Safeguards Were Inadequate to Prevent Ft. Hood Massacre: Pentagon - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Complete and continuing coverage of the fatal shootings at Fort Hood on Nov. 5, 2009

Safeguards Were Inadequate to Prevent Ft. Hood Massacre: Pentagon



    Safeguards Were Inadequate to Prevent Ft. Hood Massacre: Pentagon
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    FORT HOOD, TX - NOVEMBER 10: Wounded soldiers arrive for the start of the memorial service that U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama are attending for the thirteen victims of the shooting rampage by U.S. Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan on November 10, 2009 in Fort Hood, Texas. Hasan, an army psychiatrist, killed 13 people and wounded 30 in a shooting at the military base on November 5, 2009. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

    NBC News has obtained a scathing report from Defense Secretary Robert Gates that says most of the Defense Department's safeguards were "unclear" or "inadequate" to identify the threat and prevent the mass shooting that killed 13 soldiers at Fort Hood in December.  Army Psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hassan is charged in the shootings that also wounded 31.

    The Secretary's report found that;

    * DOD's commitment to the Joint Terrorism Task Force is "inadequate" which results in "inconsistent" coordination with the FBI.  The Joint Task force knew well before the shooting that Hassan was in communications with an al Qaeda sympathizer and recruiter but that was not reported to DOD or the military.

    * Commanders and supervisors do not always receive information about individuals who may commite violent acts.

    * Counterintelligence training does not address "emerging threats including self-radicalization" which may contribute to potential violence.  Hasan was known to have gone off on Islamic-related religious rants and expressed strong opposition to Muslims in the US military serving in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    * DOD policy prohibiting certain supremacist or extremist behavior is "unclear" and "limited," when it comes to individual behavior.

    * DOD does not have a comprehensive cyberspace counterintelligence program to alert authorities to "non-foreign intellligence" on potential threats.

    There are a series of recommendations to improve or establish programs to deal with each of these shortfalls that may have prevent early detection of the potential threat.

    What this report does NOT address is the personal responsibility up and down Nidal Hassan's chain of command.  THAT report recommends that a number of individuals who failed to report Hassan's somewhat erratic behavior be relieved of duty or disciplined. The list reportedly includes commanders and officers at Walter Reed, where Hassan had worked as a staff psychiatrist, counseling soldiers with PTSD returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Army officials tell NBC News that report is still sitting on the Army Secrtary's desk while Army lawyers struggle to determine what legal hurdles must be cleared.

    The Defense Secretary's report is to be released later today.