The President has urged us all not to jump to conclusions concerning the motive of Major Nidal Malik Hasan in his killing spree at Fort Hood. There are almost four dozen people who have been affected very directly by this event, 13 of whom are dead. One was a woman who was three months pregnant. So we have a motive-less murder of more than a dozen innocent people, with the wounding of thirty more.
And we must not impute a motive to the (currently comatose) Major.
When John Lee Muhammad, the Muslim convert and Beltway Sniper, was engaged in his killing spree in and around the DC area, the press, without any shred of evidence, declared the killer to be “an angry white male.” He turned out to be a black American who was also a Muslim convert.
When Henry Louis Gates, Jr., a personal friend of Barack Obama, was arrested by the Cambridge Police, the President said during a press conference that the Cambridge Police “acted stupidly” during the arrest. Mr. Obama was not there, had no special knowledge of the events, yet he was able to accuse the Cambridge Police Department of rank stupidity.
So here we have two examples of jumping to conclusions. Neither one was challenged (outside of the conservative blogosphere). Both were shown to be egregious examples of premature blame. One was committed by the same man who is urging us all to remain calm.
To jump to a conclusion is to make a statement based on little or no knowledge of the facts at hand. So what are the facts as reported so far?
All evidence at this point indicates Major Hasan was a basically unstable guy; he was an American-born man who had supposedly described himself as “Palestinian”in an online forum; he was a convert to Islam who reportedly shouted “Allahu Akbar!” before shooting 40 people in cold blood; his name appeared on at least one radical Islamic website; he has been quoted as morally equating diving on a hand grenade to save your fellow troops, and committing a suicide bombing; based on all that, I’d say his motivation was radical Islam. But that would be jumping to a conclusion, wouldn’t it? And the President would not approve.