A U.S. Army psychiatrist identified as Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan killed 12 soldiers and wounded 31 others at the Fort Hood military base in Texas today. As the national media struggled to clarify the story, early reports that Hasan was a practicing Muslim (since confirmed) prompted a flood of commentary and speculation among bloggers—as well as tweets for restraint. But as Right Klik insists, "It's too early to draw conclusions, but it's not too early to ask questions." (Watch Lt. Gen. Robert Cone give a press conference on the Fort Hood shootings.) A sampling of early reactions:
Joshua Pundit: "The dinosaur media is pushing the angle that Hasan was 'unhappy' because he was being deployed to Iraq, where as a psychiatrist he would have seen no combat. Don't you believe it for a second. This was a jihad attack, and I can almost guarantee that when the dots are connected, there will be a Saudi funded mosque and a radical imam in the picture. Thankfully, a number of American Muslim groups have condemned these murders unequivocally."
Larry Johnson at No Quarter: "The murder and wounding of more than 40 soldiers is bad enough. If a cell of Muslim extremists has 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 … and probably hurt our ability to do a better job winning hearts and minds overseas. ..."
Hot Air's Allahpundit: "You know when it'll be perfectly PC to speculate about Hasan? When cops find one of Glenn Beck's books on his bookshelf."
Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo: "The fact that the primary assailant has an Arabic name … is going to be the focus of attention. ... I'm sure it will be the focus of much discussion over the coming days. But in some ways what's more shocking to me is that the assailant was an Army major. Whatever the motivation—ideological, religious, nationalist, mental instability, etc. I would far more expect something like this to done by a young soldier. ..." Marshall later updated his comments: "Late reports suggest that Hasan was an Army psychiatrist. … What that means is that Hasan might not have been in military all that long, which changes the picture somewhat."
ABC NEWS' Jake Tapper: "This is a time for the best in Americans to come out, not the worst. Let's donate blood, pray, have well wishes, stick to facts.
SEE THE WEEK'S FULL COVERAGE OF FORT HOOD:
• Fort Hood: The Al-Qaeda question
• Fort Hood: What the world is saying
• Red flags at Fort Hood
• Sunday Talk Show Briefing: Religion's role in Fort Hood (Video)
• Fort Hood: Obama's "flippant" speech
• Fort Hood: Crime or terrorism?
• Who is Nidal Hasan: A timeline of the suspect's life
• What Kimberly Munley's heroism means
• Fort Hood: The combat stress debate