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Maj. Hasan's worst offense

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, who reportedly shouted "Allahu Akbar" (Arabic for "God is great") before shooting his fellow service members at Fort Hood, Tex., woke up in his hospital bed with the presence of mind to suspend his personal jihad long enough to get lawyered up. No fool he.

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Better to rest religiosity for a while and embrace the right to remain silent until your mouthpiece reaches your bedside. After all, they can't get you for what you don't say.

But the day will come, as it must, when Maj. Hasan will have to account for the premeditated murder of 13 people, as the Army has charged, and his alleged wounding of more than 30 others. There have been other mass murderers, but Hasan's rampage at the Soldier Readiness Processing Center on Nov. 5 sets him apart.

To be sure, Cleveland's suspected serial killer and registered sex offender Anthony Sowell has lived up to his monster label, with the remains of 10 women having been found around his home.

Seung Hui Cho's massacre of 32 students and teachers at Virginia Tech in 2007 rightly earned him the title of the America's worst mass murderer of the year.

Sowell and Cho, of course, join company with the mass murderers of Binghamton and Oklahoma City, and the homi-suicidal maniacs who pulled off the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

But Nidal Malik Hasan's alleged killing spree gives him special status simply because his actions involved not only violence: His was an act of unforgivable betrayal.

What Hasan unleashed at the shooting scene was tantamount to a teacher opening fire on the classroom, a cop shooting down fellow officers at roll call, a church deacon blasting away during communion.

Hasan, trained and called upon to help relieve suffering, instead heaped suffering upon the unsuspecting. He was an assassin in place.

Driven by what?

Pat Robertson, to no one's surprise, got it wrong when he blamed the Fort Hood rampage on Islam. He declared on his show, "The 700 Club," that Hasan's religion is a "violent political system bent on the overthrow of governments of the world and world domination."

If Robertson had his way, America would treat Muslims as "members of the Communist Party, members of some fascist group."


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