Details are beginning to trickle out to provide a little more clarity as there was much initial misinformation reported yesterday.
The New York Times has a good profile of the shooter, Nidal Malik Hassan, that you can read by clicking here. Here are some reactions from around the blogosphere:
Mitch Berg at "Shot in the Dark":
It’s hard for me to know what to say about atrocities like Fort Hood, other than the obvious; I pray for the people of Killeen, the troops in the First Cav and the Third Armored Cav and the 41st Artillery and the other units stationed there. Getting shot at in a combat zone is something they train for and expect; getting shot at on home turf, allegedly by one of their purported own, is not.
Perhaps most irresponsible of all is the unverified claim that Hasan had written on the Internet in defense of suicide attacks by Muslims, even though the origins of those writings are entirely unverified. Similarly, certain news organizations -- like NPR -- used anonymous sources to disseminate inflammatory claims about Hasan's prior troubles allegedly grounded in activism on behalf of Islam. Much of this may turn out to be true once verified, or it may not be, but all of the conflicting, unverified claims flying around last night enabled many people to exploit the "facts" they selected in order to create whatever storyline that suited them and their political preconceptions -- and many, of course, took vigorous advantage of that opportunity.
Larry Johnson at "No Quarter":
The murder and wounding of more than forty soldiers is bad enough. If a cell of muslim extremists have infiltrated the U.S. Army then this is going to cause some major blow back throughout the military. Muslim officers and enlisted personnel will fall under suspicion. Most of this will be unfair and unwarranted. But human nature is what it is and the suspicion engendered by this kind of act will reverbrate for some time and probably hurt our ability to do a better job on winning hearts and minds overseas when there is such distrust in the ranks.
Firehand at "Irons in the Fire":
The L.A. Times will bury this as long as they can — probably until they’re embarrassed into revealing it due to its clear relevance. They will applaud themselves for being sober and cautious — something they would never do if the shooter were an aficionado of Rush Limbaugh instead of Allah and anti-American rants." From what I'm hearing and reading, a lot of other major media is refusing to mention these non-pc things; so much better to blame the Army and the other soldiers for 'bullying', etc.
Arsalan Iftikhar of the "AC 360" blog:
First of all, as an American, my heart broke into two pieces tonight when I heard of the tragic mass murder at Fort Hood, Texas earlier this evening when a U.S. Army soldier opened fire on a military processing center at Fort Hood in Texas on Thursday; killing at least 12 people and wounding at least 31 others, according to Army officials in a report to CNN.
Secondly, as a Muslim, my heart further broke into another two pieces when it was learned that the Fort Hood shooter was a Muslim mental health care professional medical doctor who (similar to the April 16, 2007 Virginia Tech massacre) used two handguns during his mass murder rampage.