RENEE MONTAGNE, host:
Returning to the story of Nidal Hasan, the U.S. Army Major charged in last years Fort Hood shooting, NPR has learned the Army has told some of the psychiatrists supervising Hasan at Walter Reed Hospital that it's investigating them and they may face punishment.
The Army said it will decide whether the doctors, quote, "failed to take appropriate action" against Hasan and were derelict in their duties. One name on the list of supervisor is a surprise, as NPRs Daniel Zwerdling reports.
DANIEL ZWERDLING: The evidence shows that a lot of doctors were worried about Nidal Hasan for years. The evidence also shows that only one supervisor actively tried to kick Hasan out of the psychiatry program. His name is Scott Moran. So heres the surprise.
Sources involved in the investigation say that Scott Moran is one of the officers who's now in big trouble. Moran wouldn't comment, but the sources tell NPR that all the supervisors under investigation are fairly low level officers, like Moran. Hes a major.
Mr. GARY MYERS (Attorney): They're attacking the wrong target.
ZWERDLING: Gary Myers is a lawyer who's representing another psychiatrist, whom he acknowledges is under investigation. His client is Colonel Charles Engel. Engel was Hasan's main supervisor in the fellowship program at the military's medical school. Myers says the Armys trying to find scapegoats. He says everybody knows by now that officials in the nation's intelligence agencies bear at least some responsibility for what happened at Fort Hood.
Mr. MYERS: The notion that it is attributable to lower-level physicians who were also mentors strikes me as being a bullet fired high and to the right.
ZWERDLING: Spokesmen for the Army said they won't confirm or deny that they've notified any officers that they're under investigation.
As you might remember, NPR reported troubling details about Hasans medical career back in November. We reported that right after Scott Moran took over the psychiatric residents program back in March 2007, he reviewed Hasan's record and he told colleagues they should get rid of him.
Moran�wrote a memo to the powerful credentials committee. The memo denounced Hasan for a pattern of poor judgment and a lack of professionalism. But sources and documents confirm that higher-ups told Moran to back off. They said going after Hasan might cause legal hassles.
Next, Hasan went to a fellowship at the military's medical university. And documents show that supervisors there got upset too. Some of Hasans supervisors were concerned that Hasan seemed to have extremist Islamic beliefs. Hasan seemed obsessed with a Muslim-American soldier who killed fellow troops in Kuwait. Some supervisors even wondered out loud: Could Nidal Hasan be psychotic?
Sources say the Armys investigating Charles Engel because he knew about those concerns, yet he allegedly didn't take tough enough action. Those same sources say the Armys investigating another psychiatrist named Colonel John Bradley for the same reason. Bradley has been running the psychiatry department at Walter Reed.
Colleagues say both men kept telling them were running training programs here. Were supposed to help people like Hasan try to improve. And sources say when they got on his back, Hasan occasionally did better work.
The investigation of Scott Moran is more puzzling, since documents suggest that he's the only one who actively tried to go after Hasan. Documents show that Moran did sign paperwork later that recommended Hasan for promotion, but that was after higher-up rebuffed him. So far there's no sign that the Army is investigating those higher-ups.
NPR tried to reach Moran, Bradley and Engel for comment. None of them responded. Sources say the Army has notified several other mid-level officers that they're being investigated too. The Army wont confirm those details either.
Daniel Zwerdling, NPR News.
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