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Monday, November 9, 2009

The Pieces Don't Seem To Fit

There’s this inescapable feeling that has rattled around in my brain since the tragic Ft. Hood shootings last week – the “facts” don’t seem to make much sense.

Considering all that we are being told about Hassan, it all seems to be far too atypical, much too predictable of a portrait of a radicalized Muslim. Almost like his character traits are being created as each daily news cycle starts.

The questions that I have only multiply with each day. If the FBI was monitoring Hassan for at least 6 months, were they simply waiting for something like this to happen before acting? Federal agents have been known to do this and have even gone so far as to actively provoke reaction from those under investigation. We saw this earlier in the year in New York several Muslim men were sold weapons by undercover agents. Was the Ft. Hood situation escalated by this type of action by the FBI? Who’s to say yes or no?

But the claim made this morning by the media that Hassan was “connected” to the Sept. 11th hijackers makes this whole scenario even more difficult to swallow. Perhaps it’s the overuse of 9/11 as a catalyst to push a certain message, ideal, or excuse the actions of specific law enforcement personnel. The connection, if true, is loose at best. Hassan was alleged to have attended the same mosque as some of the Sept. 11th hijackers. But the story is being framed ( primarily by Fox ) that he had direct communications with the men who ultimately carried out the attacks on Sept. 11th.

Even within 24 hours of the shooting, where news reports showed that this was the act of one man, I found it extremely difficult to accept the fact that Hassan was able to wound 29 people and kill 13 with two handguns. Even in a target rich environment like thE processing center where the incident took place, one would have to expect multiple reloads and that those there wouldn’t simply sit and wait to be shot.

The variables, the nuance within this story, doesn’t really lend itself to the neatly wrapped package that some within the media are attempting to deliver to us.

Were there other shooters? What did he really say prior to shooting? Was Hassan carrying out orders from Al Queda? There’s been more speculation than actual delivery of facts from the media in regards to all of this.

And NPR has reported this morning that Hassan, since having his ventilator removed, has been able to speak. But what he is saying is not being reported, so as to preserve the integrity of the investigation.

And preserving that integrity is something that the conservative Right is willing to ignore. The Right needs for this to be about Al Qeada. They need for this to be about PC culture, that people are too afraid to confront someone that could potentially harm others simply because it's not the "proper" thing to do. Unfortunately, this story is not as simple as that.

I'm reminded of a scene from the film Arlington Road, where Jeff Bridges character speaks with his class about terrorism and the need for Americans to have a face, a name, to associate with horrific incidences.

By and large, our consumerist nature makes us act in very odd and reflexive ways. If we are presented a specific set of symbols, then we are moved to act in specific ways. Since Sept. 11th, 2001 many within the country have seen the actions - benign or not - by Muslims as motivated by abject hatred of America and all that the country stands for. This has resulted in a glut of stories - primarily pushed by conservative media outlets - that create the illusion that the country is continually under siege by Muslim extremists.

There is no excusing what Hassan has done, it was a horrible day and an equally horrible incident. But one can't help but feel like some of the "facts" surrounding this case are being manufactured in order to illicit a specific response.

2 comments:

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

I agree with you that we are being steered to believe a 'story' that is be fabricated after the event. If he was just someone pushed too far and went nuts than that has no value to certain segments that need fear of 'the others' to remain formost in the public's thinking. A whole industry relies on this being the case and has the power to keep their profits alive by any means necessary.

Anonymous said...

i think i saw this episode of law & order...

ignorant people i know were already saying "we need to kick THESE PEOPLE out of OUR country" as soon as this guy's name was released...the stage is already set, the media doesn't need actual facts in order to get ratings anymore, and the sheep are waiting to be told how to think...

military protocol coupled with fear of "THEM" makes for some wacky theories! the media will have a field day for quite some time...i don't think civilians are ever going to know the details in full, that's just how it works...

it is odd that there are so many people dead and wounded by a lone shooter...that's a puzzle...

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