Last Tuesday, Obama ordered his National Security Council (NSC) take control of congressional briefings on the Fort Hood killings, beginning the whitewash of the first terror attack on the American homeland in eight years. Now, the Telegraph (UK) is reporting that Obama’s Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, has appointed a special board to investigate the mass shooting of US soldiers at Fort Hood by a US Army Major two weeks ago. But look more closely at the details.
The investigation is to be led by two retired senior officials, both Bill Clinton appointees, who made pushing “affirmative action” and special status for minority groups in the US military a central part of their careers. With former Army Secretary Togo West and former Navy Chief of Operations Admiral Vernon Clark at the helm of this investigation, no one should expect any critical comment about the policies that allowed the career of an extremist Muslim to flourish in the US military.
Togo West served as an army lawyer from 1969 to 1973 and then entered the world of politically connected Washington lawyers who spend the rest of their careers in and out of Democratic Party administrations. He was appointed to as the Navy’s General Counsel under President Carter and then as Assistant to the Defense Secretary under Carter. When the Democrats came back into power in 1993 he was appointed as Secretary of the Army by Bill Clinton and served in that post until his appointment as Secretary for Veteran’s Affairs in 1997.
Togo West never saw an affirmative action policy or minority preference policy he didn’t like. For decades the US military has been subject to yearly political indoctrination in the form of special training to prevent the “harassment” of minorities. Mostly, this means that soldiers are subjected to training teams that present courses describing how deeply racist US white people are. Any joke, look, friendly comment, or official action made by a white person to a protected minority group member can and should be treated as a racist action that merits official complaint.
OK, I am exaggerating — but only a bit. Under West’s tenure as Secretary of the Army, the briefings and classes really were a lot like this, and West encouraged an atmosphere in the US Army in which even the silliest and most insignificant complaints by soldiers belonging to minority groups immediately got the attention of top officers. The attitude was “guilty until proven innocent” if a minority group soldier made a complaint about a superior. Naturally, a reluctance to criticize the performance of a minority group soldier became an entrenched part of the US military culture.
Admiral Clark was a staunch supporter of special minority group programs as senior officer of the US Navy (chief of naval operations) from 2000 to 2005. Clark was eager to increase the representation of minority groups in the US Navy and in 2005 he directed that the Navy increase the number of minority candidates for officer commissions by 25 per cent.
This led to a double standard program at places like the Naval Academy at Annapolis, where the entry standards for minorities are noticeably lower than for white applicants. Clark was such an enthusiast for “diversity” in the Navy that in 2005 he redefined the Navy’s concept of special minorities to include religious (read Muslim) and ethnic groups as well.
At the core of the mass murder at Fort Hood Texas is the question of how the decades-old policies of the US Defense Department that have lowered standards in the name of “affirmative action” and “diversity” may have contributed to the retention of a clearly unfit officer and put him in the position to kill 13 American soldiers and wound another 28. For Togo West or Vernon Clark to question such policies (which were largely of their own making) would indicate a degree of intellectual openness and apolitical judgment that they have never exhibited before. So my bet is a complete gloss over the real questions at stake.
Gates will certainly earn Obama’s approval for appointing as senior investigators two retirees who can be assured not to question the Obama Party Line. But there are the families of a few dozen dead and wounded soldiers involved here, and many have congressmen and senators who will detect the slightest hint of a whitewash. I predict that the Defense Department’s investigation will be yet another major blunder by the Obama administration.