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Nine Army officers subject to disciplinary action

According to MCNBC, Army Secretary John McHugh recently called for disciplinary action against nine officers for failing to alert anybody about warning signs concerning a Major accused of killing 13 soldiers at Fort Hood back in Texas back in November of 2009.

Nidal Hasan, who was a psychiatrist at the Walter Reed Medical Center and the military's medical school, reportedly had shown signs of radical Islamic tendencies. According to McHugh, there was no single event that ultimately led to the shootings, but various officers in Hasan's chain of command were negligent in flagging warning signs.

According a Senate report released in February, both the Department of Defense and the FBI had enough information to prevent the situation before it occurred. The agencies were reportedly aware of Hasan's radicalist tendencies, but did nothing to respond to them.

According to sources, one of Hasan's instructor's saw Hasan's tendencies and referred to him as a "ticking time bomb." Investigators have also alleged that Hasan's evaluation reports were inflated in order that he might be promoted and so assists in relieving the Army of a shortage of psychiatrists.

Prior to the killings, the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force flagged Hasan because of his communication with a suspected terrorist. But a second unit within the Task Force dropped the ball. According to the Senate's report, the Task Force ultimately failed to realize the extent of Hasan's communications and failed to notify the Army, dismissing them as legitimate research.

The disciplinary action is considered "non-judicial punishment" and is not criminal. Since the accused officers do have the right to appeal the action, their names have not been released.

Source: MSNBC, "9 officers face disciplinary action in Fort Hood shooting," Jim Miklaszewski, 10 Mar 2011.

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