The legal wrangling continues over Major Nidal Hasan, the Army psychiatrist and jihadist who at Fort Hood in 2009 killed 13 while yelling "Allahu Akbar!" The issue is supposedly Major Hasan's beard, which he grew to signify his Islamic faith. The judge, Col. Gregory Gross, says the beard is a disruption and wants to forcible shave Hasan. That has touched off appeals but something else may be driving the delays, such as the presidential election.

Hasan's action scored good reviews in some quarters. "Nidal Hassan is a hero," said the website of Anwar Al-Awlaki, imam at the Dar al-Hijirah mosque Hasan attended. "He is a man of conscience who could not bear living the contradiction of being a Muslim and serving in an army that is fighting against his own people. . . Nidal opened fire on soldiers who were on their way to be deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. How can there be any dispute about the virtue of what he has done?"

President Obama's first response to Hasan's mass murder was brief, low key, and failed to include Islamic terrorism as bearing any responsibility for the deaths. "We cannot fully know what leads a man to do such a thing," the president said. That now amounts to official policy.

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