With much of what will eventually be known about the background and crimes of the shooter -- Major Nidal Hasan, a psychiatrist in the U.S. Army, has been charged -- still to be revealed, some folks are already forging the shooting spree into a tool with which to bludgeon President Barack Obama.
Rather than look at the shooter's acts, they are focusing on what words he was saying as he mowed down his victims. Rather than seeing the mayhem as perhaps similar to the madman's massacre that happened on Virginia Tech's campus, on April 16, 2007, they seem to prefer to cast it as more like 9/11.
Maybe they will turn out to be right. Maybe not.
Rather than seeing Hasan as another crazy religious guy who turned violent, they seem to be saying Hasan has the wrong religion. It's like they want to charge him with a "hate crime."
It reminds me of the events of April 19, 1995, when we listened to cable news experts telling us that the still smoldering Oklahoma City bombing was a terrorist act, most likely perpetrated by dark forces based in the Middle East. When the evidence began to go against those early accusations all we got was "oops!"
If it turns out Hasan was working with a network of accomplices then fine, let's unravel the entire conspiracy. If the outcome of the investigation reflects badly on Obama's Defense Department, then let the blame fall where it should. Until then, there's no good reason to assume that the tragedy at Ft. Hood unfolded chiefly because of changes in the way the U.S. Army has been doing its business since Obama took office.
Since it happened on Obama's watch, it's his job to find out as much as he can about what happened and tell the American people the truth about what is uncovered. Which will be an improvement over what came before him.
Moreover, it will be Obama's job to make it more difficult for the next crazy guy/terrorist to do the same thing on an army base ... if he can.
What Obama should not do is use this situation to give the Muslim world the idea that Hasan is going to be dealt with according to his religion, rather than according to what he did. Which is exactly what some of the gun-jumpers seem to want to do -- stick it to Islam, again, as if it is the only religion with blood on its hands.
The Nazis were Christians, but most people don't blame Christianity for their atrocities.
Was Timothy McVeigh's role in murdering 168 people in Oklahoma City a greater or lesser crime because his motive might have been to avenge the deaths of the Branch Davidians at the bizarre Waco Siege in 1993?
Regardless of what they tell us, or what we discover, do we ever really understand why murderous madmen do what they do?
Meanwhile, the very people who have turned a blind eye on the crimes of abortion clinic bombers and cross-burners in the past should probably be more careful about jumping the gun, again, over which god certain unhinged criminals worship.
In conclusion, let's note that al Qaeda is not a leftist organization. America's trouble with Muslim extremists who are bent on destroying our way of life is not coming from the left side of the political spectrum. Generally, religious fanatics are rightwingers, regardless of where they live or what they call their god.