Army Secretary John McHugh has ordered disciplinary action for nine unnamed officers in the Fort Hood shooting, according to NBC News. Although the Army's investigation noted that "no single event" led to the massacre, "certain officers" in command of Major Nidal Hasan "failed to meet the high standards expected of them," ignoring signs of his increasing radicalization.
Hasan currently faces the possibility of military court-martial for a shooting attack on Fort Hood on Nov. 5, 2009. Hasan is accused of murdering 13 people and wounding more than 30 others in the attack, before he was shot and paralyzed at the scene of the crime. The subsequent investigation showed signs of radicalization before the attack, including a presentation to fellow medical workers that outlined his religious motive for the attack.
The nine officers will face "non-judicial punishment," a non-criminal sanction, and will remain anonymous because of their right to appeal. McHugh further ordered the Army surgeon general to review the Medical Command's training and evaluation of medical officers. This follows reports that Hasan's evaluations were inflated for promotion and to alleviate a shortage of military psychiatrists.
The orders come after last month's bipartisan Senate report found intelligence failures in the lead up to the Fort Hood shooting, by the DOD and FBI. The agencies had sufficient evidence of Hasan's radical leanings "but failed both to understand and to act on it." The senators said their investigation found "specific and systemic failures," although Hasan's radicalization "was on full display to his superiors and colleagues during his military medical training."
"Not only was no action taken to discipline or discharge him, but also his Officer Evaluation Reports sanitized his obsession with violent Islamist extremism into praiseworthy research on counterterrorism," the report noted. "DOD possessed compelling evidence that Hasan embraced views so extreme that it should have disciplined him or discharged him from the military, but DoD failed to take action against him."
The report commended the flagging of Hasan's name by an initial FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force team, for communication with terrorist leader Anwar al-Awlaki, but condemned subsequent failures by a follow-up team. The second team relied on army assessments of Hasan and dismissed the communication as "legitimate research." The matter was eventually dropped "rather than cause a bureaucratic confrontation" between the two teams.
"The JTTFs never raised the dispute to FBI headquarters for resolution, and entities in FBI headquarters responsible for coordination among field offices never acted. As a result, the FBI's inquiry into Hasan ended prematurely," the report said.