repercussions, they will use our system to gain advantage. We're becoming increasingly predictable because of this political correctness. Those not willing to assimilate use our tolerance as an advantage to undermine us. While trying to be the freest country on earth, we're being too tolerant and risk destruction from within. Our authorities can't even use profiling as a legitimate means of policing. Thus you have the atrocity that was Fort Hood.

Joe in Colorado
Jack, What a dumb question. We could have maybe prevented this if we had an SS Nazi type organization in this country. What is next? Detention camps for all Muslim Americans and people with "poor judgment" performance reviews?

Harrison in Mobile, Alabama
Yes, but had they done so, instead of talking about how this could have been prevented, there would be a ton of complaints from the general public and the media about how the military is racist, they profile, they hate Muslims, etc, which would almost certainly be coupled with unnecessary congressional hearings and widespread artificial outrage at said Military practices...which would have been a small price to pay given what the alternative turned out to be, eh Jack?

The investigation by Homeland Security has just begun, yet Congress is already barreling forward and politicians on both sides are spouting their rear-view wisdom. And now, you're inviting CNN viewers to weigh in with their verdicts as well? Please, Jack, stop encouraging Americans to mouth off on yet another subject that they know next to nothing about.

Carole in West Palm Beach
Jack, This tragedy should have been averted. Is everyone color blind? There were "red flags" all over this field: e-mails to an extremist cleric? Poor performance reviews from his fellow mental health professionals? PowerPoint presentations extolling the" virtues" of suicide bombers? A loner? Where's Nancy Drew when you need her?

Filed under: Fort Hood
soundoff (178 Responses)
  1. Joan B

    Yes, they could of prevented this terrorist massacure. However, I'm beginning to believe as the Teachers in the USA graduated iin the bottom 30% of the class – we have dumb leaders.
    Joan B

    November 19, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  2. margie

    anymore you can't trust your own neighbor. now does this happening give our military a bad name?????????? also people should keep their mouth shut about sarah palin. when they make themselves where she is then they can call theirself someone. if i can and she runs for president i will campaign for her. people better wake up.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  3. Susan Frost

    I don't think I need mental health treatment, but if I did I'd hate to think I was getting it from a bunch of so-called experts who were with this man day after day and couldn't seem to tell he was a loose cannon. Apparently military psychiatry is to psychiatry as military music is to music.

    Tuscaloosa AL

    November 19, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  4. Jack C

    Politically correct concept is going to destroy America. We need to address this "crap" concept as it is ignorant.
    Jack C

    November 19, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  5. Jane (Minnesota)

    Jack hind sight is always 20/20...I doubt it. ITo me it really isn't much different than any other work place shootings – the military was his employer. With everyone so afraid to say anything about a person for fear of being sued for discrimination, harrassment, etc, it's going to be tough to react to a potential threat. At some point all this political correctness needs to be tempered with the American public's safety.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  6. Peter

    Every time something like this happens people always try to assign blame. However there are two things that cannot be legislated

    November 19, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  7. Jayne

    Given the information coming out, it sure sounds like the tragedy could have been prevented. I'm more inclined to think the Army was shielding one of its own rather than the media-inspired theory that other officers were afraid to turn the guy in because of his religion.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  8. Charles, Lansing, MI

    The shooter should have never been there because he was acknowleged to be unqualified. Just as on 9/11 none of the terrorists would have been in the country if our immigration laws had been enforced. This is typical of those in authority in government, laziness and political expediency.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  9. jenny


    At the risk of agreeing with Sarah Palin and being struck by lightening, absolutely. It if looks like a duck,walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck it ain't a Turkey. Thanksgiving or not.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  10. Patricia

    I voted for Obama and now regret it because of his sympathies with illegal aliens and terrorists. Sarah Palin was right, we need more PROFILING ! and this could have been prevented if anyone listened to peoples' complaints about the shooter.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  11. Paul, Austin, Texas

    I beleive they could have if they would of all talked to each other. A problem that happened prior to 911. Still it is a problem only solved in part and this proves that much more comunication is needed by all agenceies involed in homeland security. When a person makes odd statements against our country or takes actions that should be deemed unamerican activity they should be looked at closer and their past and curent backgrounds should be checked. It is not a crime to be muslim and all true muslim people beleive in only peaceful actions like other religions do. But to be anitamerican to the point of putting down your own country and making statements and taking actions against america should be a crime. The authorities not only droped the ball but when they did they put the ball in the court of terorist thinking.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  12. Jack Kramer in California


    No Palin topic? You never have a Palin topic. In regards to your question, it could have been prevented if it was not for George Bush. Everything is his fault.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  13. Hugo Kijne

    Maybe, if there were no restrictions on the FBI receiving background check information of gun-buyers. The amazing thing is that Hasan could buy a cop-killer gun and kill 13 people, and that some folks use that as an argument to support NRA positions. Of course, "guns don't kill, people do," but people with guns kill a lot easier.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  14. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    If there was an evaluation that questioned his qualifications and attitudes it should have been brought to the attention of higher command for review!

    November 19, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  15. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    It is the strain of Bush's wars. Everyone is taking huge risks and hoping that we luck out. Authorities had doubts about Colonel Hassan's mental health, but they were understaffed in dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. These wars have us stretched to the breaking point in money, materials, and personnel.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  16. Joe CE

    Inexpicable that the shooter was not dismissed, Incredible that he was assigned to Fort Hood. There seems to be a pandemicf lack of common sense in multiple areas oif government & business..

    November 19, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  17. Rick Medina,OH


    Fort Hood is our nation's largest military base, but it is also a Federal facility. There is no war going on in west Texas, and therefore, no reason for anyone to carry a weapon there, (excepting those in an official capacity.) Yes, they do training exercises there, but they also have storage facilities for the weapons used. The fact that Mr. Hasar was able to walk into a building with a loaded weapon was a break-down of security and common sense, and absolutely preventable.

    Rick, Medina, OH

    November 19, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  18. Barbie from Hollywood, CA

    I think they knew he wasn't wrapped too tight, and that's why they were shipping him to Afghanistan–they were hoping an IAD would get rid of him, instead of the U.S. formally addressing the matter, which would have risked discrimination allegations from other Muslims in the military. Now they have a much greater problem.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  19. H W Johnson

    If we had been as concerned about the health and welfare of our troops as we are about being "politically correct" , this probably could have been avoided. He had shown all of the signs of being an extremist, yet the Army, in their infinite wisdom, decides to ship him off and make him someone elses problem. That is seemingly why the term "military intelligence" is a contradiction.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  20. Mitchell Paradis

    Re the horrific shootings at the US Army base at Ft. Hood:
    I have yet to hear anyone ask the question, "How did one shooter with only one pistol manage to kill 13 highly trained US soldiers and wound another 30+ without someone rushing and disarming him? Why was it necessary to wait through the carnage until a civilian cop came and aggressively charged him and finally put him down despite her own wounds?" It seems only logical to me that trained soldiers would have had enough presence of mind to react and mount an attack to subdue this guy even before the second person was shot. What happened? I would hope someone would ask the question.
    From a retired Marine

    November 19, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  21. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    Of course it could have been prevented. If his superiors had been on the ball and acted on what he said and did in the months leading up to the killings, there could have been noone losing their life over the dangerous behavior of a madman. Noone read the signs and that's inexcusable.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  22. Lou from North Carolina

    Probably. Somehow he took a lot of firearms and ammunition into an Army building. That alone is the first place to start finding out what happened.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  23. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    Jack I think something can always be prevented only most times it comes after the fact. With around 14,000 soldiers that are Muslims in our U.S. forces this one soldier went nuts. That should speak for itself. What should you do profile every soldier or every Muslim soldier? When Timothy Mcveigh was serving in the army god only knows what went through his mind. I think there should be more metal detectors or screeners that will show hidden weapons on someone in areas where there are not supposed to be any weapons or where large groups of soldiers are. As far as Sarah Palin suggesting profiling she probably listen to the person who briefed her this time. It's not that bad of idea but nothing is foolproof.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  24. Paul, Austin, Texas

    I think they could have and should have. Many of his peers and higher officers knew he could be a lose canon. Why did they promote him to Major was it because someone thought he my go off if they did not let him pass the promotion board. Or was his medical training so good he was able to give all the right answers when questioned about any problem he got into.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  25. Randy from Salt Lake City

    With all of the billions of dollars spent in spying on us -especially the military, you'd think they'd have identified such problems and dealt with them before anything bad could happen. So, either all of those billions have been wasted or the government/media wanted it to happen in order to create some more "Islamaphobia" to keep the fear-factor up amonst the Murikan sheeple.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  26. Ryan, Galesburg, IL

    Jack, there is no predicting the action of the mentally ill.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  27. Denny from Tacoma, WA

    In the military a person's credibility is based on his or her rank, education and profession. With those guidelines, senior military officials would never have seen that coming.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  28. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Yes Jack. Political correctness in not wanting to offend Muslim soldiers drove thiose who saw red flags to ignore them. This tone comes from the top, where we have an administration that cares more about terrorist rights than American lives.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  29. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    Jack, I was associated with the old military where a person would have been sent home for poor performance as is the case here but with our legal system today they would get sued if they would have taken the action necessary against him. Yes, they could have prevented this by buying him a ticket to Tim Buck Two.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  30. Richard Fairview, Texas

    Jack were there signs? Maybe, but who truly knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men or women for that mater. Hind sight is always 20/20 on issues like this. Will it bring the dead back? No. Will it prevent another attack like this one? Who knows? People kill people all of the time. Don't believe me just watch your news channel. It is extremely easy for people to Arm Chair Quarter back this tragedy but it is not productive. It is time to move on.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  31. John from Alabama

    Jack: The military use to make all soldiers register private firearms with their commander and post police. I do not believe Major Hasan registered his private weapon. If you bring a firearm on post at earliest time one must let the commander no and he will inform the post police. Nothing wrong with owning a private firearm, but I do not believe the correct protocal was carried out by Major Hasan. The military provides a range to fire private weapons as part of its recreational program. This means more inspection of vehicles before entering the post and more questions at the gate of Fort Hood.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  32. Jeff in E. Lyme, CT

    Beyond the shadow of a doubt Jack. Had anyone who's job it was to pay attention actually had been (much like the events and evidence leading up to 9/11), 13 people would still have their lives. Whoever dropped the ball needs to be immediately fired & prosecuted for criminal negligence.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  33. ken, DE

    Yes if we were not in iraq and afghanistan.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  34. Jim in Alabama

    They might have if they had paid attention to the signs that Hassan gave which were flagrant and numerous. Incompetence reigns supreme doesn't it and it shows up every day in every facet of life.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  35. J W

    No. And it's time Americans start to realize that we're not 350 million children of Momma and Daddy Government. Government IS the people, and our safety is a collective concern...not the concern of a god-like all-knowing benefactor who will protect us from all unforeseen dangers. When these things happen, it's almost never something that could have been foreseen by normally functioning folks. Time to put away the excuses and blame and accept the individual mantle of citizenship.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  36. Lori - PA


    Given the bits of information I've heard so far, this tragedy could have been avoided.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  37. Tina Tx

    Yes and saving all the other young men and women who came home after their tour of duties and commited suicide. There are others who could would have enlisted and you could have discharged or given better mental treatment to those who were on the verge of loosing their minds. Military is just too macho and refuses to let their soldiers be weak.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  38. Richard Fairview, Texas

    Jack there is nothing anyone could have done to prevent this short of having metal detectors at every door leading into each and every building. That is not real practical. What happened was unfortunate but there is nothing to prevent even you Jack from being gunned down on your way home from work by some deranged individual. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. We move on. A little more cautiously but we move on.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  39. Gregory Miami Beach, FL

    Sure they could have prevented it, but if they had the tactics necessary to have seen this coming would certainly have brought on a backlash against authorities for possible profiling tactics or unjustly treading upon someone's personal rights. We still face the same choice of security vs. privacy, and we must compromise some of both. Now is not the time to wonder what we could have done but what we are doing and will do. Besides, If someone wanted to kill you, you're as good as dead.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  40. Maria

    I'm sure that's a question that will be around for years. If someone wants to kill people, there are many ways to do it, and where better than on a huge military base with access to countless guns and a building full of unarmed people?



    November 19, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  41. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, nope, not in today's politically correct environment. If you try to act on information before the situation gets out of control, you risk being labeled a racist, a zealot, or insensitive. Every organization enforces tolerance, inclusion, EEO, etc. ad nausem, until the situation explodes, than wonders why someone who feared for his career, job, position, or pay check, didn't step forth to say something. Well DUH!!!!

    November 19, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  42. Terrance

    I believe it could have been prevented but it's more of a hit or miss chance you would be taking to isolate a person rather you being right or wrong. If you assumed one of your collegues made a racial slur but have no proof to back up your assumption the co-worker stays hired, you feel like a fool, and no one wins and your both left feeling worst about yourself then before.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  43. Tony from Southport

    Yes they could have prevented that terrorist attack if they had no been so politically correct. In WWII, if a German American soldier had professed his support for Adolph, I don't think they would have waited for him to kill American GIs before throwing him out of the service, or placing him under guard. The families of those killed and wounded soldiers are paying the price for this country's PC administration.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  44. Pett

    SIMPLE SOLUTION: Let it be known & understood....to all who would murder innocents, anywhere in the world...THEY forfiet THEIR families! Bring the troops home as we wouldn't need to lose anymore of our youngsters lives again. If these brain-washed savages prefer death, they may think more carefully before taking their own families on that particular trip!
    Would that soldier at Ft Hood have done this knowing he risked his families lives? I doubt it.......!!! I also doubt he could have been spotted & stopped.............

    November 19, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  45. mark pribble Anna Illinois

    YES. Being political correct and worrying about offending the Muslim community is a poor excuse for 13 dead soldiers at a Army Base or any place. This man and others like him should all be kept a close eye on we are at war with terrorist and they will use any means to kill Americans.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  46. Patti

    Yes. And, we'll be asking ourselves the same question after one of those militia guys goes on a shooting spree and after some nutcase fires away at a political rally.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  47. Marion/Alabama

    From the fear of being political incorrect,and not Profiling,they allowed this Muslim terrorist to kill.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  48. Melissa

    There's a record number of suicides in the army this year. Do I think that they could prevent this kind of thing? Of course I do. Its called "having a little more care for the troops".

    November 19, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  49. Steve Batts

    Absolutely. There was plenty of warning, two years ago. I can't blame anyone person, but the signs were there. The blame should rest on the FBI and Army/

    November 19, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  50. T. G. from the virgin islands

    I truly don't know. It is obvious that there were signs that if Nidal Malik Hasan wasn't linked to any form of terrorist group, then he had serious emotional and mental issues that the military should have paid attention to. If he had gotten counseling, it is possible that the shooting may have never occurred.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  51. Lucy

    Of course they COULD have, but hindsight is 20/20, it's so easy to look back now, see the signs with the knowledge we have NOW, and recognize the red flags. However, foresight is not as acute. We've all done things, or neglected to do things, which in retrospect seem obvious, but at the time weren't. While they could have been prevented, I'm not rushing to judge the authorities.
    SF, CA

    November 19, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  52. john .... marlton, nj

    Yes, absolutely. If we had not been in Iraq or Afghanistan tere would not have been a shooting at Fort Hood.. Who is to blame??

    What's is troubling is how resistant the military and press are about reporting or publicizing the return and burial of fallen troops from Iraq or Afghanistan, yet it is a propoganda and media circus when some guy goes postal at a base. Shamefully, the guy that went postal wasn't an undereducated kid from south unemploymentville, but a well educated shrink. A career military medical doctor that spent his days helping our returning troops fight their deepest demons .....

    November 19, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  53. Kyle Irvine, CA

    It looks like the evidence was there all along. If the military etc. would of looked into it a bit further, they could of saw something bad coming. The same thing happened between the CIA and the FBI in the months before the 9/11 attacks. Each agency knew something was off but overlooked it. When is the government going to realize that it doesn't hurt to investigate a little further in the post 9/11 world?

    November 19, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  54. Michael and Diane Phoenix AZ

    Most definitely YES. All they had to do was heed the warning signals from Hasan and the anti-American rhetoric and other inflamatory remarks about religion during his medical schooling and internship. People that can't "cut it" during boot camp are discharged, and Hasan apparently couldn't "cut it" either when it came down to soldiering against his religion, not his countrymen since he was born here. But then maybe he was not that "westernized" just like the man who killed his daughter because she became "to much westernized."

    November 19, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  55. Harry Havens

    Okay, the authorities should have known. What then? ....Thrown off base... then it could have been 13 civilians dead in a supermarket or crowded theater.

    I don't care about this guy's "pattern of poor judgment and a lack of professionalism." I want to know when he decided to go on a killing spree, who else was involved and who knew.

    BTW.. my e-mailing you could be construed by "some" folks as talking to the enemy.

    Millersburg, Ky

    November 19, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  56. Mark, Worcester MA

    Were they physically capable? Yes, of course. They had signs, from what I've gathered more than just the two you've listed. They certainly had the physical capability to remove him from this situation before it occurred.

    However, could they have allowed themselves to prevent it while not endangering their appearances of being un-humanly accepting of everyone and everything despite actually being scared of someone like this? No, never, that would require a spine.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  57. Ed from California

    This guy is a whack job! Are you saying that his co-workers should have seen the warning signs, and try to offer help to this nut? Yes, but, he was being shipped out. Problem solved, he's gone. Now he's some else's problem.
    Multiple deployments of the same individual has to wear thin on one's self and family members,or, we may have many "Fort Hood's".
    We can't keep asking these volunteers to keep fighting and being deployed over and over again........ I think it's time to start the draft.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  58. Michael Alexandria, VA

    Jack, I suspect so. I fear, however, that we are about to see a witch hunt against Muslims in the military – as well as any others who dissent within the ranks.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  59. Rusty from Hershey - Economist

    Jack, absolutely! Even though he was probably influenced by the extreme side, the fact that he was raised since childhood with those thoughts if killing christians & jews, and got away with his radical lectures and presentations, only motivated him more to do something to be a "jihadist' type of muslim!

    November 19, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  60. Steve

    Yes, it could have been prevented. Instead of worrying about hurting someones feelings, our government needs to thoroughly interrogate anyone who is at all suspicious of being a threat to any U.S interest.

    Laguna Niguel, CA

    November 19, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  61. K

    hind sight is always 20/20

    November 19, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  62. Mr. D

    How about doing away with this so called "political correctness." Get rid of the malcontents. The military can ill afford to subject their men and women to the potential of death or injury at the hands of one of their fellow servicemen/women. This whole episode is unforgivable. Apparently we have met the enemy and it is us.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  63. Antonio from Washington D.C.

    It depends on the efforts before and after the incident(s).

    November 19, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  64. Allen L Wenger

    Yes, but at what cost? Some conservatives think there shouldn't be any Muslims in the military. This would have prevented this shooting, but it also would have denied the military, the resources provided by thousands of other Muslims. It is always easy to look back and point fingers, but moving ahead with fairness and justice will produce much better results.

    Mounrain Home ID

    November 19, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  65. John from NJ


    November 19, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  66. Harrison - Mobile, Alabama

    Yes, but had they done so, instead of talking about how this could have been prevented, there would be a ton of complaints from the general public and the media about how the Military is racist, they profile, they hate Muslims, etc, which would almost certainly be coupled with unnecessary Congressional hearings and widespread artificial outrage at said Military practices.

    ...which would have been a small price to pay given what the alternative turned out to be, eh Jack?

    November 19, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  67. Liz in CA

    YES, in so many ways.
    1) If the officers in his class had filed complaints and followed up on them. Did we learn NOTHING from 9-11?
    2) If the FBI had taken their investigation one step further and shared information with the Army, which I believe would have resulted in the shooter's bad conduct discharge.
    3) If the Army had worried more about security than retaining someone who had a service committment, and had discharged this man. He clearly demonstarted he was not fit for military service, requested to be released from active duty, but I suspect he was retained due to his service committment he had from getting his medical education.
    So many opportunities missed!

    November 19, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  68. Jackie in Dallas

    Would of, should of, could of, Jack. These are words of armchair quarterbacks. Hindsight is always 20/20.

    Yes, there were red flags. Yes, perhaps more could have been done to at least keep a closer eye on him. But there are a lot of trouble spots out there, and not nearly enough staffing to be vigilant enough to catch all the potential troublemakers. One man, with no accomplices, is a lot harder to detect going seriously wrong. "Poor judgment and lack of professionalism" are not exactly major red flags for a mass murderer.

    We could ask the same question about 9/11. Could authorities have prevented the attacks? Maybe. They had plenty of intell and even had several of the perpetrators under surveillance. There was communications between them, and coordination. The President was briefed, but obviously didn't take it seriously enough.

    So are we going to play the blame game, or are we going to learn from each tragedy? We are never going to be able to stop all tragedies.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  69. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    YES. People did not use their heads when they learned of the rantings of this individual. This means that the Patriot Act does not work as well as we were lead to believe. What if the E Mails he sent were plans on flying more planes into buildings? We have seen people held for no good reason at all over the last 8 years, so why was this individual not looked at closer?

    November 19, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  70. southerncousin

    If liberals had not tarnished us so badly with their politically correct stuff we could have not only saved the lives of these brave soldiers, but the lives of so many more all over the world. Fort Hood is just another sign of the moral depravity and hypocrisy that is liberalism.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  71. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    I think that the shootings could probably have been prevented if anyone in the military chain of command had been pro-active in dealing directly with Hassan based solely on his performance. Too many times, people who are not doing their jobs well are allowed to continue because their superiors don't want to do the work that it would take to make that non-performing person accountable and either make them improve or fire them. Intstead he was allowed to spin more and more out of control until the unthinkable happened at Ft. Hood. Based on what I've read, he should have been out of the military before he ever got to Ft. Hood. It's a sad commentary on the effectiveness of military supervision.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  72. hondarich

    If the good doctor would've been discharged for failure to do his job, because you know the guys & girls on the front lines are not allowed to do so once a week.
    Bad performance reviews are sometimes revised because if might seem racist, may have allowed this Doctor to stay in his job and do what he's done,Not as a terrorist but possibly a religious racist.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  73. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Have they caught Osama? Has the health reform bill passed? Is Palin the most popular person in the U.S.? Will Bush and Chaney go down as the best Pres and Vice Pres the U.S. has ever had? Enough said and anyone who thinks it could have been stopped didn't stop 9/11 or the bombings that happen ever day in Iraq and Afghan.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  74. James

    I am sure all American people would like to know if the rampage at Ft. hood could have been prevented. However, I sincerely hope that the politicians will not allow such a horrible event to become a platform for political posturing. The brave men and women of our armed forces deserve nothing but the best from our country and this includes a full and accurate accounting of the events prior to, during and after the shooting. An investigation of the magnitude that will be required regarding this horrible incident will take more than a few weeks and we should not attempt to answer questions like the one you pose here prior to fully understanding all the facts.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  75. Alex in Seattle

    More could have been done but may not have prevented it. I can see where calling him in for questioning regarding the e-mails and other red flags could have been the trigger that set off his violent rampage.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  76. Lynn, Columbia, Mo.

    Hard to say. I don't know what's in your mind any more than you know what's in mine.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  77. Joe in VA

    No , because we have given in to political correctness in all aspects of our society, even in the military. Had he been a non-Muslim, maybe so. Authorities backed off , whether they want to admit it or not, rather than face being accused of discriminating. Also, as a manager, I well know what many organizations do with problem employees. They delay making the hard call to get rid of them and kick the problem down the road to the next supervisor. I would have hoped the military was better then this but apparently not.

    Chatham, VA

    November 19, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  78. Thom Richer

    No, they could not have. There are several reasons for this. The main one being the false notion and propaganda that Homeland Security makes a difference in our safety from harm by terrorists or other whackos. Another is the fact that this "authority" was really established to pacify the public and protect the rear ends of the Bush administration and other politicos in office at the time of 9/11 from investigations. Lastly, they will not acknowledge the fact that the wars we are in are not wars with a cause and are in reality not justifiable to the world and there are many more in civilian life and the military who are against our contrived occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    November 19, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  79. anthony...nj

    As long as this country pacifies illegal immigrants, embraces Islamic sensitivities and handles our miniroties with kid-gloves for fear of legal repercussions, they will use our system to gain advantage. We're becoming increasingly predictable because of this poitical correctness. Those not willing to assimulate use our tolerance as an advantage to undermine us. While trying to be the most free country on earth, we're being too tolerant and risk destruction from within. Our authorities can't even use profiling as a legitimate means of policing. Thus you have the atrocity that was Fort Hood.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  80. Nick in Spfg MO

    Can we wait until after the investigation to draw any conclusions? Even then we (the public) are not likely to know enough to make an informed decision.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  81. Woody F. Blytheville AR

    Of course, if they were not so worried about being called racist, or insensitive maybe someone would have acted, and we still won't call it what it was a terrorist attack, why? political correctness,,,when will we learn.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  82. Linda in Arizona


    November 19, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  83. Denis Duffy

    Not if they relied on military intelligence!

    Pittsburgh, Pa.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  84. Moe Highland Village tx

    No, if he had been a 19 yr old Private chatting with terrorists he would already have been executed and everyone that ever knew him would be under surveillance for the next 50 years..

    November 19, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  85. Jackie in Dallas

    Would of, should of, could of, Jack. These are words of armchair quarterbacks. Hindsight is always 20/20.

    Yes, there were red flags. Yes, perhaps more could have been done to at least keep a closer eye on him. But there are a lot of trouble spots out there, and not nearly enough staffing to be vigilant enough to catch all the potential troublemakers. One man, with no accomplices, is a lot harder to detect going seriously wrong. "Poor judgment and lack of professionalism" are not exactly major red flags for a mass murderer. Perhaps we should wait for the investigation to be completed before we start crucifying people or organizations.

    We could ask the same question about 9/11. Could authorities have prevented the attacks? Maybe. They had plenty of intell and even had several of the perpetrators under surveillance. There was communications between them, and coordination. The President was briefed, but obviously didn't take it seriously enough.

    So are we going to play the blame game, or are we going to learn from each tragedy? We are never going to be able to stop them all!

    November 19, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  86. Peter from Canada.

    comeon you sheeple it was an in sidejob,comeon,we in canada know this

    November 19, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  87. Nancy from Tennessee

    There were too many signs to be ignored in the case of Major Hasan yet somehow everyone sat on the information that they had. They said they were watching him – sure they were just like they were watching the people who were the hijackers on 911. Someone in the intelligence arena needs to be fired over this one if they didn't tell the military. If they did tell the military, then everyone of his commanding officers from the top down to him need to have a court martial. All of the invasion of privacy that we have endured in this country since 911 was for naught when they have intelligence and sit on it.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  88. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    They could have stoped the shooter quicker if they would have had MP's patroling the base instead of having to wait for civilian police why dont they have MP's.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  89. Jennifer - Winnipeg

    It seems to me that there were certainly enough red flags that popped up in this guy's history that should have come to someone's attention. Unfortunately for the dead and wounded, nobody 'saw the light'. I would hope that the military would use this case a learning tool and be much more diligent in the future.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  90. Ken in NC

    YES Jack, however, hind site is always 20/20 and politicians love it. They eat it up. This should be your question. Why didn't the politicians hold hearings before hand to avoid this fiasco?

    Congress needs to butt out and let the investigations run their course rather than muddying the waters with their politics and attempts at "Finger pointing".

    November 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  91. Ron Temecula


    They most likely could have. But in the process would have been accused of racial profiling. I think there is an attitude that if you change an individuals environment. That individual will: "Straighten him or herself out." There is an ovewhelming propensity for administration of not only the armed forces but other organizations to sweep problem individuals "Under the Rug" so to speak.. The US Army along with many other organizations in positions of high visibility would rather not admit they have problems to the public. In the mean time the kettel is boiling over and someone pops their top.

    The Army for one, should accept accountability for those members with emotional or mental issues. And treat those individuals, they need to pull them out of their work enviromment and treat their problems. Not move them around and hope it will go away. It is obvious, that does not work.

    One other note, their should be a standardized test that could detect emotional or mental issues. All armed forces personnel should be required to take the test once a year. In addition, there should be personnel trained just to observe those that could be a threat to national security. It is very difficult to identify the enemy these days. We need trained people out there to monitor the activity of those where our national security might be at risk, this includes the safety of the troops and their families. This attack was very deliberate and was planned ans pre meditated. We need individuals that are trained to detect this kind of vunerability to prevent this from ever occuring again.

    Ron K. Temecula, Ca

    November 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  92. michael

    What mechanism is in place to have stopped Major Hasan from going crazy? Innocent until proven guilty is still an American Ideal. There was no mechanism in place to have removed Major Hasan from doing anything. You can know someone is going to commit a crime, but until they actually do nothing can be done to him.

    He wasn't politcally correct, there was nothing to keep him from being in the Military. This just reeks of bandwagon blame.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  93. chuck b // coastal n.carolina

    YES, itf they would have question this fool early on, maybe this would not have happened....... There were signs that everyone overlooked. Why are they not being accountiable to the famlies of the lost ones ???

    November 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  94. Karl from SF, CA

    It could have probably been prevented if the agencies that had culled this information really shared it with each other and ask question when something didn’t look right. We had all kinds of dots to connect but they don’t connect with each other. One agency knew this and another knew that, but no one knew everything about the situation and apparently the blanks were left unquestioned. It’s a sad commentary on our supposed security agencies.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  95. Charles in Lawrence, NJ

    Hind sight may be 20/20 but even the blind could see this coming. Complaints from classmates, peers, C.O.s, supervisors, FBI and patients were ignored with crossed fingers. Whistle blowers should know better than to trust the offending organization, record the insanity and call CNN next time.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  96. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Hi Jack,

    my first answer was before your article and now reading it; then it is clear that plenty of signs were there to have at least one lightbulb moment!

    November 19, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  97. Deb W.

    Yes, Yes, Yes!!! and BTW...14 lives were taken that day!!!!!! I agree he was a deeply troubled person who had religious conflicts ... byt who dropped the ball.. there had to be red flags!!!!

    November 19, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  98. james in anaheim california

    You better damn well follow this guy when he emails a muslim cleric thats in bed with al queda. Seriously someone should have thrown a red flag when they intercepted communications between a cleric whos buddy buddy with the worlds most wanted terrorist (eleged or not). This political correctness has got to stop. If it did 13 soldiers wouldn have died on american soil

    November 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  99. Vivien From NY

    Everything is easy in hind- sight. . But you think they would have at the very least suspended him or watched over him more. Lets find out who knew what and why they didn't do anything first then make our judgement..

    November 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  100. james in Idaho

    Jack, your question begs two others...

    Since they didn't (do something about it beforehand), even with all the information they supposedly had... can we then take that to mean that they felt such information was without, or had little, merit?

    The suggestion they might not have done anything due to a fear of being painted politically incorrect, didnt' seem to stop them from going to war in the first place; so, why fear it now?

    November 19, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  101. Anna Johnson

    Not at the time it happened but, there were signs before he picked up the gun that he could and maybe would commit an act of terrorism.
    We worry too much about political correctness and when human life is at stake we need to be more outgoing.
    I could have been prevented before he ever decided to shoot. But, at the time of the shooting I believe they did all they could do.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  102. EugeneWiese

    Technically, we will have to wait for analysis and findings of the panel appointed by Sec.Gates;however,we can speculate and consider it was a terriorist act foreign or domestic. It definitely was an assasination which was very difficult to prevent. When a person joins the military they put their life on the line and injury and/or death can come in different ways.I've seen it with my own eyes. Gene

    November 19, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  103. Carol Jensen

    The military certainly seemed to have gotten some red flags regarding the behavior of Major Hasan. He is not the first military man to go bezerk while on active duty, and he probably won't be the last. There are a lot of crazies loose in the country from every walk of life. I don't really blame his religion for his actions, anymore than I blame Christians for the recent calls to assasinate President Obama. Insanity runs rampant in every religion.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  104. Chris Richardson

    The last I checked, our authorities do not carry cystal balls.

    Fort Worth, TX

    November 19, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  105. Mark in Arkansas

    Could they have prevented this? Well Jack, of course they could have, if they knew about it. The real question is if they KNEW there were problems with this guy, why didn't they?

    November 19, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  106. Marci Barthelmeus

    If it is true that the FBI had Hasan under surveillaince for the past year, why did they not see him purchase weapons? Authorities should have been able to prevent this massacre of the inocents.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  107. james in Idaho

    @Denis Duffy... Military Intelligence... heh... gotta love that oxymoron.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  108. Melissa V-winnipeg

    Jack Jack Jack, Yes It could Have been prevented years ago. When you have someone in his department/field of psychiatry that gives a on speech on Muslims fighting Muslims that should have been the biggest and only red flag needed to start a full investigation, But again things got swept under the rug because everyone's worried about fighting the terrorists in their own country. The terrorists are here they're EVERYWHERE. It's a shame that there was one working for the MILITARY of all places.. and they let him slip away. If the military cant keep their staff secure and checked what kind of chance does the FBI,CIA and HOMELAND SECURITY have. It's a damn shame.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  109. Jerry - Fountain CO

    In hindsight, of course it could have been prevented! So could 9/11. So could the Titanic. So could the next revolting act of mass murder. But only when we look back....

    November 19, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  110. Stephen Fox

    Yes, they could have prevented this–had they let the guy out of the military. He obviously did not want to go, and had a problem with it. And...they can prevent the NEXT ones, if others are having the same problem. The government and military can also prevent further suicides. Suicide among military troops has been going up–self-inflicted wounds, too. Many are having mental problems about this EIGHT-YEAR-LONG war. Who wouldn't snap, after awhile? People have different tolerances, though. At the first signs of any such trouble, it should be a sign to others that it's time to get them talk about it. Sometimes, all one needs is a friend, communication; other times, they need to be removed from what's causing the stress.

    –Stephen Fox
    Panama City, FL

    November 19, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  111. Cheryl Cococa, Fl

    Of course they could have, with due diligence and inter-agency cooperation. It is just sad that after all these years these yahoos still can't get it right.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  112. Timothy in Texas

    Jack, here's the truth. Every man-made tragedy that has ever occurred in this world has been "preventable." Hindsight is always 20/20 and sometimes even clearer than that. Congress and political officials seem to enjoy looking back to criticize those responsible when things go wrong, but hindsight is only valuable when you actually learn a lesson and put those lessons into practice. I don't trust Congress or anyone else in office to learn lessons from tragedies. It just simply isn't politically expedient or beneficial to do so. They'll probably just end up slinging mud at each other and a similar event will happen again in the future.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  113. Marc in Toronto


    Something is not adding up. It wouldn't suprise me if the FBI and or the CIA and Military Intelligence were using Hasan as bait to lead them to bigger fish and got burned in doing so.

    I believe the truth will surface in the coming days, weeks, months or years. It could be that Hasan caught on and decided to take action before being taken into custody.

    Totally preventable and those that promoted and supervised Hasan the past few years should be held accountable.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  114. Tony

    The Army failed him cuz they treat each other like crap. No one knows this except for the army soldiers. His supervisor could of stopped him from getting deployed but she didn't. She is the blame.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  115. Chad from Los Angeles

    If the intelligence agencies had knowledge of him emailing known al Qaeda associates, then there should have been an investigation into that! Otherwise, its just not very plausable to think that a US soldier would commit an act like this. But there is a first for everything, unfortunately.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  116. Mitch in Phoenix

    Sure, authorities could have prevented the massacre in Iraq, too.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  117. Joe Castle Rock

    Jack what a dumb question? We could have maybe prevented this if we had an SS Nazi type organization in this country. What is next. Detenton camps for all muslim Americans and people with "poor judgement" performance reviews.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  118. amy, nyc

    Yes, they could have prevented the shootings if they weren't so worried about offending the sensibilities of a man who happened to be Muslim.There were all the signs that something wasn't right with the guy and the military did nothing about it because they didn't want to come off as intolerant. Well now they know.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  119. Jafsie

    The investigation by Homeland Security has JUST begun, yet Congress is already barreling forward, and politicians on both sides are spouting their rear-view wisdom...and now you're inviting CNN viewers to weigh in with their verdicts as well?

    Please, Jack, stop encouraging Americans to mouth off on yet another subject that they know next to nothing about.

    I agree with Obama - let's find out the facts before we jump to conclusions. A little more of that, and a lot less of the usual suspects spreading the usual knee-jerk blame, would serve us all well.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  120. Mike Boguszewski

    Yes AND no – sure this specific tragedy could have been prevented, but whatever stew of fear, resentment, religion and good old fashioned insanity was brewing in Hassan's brain was going to boil over at dome time but just with other victims.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  121. Patrick S.

    It depends. I think the fear of discrimination has caused many investigative officials to alter their viewpoints towards irrational behavior towards individuals in fear that their efforts will be deemed oppressive. Unfortunately, when dealing with terrorism, it seems like the idea "innocent until proven guilty" has to be set aside, becuase failure to act can result in the death of many individuals as seen at Ft. Hood. A delay in action can allow more time for terrorist strategies to perpetuate, and hence be carried out. If it looks like a rat, smells like a rat, sounds like a rat and acts like a rat -- it is likely a rat.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  122. cynicalgirl

    No, Jack, there's no way to predict human behavior. There was no reason to arrest him or ban him from buying guns. It's not clear if steps were being taken to discharge him. Since there was no conspiracy and this was a lone gunman, nobody can predict when someone is going to snap, like the guy who shot his former cow orkers in Florida last week or any other workplace/schoolhouse killer who is deranged.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  123. A. Smith, Oregon

    Without a doubt Jack, Lt.Gen Robert Cone as the Fort Hood base commander knew full well that Maj. Hasan MD., a member of his medical officers staff was highly conflicted in his duty's as a faithful follower of his Muslim belief and his duty's as a US Army officer.

    Without a doubt, Lt.Gen Robert Cone read the reviews which recently led to promoting Capt. Hasan to Major and definitely knew that officer had long lasting internal conflicts with his religious beliefs and his dutys as a medical officer on his staff.

    Having the Pentagon or Fort Hood investigators look into all of the reports, complaints and conflicts which Maj. Hasan MD. had aired, filed and reported for a full year or longer is ripe with the Army white washing itself of all accountability and responsibility which is plainly lacking.

    Lt. Gen. Robert Cone should be immediately relieved of duty in regards to the current Fort Hood base commander pending charges against him of gross dereliction of duty in turning a blind eye and deaf ear to reports and complaints by his own staff officers regarding Maj. Hasan MD.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  124. Jim Edmonds

    Love your comments, Jack but REALLY wish you would tell how many replies you got on each side of every discussion.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  125. Jay

    Our authorities seem to be extremely vigilant when it comes to kicking out Arabic speaking gay soldiers. But, when it came to Major Hasan, his skills were so badly needed that they had to overlook his radical views.


    Belmont, CA

    November 19, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  126. Steve Ellis

    YES! There were more flags ignored on this guy then there are flags on all the States in this great country. This ball wasn't just dropped, it fell into the Grand Canyon.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  127. Vickie

    Sounds like there were a lot of red flags. If his performance evaluations were poor, why didn't they discharge him, let him go into private practice, and garnish his wages to pay for the education the government gave him? Why would they leave him in a position of counseling the most vulnerable of our troops when he was not at the top of his profession? The government goes after everyday people who have student loans.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  128. Tommy

    Of course responsible authorities could and should have prevented this act of terror on U.S. soil, but put all of the self proclaimed "authorities" in the same room and none of them would concede it was their responsibility. We no longer have any authority to act unilaterally and bear the consequence except, of course, the tax and spend authority. GOD SAVE US ALL!

    November 19, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  129. Steve


    How can anyone be so sure someone working in your office won't come to work tomorrow and kill a bunch of people and co-workers at CNN because he/she has issues that finally drove him/her over the edge? Does CNN profile all its employees everyday? Hasan like Wolf and you Jack are trusted faces seen everyday by the people he worked with and allow him on the base. But how well do we know each other really?

    November 19, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  130. Ann Rychlenski

    This attack absolutely could have been prevented if our government, society and the media were not so diversity driven and politically correct. I spent many years in public service and I can tell you that it is impossible to discipline, question or fire anyone who is remotely considered a minority. To do so is to automatically invite an EEO lawsuit and cries of prejudice and hatred. Our own system is being used against us and we are handing it over on a silver platter.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  131. James Charlotte, NC

    We have outstanding authorities here in the USA, but we have a lot of crimes that have not been prevented. Let's be real and stop asking why, rather ask what can we do better to prevent this from ever occurring again!

    November 19, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  132. Carole in West Palm Beach

    Jack: This tragedy should have been averted. Is everyone color-blind? There were "red flags" all over this field:. Emails to an extremist cleric? Poor performance reviews from his fellow mental health professionals? Power point presentations extolling the" virtues" of suicide bombers? A loner? Where's Nancy Drew when you need her?

    November 19, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  133. vince galassi

    why are we worried about political correctness in the military i thought only we civies worry about tht nonsense 13 people are dead becausethe military commanders that heard about proplems with the physco in texas did NOTHING because they are worried about upsetting the mooslins how about this right now profile al mooslins in the military damn th politicos have we forgotten 911 what in sweet jesus is going on

    November 19, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  134. Gregg in CA

    There appears to have been adequate signs that Major Hassan was not capable of separating his faith from his mission. Why would the U.S. allow any Muslim in the military? Political correctness has to be weighted. It's like allowing Chinese, Israeli and others foreign decendants access to top secret information, why would you do that?

    November 19, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  135. Joel Hernandez

    Hey Jack! I believe the shootings could not have been prevented. OK.. So he showed "poor judement and lack of professionalism"... so what? Is everybody that displays characteristics going to be watched and tracked by the FBI? If somebody wants to get two hands guns and start shooting people up, there is nothing anybody can do about it. Are we now going to have some kind of pre-crime unit, where we go around arresting people before they commit any crime?

    November 19, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  136. George from SC


    No, it couldn't have. The reason this guy was in the kept in the Army was because of his occupation. The Army is hurting hard for QUALITY Soldiers. The US Army is desperate to keep quality Soldiers and officers. Also, If it was Timothy McVeigh that then you think we would still be talking about terrorism.


    November 19, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  137. Rob Cheplicki

    It's hard to believe what seems to have been a pattern of disturbing behavior by Major Hasan was ignored by his superiors. Laziness and Incompetence permeates our armed forces at the highest and lowest levels and it seems like the time for cleaning house is far overdue. Our soldiers and country deserve better.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  138. NF

    I question why someone in Hasan's position was not undergoing regular psych evaluation, Muslim or otherwise. Why certain behaviors were not reported, I believe was probably due to concerns about racial profiling in the army and the consequences of pointing out behavior which may or may not have been motivated by religion or culture. So yes, I do believe measures shoudl have been in place to evaluate someone for emotional stability, whether motivated by religion or circumstance or the onset of mental illness symptoms.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  139. Bob Brink

    The real question should be whether the warning signs of Hasan's behavior were ignored because he was a Moslem (political correctness) or because he was a doctor? The military spent a lot of money on his education and traditionally, doctors are reluctant to critize their collegues. When his professional behavior "went south" did the military medical community reflexively " circle the wagons" to shield him from professional sanctions.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  140. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    I once read there are over 100 trillion synapse connections in the human brain, of which about any 10% are firing at a given time.

    How and why any of us think and react cannot be determined with any great precision. And no two people will ever think exactly alike.

    So to precisely predict a certain behavior under a certain condition is near impossible.

    Hasan, as a psychiatrist, probably helped many people as a doctor, to weigh the good and evil in his mind would have been near impossible. We all have a dark side within our brains, but the majority of us never act upon those dark thoughts.

    Sadly,, not even the Army or the Government could have known Hasan's thoughts of evil would ever materialize.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  141. Ken in NC

    Hindsite is always 20/20 and politicians love it. They eat it up. This should be your question. Why didn't the politicians hold hearings before hand to avoid this fiasco?

    Congress needs to butt out and let the investigations run their course rather than muddying the waters with their politics and attempts at "Finger pointing".

    November 19, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  142. Bob In Florida

    Did you see "Minority Report," Jack? The ONLY way to prevent murders is to assume BEFORE-HAND that everyone will murder and lock them all up. But then, where would freedom live? There DOES NOT seem to be a conspiracy here, a single deranged man (who happened to be Muslim) carrying out his own agenda. It is horribly sad, but most likely UNpreventable.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  143. John

    Nice, lets find a way to put the blame on someone else. I spent 23 years in the Army and 15 years as a police officer
    There are laws that prevent police or military from interfering with someone just because people are frightened. 'Should' they be allowed to stop and detain people because others are afraid, yes. But that would be a violation of their civil rights.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  144. jim Blevins

    Yes, but it would require that the person doing the reporting have a clear understanding of the difference between right and wrong. Unfortunately, many Christians don't have that understanding. It is good to allow another the right to his religious beliefs. It is wrong to harm another in the name of religion. It shouldn't be hard to tell the difference.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    November 19, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  145. Annie, Atlanta

    Yes, by forcing Hasan into psychiatric treatment. It doesn't speak well for our armed services that this man was trained as a shrink and no one bothered to stop the process, in light of his well documented difficulties. They just moved him down the road, as the next guy's problem. Are we that desperate to sign them up and ship them out?

    November 19, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  146. A. Glen Everhart

    Absolutely the Ft. Hood incident could have been avoided. The same individuals who are saying that it could not have been prevented are the same ones who are denying that it was a terrorist act. Had this man strapped on an explosive-packed back pack and walked into the same center top explode it, there is no question that it would be branded a terrorist act. Because he is a muslim doctor who chose to shoot American soldiers some want to cop a plea that he was just a mentally ill individual with no other motives. Millions don't buy it. God only knows how many more he would have killed if a couple of brave police officers didn't stop him

    November 19, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  147. Stan

    If we are all over the world seeking intelligence that will keep us safe here in the USA, I believe intelligence seeking should begin at home. This country is made up of all sorts of people from different racial and religious background, intelligence seeking and sharing at home is needed to keep us all safe in the homeland.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  148. Kevin

    No. How can law enforcement stop one person that uses legal handguns to commit crimes? Even if he was prevented from buying legal handguns, how hard would it have been for him buy illegal handguns in Texas?

    The Virginia Tech shooter and the Beltway sniper weren't stopped from committing thier crimes. The problem is there are too many unstable people with acess to guns in this country.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  149. Danny Mullins

    For some perspective, we had intelligence in August of 2001 that Bin Laden might hijack a plane at some point in the near future, and the government didn't do anything about it. Even if we had the intelligence on Major Hasan, look at how well such intelligence is disseminated across government agencies. There's no way they could connect the dots that well in time to prevent such an attack. It's not a matter of political correctness, just a matter of ignorance and paper-shuffling.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  150. mike

    how sad – we ve done it again, just like 9/11 the ft hood murders could have been prevented, but the bungling and fumbling of trying not to step on toes prevented it these people are not religious they are murders Hassan is what we in the military called a loose cannon and his superior officers should be held accountable

    November 19, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  151. Doug Massey

    Of course authorities could have prevented the massacre. Under the guise of being "politically correct," and First Amendment rights.. this was a DEADLY lack of total, commplete NEGLIGENCE. Husan was promoted to Major for God's sake after being so-called "carefully" reviewed by superior officers. My son spent three tours in Iraq and thousands of our sons and daughters are being wisked away to that God-forsaken place and Afghanistan to fight the war on terrorism and here we are allowing terrorists, Jihadists.. to be "home grown" in the good ole USA. Com'ON, man–what's up with THAT?!

    November 19, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  152. Andor Petras

    Hundreds of thousands dead muslims in Iraq and Afganistan and thousands of muslims rounded up in public and secret prisons.
    And you think political correctness is the problem? Not!

    November 19, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  153. Esther Massillon Ohio

    They could have predicted it as well as they could have predicted that on April 19, 1995 Tim mcVeigh would rent a uhaul truck and blow up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahome city the deadlist act of terrorism committed by an American. He killed 168 and injured over 800. We are doomed to repeat the past, if we learn nothing from it. No he wasn't in the army at the time but they saw the warning signs while he was in and that in itself was enough for them to contact the FBI and put him on a watch list. He was a home grown terrorist because of Waco and Ruby Ridge. Can you not see that we are growing more of the same with these wars. Glad Lou Dobbs is gone hated him saying over and over Muslim Terrorist. Least we have forgotten we have American Terrorist with Religous ties also.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  154. Cliff Glass - East Rockaway, NY

    Why can't the Armed Services every year offer an opt-out provision to all solidiers who either decide the military is not for them, are incompetent, or who conscientiously object to a current military campaign ?
    This would have allowed Major Hasan to leave quietly and disappear into the anonymity he deserves.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  155. dick from indiana

    For a mere 90 billion dollars the government could hire 3 million people at 30 thousand a piece and make them "terror cops". They could spy on their neighbors and friends and turn in people with shifty eyes and long hair. Then the government could hire another 3 million out of work people, pay them 30 thousand a year to check out all the people turned in by the "terror cops". We could call these people "terror investigators". Then we could hire a couple people to watch all the suspects that actually turned out to be terriorists. For a couple hundred billion we could put 6 million and two people to work and rid our country of all the bad guys.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  156. Tim in Texas

    It sounds like the information concerning Hasan's statements, actions, and performance did not all reach one focal point - where the potential threat might have been recognized. What I don't see is any evidence that suggests that 'political correctness' played any role in this. We need to be careful. Palin already expressed her view that the Army should be profiling. If 'political correctness' did in fact prevent people from reporting or acting on their concerns, then that needs to be addressed, but profiling crosses a line that we, as Americans, should never cross.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  157. OLD OTTO

    Not without metal detectors. Where Major Hasan should have been investigated was when he stated his allegence was to the Koran, not the Constitution. That change of allegence, during a war, required an investigation, it did not require the Army to be politicly correct.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  158. Robert Thomson

    The powers to be have seen numerous red flags for several years. So why did they choose to ignore the the potential for disaster. And we consider them to be medical professionals?? If you can't see the insanity around you then you're part of it. Maybe President Obama will be able to clean house in this arena too.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  159. Joel in Amarillo

    No it could not have been prevented. What I think is a good question to be asking is how is it that he was able to get off over a hundred shots before he was disabled? Wasn't he surrounded by highly trained combat ready warriors? And what happenned to the two suspects that were surrounded in the first two hours of this incident? This was reported not only by CNN but other news agencies. Oh yea and wasn't he dead for about four hours before he mysteriously came back to life? I'm just curious...

    November 19, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  160. Tim

    Take one deranged individual, mix in a dose of Islamic fundamentalism, and top it off with the absurd politically correct climate dominating the American landscape and you have Ft. Hood.

    The short answer is “no”. Not until we change the last ingredient.

    Catania, Italy

    November 19, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  161. Birddog in Mississippi

    Say they did 'connect the dots'; what could they have done? Follow him? Kick him out of the military? If they kicked him out of the military, what would have prevented him from doing the same thing in a Mall or a Post Office? There's not a lot you can do about a thought crime until somebody acts on it.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  162. Mark Ross

    Vice President Biden predicted: This inexperienced man will be tested. Yes he was and failed miserably over 40 of our finest men and women shot in this islamo-jihadist attack on the military.
    President's response to congress: Stop any investigations... Strange, No?

    November 19, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  163. DT from Fort Walton Beach, FL

    Yes, this politically correct nonsense has to end. That coward showed time and time again he didn't want to be in the military...the Army should have discharged him (Not even honorably) and went about their business...

    November 19, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  164. RJ from Lake,MI

    Hey Jack, you dont have to be a genius to figure out when a person is talking to Al Queda ummm, he might be a terrorist! Obama dropped the ball on this one and he needs to own up to it!

    November 19, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  165. Matt in Vermont

    OF COURSE authorities could have prevented it.

    How many signposts do they need stuck in their faces to see they're missing something big?

    November 19, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  166. Mike B from Florida

    Yes. Soldiers of Islam like Hasan and KSM are enemy combatants. They should be tried like enemys at war and not be provided Civil Liberties and Rights like tax paying Americans. They should be tried in Military Court and not Federal Court.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  167. ron

    Unless the Army has changed since I served 35+ years ago, the answer is simple.

    The individual is marked fit for duty and every "Swinging Richard" fit for duty will be on duty. We do not care what he is feeling or if he thinks the "War on Terror" is valid.

    There is no P.C. crap here.

    He had a warm body and the Army used it.

    From the Army's perspective, most of the time people get over their personal issues and continue serving as directed and sometimes they don't. It's the law of averages.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  168. Mike from Denver

    Maybe, but pointing the finger will not bring anyone back. This should be a lessons learned endeavour, and not a witch hunt.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  169. Kim Smith, Dodge City, Kansas

    They could have, and should have, but chose not to. But hey, we sure know how to keep old ladies from carrying too much shampoo on a plane. Political correctness is destruying this country.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  170. Derek Wayne, NJ

    this is nothing more than hind-sight bias. it's always after the shootings that we say we can prevent these from happening. NO WE CAN'T.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  171. George, Montrose, PA

    Well Jack, you would think so. As a former Marine and Vietnam vet, I shake my head sometimes in disbelief. What the hell has our country come to, and where is the system of checks and balances that should be in place???

    November 19, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  172. Tony

    The government should have prevented this tragity when George W. was in office. It was his watch when Terroist embedded themselves in or government agentcies. What I want to know is why when I try to find a job, my background is checked all the way to my credit score. When President Obama gets past all this other mess Mr. Bush left him, I hope the real criminals are done away with and the rest of us loyal Americans are left to alone to enjoy the American way of life. God bless those families who lost our heros.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  173. Randy Reyes

    Jack, YES...these shootings could have been prevented! The Major did not apply the unwriiten rule of the army which is...if you want something...say you don't want it...if you don't want something...say you want it! The major wanted out of the army and he made it well known that he did not want to go to the middle east. His higher ups wanted to screw with him and piss him off...and they sure did that to the extreme and loss of many lives. The army should have let this guy out when he requested...but that's not the unwritten rule!

    – Randy Reyes
    Malibu, CA

    November 19, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  174. Paulette from Dallas,PA

    This is just another time the Army and ALL of Major Hasan superiors who detected problems dropped the ball. All allegations should have been examined very carefully simply because he is Muslim and was trying to push this religion on his patients. Once again,innocent people paid the price for top Brass mistakes.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  175. Jill

    I think most people who commit crimes in most settings probably show some warning signs, but they get missed. It is tragic, but it is part of life. The fact that he was in the military, was a psychotherapist, and was Muslim make this case sound more extreme – but to me it sounds like any other workplace shooting tragedy. There is no way to prevent every bad thing from happening, as unfortunate as that is. If he was investigated just for poor performance or for being Muslim, that wouldn't be fair to the other Muslims that are wonderful and serving our country. Investigating low performers would take up too much time – every workplace has many low performers, the military is no different.

    Sure, there is probably more that could have been done to prevent this from happening. But the time and effort spent investigating this guy would be repeated with many, many other guys similar to him who are NOT dangerous. Where do we draw the line, and how much time, money, and manpower do we have to waste investigating people?

    November 19, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  176. g ontario

    with so much hate and guns in your country it can happen any time any where

    November 19, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  177. Frank

    This is a case of political correctness taken too far. There were many signs that there was something wrong with Hasan. But no one wanted to confront him about it for fear of being accused of being anti-muslim/racist. So this guy was let go until one day he snapped. And now we have this awful incident.

    Why have we becaome such a fearful nation?

    Charlotte, NC

    November 19, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  178. Gordon Miller in Memphis

    It is obvious in hind-sight that too many superiors were too worried about political correctness to stop promotion and assignment of this idealistic Muslim and head off the massacre.
    Or was it just a case of the Army being more concerned about enforcing his contract than taking a close look at his mental state and what he might do to get out of it?

    November 19, 2009 at 5:51 pm |