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The Ft. Hood Killer - Guilty But Not Evil
Psychology Today ^ | November 7, 2009 | Mark Goulston

Posted on 11/08/2009 6:11:23 PM PST by Protect the Bill of Rights

The measure of a civilization is how it treats those who have hurt it.

Major Nidal Malik Hasan was not a bad person. He was even possibly a good person. But he was a very sick person who did a terrible thing.

If you are someone who disagrees with that, then I would suggest you stop reading now.

If however you do agree with me, in addition to being as upset as I was by the Ft. Hood killings -- which were evil acts -- you’d be as curious as I was and am to understand how and why and when Major Hasan did what he did and what if anything we can learn to prevent this from ever happening again.

My first presupposition is that nobody is born bad, but everybody is born vulnerable. By that I mean that I don’t believe that anyone is born evil unless of course you believe in such a thing as the Devil incarnate. However, I think that you will agree that everyone is born vulnerable in that we are all unable to take care of ourselves at birth and must accept whatever parenting or care giving is provided us.

Next I must add a disclaimer that what follows is empirically based on thirty years as a practicing psychiatrist and psychotherapist. It has been verified by formerly enlisted and senior officers from the Armed Forces, but has not been validated by any research or double blinded studies.

How did it happen?

Central to nearly all the people I have treated or spoken with who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (in preparation of my book, “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for Dummies”) is the “fear of re-traumatization” and their efforts at any and all costs to avoid it often results in the symptoms they develop.

Soldiers enter basic training as “loosey goosey” enlistees who are then broken down and built back up into fighting machines devoted to fulfilling a mission and the well-being of their fellow soldiers. Imagine those recruits as a “green” rattling Ford pickup truck that can’t take a corner safely, being torn down and rebuilt into a turbo-charged Porsche that can handle any curve thrown at it and you get an idea of what the process is like.

After they finish basic training, it’s pretty heady, adrenaline driven stuff that can make soldiers feel nearly superhuman. Add to that the notion that they are going to fight evil and they can feel like a band of superheroes out to rid the world of villains.

Even Hollywood has jumped on this metaphor with the popular Transformer movies where rattling cars and trucks are broken down and reconfigured and rebuilt into monsters of good and evil. Get the idea?

But then they hit the reality of war face on or rather it hits them in the face. In the process they see horrors and create collateral damage no training can fully prepare you for. Imagine being ordered to run over a young child who will not get out of the way and you can’t swerve to avoid them because of the mine-laden side of the road and hearing the thump of their body as they hit the bottom of your Humvee. Or imagine following orders to take out a sniper nest in a house in a village and then entering it, only to discover a dog, a grandpa, a mother, and two children “shredded” or incinerated by you.

What happens to you when all your training for war runs head on into the debasement of humanity that you perpetrate in waging it?

The trauma cuts you to your core. The horrors that you see and the horrors that you caused won’t leave you alone. You don’t tell anyone else, because you think they’re handling it better than you . You are just weak and missing the “right stuff” that your fellow soldiers have.

Although you never fully get over that trauma that rips you to the center of your being, as in human being, your training is good enough to enable you to get past it through the days and weeks and possibly even the tour of duty you are on. However the damage is done and the crack in the porcelain of what was once your soul remains.

You don’t let the world know about it and you do everything you can to not feel that fragility. But even though you don’t think about it, you believe that if you were re-traumatized that crack would cause you to shatter from the inside out and like Humpty Dumpty, all the king’s horses and all the king’s medics would never be able to put you back together again.

So you live your life avoiding anything that might re-traumatize you. You numb yourself with alcohol or drugs; you withdraw from family matters especially the yelling of your spouse and young children. Every now and then a car backfires or something catches you by surprise and you jump out of your skin, because you had temporarily relaxed your guard and that temporarily removed the paper thin veneer protective graft above your crack. It’s like someone pouring acid in an open cut, except this cut is in your mind.

If you are put in a situation in which you feel you will be re-traumatized, you can go into a state of near panic, in which you resort to your most basic “fight or flight” instincts.

We can’t know for sure, but I believe that the threat of deployment of Major Hasan to first hand have to go into combat and witness and even support Americans killing Muslims was just too much. Previously traumatized by hearing the stories of too many soldiers with PTSD and too many soldiers telling tales of killing Muslims (who he increasingly felt a kinship too) and their families, the fear of now going and perpetrating it firsthand may have proved too much, caused him to panic, and react to that panic by perpetrating the killings he did.

Why did it happen?

Have you ever passed a cut tree and seen all the exposed rings? Each of those rings represents a year in the life of that tree. Some of those rings may look thick and healthy indicating and good year; some may look very thin indicating a drought; some may look darkened indicating a forest fire that the tree survived; some may look nearly rotted indicating some fungal or insect infestation. In your minds eye you can also imagine that those years will have a lot to do with the eventual health of that tree and its overall resilience.

Trees are not the only living creatures that develop from the inside out. Imagine your brain as actually having three brains. Like the rings of a tree layered one upon the other, imagine your human (neomammalian) upper brain is layered upon your paleomammalian middle brain is layered upon your most primitive reptilian lower brain.

Now imagine figuratively that a recruit’s brain and “loosey gooseyness” is due to their three brains being loosely wired together. Then imagine that during basic training, those loose wires are stretched and even broken. But then those three brain are built up in to a tightly wired machine specialized for waging war.

When a highly trained, tightly wired and molded for war brain suddenly runs face into horrors perpetrated upon you and that you perpetrate on others, soldiers show that they are not Transformers, but rather, that they are too human an animal.

When did it happen?

In the face of that, your three brains lose the way they are wired and coupled to each other. But being used to being tightly coupled they will spontaneously recouple, but this time with a new mission. This new mission is to avoid re-traumatization at all costs.

And perhaps that was the mission that Major Hasan was on and that he fulfilled with his bloody massacre. Because lets face it, he may have killed and traumatized many others, but he avoided the re-traumatization that being deployed might have caused.

****

[bold mine]


TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: forthood; fthood; hasan; islam; islamicjihad; nidalmalikhasan; pcshooter; psychobabble; terrorist
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I could see this coming when Shep first blathered on about PTSD, harrasment, blah, blah, blah. Someone issued orders on how to frame this story. Even FOX is marching lockstep. It's a gut opinion, no proof.
1 posted on 11/08/2009 6:11:24 PM PST by Protect the Bill of Rights
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To: Protect the Bill of Rights

Oh my gosh! Could you just imagine what would happen if for one whole day everybody had to say it like it is! No spin, just the truth.


2 posted on 11/08/2009 6:13:46 PM PST by Shire
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To: Protect the Bill of Rights
Of course Hasan is getting Cadillac health care right now as well.
3 posted on 11/08/2009 6:14:00 PM PST by Huskrrrr
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To: Protect the Bill of Rights

I don’t go along with this psychobabble - he was, is, and will be evil ...


4 posted on 11/08/2009 6:15:14 PM PST by Ken522
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To: Protect the Bill of Rights; All

Just got an email from Newsmax - Nidal went to the same Mosque in VA as 2 of the 9/11 hijackers.

Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Nidal knew them, but to me it says that he was getting the same radical teaching.

Home grown terrorism .. the latest scourge to be foisted upon America. But .. our PC attitude will get a lot more people killed.


5 posted on 11/08/2009 6:16:47 PM PST by CyberAnt (Michael Yon: "The U.S. military is the most respected institution in Iraq.")
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To: Protect the Bill of Rights

I GUESS THAT HE WAS TRAUMATIZED AND NOW DESERVES A PURPLE HEART AND THE POLICE ACTED STUPIDLY.


6 posted on 11/08/2009 6:16:56 PM PST by seawolf101
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To: Protect the Bill of Rights
If you are someone who disagrees with that, then I would suggest you stop reading now.

Hell, I can't imagine why anyone wouldn't stop reading this thing once they read the title and the 'Psychology Today' part.

7 posted on 11/08/2009 6:17:33 PM PST by NurdlyPeon (Sarah Palin: Americas last, best hope for survival.)
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To: Huskrrrr

It’s crap like this that makes us distrust shrinks.


8 posted on 11/08/2009 6:17:52 PM PST by mommyq
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To: Protect the Bill of Rights

Can you imagine what they would say if a white man shot that many people in a mosque? He would be the “face of evil.”


9 posted on 11/08/2009 6:18:15 PM PST by politicalmerc (Washington DC Tea Party? What Tea Party? Who are all these people Michelle....?)
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To: Protect the Bill of Rights
BS! Psychiatry has about as much credibility as your typical witch doctor
10 posted on 11/08/2009 6:18:34 PM PST by texican01
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To: Protect the Bill of Rights
We can’t know for sure, but I believe that the threat of deployment of Major Hasan to first hand have to go into combat and witness and even support Americans killing Muslims was just too much.

He was going to be in the rear with the gear. He wasn't going to "witness" anything. As Sarah says, bogus.

11 posted on 11/08/2009 6:19:07 PM PST by Bahbah (Only dead fish go with the flow)
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To: Protect the Bill of Rights
Major Nidal Malik Hasan was not a bad person. He was even possibly a good person. But he was a very sick person who did a terrible thing.

Ok Mark, cool, then lets' hang him when he has recovered. Gives all the dead and wounded families closure. Right, Mark?

5.56mm

12 posted on 11/08/2009 6:21:12 PM PST by M Kehoe
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To: Protect the Bill of Rights

The PC back flips continue.....


13 posted on 11/08/2009 6:21:31 PM PST by headstamp 2
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To: Protect the Bill of Rights
Even FOX is marching lockstep. It's a gut opinion, no proof.

You know that a member of the Saudi royal family owns 5.7% of the parent company of FOX? And that this block of shares is all that's keeping Murdoch in control?

14 posted on 11/08/2009 6:21:36 PM PST by PapaBear3625 (Public healthcare looks like it will work as well as public housing did.)
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To: Protect the Bill of Rights

I don’t know how anyone can jump to a conclusion that Hasan is insane- even before the individual is even interrogated.

It would seem a lot more prudent to assume that he is instead part of a larger conspiracy- until its proven otherwise.


15 posted on 11/08/2009 6:21:43 PM PST by I_Like_Spam
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To: Ken522

The left does not believe in evil. (Conservatism excepted).

Evil walks the Earth in many forms. Evil will never be defeated until we look it in the eye, call it for what it is and then destroy it.


16 posted on 11/08/2009 6:22:23 PM PST by Protect the Bill of Rights
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To: Protect the Bill of Rights

Give me a f-—ing break idiot. (not the poster but the writer).

Islam IS evil...


17 posted on 11/08/2009 6:22:31 PM PST by babygene
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To: Protect the Bill of Rights

Let me guess - this genius probably also believes that Stalin and Hitler were merely “misunderstood”...


18 posted on 11/08/2009 6:22:35 PM PST by Zeppo (Save the cheerleader, save the world...)
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To: Bahbah

I’m with you. I call BS!


19 posted on 11/08/2009 6:22:56 PM PST by flynmudd (Proud Navy Mom)
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To: Protect the Bill of Rights
They should change the name of this magazine from Psychology Today to Psychobabble Today.
20 posted on 11/08/2009 6:23:06 PM PST by Verginius Rufus
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To: Protect the Bill of Rights

Hasan is evil because HE CHOSE EVIL! This further proves that psychology and psychiatry are intellectually bankrupt due to the blanket POLITICAL doctrine that no person is one bit responsible for the choices they make.


21 posted on 11/08/2009 6:24:08 PM PST by Fred Hayek (From this point forward the Democratic Party will be referred to as the Communist Party)
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To: Protect the Bill of Rights
the threat of deployment of Major Hasan to first hand have to go into combat and witness and even support Americans killing Muslims was just too much

So he thought he'd just go and kill a few Americans - some of whom may have even been muslims, for all he knew.

Pure psycho-babel BS.

He is guilty as hell of being evil as hell and he only needs to be in the hospital until he's well enough to walk to the lethal injection bed.

22 posted on 11/08/2009 6:24:45 PM PST by grobdriver (Proud Member, Party Of No! No Socialism - No Fascism - Nobama - No Way!)
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To: Protect the Bill of Rights
Anyone got the Psychology Today article on how good Timothy McViegh was...I've somehow misplaced it./s

Bigoted bunch of head under water morons. He's a terrorist, you excuse making twit!

23 posted on 11/08/2009 6:25:49 PM PST by Earthdweller (Harvard won the election again...so what's the problem.......?)
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To: Protect the Bill of Rights

So...in order to avoid committing murder and mayhem, he committed murder and mayhem.

I’m as willing as anyone to suspend personal conviction or disbelief long enough to hear another person’s point of view, but there is a limit beyond which insanity beckons.

This shrink spends an inordinate amount of time condemning our military training techniques and no time at all investigating the lethal aspects of jihadist brainwashing.

This is hardly honest scientific inquiry.


24 posted on 11/08/2009 6:26:49 PM PST by Wife of D28Man
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To: PapaBear3625

Thanks for the reminder. I keep forgetting that little, but very important fact.

On the plus side. even though I am not a believer in zero-tolerance, Lieberman has it right in this snippet:

“If Hasan was showing signs, saying to people that he had become an Islamist extremist, the U.S. Army has to have zero tolerance,” Lieberman, an independent from Connecticut, said on “Fox News Sunday.” ‘’He should have been gone.”

http://www.fox8.com/news/sns-ap-us-fort-hood-shooting,0,5543110.story


25 posted on 11/08/2009 6:26:52 PM PST by Protect the Bill of Rights
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To: CyberAnt
Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Nidal knew them, but to me it says that he was getting the same radical teaching.

The lessons for radical Islam in their bible. The Mosques only serve to sweeten the lessons and to rationalize their beliefs.
26 posted on 11/08/2009 6:27:38 PM PST by adorno (5)
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To: CyberAnt

His spiritual advisor was raising money for gitmo detainees


27 posted on 11/08/2009 6:29:14 PM PST by RummyChick
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To: CyberAnt

His spiritual advisor was raising money for gitmo detainees


28 posted on 11/08/2009 6:29:22 PM PST by RummyChick
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To: devolve; All

Yes indeed, he is a VERY sick person!

At Walter Reed, as an Army psychiatrist, Hasan was supposed to give a “grand round” — a medical lecture. Instead, he treated medical personnel to a dawah session, trying to frighten them into Islam with threats of hell.

Hasan made four assertions about the Koran:

1. “If you don’t believe, you are condemned to hell” — Koran 4:140; Koran 9:49; Koran 9:68; Koran 9:73

2. If you don’t believe, “your head is cut off” — Koran 8:12; Koran 47:4

3. If you don’t believe, “you’re set on fire” — Koran 33:64; Koran 48:13; Koran 76:4

4. If you don’t believe, “burning oil is burned down your throat” — Koran 18:29; Koran 44:43-46


29 posted on 11/08/2009 6:29:52 PM PST by potlatch (ACTIONS - Speak Louder Than Words)
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To: Protect the Bill of Rights

“But being used to being tightly coupled they will spontaneously recouple...”

This is where the moonbat hits his high notes.


30 posted on 11/08/2009 6:30:06 PM PST by 668 - Neighbor of the Beast (LIBERTY)
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To: Protect the Bill of Rights
“If Hasan was showing signs, saying to people that he had become an Islamist extremist, the U.S. Army has to have zero tolerance,” Lieberman, an independent from Connecticut, said on “Fox News Sunday.” ‘’He should have been gone.”

Would the Army have tolerated, as an officer, a member of Christian Identity, who advocated race war? He would have been tossed out within 24 hours of the info getting to the Commanding Officer. But we tolerate jihadis.

31 posted on 11/08/2009 6:30:24 PM PST by PapaBear3625 (Public healthcare looks like it will work as well as public housing did.)
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To: Protect the Bill of Rights

so was the men who killed on 9/11 just not bad either or how about the muslim soldier who threw a grenade and killed more soldiers.
Hey closer to home for them how about the guy who blew up an abortion place or how about going further and asking about Mason or Hitler

This was terrorism plain and simple done in the name of Islam, they can twist this any way they want but the truth is already out so if they want to keep making themselves a laughing stock then so be it .

It would be nice if we had a POS who cared about the threats we face and call this what it is and deal with this with proper leadership not like giving shout outs if he were on the street at a fair ground


32 posted on 11/08/2009 6:31:21 PM PST by manc (Marriage is between a man and a woman, end of. -end racism end affirmative action)
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To: Protect the Bill of Rights
Golly gum-drops. Hasan is really a swell guy if you can look past the 13 dead and 30 wounded. I mean, let's look at the big picture. He was upset that the mean ol' military - Bush's fault, naturally - that made him everything he was professionally might require him to try to help nice Muslims against evil, murdering Muslims. And so he became an evil, murdering Muslim himself.

I can't even think enough like a liberal to parody them. The author has a serious mental problem.

33 posted on 11/08/2009 6:31:43 PM PST by Billthedrill
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To: Ken522

He is not nearly as evil as a felonious scawflaw who recklessly fails to purchase Pelosicare.


34 posted on 11/08/2009 6:33:28 PM PST by AndyJackson
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To: Protect the Bill of Rights
"Major Nidal Malik Hasan was not a bad person. He was even possibly a good person. But he was a very sick person who did a terrible thing."

However, if anyone other than one of obama's "chosen people" had done this, Hasan would be used as a Poster Child for the recently passed "HATE CRIMES BILL".

Actually, the "hate crimes bill" is sort of a "reverse ku klux klan", giving the liberals the license to prosecute anyone that doesn't agree with them.
35 posted on 11/08/2009 6:34:18 PM PST by FrankR (To Congress: You cram it down our throats in '09, We'll shove it up your ass in '10!)
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To: Protect the Bill of Rights
"Major Nidal Malik Hasan was not a bad person. He was even possibly a good person. But he was a very sick person who did a terrible thing."

However, if anyone other than one of obama's "chosen people" had done this, Hasan would be used as a Poster Child for the recently passed "HATE CRIMES BILL".

Actually, the "hate crimes bill" is sort of a "reverse ku klux klan", giving the liberals the license to prosecute anyone that doesn't agree with them.
36 posted on 11/08/2009 6:34:28 PM PST by FrankR (To Congress: You cram it down our throats in '09, We'll shove it up your ass in '10!)
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To: AndyJackson

scofflaw - sheesh! - real men don’t spell check, or even proof-read.


37 posted on 11/08/2009 6:34:32 PM PST by AndyJackson
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To: Billthedrill

Bush should have never uttered ‘Axis of EVIL’. Not enough that he is the one who planned 9/11. He had to blame those poor, Islamic victims.

/s (just in case anyone thinks I am serious)


38 posted on 11/08/2009 6:35:19 PM PST by Protect the Bill of Rights
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To: Protect the Bill of Rights

And the left, given the choice, will almost always side with evil.


39 posted on 11/08/2009 6:37:55 PM PST by MtnClimber (Bernard Madoff's ponzi scheme looks remarkably similar to the way Social Security works)
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To: Protect the Bill of Rights
Major Nidal Malik Hasan was not a bad person. He was even possibly a good person. But he was a very sick person who did a terrible thing.

Oh, O.K., how enlightening...This guy probably killed more people than Jeffrey Dahmer. But because he didn't eat them, and is from a different culture, he was just 'sick', not evil. Psychobabble on steroids.

40 posted on 11/08/2009 6:38:05 PM PST by rfp1234
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To: seawolf101
I GUESS THAT HE WAS TRAUMATIZED AND NOW DESERVES A PURPLE HEART AND THE POLICE ACTED STUPIDLY.

By the John F'n Kerry rule (JFKerri served in Viet Nam, I seem to remember), Hasan should be awarded 4 Purple Hearts, and more if he got powder burns.

41 posted on 11/08/2009 6:38:37 PM PST by Ole Okie (American)
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To: Protect the Bill of Rights
But he was a very sick person who did a terrible thing.

He is not "sick" He did what he believes is right.

To expect someone to do other than what he believes is a disconnect.

42 posted on 11/08/2009 6:38:54 PM PST by Dan(9698)
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To: Protect the Bill of Rights
He was even possibly a good person. But he was a very sick person who did a terrible thing.

BS He is a Moslem. He was doing what Moslems are commanded by their Holy Book and religious leaders to do.Jesus said to "sell all that thou hast and follow me." Mohammed said to kill or enslave the infidel.

43 posted on 11/08/2009 6:40:41 PM PST by arthurus ("If you don't believe in shooting abortionists, don't shoot an abortionist." -Ann C.)
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To: Protect the Bill of Rights

He is a terrorist murderer.


44 posted on 11/08/2009 6:41:30 PM PST by hsalaw
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To: Protect the Bill of Rights

“My first presupposition is that nobody is born bad, but everybody is born vulnerable.” Your first wrong. God says no one is good.


45 posted on 11/08/2009 6:42:00 PM PST by usslsm51
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To: Protect the Bill of Rights

What a load of bull crap. And what this “mental health professional” has to say is no more valid than what the other “mental health professional” had to say, before he started shooting American soldiers.

Shrinks.


46 posted on 11/08/2009 6:42:12 PM PST by Travis McGee (---www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com---)
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To: Protect the Bill of Rights

What a load of hooey.

He is a devout follower of Islam, and followed the teachings of the Koran to the letter. Very simple, no psychoanalysis needed.


47 posted on 11/08/2009 6:43:12 PM PST by SandyInSeattle (Socialism is the plundering of the productive by the unaccountable)
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To: Protect the Bill of Rights

“The measure of a civilization is how it treats those who have hurt it.”

We’ve lost touch with nature, but it won’t be long until we realize what a monumental mistake it was.

Bottom line: Kill your enemy or he kills you.

Twelve American soldiers die and this backwards FREAK is hard at work defending their murderer.

PC’s body-count will continue to rise. This is just the beginning.

Observe, a nation, a people committing slow-motion suicide.


48 posted on 11/08/2009 6:43:59 PM PST by Boucheau
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To: usslsm51
God says no one is good.

Doesn't say much for God if all his creations are bad.

49 posted on 11/08/2009 6:44:24 PM PST by ColdWater ("The theory of evolution really has no bearing on what I'm trying to accomplish with FR anyway. ")
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To: Protect the Bill of Rights

There are evil people and there are the apologists for evil people.


50 posted on 11/08/2009 6:44:35 PM PST by My hearts in London - Everett (So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.)
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