Lieberman: Obama Administration Needs to Start Talking About Islamic Extremism

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Feb. 15 2011 1:10 PM

Lieberman: Obama Administration Needs to Start Talking About Islamic Extremism

The 2009 killings at Fort Hood got their first and possibly only hearing in this Congress today. It followed the release of a report from the Senate's Homeland Security report on Fort Hood, in which researchers argued what conservatives have been arguing -- political correctness might be costing the military the ability to react to Islamic extremism in its midst. That, said witnesses today, is what happened with Nidal Hassan.

"What should have Hasan's military superiors done?" said Gen. Jack Keane, ret. "They should have been able to put the information together and conclude that Hasan believed the same thing that the violent Islamist extremist enemies of this country believe, and that meant he should have been out of the military."

Advertisement

Nearly a dozen survivors (including Sgt. Alonzo Lunsford ) or members of victims' families were in the room for this. They didn't hear much in terms of next steps. Lieberman made multiple references to "members of the administration" who were at fault, but didn't name them; he ended the hearing when a vote began, so he did not answer more questions. But his thinking was expressed well in an exchange about terrorism with security consultant J. Philip Mudd.

"As somebody who wants to kill the ideology," said Mudd, "I think we ought to call them what they hate to be called. They like to be called terrorists. They like to be called Islamic radicals. They hate to be called murderers, and that is what they are."

"I'm unconvinced," said Lieberman. "I'm going to call them all of those things, because that's what they are. They're violent Islamist extremists, and they're murderers, and they're terrorists."

"I agree that's what they are," said Mudd, "but I'm saying, don't give them what they want."

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

Culturebox

The Ebola Story

How our minds build narratives out of disaster.

The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics

A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers

Education

Welcome to 13th Grade!

Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.

Culturebox

The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

Want Kids to Delay Sex? Let Planned Parenthood Teach Them Sex Ed.

Would You Trust Walmart to Provide Your Health Care? (You Should.)

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 22 2014 2:05 PM Paul Farmer Says Up to Ninety Percent of Those Infected Should Survive Ebola. Is He Right?
  Business
Business Insider
Oct. 22 2014 2:27 PM Facebook Made $595 Million in the U.K. Last Year. It Paid $0 in Taxes
  Life
The Eye
Oct. 22 2014 1:01 PM The Surprisingly Xenophobic Origins of Wonder Bread
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 10:00 AM On the Internet, Men Are Called Names. Women Are Stalked and Sexually Harassed.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 22 2014 10:39 PM Avengers: Age of Ultron Looks Like a Fun, Sprawling, and Extremely Satisfying Sequel
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 2:59 PM Netizen Report: Twitter Users Under Fire in Mexico, Venezuela, Turkey
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.