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November 9, 2009
The right to remain silentBy Greyhawk
Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the suspect in last week's mass shooting at the Fort Hood Army Post, is conscious and talking, according to a spokesman for the Army hospital where he is being treated.
The story doesn't say what he's talking about. Most jihad-inspired killers can't resist explaining that that was their motive. Abdulhakim Muhammad, after killing a soldier and wounding another in Little Rock earlier his year, boasted he "would have killed more soldiers if they had been on the parking lot" at the time.
(Update: CNN has deleted that story since we busted them for the fabrication noted below. However, it can be read here.)
CNN also has a new theory on why so many soldiers are reporting the killer was shouting "Allah Akbar" while gunning down as many Soldiers as he could: "with that much adrenaline, you tend to forget things." But that quote is actually a complete fabrication on the part of CNN.
But this one isn't. "The community came together," Pvt. Joseph Foster told CNN, "It's like a giant family. When anything like this happens, we just get stronger, become better united."
"Mt son got shot," the father of a wounded troop said, "but the first responders, the police officers, the other soldiers that responded... this is the best America has to give."
More stories from wounded survivors are beginning to appear:
But the most complete version so far includes this: "I then went over the slaughter house...the medical SRP building. No human should ever have to see what that looked like, and I won't tell you."
Hasan's ultimate defense will be up to him and his lawyer - but if it's going to center around the effects of the imaginary "Pre-TSD" (or "contact PTSD") recently defined in the US media, reports like this one probably won't help:
Hasan's family attended Awlaki's mosque, the AP reports. And "Hasan's mother's funeral was held at the mosque on May 31, 2001, according to her obituary in the Roanoke Times newspaper, around the same time two 9/11 hijackers worshipped (sic) at the mosque and while Awlaki was preaching." Awlaki is a native-born U.S. citizen who left the United States in 2002.
Elsewhere, it appears that more than a few folks were afraid to speak up:
A slightly different version:
And then there's this:
Glenn Reynolds got it right: "Kind of reminds me of that old Saturday Night Live skit on "The Shooting of Buckwheat." You know: "What was he like?" "Nice guy, quiet, kept to himself." "Are you surprised he shot Buckwheat?" "Oh, no -- it's all he ever talked about"."
Some worshipers at Hasan's Mosque near Ft Hood defended him - but added that his might not have been the best course of action:
"Ultimately it was Brother Nidal's doing, but the command should be held accountable," Mr. Benjamin said.
Reasoner would later offer even more inflammatory comments to the BBC:
But somehow his attitude escaped the notice of the New York Time reporter - whose story would be headlined "Muslims at Fort Voice Outrage and Ask Questions".
In other news, the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to block Tuesday's scheduled execution of convicted sniper mastermind John Allen Muhammad.
Posted by Greyhawk / November 9, 2009 2:20 PM | Permalink
Pvt Joseph Foster is yet another soldier reporting that Nidal Hasan shouted "Allah Akbar" when he began firing last week - but Foster made the mistake of saying it on CNN:Roberts: So the first moments of Thursday afternoon, can you tell our viewers, yo... Read More
November 26, 2010
I think anyone who's ever pondered the "comment" option - once only available on blogs and bulletin boards, now ubiquitous on almost any web site - will appreciate this:
The so-called faculty of writing is not so much a faculty of writing as it is a faculty of thinking. When a man says, "I have an idea but I can't express it"; that man hasn't an idea but merely a vague feeling. If a man has a feeling of that kind, and will sit down for a half an hour and persistently try to put into writing what he feels, the probabilities are at least 90 percent that he will either be able to record it, or else realize that he has no idea at all. In either case, he will do himself a benefit.
That's wisdom from the past, captured for posterity at the US Naval Institute, shared via the web on the institute's 137th anniversary.
From their about page:
"The Naval Institute has three core activities," among them, History and Preservation:
The Naval Institute also has recently introduced Americans at War, a living history of Americans at war in their own words and from their own experiences. These 90-second vignettes convey powerful stories of inspiration, pride, and patriotism.
Take a look at the collection, and you'll see it's not limited to accounts from those who served on ships at sea, members of the other branches are well-represented.
I'm fortunate to have met USNI's Mary Ripley, she's responsible for the institute's oral history program (and she's the daughter of the late John Ripley, whose story is told here). She also deserves much credit for their blog. ("We're not the Navy nor any government agency. Blog and comment freely.") We met at a milblog conference - Mary knew (and I would come to realize) that milbloggers are the 21st-century version of exactly what the US Naval Institute is all about. Once that light bulb came on in my head, I mentioned a vague idea for a project to her - milblogs as the 21st century oral history that they are.
"Put that in writing," she said (of course - see first paragraph above!) - and here's part of the result.
Shortly after the first tent was pitched by the American military in Iraq a wire was connected to a computer therein, and the internet was available to a generation of Americans at war - many of whom had grown up online. From that point on, at any given moment, somewhere in Iraq a Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine was at a keyboard sharing the events of his or her day with the folks back home. While most would simply fire off an email, others took advantage of the (then) relatively new online blogging platforms to post their thoughts and experiences for the entire world to see. The milblog was born - and from that moment to this stories detailing everything from the most mundane aspects of camp life to intense combat action (often described within hours of the event) have been available on the web...
And et cetera - but since you're reading this on a milblog, you probably knew that. And you know that milblogs aren't just blogs written by troops at war, that many friends, family members, and supporters likewise documented their story of America at war online in near-real time, as those stories developed.
The diversity in membership of that group is broad, the one thing we all have in common is the impulse to make sense of the seemingly senseless, and communicate the tale - for each of us that impulse was strong enough to overcome whatever barriers prevent the vast majority of people from doing the same. Everyone at some point has some vague idea they believe should be shared - we were the people who, from some combination of internal and external urging, found and spent those many half hours persistently trying to write it down.
But where will all that be in another 137 years? Or five or ten, for that matter. That's something I've asked myself since at least 2004 - when I wrote this:
Membership in the ghost battalion has grown in the years since, and an ever growing majority of those abandoned-but-still-standing sites are vanishing. Have you checked out Lt Smash's site lately? How about Sgt Hook's? If you're a long-time milblog reader you know the first widely-read milblog from Operation Iraq Freedom and the first widely-read milblog from Afghanistan are both gone from the web. If you're a relative newcomer to this world you may never even have heard of them - or the dozens upon dozens of others who carried forth the standard they set down.
If you have a vague notion that something should be done about that, (a notion I've heard expressed more than once...) then you and I and the good folks at the US Naval Institute are in agreement. Preserving the history documented by the milbloggers is just one of the goals of the milblog project, the once-vague idea that we're now making real.
And it's a big idea, if I say so myself - too big to explain in one simple blog post, so stand by for more. Likewise, it's too big a task to be accomplished by just one person. So if you're a milblogger (and exactly what is a milblogger? is a topic for much further discussion on its own) I'm asking for your help. All I'll really need is just a little bit (maybe just one or two of those half hours...) of your time, and your willingness to tell the tale.
We've already made history, it's time to save it.
(More to follow...)
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