Major Nidal Malik Hasan’s military superiors repeatedly ignored or rebuffed his efforts to open criminal prosecutions of soldiers he claimed had confessed to “war crimes” during psychiatric counseling, according to investigative reports circulated among federal law enforcement officials.
On Nov. 4, the day after his last attempt to raise the issue, he took extra target practice at Stan’s shooting range in nearby Florence, Texas and then closed a safe deposit box he had at a Bank of America branch in Killeen, according to the reports. A bank employee told investigators Hasan appeared nervous and said, “You’ll never see me again.”
Diane Wagner, Bank of America’s senior vice president of media relations, said that her company does not “comment or discuss customer relationships” but is “cooperating fully with law enforcement officials.”
Investigators believe Hasan’s frustration over the failure of the Army to pursue what he regarded as criminal acts by U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan may have helped to trigger the shootings. [continued…]
Editor’s Comment — At this point, were it not for one fact, the verdict in the court of public opinion would already be in: Hasan snapped. Had he been a non-Muslim psychiatrist and expressed the same concerns, the assumption that would now widely be made would be that under the stress of feeling like his concerns were being ignored, he became unhinged. But instead, the single most important fact in this case remains in many people’s minds, the fact that Hasan was a Muslim.
Last April, two Marines at Camp Lejeune predicted to a psychiatrist that some Marine back from war was going to “lose it.” Concerned, the psychiatrist asked what that meant. One of the Marines responded, “One of these guys is liable to come back with a loaded weapon and open fire.”
They weren’t talking about Marines suffering from a tangle of mental and religious angst, like news reports suggest haunted the alleged Fort Hood shooter, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan. The risk they reported at Camp Lejeune was broader and systemic. Upon returning home, troops suffering mental health problems were getting dumped into an overwhelmed healthcare system that responded ineptly to their crises, the men reported, and they also faced harassment from Marine Corps superiors ignorant of the severity of their problems and disdainful of those who sought psychiatric help.
As Dr. Kernan Manion investigated the two Marines’ claims about conditions at the North Carolina military base, the largest Marine base on the East Coast, he found they were true. Manion, a psychiatrist hired last January to treat Marines coming home from war with acute mental problems, warned his superiors of looming trouble at Camp Lejeune in a series of increasingly urgent memos.
But instead of being praised for preventing what might have been another Fort Hood massacre, Manion was fired by the contractor that hired him, NiteLines Kuhana LLC. A spokeswoman for the firm says it let Manion go at the Navy’s behest. The Navy declined to comment on this story. [continued…]