NPR has reported that Major Nidal Hasan's mental health was questioned by his nearly two years ago by his supervising Psychiatrists. Daniel Zwerdling reports that Hasan's supervisors referred to him as "schizoid" and questioned whether Hasan was mentally fit for service.
"One official involved in the conversations had reportedly told colleagues that he worried that if Hasan deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, he might leak secret military information to Islamic extremists. Another official reportedly wondered aloud to colleagues whether Hasan might be capable of committing fratricide, like the Muslim U.S. Army sergeant who, in 2003, killed two fellow soldiers and injured 14 others by setting off grenades at a base in Kuwait."
You might not be familiar with the term "schizoid" but I am. It's not a word that mental health professionals toss around lightly. Schizoid is considered milder than schizophrenia, but harder to treat. It is a personality disorder in which the afflicted person is completely disconnected from his emotions and unable to develop meaningful interpersonal relationships. According to this article "the person with schizoid personality disorder may be able to hold a job and meet the expectations of an employer if the responsibilities do not require more than minimal interpersonal involvement." I think the job description for military psychiatrist in wartime might involve more than minimal interpersonal involvement.
However, Zwerdling reports, circumstances were such that the officials who raised the concerns (and continued monthly discussions about those concerns) did not find it feasible to issue any giant red flags about Hasan. They did not because:
- there would be too much paperwork and bureaucracy
- they would appear politically incorrect and unsympathetic to Hasan's extremist Islamic views
- they didn't know that Homeland Security was tracking his emails with other extremists, and the icing on the cake:
- Hasan was leaving for Fort Hood, anyway, and could be their problem.
I don't know about you, but the four reasons above are NOT GOOD ENOUGH for failing to flag a person who would be in a position of power, authority, and care taking with our soldiers at home and abroad.
Why would it be okay for a person with extremist views, views that specifically condemn American ideals and the war on terror, to serve in any capacity with our armed forces?
I'm certainly not saying that Muslims cannot serve in the military. To the contrary. I think Muslims can absolutely serve in the American military. I think Muslims can be a great asset to the American military. This man espoused radical Islamic views which are actually contradictory to the Muslim faith.
This is not okay, people. This man was unstable enough to become the focus of monthly conversations between the officials, including the Psychiatrists who supervised him, at one of the hospitals where he trained.
But. They. Did.
They did not insist he have a full psychiatric evaluation.
They did not place him on probation.
They did not require he have any intervention whatsoever.
They did, however, pass the buck:
"Hasan was about to leave Walter Reed and USUHS for good and transfer to Fort Hood, in Texas. Fort Hood has more psychiatrists and other mental specialists than some other Army bases, so officials figured there would be plenty of co-workers who would support Hasan — and monitor him." (Zwerdling)
I am outraged that the Psychiatrists who supervised Hasan didn't have the balls necessary to red flag his nutty ass.
What's it take?
Seriously, what does it take?