Take No Prisoners

The Lost Story from Fort Hood

Recent US engagement in Libya has reminded me of something strange about one of 2009’s biggest stories. On November 5, 2009, a U.S. military psychologist, Major Hassan, entered the Fort Hood military base in Texas and opened fire, killing 12 and wounding 31 more before he was shot multiple times and taken into custody.

At the time, I remember wondering, how did one guy armed only with handguns take out 40-odd trained soldiers in the middle of a military base? Yes, it was a surprise attack, the shooter had combat training, and since he was a soldier, he could walk past security… but 43 soldiers??? WTF? This crazy bastard had to RELOAD. How is it that those 43 soldiers didn’t return fire seconds after the shooting began?

The soldiers weren’t armed.

Lt. General Robert Cone, the commanding officer at Fort Hood, told reporters that the soldiers were not armed: ““As a matter of practice, we do not carry weapons — this is our home.” WTF do you mean, you don’t carry weapons?

The United States is currently at war. At war in Iraq. At war in Afghanistan. At war in Pakistan and Yemen (even though they’re pretending they’re not). And now Libya. Do you think Iraqi soldiers are unarmed while on base? You think Taliban soldiers get out of bed in the morning without reaching for a pistol? How about Al Queda? You think they’re wondering around their terrorist training grounds, eyes turned to the sky, searching for missle-toting unmanned drones, without a weapon at the ready? How about Libya’s special forces? Can’t suppress a civil war without a few bullets now can they?

This shows that the U.S. military simply doesn’t take these threats seriously. In their arrogance, they don’t really think they can be attacked on domestic soil. In a way, they are right – the Taliban aren’t going to roll into Texas in tanks. But that’s not how it works anymore.

If there really is no threat to “the homeland,” how about you stop occupying sovereign nations. If there is a legitimate threat (and a lone gunman does not constitute a terrorist threat), hows about keeping a sidearm handy while on the military base?

Oh, and do you remember how the shooting at Fort Hood ended? The shooter was dropped by a single civilian police officer.

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