My 2¢ about Ft Hood

I'm rarely aware of current events until they're brought to my attention in a hey did you hear about... kind-of-way. I have, however, been following the Nidal Hasan spree-killing at Fort Hood Texas.

Although I know none of the soldiers or civilians involved in this incident, I still have some good friends on active duty. And, crimes of this nature still push my long-unused investigator buttons (I wonder if it will ever completely go away). Though I was in the Army for 20 years, and retired as a senior CID Agent, I realize my insights aren't very much. But, hey, what's a blog for, if not someplace to scrawl my current thoughts?

Fact: A 6 November news article reported that the day prior to the incident, the shooter, Major Nidal Hasan, gave his furniture to a neighbor and paid her to clean his apartment.

Observation: This is a textbook example of things a person who has decided to commit suicide does.

Fact: Major Nidal Hasan's performance as a psychiatrist has been questioned by members of the press. The military has responded vaguely about his performance.

Observation: Above the rank of Captain, the number of quality active-duty Army doctors quickly diminishes to zero. You see, most doctors join for the training and leave once they finish their service commitments (which happens to coincide with how long it normally takes to be promoted to Captain). For obvious financial reasons, good doctors leave the military as soon as permitted. An average psychiatrist (in most medium-large US cities) can easily earn $250,000 a year.

Major Hasan has already served twelve years (he joined in 1997). He must have completed his initial service commitment (normally 4 years after completing all training) years ago. Even with all of the specialty medical incentive pays, Major Hasan's military pay could not be much above $100,000 a year. The vast majority of doctors (and lawyers, and dentists, and pilots, and air traffic get the picture) who remain in the Army after completing their commitments, do so because they are fully aware that earning a living in "the real world" requires more than they are capable of. Major Hasan was most certainly one of these highly-trained-incompetents.

Fact: The senior military officer's who supervised Major Hasan have not said much of anything, positive or negative, about his job performance.

Observation: What can they—the more-senior, more-highly-trained, incompetent doctors who have stayed in the Army long enough to attain the rank of Colonel because they could never earn a living as a medical supervisor in "the real world"—say? He was a terrible therapist? We knew he was a fucktard-zealot? We were deploying him to the sand box wishing and hoping that he'd step on a land mine?

I know that you cannot hate other people without hating yourself. — Oprah Winfrey

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