Thursday, November 05, 2009
The problem is that Anything does not Go. If you are tolerant of the intolerant then there is no reason to believe that the intolerant will be tolerant of you. In Cole Porter's fantasia the chorus dances with the Navy secure in the knowledge that the military is there to protect them and that even if the Admiral is a bluenose the troops like a good time. I will recklessly hazard a guess that none of that applied to Major Hassan. He was not there to protect the dancing girls of America.
When I was on active duty it occurred to me that most people have the completely wrong idea about military installations. To the public they are teeming with people who are armed to the teeth and hard wired to super secret information systems. The reality is that access to weapons is very tightly controlled. In fact I do remember thinking "If anything happens how long would it take to get a gun?" On a ship there are firearms in the armory with the Gunners Mates and the Supply Officer has a sidearm. In port the Petty Officer of the watch wears a pistol, almost certainly unloaded. As far as access to information goes, most people are chained to their jobs and only learn what is happening after everyone else in the world. During Desert I in 1993 we watched CNN at the Naval Intel Center Suitland MD to find out if any Iraqi missiles had landed.