In a crazy example of the nation’s obsession with political correctness, the military judge presiding over the Ft. Hood massacre trial has been removed because he showed bias toward the jihadist Army major who murdered 13 by issuing an order to have him forcibly shaved for court.
It’s one of those sad stories seen only in America. It involves the radical Islamic Army psychiatrist (Nidal Malik Hasan), who had his medical education and training paid for by Uncle Sam. In 2009, Hasan went on a murderous shooting rampage at the Texas Army base as he chanted “Allahu Akbar!” (God is great in Arabic). Besides murdering 13 colleagues he wounded dozens of others.
Hasan has documented ties to a radical mosque leader (Anwar al Awlaki) who promotes jihad against the U.S., attempted to contact al Qaeda associates prior to the attack and defended Islamic suicide bombers in comments he posted on the internet. Before the shocking rampage, there were repeated signals that Hasan was a potential danger, yet authorities did nothing to stop him, perhaps to avoid Muslim profiling.
In fact, the Obama Administrations long insisted it was simply workplace violence unrelated to any sort of terrorist act so as not to offend Islam. Days after the shooting at the nation’s largest military base, the administration’s biggest concern was preventing a wave of anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano went on a public campaign to assure that America knew the shooter “was an individual who does not represent the Muslim faith” and guaranteed that a civil rights and civil liberties directorate in her department aimed to “prevent everybody being painted with a broad brush.”
PC wagon aside, the United States Army has a longtime ban on facial hair and Hasan has grown a beard during his time in custody because his Muslim faith requires it. (Of interesting note is that he disregarded this Muslim requirement while he served in the Army). In mid-October the military judge presiding over the case, Colonel Gregory Gross, ruled that Hasan must appear clean shaven in court as per Army rules or be forcibly shaven. An Army appeals court upheld the decision, ruling that Colonel Gross properly found that the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act doesn’t give Hasan the right to have a beard while in uniform at trail.
Incredibly, the nation’s highest military appellate court didn’t like this and evidently interpreted it as a bias on the part of the judge. So this week it removed Colonel Gross from presiding over the trail, because it found that his treatment of Hasan showed the “appearance of bias.” In its decision, which was not posted on the Ft. Hood website, the court said that because of a variety of factors, a reasonable person “would harbor doubts about the military judge’s impartiality.”