Accountability is the best way to Ensure Some Tragedies never happen again

By Ben Barrack

A common refrain often heard from politicians and mainstream media outlets who investigate and write about scandals or breakdowns that lead to destruction or murder is, “We just want to make sure this never happens again”. What they always seem to avoid is perhaps the best way to ensure their stated objective: accountability for those involved in allowing such things to happen in the first place. In the case of gun crimes, accountability quite often lies with those who exploit those crimes for the purpose of more gun control (see the case of Leland Yee).


Consider yesterday’s shootings at the Fort Hood Army post by Ivan Lopez. The Associated Press quoted a senior officer on Fort Hood as saying “terrorism” was not a factor.

The victims of the shooter would certainly disagree with any assertion that they were not terrorized. Terrorism is actually the common denominator between Lopez and Fort Hood Jihadist Nidal Malik Hasan; motive is what appears to be different. If there is a line of distinction to be drawn between Lopez and Hasan, “terrorism” is not it; Jihad is.

Reports are that Ivan Lopez, the most recent Fort Hood shooter had “mental health issues”. Indications are that this case may be accurately termed ‘workplace violence’, which is how the 2009 attack was egregiously termed. That misnomer calls for accountability, as does the fact that victims were not awarded Purple Hearts. However, there’s been accountability for neither. As a result, nothing has changed.

It appears that everyone did his / her job in response to the most recent shooting. Again, tales of heroism are in no short supply. It could just be that accountability lies solely with the shooter, that protocol was followed every step of the way.

After all, the shooter broke the law by bringing the legally purchased gun on post. Remember, criminals are what they are because they break the law. Preventative measures may just include allowing more military personnel to arm themselves, which could place some accountability on those who do not allow soldiers to defend themselves.



As has been reported several times, there were red flags everywhere when it came to Fort Hood Jihadist Nidal Malik Hasan but he was passed around and passed over as a threat out of political correctness. Yet, no one was held accountable despite an exhaustive Senate Homeland Security Report that found accountability warranted.

As reported earlier this week, Fox News confirmed that an Army recruit by the name of Muhammad Abdullah Hassan “Booker” publicly stated that he was going to carry out a Fort Hood-Inspired Jihadist attack. The military actually interviewed Hassan about these claims but let him go and reported him to the FBI several days later. He is still at large as of this writing but has nothing to do with the April 2nd shootings.

A question that begs to be answered: Had accountability been meted out over those responsible for ignoring all of the red flags surrounding Fort Hood Jihadist Hasan in 2009, would “Booker” have been let go?

Many people wring their hands over political correctness but one of the most effective ways of defeating it is holding accountable those who act or don’t act in the name of it, especially when the consequences are fatal.

When there are no consequences for individuals ultimately responsible for such failures, what does that signal to their colleagues and successors? Just this week, ATF Director B. Todd Jones acknowledged that no one has been punished as a result of a gun trafficking operation run by his agency – with the knowledge of the Justice Department – which led to the deaths of hundreds of Mexican nationals and at least one U.S. Border Patrol agent – Brian Terry.

Of course, the 2012 Benghazi attacks provide another perfect example. To date, no one has been brought to justice for the attack and no one has been punished for failing to prevent it. Yet, the mantra “we need to make sure this never happens again” can be heard at nearly every hearing and read in every report or press release.

The best way to make sure something disastrous like Fast and Furious, Benghazi, and Fort Hood jihadist attacks never happen again is for those responsible for making sure they don’t happen at all, to face real consequences.