Lieberman: Obama Administration Needs to Start Talking About Islamic Extremism

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

Foreigners

The World’s Politest Protesters

The Occupy Central demonstrators are courteous. That’s actually what makes them so dangerous.

The Religious Right Is Not Happy With Republicans  

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:58 PM The Religious Right Is Not Happy With Republicans  

The Feds Have Declared War on Encryption—and the New Privacy Measures From Apple and Google

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You

It spreads slowly.

These “Dark” Lego Masterpieces Are Delightful and Evocative

Crime

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

Politics

Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Activists Are Trying to Save an Iranian Woman Sentenced to Death for Killing Her Alleged Rapist

Piper Kerman on Why She Dressed Like a Hitchcock Heroine for Her Prison Sentencing

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 1 2014 7:26 PM Talking White Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 2:16 PM Wall Street Tackles Chat Services, Shies Away From Diversity Issues 
  Life
Outward
Oct. 1 2014 6:02 PM Facebook Relaxes Its “Real Name” Policy; Drag Queens Celebrate
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 9:39 PM Tom Cruise Dies Over and Over Again in This Edge of Tomorrow Supercut
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?