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IBD Editorials

Soldiers Of Allah Or Of America: Does Military Know — Or Care?

Posted 12/15/2009 07:11 PM ET

This store surveillance camera shot shows Muslim Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, accused of the Fort Hood massacre in which 13 were killed and 31...This store surveillance camera shot shows Muslim Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, accused of the Fort Hood massacre in which 13 were killed and 31… View Enlarged Image

IBD Special Series:
Jihadist 5th Column: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

The Pentagon has launched a 45-day probe into the Fort Hood massacre, promising to find answers to why it happened and how it can be prevented from happening again. But the investigation may prove an exercise in futility, judging from PC remarks by military brass.

“My message to all those in uniform — including Muslims in uniform — is how much we appreciate their service. The diversity of our force is one of its greatest strengths,” said the Joint Chiefs chairman, Adm. Mike Mullen, who appeared alongside the defense secretary to announce the inquiry, which reports say will focus on mental health services for troubled troops.

His remarks echoed those of the Army chief of staff, Gen. George Casey, who after the Nov. 5 attack cautioned against linking Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan’s alleged terrorist act and his Islamic faith. “It would be an even greater tragedy if our diversity becomes a casualty here,” Casey intoned.

Military brass appear to be doubling down on the political correctness that blinded them to warning signs telegraphed by the Quran-waving Muslim officer accused of the worst mass killing on a domestic military base in U.S. history and the bloodiest terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11.

The breakdown in security stems from “fears over offending a member of a religious minority,” finds a report by the Westminster Institute, a security think tank. So worried about conveying any notion that it’s at war with Islam, the Defense Department has deluded itself into believing that the enemy is bereft of religious motivation.

Though the enemy clearly states that it’s waging “jihad,” or holy war, against us, it’s now taboo to use the term because it risks reinforcing the idea that the U.S. is at war with Islam itself.

“We are not at war with jihad,” a high-ranking Pentagon official said at a recent conference. “Jihad is a legitimate component of Islam” — no worse than fasting or bowing to Mecca.

Even defining the enemy as “jihadist” is no longer acceptable, leaving GIs to fight an enemy their own commanders refuse to name. The 2009 U.S. National Intelligence Strategy, which takes into account Pentagon priorities, uses the term Islam zero times, Muslim 0, jihad 0 and jihadist 0.

In sharp contrast, the 9/11 Commission Report, released in 2004, used the word Islam 322 times, Muslim 145, jihad 126 and jihadist 32. It took five short years to completely whitewash the Islamist threat. Any wonder Hasan was treated with kid gloves?

Shockingly, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service — the Pentagon’s anti-terror unit — concluded that Hasan did not merit further investigation after the FBI notified the unit of e-mails between Hasan and a radical Muslim cleric, who happens to be a top al-Qaida recruiter and a key facilitator of the 9/11 hijackers. Hasan was subsequently promoted to the rank of major with a higher security clearance.

In the name of tolerance, the military is wrongfully — and dangerously — tolerating extremists in its midst. It has closed its eyes to a serious internal threat, seemingly more concerned with protecting the enemy’s religion than protecting the lives of soldiers fighting the enemy.

If the military is too PC to protect its own troops from Islamic fanatics on its own soil, how can Americans be sure it can protect the rest of the country?

Certainly there are good and decent Muslims who serve, but the armed forces must do a better job of weeding out the radicals. Instead, the military is “going out on a limb” to recruit more Muslims — whose ranks have swelled to more than 15,000 — even in the wake of the Fort Hood betrayal.

“I will say unequivocally that the Department of Defense and services value the Muslim- or Arab-American soldiers and are going out on a limb to bring them into the ranks,” said a spokesman for the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute, the military’s minority recruiter. “Out on a limb” is a good way to describe it, because the outreach policy is fraught with risk.

How does the Pentagon, which has set up a “Diversity Task Force,” know which Muslims will put allegiance to country ahead of allegiance to Allah, when as Hasan proved, an obvious conflict exists between the two? Answer: It doesn’t know — until it’s too late.

Hasan, who after several years of service openly declared, “I’m a Muslim first and an American second,” and printed “Soldier of Allah” on his business card, wasn’t a random case of treason. He’s just the tip of a jihadist Fifth Column operating within the ranks of the U.S. military. Since 9/11 alone, there have been at least a dozen other Muslim soldiers and officers who have been arrested or convicted of terrorism or espionage charges.

They include an Army Muslim chaplain charged with espionage, mishandling classified documents — including drawings of a new prison facility — and lying to investigators. After serving hard time in the stockade, Capt. Yousef Yee was released because of “national security concerns that would arise” at trial, the government said.

However, two of his fellow “Muslim troopers” at Gitmo — senior airman Ahmad al-Halabi and former Army linguist Ahmed Mehalba, both Arabic interpreters — were convicted of stealing or mishandling classified documents. They were busted trying to smuggle the material out of the prison.

Their spy ring lives on. Security officials at Gitmo are investigating what they call “dirty” Arabic translators and Muslim lay leaders sympathetic to al-Qaida detainees. The probe of new Gitmo security breaches is revealed in my book “Muslim Mafia,” which quotes from a May 2009 classified military briefing warning that dirty Arabic linguists have penetrated “every branch of the U.S. military.”

After the FBI broke up the first Gitmo spy ring, the Pentagon’s counterspying unit, known as CIFA, warned that Muslim soldiers might have divided loyalties.

What did the Pentagon do? It built a mosque for them at Marine headquarters in Quantico, Va.

The Defense Intelligence Agency also warned the Pentagon that Muslim soldiers might have divided loyalties after a Muslim sergeant fragged superior officers in Kuwait just before the Iraq invasion.

What did the Pentagon do? It recruited more of them, promising them leave for Ramadan and other Muslim holidays.

After the Muslim activist who created the Pentagon’s Muslim chaplain corps was convicted of plotting terrorism, the inspector general and some members of Congress suggested that the Pentagon review all the Muslim chaplains the man had sponsored.

What did the Pentagon do? Absolutely nothing. In fact, it’s still relying on his group to certify chaplains. More on that tomorrow in part two of this three-part series.

• Sperry, a Hoover Institution media fellow and former IBD Washington bureau chief, is the author of “Infiltration” and the new book “Muslim Mafia.”