Carol Waino fact-checks articles by right-wing columnists for a hobby. In Mark Steyn's case, somebody's got to do it; Macleans sure won't. Here is her take on Major Nidal Hasan had an enabler. A shorter version was "removed" from the Macleans comments section.
There are errors in Mark Steyn’s article “Major Nidal Hasan had an enabler” (Nov. 26). Castigating Hasan’s “superior officer” Colonel Terry Lee, for fatal “political correctness”, Steyn writes:
"barely had he got to Texas when he started making idle chit-chat praising the jihadist murderer of two soldiers outside a recruitment centre in Little Rock. 'This is what Muslims should do, stand up to the aggressors,' Major Hasan told his superior officer, Colonel Terry Lee. 'People should strap bombs on themselves and go into Times Square.'
In less enlightened times, Colonel Lee would have concluded that, being in favour of the murder of his comrades, Major Hasan was objectively on the side of the enemy. But instead he merely cautioned the major …'You need to lock it up, major,' advised the colonel."
To begin, no reports list Col. Terry Lee as Hasan’s “superior officer” at Fort Hood. Col. Lee is instead clearly identified as “retired” when interviewed by Fox News, and in all other reports (certainly, it would be both foolish, and undoubtedly against military policy, for Hasan’s current or former “superior officer” to phone Fox with self-incriminating comments of the sort Steyn reports). Further, it is not clear that this individual was even a colleague at Fort Hood. Reports state that Hasan was only transferred to Fort Hood in July, a couple of months before the shooting, and Lee is described (in reports more credible than Fox) as having worked with Hasan as a colleague at Walter Reed, not Fort Hood, prior to his retirement.
But even in the Fox interview, Col. Lee makes clear that the quote which Steyn claims Hasan made to his “superior officer” Lee in Fort Hood – that “People should strap bombs on themselves and go into Times Square”, is unconfirmed, third party, material from another time and place. Lee says: “that was from a third source, so I can’t confirm that”. Further, he says that the unconfirmed statement was suggested by a third party at a conference at Walter Reed Hospital “6 months ago” – that is, before Hasan was posted to Fort Hood, not while he was there, as Steyn claims, and not directly to Lee (who did not personally receive it, and who, at any rate, was apparently not Hasan’s “superior officer” at Fort Hood).
If Mr. Steyn is going to try to throw more individuals under the over-used bus of “political correctness”, he might try and avoid further errors of the sort earlier directed at the CHRC, and for which MacLean’s recently published a retraction. In that regard I note that no correction has yet been offered for MacLean’s fictional May story which first inflated the population of Finland by about 6 million, before killing them all off several times over at the hands of a leader (Lenin) who never ruled the country. Does MacLean’s employ fact checkers or editors? Or is factual error now “politically correct”?