Thursday, November 12, 2009
U.S. military doctors overseeing Nidal Malik Hasan's medical training were concerned he was "psychotic" and possibly capable of killing other American soldiers, before the Army major allegedly went on a deadly shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas.
Psychiatrists and medical officials at Walter Reed Army Medical Center held a series of meetings beginning in the Spring of 2008 to discuss serious concerns about his work and behavior, National Public Radio reported.
One of the questions they asked: Was Hasan psychotic?
"Put it this way," one official told NPR. "Everybody felt that if you were deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, you would not want Nidal Hasan in your foxhole."
One official who participated in the discussions reportedly told others he was worried that if Hasan was deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, he might leak covert military information to Islamic extremists, NPR reported.
Officials considered kicking Hasan out of the program but chose not to partly because firing a doctor is a "cumbersome and lengthy" process that involves hearings and potential legal conflict, sources told NPR.
Officials also believed they lacked solid evidence that Hasan was unstable and were concerned they could be accused of discriminating against him because of his Islamic identity or views.
The concerns about Hasan's performance and religious views were shared with other military officials considering his assignment after he finished his medical training, and the consensus was to send the 39-year-old psychiatrist to Fort Hood, an official told the Associated Press.