Letter From Fort Hood
— By Kevin Drum | Fri November 6, 2009 8:19 AM PST
—Photo by flickr user brokenthoughts used under a Creative Commons license.
A former reader emails today to pass along a firsthand account of the shooting at Fort Hood on Thursday. It’s unedited except for paragraph breaks:
I was walking into the medical SRP building when he started firing (he never made it to the main SRP building….the media accounts are understandably pretty off right now). He was calmly and methodically shooting everyone. Like every non-deployed military post, no one was armed. For the first time in my life I really wish I had a weapon. I don’t know how to explain what it feels like to have someone shoot at you while you’re unarmed. He missed me but didn’t miss a lot of others. Just pure random luck. It’s a very compressed area, thus the numbers.
I saw a lot of heroism. So many more would have died if this wasn’t an Army post. We’re almost all CLS trained and it made a huge difference. Cause the EMTs didn’t get there for almost an hour (they thought there was a second shooter). I just can’t believe one of our own shot us. When I saw his ID card I couldn’t believe it. After he shot the female police officer he was fumbling his reload and I saw the other police officer around the corner and yelled at him to come shoot the shooter. He did. Then I used my belt as a tourniquet on the female officer.
I hate to tell you this but in the course of the day it became clear that it was another Akbar incident.1 (Once they convinced them the blood drenching my clothes wasn’t mine I spent the day being interviewed by the alphabet.) Akbar again. God help us. He was very planned. I counted three full mags around him (I secured his weapon for a while). Found out later that his car was filled with more ammo.
This was premeditated. This wasn’t VBC again. That guy snapped, not this one. He was so damn calm when he was shooting. Methodical. And he was moving tactically. The Army really is diverse and we really do love all our own. We signed up to be shot at but not at home. Not unarmed. No one should ever see what the inside of that medical SRP building looked like. I suppose that’s what VA Tech looked like. Except they didn’t have soldiers coming from everywhere to tourniquet and compress and talk to the wounded while rounds are still coming out.
No one touched him…the shooter that is…other than to treat him. Though I told the medic (and I’m not proud of this) that was giving him plasma that there better not be anyone else who needed it because he should be the last one to be treated. But I had just finished holding a soldier who was critical (I counted three entry wounds) and talking to him about his children…. If the shooter had a grievance he should have taken it out on those responsible; he wasn’t shooting people he knew (media reports to the contrary). He was just shooting anybody who happened to be present for SRP medical processing, mainly lower enlisted.
But please, no one use this politically! The Army is not “broken”, PTSD doesn’t turn people into killers, most Muslims aren’t evil, and whether we should stay or go in Afghanistan has nothing to do with this. I’m babbling…sorry.
1Hasan Akbar was an Army sergeant who killed two soldiers and wounded 14 others in a grenade attack in Kuwait in 2003. He’s currently under a sentence of death.
This letter was printed on MotherJones.com. I felt that many persons who were not politically inclined to the Left might not see it. So I’m throwing it up here. Just in case.
All sides of any given event should be heard.
I do not agree with many who are attempting to downplay the influence of Islamic Extremism on this man and his actions. He was definitely and heavily influenced by his brand of Islam. Even the Imam of his local Mosque thought he was extreme in his views. These actions will continue until America and the rest of the world come to the realization that not Islam but Wahhabism is a violent strain of Islam bent on forcilby converting all of Islam specifically and the population of the globe ultimately to their world view. The only way to combat this is to rid our planet of this strain of Islam. That means squaring off against Saudi Arabia. Wahhabism is the official religion of the realm.
We must realise that Islam is not our enemy. Muslims are not evil people. It is this virulent and violent form of Islam started by al Wahhab in the Nejd and spread like a plague across the globe by the Saudis in their oil funded madrassahs that are the enemy. The House of Saud must fall. Until it does, we will have these criminals amongst us and their numbers will continue to grow.
Wahhabism must die. The sooner the better for all of the world– Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
Then, authorities said, he packed two handguns, drove to this bustling military base, and opened fire on a brigade of young engineers prepping to deploy to Afghanistan after Christmas. In a matter of about four minutes — before he himself was taken down in a face-to-face shootout with a female police officer
Authorities say several witnesses heard Maj. Hasan open fire with two weapons, neither of them Army-issued. One person with knowledge of the weapons said one was a revolver, the other a FN Herstal “Five-seveN”tactical pistol, which one firearms Web site describes as capable of defeating “most body armor in military service around the world today.”
The FN carries 20 rounds per magazine. One witness said he saw Maj. Hasan reload at least once. A medic who treated the major’s injuries said his camouflage cargo pant pockets were full of magazines.r — he killed 13 people and wounded 30.
soldiers at the base have told investigators Maj. Hasan, a Muslim, shouted “Allahu Akbar,” Arabic for “God is great,” in the attack. One military official at the Pentagon who has been briefed on the investigation said officials are “close to 100%” certain Maj. Hasan authored an Internet posting defending suicide bombings.
I don’t think there is any plot in which this guy is involved. I think this guy did snap. I think he may have been pushed from various directions.
1. Inner conflict over “going to war” against fellow Muslims.
2. Bigotry of his fellow service members caused by:
b. his statements
3. Contacts with extremist Wahhabi elements at:
a. Mosque (an extremist Imam)
b. on the internet
c. within the local Muslim community
4. Life/Job Stress
I think he lost it and decided that he was going to earn his 72 virgins.
I am not saying that all Muslims are a danger. Some are. Probably a small percentage. Those dangers are out there. The greater danger to plunge our heads in the sand and deny the reality of Wahhabist Terrorism.