Friday, January 15, 2010

Pentagon Report on Fort Hood Shooting Details Failures

Published: January 15, 2010

WASHINGTON — The military’s defenses against threats from inside its own ranks are outdated and ineffective, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said on Monday as he described the findings of an Army review of the Nov. 5 shooting spree at Fort Hood, Texas.

Mr. Gates cited significant failings to communicate about internal threats to the security of personnel, as well as a lack of supervision over Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the military psychiatrist accused of the shootings. Major Hasan behaved erratically and had questionable communications with a radical cleric during the years and months before the shootings, which killed 13 and injured 28 more.

Several officers may be held accountable for failures in supervising Major Hasan during his psychiatric training in the Washington area, Mr. Gates said.

At a Pentagon news conference on Friday, Mr. Gates referred the recommendations to the Army for further review. He did not provide details, but the Associated Press said that as many as eight mid-ranking officers could face reprimands.

The preliminary review was conducted by Togo West, a former Secretary of the Army, and Adm. Vern Clark, a former Chief of Naval Operations.

“It is clear that, as a department, we have not done enough to adapt to the evolving domestic internal security threat to American troops and military facilities that has emerged over the past decade,” Mr. Gates said.

The finding is the latest signal that the government has not achieved the smooth communications and agility among intelligence agencies that has been sought ever since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.


© Janet Crain

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