exchange from a Senate hearing yesterday about how and why the Army
dropped the ball on the Fort Hood shooter is worth reading:
Lieberman: . . . . General Keane, do you -- and obviously this is
speculation but the military is most sensitive of any organization I
know to any taint or allegation or impression of being discriminatory
which is appropriate. Do you think that political correctness may have
played some role in the fact that these dots were not connected?
Keane: Yes, absolutely and also I think a factor here is Hasan's
position as an officer and also his position as a psychiatrist
contributed to that because of the special category I think someone
who's operating as a clinician every day treating patients is in in the
military. It's an individual activity versus a group activity which
provides considerably more supervision in squads, platoons, companies
and the like inside our units.
there's no doubt in my mind that that was operating here. But in
fairness to many of the people who are associating with him, based on
what preliminary research I have done and I think what the committee is
doing, I think we're going to find very clearly that we do not have
specific guidelines on dealing with Jihadist extremism in terms of the
obligations of the members of the military to identify a reported and
what actions to take and what constitutes Jihadist extremists itself.
that you take some of this burden away from people by having those
guidelines and when you have those guidelines in place you are clearly
saying to the institution that this is important to us, we are not
going to tolerate this kind of behavior and we want to identify with
immediately to try to curb the behavior through counseling and
rehabilitation and if necessary separate that individual from the
service if it cannot be curbed.
McCain: I have talked to military officers who have stated that they at
least up until now have had a significant reluctance to pursue what may
be these indications because of this political correctness environment.
Have you heard the same?
Keane: Well I know it exists, no doubt about it, and what I'm trying to
say is is that the way to deal with that -- it shouldn't have to be an
act of moral courage on behalf of a soldier to have to report behavior
that we should not be tolerating inside our military organizations. It
should be an obligation. The way to make that an obligation is provide
very specific guidelines through the chain of command as to what their
duties are in regards to this issue. That takes this issue -- begins to
take this issue off the table because the institution is speaking
clearly in terms of what its expectations are and what it will tolerate
and what it will not tolerate.
Sen. McCain: And perhaps err on the side of caution instead of erring on the side of correctness.
I think General Keane is pointing to a good way to help soldiers, and help the Army, akin to what Stu Herrington was talking about the other day in this blog.
warning: Look, I know the three people quoted above are not Democratic
Party favorites. Even so, I don't want to see a bunch of ad hominem
attacks on Keane, McCain and Lieberman. If you want to do that, take it
outside to another blog. This is a sensitive, difficult subject. It is
easy to rant
about this. But that is not what we need. I don't want name calling, I
want to think about solutions here, as Keane does. ‘Nuff said?