Houston Chronicle — Army: Fort Hood suspect shouted religious slogan before firing
Writers Scott Huddleston and Sig Christenson have the best narrative about the shooting spree authorities say was committed by Army psychologist Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, a devout Muslim who had grown agitated about his pending deployment to Iraq and who had been under surveillance for online postings expressing admiration for terrorists.
“Hasan is accused of attacking his fellow soldiers about 1:30 p.m. at the Soldier Readiness Processing Center, where troops waited to see doctors as they prepared to deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan — or return from combat.
Armed with two pistols, he shot more than 40 people before military police and civilian police officers responded, officials said. He was wounded by a civilian policewoman, who was injured in the exchange, police said. Officials had reported earlier that the police officer had been killed.
Hasan’s motives were unclear, and early on Thursday, he showed no signs of worry or stress when he stopped at 7-Eleven for his daily breakfast of hash browns, said Jeannie Strickland, the store’s manager.
‘He came in (Thursday) morning just like normal,’ she said.”
Washington Post — Suspect, devout Muslim from Va., wanted Army discharge, aunt said
Writers Mary Pat Flaherty, William Wan and Christian Davenport paint a chilling, intimate portrait of the suspect in the shooting rampage at Ft. Hood, Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan.
They describe a man who felt persecuted for his faith, who admired the courage of terrorists, and who was becoming increasingly agitated as his first-ever deployment into a war zone drew near.
His aunt, former imam, and patients share a picture of a reclusive, officious, anxious man whose only entertainment was following the Washington Redskins.
The crucial detail from the story – why he may have gone berserk – comes from a colleague interviewed on Fox News.
“The psychiatrist once said that ‘Muslims should stand up and fight against the aggressor’ and that the United States shouldn’t be fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in the first place, according to an interview with Col. Terry Lee, a co-worker, on Fox News. …
Lee told Fox News that Hasan ‘was hoping that President Obama would pull troops out. . . . When things weren’t going that way, he became more agitated, more frustrated with the conflicts over there. . . . He made his views well known about how he felt about the U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.’”
New York Times — House Democrats Seek Allies for Health Care Vote
As Examiner colleague Susan Ferrechio explains the quest for 218 votes from the 258-member Democratic caucus in the House is providing plenty of drama on Capitol Hill: protesters outside, the president cdoing plenty of arm twisting, warnings to freshman and sophomore members about being fed to the wolves next year if they don’t tow the party line.
It’s not a bill anyone likes particularly and those from swing district who vote for the plan will have to watch some of the socialistic benefits be erased by the Senate: All of the blame, less of the credit.
Writers Carl Hulse and David Herszenhorn were on the scene and talked to some of the 40 Democrats who will be allowed to vote against the bill. If the Speaker wants to keep her defection list at 40, the opt outs need to not seem to be so happy.
“Some Democrats from more conservative districts, like Representative Ike Skelton of Missouri, Representative Dan Boren of Oklahoma, Representative Jim Marshall of Georgia and Representative Bobby Bright of Alabama, made it clear they would oppose the measure.
‘The worst thing we could do in a recession is raise taxes, and this bill does just that,’ said Mr. Boren, who also said he feared the proposal would lead to a single-payer national health care system. ‘Finally, I do not believe that the possibility for taxpayer-funded abortion has been clearly and emphatically removed from this legislation.’”
Bloomberg — Democrats Try to Shore Up Support as House Health Vote Nears
While lots of Democrats are being asked to risk it all on Speaker Pelosi’s health care plan, the AARP is taking the biggest risk of all by plunging into partisan politics by endorsing the measure after months of pledging neutrality.
But support for a bill that makes almost a half-trillion dollars in cuts to the federal program for senior-citizen health insurance will continue to cost the group members. But the organization, which also sells insurance, may receive other benefits in the plan.
“AARP said in a statement it plans to educate its members about the legislation through advertising, phone calls and e- mails. AMA President James Rohack said while it’s ‘not the perfect bill,’ it ‘goes a long way toward expanding access to high-quality affordable health coverage for all Americans.’”
Wall Street Journal — Powerful Afghan Governor Challenges President
Writer Yaroslav Trofimov got an interview to the man who represents the greatest potential threat to the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai: Balkh Gov. Atta Mohammad Noor.
Noor, who runs one of the strongest provinces in the country, backed Abdullah Abdullah in the abortive Afghan elections this year and is now practically daring Karzai to assert federal control of Balkh.
“‘Karzai is a thief of people’s votes. Democracy has been buried in Afghanistan. He’s not a lawful president,’ Mr. Atta said in an interview in his vast rococo-styled office, as turbaned supplicants lined up to petition for his help in resolving court cases and disputes with local authorities.
Mr. Karzai was declared the winner after Dr. Abdullah withdrew from the race, claiming that the election commission was biased. Dr. Abdullah has yet to concede defeat, and is seeking a broad say in policy making.
The governor, whose personal bodyguard militia lines city streets in the mornings, with rocket-propelled grenades poking out from their backpacks, hinted at what could happen if Dr. Abdullah’s demands aren’t met.
‘We do not want to use violence to further our demands — but the people have the right to defend themselves if democratic norms are violated,’ he said.”