The Fort Hood Report "Why No Mention of Islam?" Time Magazine cover-story challenges aversion to acknowledge Islamism

U.S. military's just-released report into the Fort Hood shootings spends 86 pages detailing various slipups by Army officers but not once mentions Major Nidal Hasan by name or even discusses whether the killings may have had anything to do with the suspect's view of his Muslim faith. And as Congress opens two days of hearings on Wednesday into the Pentagon probe of the Nov. 5 attack that left 13 dead, lawmakers want explanations for that omission.

John Lehman, a member of the 9/11 commission and Navy Secretary during the Reagan Administration, says a reluctance to cause offense by citing Hasan's view of his Muslim faith and the U.S. military's activities in Muslim countries as a possible trigger for his alleged rampage reflects a problem that has gotten worse in the 40 years that Lehman has spent in and around the U.S. military. The Pentagon report's silence on Islamic extremism "shows you how deeply entrenched the values of political correctness have become," he told TIME on Tuesday. "It's definitely getting worse, and is now so ingrained that people no longer smirk when it happens."

In this combo photo, some of the victims killed during a shooting at Fort Hood, Texas on Nov. 5, 2009 are shown. From top left, Spc. Jason Dean Hunt, 22, of Frederick, Okla., Sgt. Amy Krueger, 29, of Kiel, Wis., Pfc. Aaron Thomas Nemelka, 19, of West Jordan, Utah, Michael Grant Cahill, 62, of Cameron, Texas, Pfc. Kham Xiong, 23, of St. Paul, Minn., Staff Sgt. Justin M. DeCrow, 32, of Evans, Ga. From bottom left, Pfc. Michael Pearson, 21, of Bolingbrook, Ill., Russell Seager, 51, of Racine, Wis., Francheska Velez, 21, of Chicago, Capt. John Gaffaney, 56, of Williston, N.D., and Major L. Eduardo Caraveo, 52, of Juarez, Mexico. (AP Photo/Lehtikuva)   View slideshow of the victims.

The apparent lack of curiosity into what allegedly drove Hasan to kill isn't in keeping with the military's ethos; it's a remarkable omission for the U.S. armed forces, whose young officers are often ordered to read Sun Tzu's The Art of War with its command to know your enemy. In midcareer, they study the contrast between capabilities and intentions, which is why they aren't afraid of a British nuclear weapon but do fear the prospect of Iran getting one.

The Congressman whose district includes Fort Hood agrees. "The report ignores the elephant in the room — radical Islamic terrorism is the enemy," says Republican Representative John Carter. "We should be able to speak honestly about good and bad without feeling like you've done something offensive to society."

The report lumps in radical Islam with other fundamentalist religious beliefs, saying that "religious fundamentalism alone is not a risk factor" and that "religious-based violence is not confined to members of fundamentalist groups." But to some, that sounds as if the lessons of 9/11, Afghanistan and Iraq, where jihadist extremism has driven deadly violence against Americans, are being not merely overlooked- but studiously ignored.
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