NPR logo Official Memo Portrays Maj. Nidal Hasan As Bad Doc

Official Memo Portrays Maj. Nidal Hasan As Bad Doc

From the time we learned from NPR Daniel Zwerdling's highly informative reports shortly after the Fort Hood shootings that Maj. Nidal Hasan had a dubious record as an Army psychiatrist, it was apparent that Army officials would eventually need to explain how Hasan was allowed to get anywhere near soldiers with severe emotional and mental-health issues.

Daniel has more disturbing information that only amplifies that question. According to a report he filed for the network's newscast Wednesday:

NPR has learned that a memo is dated May 17, 2007. It's signed by the chief of psychiatric residents at Walter Reed, Maj. Scott Moran. And the memo ticks off a striking list of problems over the course of Hasan's training.

For instance, Hasan proselytized to his patients. He mistreated a homicidal patient and allowed her to escape from the emergency room. When Hasan was supposed to be on call for emergencies, he didn't even answer the phone.

NPR showed the memo to leading psychiatrists, who run large private medical programs. They said even if they were desperate to fill a vacancy, they would never hire a psychiatrist with an evaluation like Hasan's. One said the memo warns, in effect, that Hassan could hurt his patients, not by shooting them, but by being a reckless therapist.

Melissa Block, an All Things Considered asked Sen. Joe Lieberman on Wednesday for his reaction to the memo. Lieberman said:

... It certainly raises questions about whether he was prepared to be the kind of psychiatrist that we want treating military personnel.