Gen. George Casey, silver-haired Army chief of staff, the White House, and mainstream media are dancing fast and singing loud. They are convincing us the Fort Hood massacre was the act of a lone and sadly deranged gunman, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, who just incidentally happens to be a devout Muslim. They are doing a great whitewash of that November day when Hasan shouted Allahu Akbar as he shot and killed 13 and wounded 30 in the worst terror attack since 9/11. But a month later, on Dec. 15, 2009, the “Jackson Five” appeared and threatened to upstage the whole show. How could five nameless upstarts force Gen. Casey and Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) into damage control?
Fort Jackson is in Wilson’s district, the Army’s largest Initial Training Center. On 1,200 acres near Columbia, S.C., it trains half of all recruits (70 percent of all women) entering the Army. The huge base serves 40,000 hot meals daily in 13 dining halls. On Dec. 15, the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID) got a tip that five Muslim recruits were planning to poison the base’s food supply, and that they were in contact with Washington, D.C.-area Muslims who traveled to Pakistan to train as jihadist fighters. The CID’s secret arrest of the Jackson Five was uncovered by Erick Stakelbeck of CBN News on Feb. 18, 2010. But the Army blackout simply got blacker.
The conspirators were in the Army’s 902nd Military Intelligence Group’s MOS 09L program (“Lima Nine”), E Company, 187th Ordnance Battalion. Lima Nine was started because of the Army’s desperate lack of linguists speaking Pashto, Dari or Arabic. To attract such recruits, military intelligence promises foreigners that if they join the Army as a translator they will get U.S. citizenship and a top security clearance. Candidates from Afghanistan and Iraq, including the Jackson Five, speak such poor English the Army puts them in Lima Nine and gives them English lessons, so they will have some hope of passing basic training. Clayton Leishman, program manager, said 34 recruits in the program last summer scored 50 in English, below the 80 required, but with 24 weeks of tutoring they would pass basic. Another program director, Lt. Col. Frank Deminth, said Lima Nine recruits are put on a fast track to U.S. citizenship, “once they serve one day of honorable active duty.” It is interesting to note that when these Muslims join Lima Nine they also are joining an Army intelligence group.
The arrest of five Muslims in Lima Nine could not have come at a worse time for Gen. Casey, who said of Hasan’s massacre, “What happened at Fort Hood was a tragedy. But I think it would be a greater tragedy if it (affected) our diversity.” Whatever hour of the night he was told about the Jackson Five, it must have seemed to him his treasured ‘diversity’ had jumped up yet again to bite his four-starred posterior. Casey must have leaped into action. As a result, what happened was nothing—for two months. Dead silence. Then CBN found out about it, and conflicting statements by Army and CID spokesmen and by Rep. Wilson tell the rest of the story.
Unconfirmed initial reports said three of the Jackson Five were sent back to National Guard units, one was to be discharged under Chapter 5-17, AR 635-200, and one was being held until the investigation was over. Reports also indicated two of the suspects had stolen military ID cards and cell phones from other soldiers. No further reference was made to these reports by the Army except to say four of the five recruits were returned to their country of origin. The country was not named.
CID spokesman Chris Grey said on Feb. 18, “…there is no credible information to support the allegations.” He could not give details, or name the suspects, or name their nationality, or specify why they were deported.
Patrick Jones, spokesman for Fort Jackson, said on Feb. 19 the five recruits were being investigated but not detained. He could not say if they were at Fort Jackson or if they had completed training. He did not name them or their nationality.
On Feb. 20, Army spokesman Christopher Garver said the Jackson Five were not in custody. He could not confirm the recruits were, or were not, U.S. citizens. He could not name them.
Earlier, spokesman Jones said the sudden and silent transfer of Lima Nine headquarters from Fort Jackson to Fort Huachuca, Arizona, had absolutely nothing to do with the Jackson Five investigation.
Then there is Rep. Wilson of President Obama “you lie” fame, a member of the House Armed Services Committee. He told McClatchy Newspapers on Feb. 26 that laptops and cell phones of the Jackson Five had been seized, even though the recruits were discharged for minor thefts. FBI forensic experts are working with CID, but he could not understand why, since original allegations had been dropped. “They were stealing from other soldiers,” he said, “The individuals were simply not trustworthy.” Then he said all five recruits were US citizens from northern Virginia! Well, maybe some of my neighbors in northern Virginia might not be able to pass an Army English language test, but would the Army deport them to Iraq?
The Army refuses to identify The Jackson Five, and has bamboozled us and befuddled Rep. Wilson. Gen. Casey pulled the blinds down, locked the doors, and what is more, he got the bad guys out of Dodge. Then he moved Dodge to Arizona. I have it on good authority he also ordered the Executive Dining Room in the Pentagon never to serve him lima beans.
Chet Nagle is the author of IRAN COVENANT.