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Lieberman Refuses to Ignore the Obvious

Sen. Joe Lieberman distinguishes himself from the maddening mush emanating from elected leaders and the chattering class on the Fort Hood massacre. He states what should be, and I think is to ordinary Americans, obvious: this from all appearances is “the worst terrorist attack since 9/11.” Based on what we know, Lieberman says that Hasan seems to be a “self-radicalized, homegrown terrorist.” Shocking, I know, to tie the murderer’s own words, actions, and behavior to the heinous slaughter of our troops, but there’s precious little of that going on so far. Lieberman therefore proposes a full-blown investigation, citing plenty of evidence that Hasan “turned to Islamist extremism”:

“If that is true, then this was a terrorist act,” Lieberman said.

“This is not the first attempt by Islamist extremists to go after U.S. military bases,” the senator added, noting foiled plots to attack Fort Dix and Quantico and the shooting death of an Army recruiter in Little Rock, Ark., by a Muslim convert this summer.

There are indications that Hasan supported that act, Lieberman said.

The Homeland Security chairman also urged the Department of Defense to launch an independent investigation “to see if warning signs were missed.”

The military, said Lieberman, needs to have “zero tolerance” for those expressing extremist views. “He should have been gone,” the senator said.

The administration and elite opinion makers squirm when they hear such talk. Perhaps it was “stress.” Maybe he’s just a nonideological nut. The obtuseness in a post-9/11 world is mind-boggling.

Now, not everyone is trying to ignore the many facts already that point directly to Hasan’s mindset and motives. Jeffrey Goldberg, not exactly a card-carrying member of the dreaded neocon conspiracy, isn’t going to play along with his colleagues’ willful blindness:

It seems, though, that when an American military officer who is a practicing Muslim allegedly shoots forty of his fellow soldiers who are about to deploy to the two wars the United States is currently fighting in Muslim countries, some broader meaning might, over time, be discerned, especially if the officer did, in fact, yell “Allahu Akbar” while murdering his fellow soldiers, as some soldiers say he did.

I suspect the American people have figured this out as well. But Lieberman is right: let’s have a full-blown investigation and public hearings. Let’s explore how this came to pass and why it is that eight years after 9/11, Hasan’s behavior did not set off alarm bells. Then the American people can decide for themselves whether, despite the protestations of many who would rather avert their eyes, we can afford to drop “Islamic terrorism” or “Islamic fundamentalism” from our government’s official lexicon.

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