Fear of ‘Prejudiced’ Label May Have Silenced Whistleblowers About Ft. Hood Shooter

September 1, 2011 - 5:38 PM

(CNSNews.com) – Senator Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) said that fear of being labeled “prejudiced” may have prevented whistleblowers from notifying authorities about the violent evolution of Army Maj. Nidal Hasan before he launched his deadly terrorist attack on Fort Hood in 2009, in which 13 people were killed and 30 wounded.

“There was clear evidence – we found – that Major Hasan’s fellow soldiers were very concerned with his increasing public identifications, statements, with violent Islamist ideology,” Lieberman said at the National Press Club on Thursday. Lieberman, who caucuses with the Democrats, is the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

“At one point, for instance, he [Hasan] stated in front of a group of them that he thought a Muslim-American soldier would be justified in killing his comrades in defense of Islam,” said the senator.

Lieberman further said that other suspicious statements Hasan made may have been kept quiet because his fellow soldiers were afraid of being labeled “prejudiced” against Muslims.

“But, rather than reporting that immediately, they kept quiet, and Major Hasan was actually promoted after making statements like that,” said Lieberman. “How could that have happened? Well, maybe for some of his statements – not the one I’ve just quoted, which was so self-evidently cause for discharge of Hasan or was cause for discharge – maybe some of it [keeping quiet], on some of his other statements just came form ignorance about the whole reality of Islamist radicalization.”

“And I think some of the rest of it came from a fear of making waves, and particularly making waves that would cause the people who were making them and reporting Hasan [might] put them in jeopardy of being labeled as prejudiced,” said Lieberman.

Hasan, 40, joined the U.S. Army while in college and was a psychiatrist at Ft. Hood in Texas. He is a Muslim who expressed radical views and he had exchanged e-mails with Imam Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical Muslim with ties to Islamic extremists. On Nov. 5, 2009, Hasan started shooting people at the Soldier Readiness Center at Ft. Hood, killing 13 people before he himself was shot by a civilian police officer.

Hasan has since been charged with 13 counts of murder and 32 counts of attempted murder, in a military court.