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Obama salutes, remembers Fort Hood victims

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by MziziMkavu, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. MziziMkavu

    MziziMkavu JF-Expert Member

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    President blames ‘twisted logic' for killings, allegedly by Muslim soldier

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    3:41 p.m. ET Nov. 10, 2009

    FORT HOOD, Texas - One by one, President Barack Obama spoke the names and told the stories Tuesday of the 13 people slain in the Fort Hood shooting rampage, honoring their memories even as he denounced the "twisted logic" that led to their deaths.

    "No faith justifies these murderous and craven acts; no just and loving God looks upon them with favor," Obama told the crowd on a steamy Texas afternoon. "And for what he has done, we know that the killer will be met with justice -- in this world and the next."

    He did not name Maj. Nidal Hasan, the military psychiatrist accused of the killings last Thursday. Soldiers reported that Hasan, who is Muslim, shouted the Arabic phrase for "God is Great" before opening fire.

    As for the victims and the soldiers who rushed to help them, Obama said, "We need not look to the past for greatness, because it is before our very eyes." He spoke at a memorial service before a crowd estimated at 15,000 on this enormous Army post.

    "This is a time of war, and yet these Americans did not die on a foreign field of battle. They were killed here, on American soil, in the heart of this great state," Obama said.

    Afternoon of consolation

    The president and first lady Michelle Obama began an afternoon of consolation by meeting privately with family members of those killed last week and with those wounded in the attack and their families. Obama used his public remarks to put a human face on those who perished, victims ranging in age from 19 to 62. He also used his platform to speak indirectly to questions about whether the alleged shooter had ties to extremist Islamic ideology.

    Thousands upon thousands of people, many of them soldiers dressed in camouflage, gathered to pay respects and hear the president. The shooting left 12 soldiers and 1 civilian dead, injured 29 others and left a nation stunned and searching for answers.

    Below the stage where Obama spoke was a somber tribute to the fallen - 13 pairs of combat boots, each with an inverted rifle topped with a helmet. A picture of each person rested below the boots.

    Even as Obama honored the dead, there was government finger-pointing over what had been known about shooting suspect Maj. Nidal Hasan's background and whether he should have been investigated further.

    U.S. officials said a Pentagon worker on a terrorism task force had looked into Hasan's background months ago and had concluded he did not merit further investigation. Two officials said the group had been notified of communications between Hasan and a radical imam overseas and the information had been turned over to a Defense Criminal Investigative Service employee assigned to the task force. The two spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the investigation.

    Obama remembered the slain not as shooting victims but as husbands and fathers, immigrants and scholars, optimists and veterans of the war in Iraq. He cited one woman who was pregnant when she was gunned down.

    ‘Your loved ones endure'

    The president spoke to loved ones left behind, saying: "Here is what you must also know: Your loved ones endure through the life of our nation."

    "Every evening that the sun sets on a tranquil town; every dawn that a flag is unfurled; every moment that an American enjoys life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness - that is their legacy," he said.

    He named and described each victim, including Chief Warrant Officer Michael Cahill, a physician's assistant back at work just weeks after having a heart attack; Maj. Libardo Eduardo Caraveo, who spoke little English when he arrived in the United States from Mexico but earned a Ph.D. and helped combat units cope with the stress of deployment; Pfc. Aaron Nemelka, an Eagle Scout who signed up "to do one of the most dangerous jobs in the service - defuse bombs."

    Later, the president and first lady planned to go to a military hospital to meet with those still recovering from injuries incurred during the attack.

    The site of the ceremony was a field at the headquarters of the massive post, cordoned off with walls of steel shipping containers. Fort Hood is larger than many small towns, with about 53,000 troops, and it has substantial ties to the surrounding community.

    Sheila Wormuth, whose husband is stationed at Fort Hood, brought her 3-year-old daughter to the memorial service to show their support. While her husband wasn't at the shooting site, she said, "what happens to my husband's brothers and sisters happens to us."


    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33821337/ns/us_news-tragedy_at_fort_hood/
     
  2. Ab-Titchaz

    Ab-Titchaz Content Manager Staff Member

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    President Obama and the First Lady arrive at Fort Hood for the memorial service for the thirteen victims of the shooting rampage by U.S. Army Major Hasan on November 10, 2009.
     
  3. Ab-Titchaz

    Ab-Titchaz Content Manager Staff Member

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  4. Ab-Titchaz

    Ab-Titchaz Content Manager Staff Member

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  5. Ab-Titchaz

    Ab-Titchaz Content Manager Staff Member

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  6. H

    Hofstede JF-Expert Member

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    What Major Nadal Malik did was unacceptable, but the sad story which Makes me sick is the dots which People are trying to connect to print his faith as the reason for killings. This is wrong

    Lets wait for an investigation to be complete before jumping into conclusion. I know there is a motive for some people to capitalise this politically.

    Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people at Virginia Tech they didn't relate faith or ethnicity of a student killing his fellow students.

    Timothy McVeigh killed 168 but he got justice and none has attempted to connect him with his Christian faith to the atrocity he commited.

    We have to thank god that Malik is alive will face justice for his acts, We should not victimize Islam for an action of the who identified himself as a muslim.
     
  7. ngoshwe

    ngoshwe JF-Expert Member

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    Blame game erupts over probe of Fort Hood suspect

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    WASHINGTON – Finger-pointing erupted between federal agencies Tuesday over Fort Hood shooting suspect Nidal Hasan. Government officials said a Defense Department terrorism investigator looked into Hasan's contacts with a radical imam months ago, but a military official denied prior knowledge of the Army psychiatrist's contacts with any Muslim extremists.

    The two government officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case on the record, said the Washington-based joint terrorism task force overseen by the FBI was notified of communications between Hasan and a radical imam overseas, and the information was turned over to a Defense Criminal Investigative Service employee assigned to the task force. The communications were gathered by investigators beginning in December 2008 and continuing into early this year.

    That Defense investigator wrote up an assessment of Hasan after reviewing the communications and the Army major's personnel file, according to these officials. The assessment concluded Hasan did not merit further investigation — in large part because his communications with the imam were centered on a research paper about the effects of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan and the investigator determined that Hasan was in fact working on such a paper, the officials said.

    The disclosure came as questions swirled about whether opportunities were missed to head off the massacre in which 13 died and 29 were wounded last Thursday — a familiar, early stage in the investigation of headline-grabbing crimes when public officials involved in a case often speak anonymously as they try to shift any blame to rivals in other agencies.

    The disclosure Tuesday of the defense investigator's role indicated that the U.S. military was aware of worrisome behavior by the massacre suspect long before the attack. Just hours later, a senior defense official, also demanding anonymity, directly contradicted that notion.
    The senior defense official said neither the Army nor any other part of the Defense Department knew of Hasan's contacts with any Muslim extremists. But the defense official carefully conceded this view was based upon what the Pentagon knows now.
    The FBI has launched its own internal review of how it handled the early information about Hasan. Military, law enforcement and intelligence agencies also are defending themselves against tough questions about what each of them knew about Hasan before he allegedly opened fire in a crowded room at the huge military base in Texas.
    Hasan has not been formally charged but officials plan to charge him in military court, not a civilian one, a choice that suggests his alleged actions are not thought to have emanated from a terrorist organization. He could face the death penalty.

    Investigators believe Hasan acted alone, despite his communications with Anwar al-Awlaki, an imam released from a Yemeni jail last year who has used his personal Web site to encourage Muslims across the world to kill U.S. troops in Iraq. Because the communications between Hasan and al-Awlaki did not contain threats or advocacy of violence, no formal investigation was opened into Hasan, they said.
    Officials said the content of those messages was "consistent with the subject matter of his research," part of which involved post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from U.S. combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    A law enforcement official said the communications consisted primarily of Hasan posing questions to the imam as a spiritual leader or adviser, and the imam did respond to at least some of those messages.

    Investigative officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case on the record. Republican Rep. Pete Hoekstra of Michigan, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said it was his understanding Hasan and the imam exchanged e-mails that counterterrorism officials picked up.

    Born in New Mexico, al-Awlaki is a former imam at a Falls Church, Va., mosque where Hasan and his family occasionally worshipped. In 2001, al-Awlaki had contact with two of the Sept. 11 hijackers. That contact was investigated by the FBI, but no charges were brought against al-Awlaki.
    On Monday, al-Awlaki's Web site praised Hasan as a hero. A Brea, Calif.,-based company, New Dream Network LLC, which had been hosting the site, declined to answer questions about al-Awlaki, citing customer privacy Tuesday.
    "We do work routinely with law enforcement on the local, national and international level in an expedient manner," New Dream Network said in a statement.
    By Tuesday, that Web site was offline and it appeared the site may have been hijacked, possibly by Internet pranksters.

    Al-Awlaki's Web address was being directed to a new hosting account at Media Temple Inc., a Culver City, Calif.-based company. The account had been created earlier in the day but no content had yet been posted online, company vice president Alex Capehart said late Tuesday.


    Hasan's electronic interactions with al-Awlaki have drawn new attention to the imam, who is well known among intelligence circles, a former senior U.S. intelligence official told The Associated Press. Al-Awlaki is considered to have deep and close links with al-Qaida but is not understood to be an al-Qaida operative, the official said.
    The Senate has already launched its own inquiry into the Hasan case. Sens. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, plan to hold a hearing on the shootings next week.

     
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