On Nov. 5, 2009, Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, an American citizen, a radicalized Muslim, a psychiatrist and, in the words of the report, "a ticking time bomb," shot up a soldier readiness center on America's largest active-duty Army base, killing 12 military personnel and one civilian, and wounding 32 others. It was a direct assault on the armed forces of the United States by a self-proclaimed "Soldier of Allah" (written on his business cards) who shouted the Muslim incantation Allahu akbar before opening fire.
In any other war, someone like Maj. Hasan would never have gotten close to the Army, never have been handled with kid gloves, and never been promoted.
What was the Army thinking? That if we could just get our enemies to like us, all this unpleasantness will soon be over?
America bent over backward after 9/11 to assure Muslims that we weren't at war with Islam. Our country offered the hand of friendship to people like Maj. Hasan -- ignoring his radicalism, his praise of suicide bombers, his sympathy for Osama bin Laden and his belief that his religion, as the report notes, "took precedence over the US Constitution he swore to support and defend as a US military officer . . . Hasan's statements about the primacy of religious law occurred as he was supporting a violent extremist interpretation of Islam and suggesting that this radical ideology justified opposition to US policy and could lead to fratricide in the ranks."
He certainly was right about that.
Did anybody, from the fruit-salad brass to our crack intelligence services, do anything about it? Of course not.
Lieberman and Collins put their fingers on the problem: "Despite Hasan's overt displays of radicalization to violent Islamist extremism, Hasan's superiors failed to discipline him, refer him to counterintelligence officials or seek to discharge him. One of the officers who reported Hasan to superiors opined that Hasan was permitted to remain in service because of 'political correctness' and ignorance of religious practices."
It couldn't be much clearer than that.
Since the Clinton administration, the military has been subjected to an unprecedented assault on its core values, its traditions and its honor. It's become a laboratory for social experiment as its desk-jockey officer corps clamber up the greasy pole of promotion -- and, just as in civilian life, getting people like Maj. Hasan promoted in the name of the dubious virtue "diversity" was one such path.
It's time for that to stop. If anybody should be in the business of clear-headed threat analysis, it's the US military. "Political correctness," which literally seeks to make certain speech unthinkable, should have no place in a free society.
On Dec. 8, President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed a joint session of Congress. We all remember his famous opening: "Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy . . ." But the words that followed were what rallied Americans:
"As commander-in-chief of the Army and Navy I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense, that always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people, in their righteous might, will win through to absolute victory . . . We will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us."
The men and women of our armed forces are fully prepared to die on the battlefield, when we ask them to. What we should never do is ask them to die on the altar of political correctness.