The Fort Hood Tragedy

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I’d like to highlight some of the better news coverage of yesterday’s stunning attack at Fort Hood.

The Washington Post has the most-revealing story I’ve seen yet about the shooter, Nidal M. Hasan.

He’s from Virginia and — as you probably know — worked at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in D.C.

The Post story begins:

He prayed every day at the Muslim Community Center in Silver Spring, a devout Muslim who, despite asking to be discharged from the U.S. Army, was on the eve of his first deployment to war. Yesterday, authorities said Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, a 39-year-old Arlington-born psychiatrist, shot and killed 13 people at Fort Hood, Tex.

In an interview, his aunt, Noel Hasan of Falls Church, said he had endured name-calling and harassment about his Muslim faith for years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and had sought for several years to be discharged from the military…..

Hasan was born in Arlington and grew up in the Roanoke Valley of southwestern Virginia, a bookish young man who, his father hoped, would go on to significant professional achievement. He spent nearly all of his Army medical career at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in the District, caring for the victims of trauma, yet spoke openly of his deep opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Post story is must-reading, if you want to know who this person is.

The Statesman has provided excellent, ongoing coverage on this blog.

The Statesman reports (for those of us in the Austin area who want to donate blood) that the central Austin blood center is overwhelmed today. The Blood and Tissue Center of Central Texas is asking that Austinites wait to donate blood during the coming holiday season:

Because of the donor response to this tragic event, the blood supply continues to be adequate at this time. Rather than give a donation today, we encourage you to make an appointment now to donate during the Thanksgiving or the Christmas holidays and continue to donate once a quarter.

Dave Mann has been with the Observer since 2003. Before that, he worked as a reporter in Fort Worth and Washington, D.C. He was born and raised in Philadelphia. He thinks border collies are the world’s greatest dogs, and believes in the nourishing powers of pickup basketball.