WASHINGTON -- The November 2009 shootings at Fort Hood revealed a range of security lapses at U.S. military bases, including a failure to consider the possibility that a threat might come from an "insider," according to a Pentagon report released Friday.
The 23-page document makes 47 recommendations on how to improve security in the aftermath of the attack, which left 13 people dead.
The report provides scant information, however, on how the security lapses contributed to the shootings at the Texas Army base. Pentagon officials refuse to release the actual report of an independent panel into the shootings. Among the recommendations:
--Better screening of military personnel for signs that they may become violent. The report said there's no requirement to screen soldiers for violent tendencies before their deployment, and post-deployment screenings rely primarily on soldiers to report their own symptoms on questionnaires. Maj. Nidal Hasan, who's accused in the Fort Hood shootings, was about to be deployed to Afghanistan when he allegedly opened fire.
--Improved 911 emergency call systems. An independent Pentagon review after the shootings determined that emergency phone systems on most military bases were not as sophisticated as those in neighboring civilian communities and couldn't, for example, tell dispatchers a caller's location. The report called for the installation of better 911 systems by 2014.
--Better focus on threats from military insiders. "Force protection programs and policies are not focused on internal threats," the report said. Noting that issuing credentials and checking IDs doesn't ensure against violence, the report recommended that security guards, police officers and others on bases be trained to recognize signs that visitors might be violent. "Detecting a trusted insider's intention to commit a violent act requires observation of behavioral cues/anomalies," the report said.
Hasan, 39, who faces 13 murder charges and 32 charges of attempted murder, was paralyzed during the shooting by return fire. He's being held in a Texas jail.
An Army psychiatrist, Hasan served at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and was sent to the installation to address the mental health needs of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, but officials at Walter Reed questioned his abilities. Some charged he urged fellow soldiers, including patients, to convert to Islam.