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Former Colleagues Say Hasan Was Detached

STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

Before he was sent to Fort Hood, Major Nidal Hasan trained and worked as a psychiatrist at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. And this morning, we have new details about his troubled career there and what some of his colleagues thought of it. NPR's Daniel Zwerdling is covering this story. He's in our studios. Good morning.

DANIEL ZWERDLING: Good morning, Steve.

INSKEEP: What have you learned?

ZWERDLING: And they say it had nothing to do with his orthodox Muslim beliefs, they just say he was not doing a good job as a psychiatrist.

INSKEEP: It's easy to point all this out now, in retrospect, but why didn't people at Walter Reed do something at the time?

ZWERDLING: In fact, Moran was telling his colleagues - and I'm quoting here, secondhand - "I don't think Hasan should carry the Walter Reed name." I called Scott Moran and he wouldn't confirm or deny this, but one of the key officials at Walter Reed says that Moran and his colleagues on the policy committee actually sat around discussing can we get rid of Nidal Hasan?

INSKEEP: They discussed that, but I wonder if it would be just as hard to get rid of a military doctor at Walter Reed as it can be hard sometimes to get rid of a civilian doctor that some people think is incompetent?

ZWERDLING: Absolutely. In fact, see this manual here - this thick manual?

INSKEEP: Yeah.

ZWERDLING: Plus, one of the key officials at Walter Reed, who's close to the policy committee, told me that they - some of the members sat around saying, and how would it look if we kick out one of the few Muslim residents in our program?

INSKEEP: So, how did they end up resolving this dilemma?

ZWERDLING: Well, the word is that earlier this year they basically read Hasan the riot act and they said, you - this is it, you know, it's now or never. And they say, according to his supervisors, he did improve. He started showing up on time, he was more focused. So, they said, you know, let's let him go to Fort Hood and let's hope he does even better there.

INSKEEP: Daniel Zwerdling, thanks very much.

ZWERDLING: Thank you, Steve.

INSKEEP: We have special coverage of today's memorial service from Fort Hood, beginning at two o'clock Eastern time. It's anchored by NPR's Neal Conan. You can also hear it live at NPR.org as well as many of our member stations.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Daniel Zwerdling is a correspondent in NPR's Investigations Unit.
Steve Inskeep is a host of NPR's Morning Edition, as well as NPR's morning news podcast Up First.

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