Is Nidal Malik Hasan a suspected criminal? Or a suspected terrorist?

vThere is a difference.

A Rasmussen Reports poll this week said 60 percent of the people surveyed want the suspect in the Fort Hood shootings to be investigated as an act of terror.

Writes Juliet Lapidos, as Slate:

If prosecutors decide to charge him with committing an act of terrorism, he’ll likely be tried in federal court. Otherwise, the military will have jurisdiction over the case, and he’ll face a court-martial. Either way, Hasan could theoretically face the death penalty, but the military justice system has historically discouraged executions. Naturally there are also political ramifications to prosecuting Hasan as a terrorist.

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49 responses to “Is Nidal Malik Hasan a suspected criminal? Or a suspected terrorist?

  1. After reading the Slate article, it seems that terrorism isn’t clearly defined.
    Personally, I’d call this act terrorism. I’d also call the shooting of the abortion doctor terrorism. Domestic violence, hate crimes, the Columbine shootings, chronic gang activity, Mafia activity, and wars all look like terrorism to me. Violent, threatening activity, in order to make a point, target a particular group or control a population looks like terrorism to me.

  2. “Violent, threatening activity, in order to make a point, target a particular group or control a population looks like terrorism to me.”

    I think that should be adopted as the official definition / description of terrorism.

  3. Certainly this case should be investigated thoroughly. Details are just beginning to emerge. He may or may not be a terrorist.

  4. I don’t think it’s terrorism. I’ve always thought of terrorism as something used to make people afraid, let them know you have this power and you will use it and they better do what you want them to do. I’m not sure it’s possible for one person, completely unaffiliated, to do this. Especilaly if he intends to be killed in the act. Did he leave a manifesto of sorts? I have heard anything like that.
    I’m afraid people are calling this terrorism because of his religion. If a white guy went nuts and shot up his fellow soldiers I doubt we’d call it terrorism but I could be wrong…

    • I guess I hesitate calling it terrorism for the same reason — he’s not a white guy. But I consider what Timothy McVeigh did to be terrorism. I consider, as Jac said earlier, people who kill in the name of anti-abortion to be terrorists.

      • See I don’t know. Those are political assassinations but I think terrorism is something different.

        • Forgive my confusion — and bless WordPress’ heart — but do you think Timothy McVeigh’s actions were political assassinations?

          • Well, I was thinking more of the Tiller murder and the one at the Holocaust museum. I don’t know enough about the McVeigh bombing to understand his intent and all. But I also don’t think what he did is the same as what this guy did so it’s hard to make those comparisons.
            Part of my thing here is that I don’t want to weaken the word “terrorism” by calling too many things by that name. If every shooting spree is terrorism then what do we call 9/11, you know?

  5. Oh, and can I say I hate wordpress, just one more time for good measure? I hate wordpress!
    What is this new comment subscription crap? I thought it was abnormally quiet around here when it turns out I wasn’t yet subscribed to comments because now you have to click a link in your email and then tell them again you want to be subscribed! For every thread! And these all went to spam so I missed like 7 threads I thought I was subscribed to. Bleh.

  6. “I think the government wants it to just apply to violent/threatening actions toward US citizens or US interests in protest against the US.”

    …and of course the US never commits terrorism….

  7. dang wordpress

  8. Where the violence came from

    Matthis Chiroux, a former Army sergeant and member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, speaks out about what’s behind the tragedy at the Fort Hood military base.

  9. “Oh, and can I say I hate wordpress, just one more time for good measure? I hate wordpress!”

    I second the motion. Heartily.

    Try “Talk Montgomery” at Informe.com and you’ll see the way it should be.

  10. “That’ll make people jump to conclusions. I wonder if they’ve been able to get anything out of him yet through interrogation.”

    He’s paralyzed now. He’s not going anywhere fast.

    I feel for the soldiers assigned to guard his hospital room, and for the hospital people who uphold the Hippocratic Oath while gritting their teeth.

  11. Nidal malik Hasans deadly rampage is a wakeup call for all Americans
    Look around you today. What do you see? Religious people all over the world warring against each other: Muslims against Jews, Hindus against Muslims, Shiites against Sunnis, Protestants against Catholics.
    Most of the world’s ills can be traced to the hatred of one religious group against another.

    How many times have you heard devout Christians say that when it comes to loyalty between their country and their God…they’ll choose their God every time.

    It’s not just Islamists that we need to be wary of. It’s anyone who believes that God speaks to them, that they are the only true representatives of God on earth, and that God comes before country.

    They are ticking time bombs.

    Sound like anyone you know?

    It’s time for religious fanatics of all faiths to “love this country or leave it”.

    • You know, Norris, I think I get what you’re saying and I appreciate it. Not sure I want any one to have to leave the country, but I do agree that any one who thinks they have the only direct path to the holy is a potential threat. The whole God-before-country thing is something I’m still working out, for myself.

    • Norris, God before country is not what leads to violence. Even the belief that your personal religion is the only way to God does not lead to violence. It’s the belief that everyone must follow your religion right now here on earth that leads to violence.

      • Good distinction to draw. If people followed their sacred texts (at least, any of the sacred texts with which I’ve spent any time), there could be no violence.

  12. “Forgive my confusion — and bless WordPress’ heart — but do you think Timothy McVeigh’s actions were political assassinations?”

    No, I will not bless WordPress’ heart. I will damn it to hell! Let it be anathema!

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