Ever the dissatisfied news-consumer, I made a short list of what we know and what we don't know about the shootings at Fort Hood.
What we know: Twelve soldiers and one civilian are dead at Fort Hood, Texas, and an Army psychiatrist is suspected of shooting them. All were in a building in which soldiers are processed for deployment overseas. The suspect is an unmarried 39-year-old major originally from Virginia. He is a muslim who attended a local mosque and who was popular among his neighbors. A police officer shot him several times. The Army says 43 people besides the shooter sustained bullet wounds, all of them inflicted by him.
What we don't know: Any facts about the crime itself and, especially, why the embedded mass media haven't disclosed them. As Americans, we help support Fort Hood, along with the soldiers who got shot and the soldier who is said to have shot them. We're entitled to know what happed there, but nobody's telling us. What's the layout of the crime scene? What was the major doing there? What arms did he carry? What sort of weapon or weapons did the bullets come from? Where did he get these weapons, and where did he get his ammo? How did one guy manage to shoot 43 people in a roomful of soldiers who have been carefully trained to bear any risk to protect each other from harm? Why aren't reporters asking these questions, and why haven't we heard accounts from the people who were there?
It may be a case of DADT: "Don't ask, don't tell." The reporters don't ask what happened, and the Army doesn't tell. The Army and the media seem to want us to maintain certain beliefs about this event-such as that it was an attack by the Muslim faith on American values-beliefs that might well conflict with actual facts. Maybe after Americans have firmed up their beliefs about Fort Hood, selected facts can be gradually introduced. We'll never know what really happened, but, after all, "What you don't know can't hurt you," or maybe, "You don't know and you don't want to know."
The conspiracy nut that untangles this mystery will almost certainly be discredited before he starts.