Rep. Buck McKeon (R) of California on Wednesday called the report’s failure to mention Islamic extremism a “strange silence.” To 9/11 commission member John Lehman, the administration's position “shows you how deeply entrenched the values of political correctness have become,” he told Time magazine earlier this week.
Republican members of the House Armed Services Committee suggested that Americans are increasingly concerned that political correctness is undermining national security.
“The American people recognize that the 9/11 Commission was correct when it said we have an enemy and it’s Islamist extremists – their words – and the concern is that we may not be paying attention to the fact that the alleged perpetrator was in fact an Islamist extremist,” said Rep. John Kline (R) of Minnesota. “There’s frustration that we seem to be overlooking the 800 pound gorilla and that this is something more than just a random act of violence with an alleged perpetrator, and that it’s certainly more than just an incident.”
The report’s respected authors, former Army Secretary Togo West and retired Navy Adm. Vernon Clark, said Defense Secretary Robert Gates did not charge them with finding out what happened. They were tasked with discovering whether there were any gaps or deficiencies that would hobble future efforts to identify internal threats and protect the force.
They added that Defense Department lawyers requested that they not discuss specifics of the Hasan case since it could jeopardize the Army’s court-martial case against him. Hasan faces murder charges, but no terrorism-related indictment.