Obama uses weekly address to focus on 'crime against nation'

After meeting with the FBI and the Defense Department about their investigation into the Fort Hood shooting, President Barack Obama used his weekly radio address on Saturday to again offer his condolences to the families and friends of those killed and injured.

On Thursday Maj. Malik Nadal Hasan opened fire on soldiers at a medical processing center on the Fort Hood, Texas military base killing 13 and wounding at least 38 others. Hasan was shot four times by security personnel at the base and was still alive as of Saturday.

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Obama said that while the “crime against our nation” exemplified the worst human behavior, it was also a moment of pride for the country as the men and women involved in the shooting showed bravery and courage in the face of horror.

“We saw soldiers and civilians alike rushing to aid fallen comrades, tearing off bullet-riddled clothes to treat the injured, using blouses as tourniquets, taking down the shooter even as they bore wounds themselves,” he said.

“We saw soldiers bringing to bear on our own soil the skills they had been trained to use abroad.”

Obama ordered all flags above the White House, the Capitol, and every federal building to fly at half-mast until Veterans Day on Wednesday.

On Friday, Obama met with FBI Director Robert Mueller and Defense Secretary Robert Gates to discuss the ongoing investigation into what spurred Hasan to pick up two handguns and open fire, saying that he plans to “continue to be in close contact with them as new information comes in.”

Initial reports posited that Hasan, who had recently been transferred from Walter Reed medical center in Washington, D.C., to the Texas base, was discouraged by an impending deployment abroad.

“We cannot fully know what leads a man to do such a thing,” said Obama, who also offered his condolences on Thursday afternoon in the hours following the shooting in a nationally televised press conference.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) spoke in favor of a resolution on Friday that offered the unyielding support of the Congress for the victims affected by one of the worst shootings on a military base in modern times.

“Our brave men and women in uniform train day in and day out to preserve our security,” Pelosi said on the House floor. “They should never have to face or fear the forces of violence here at home.”

The House paused for a moment of silence on Thursday afternoon after news of the shooting surfaced.

Soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan contacted their family and friends at Ft. Hood in the hours after the shooting, Obama said, “all expressing the same stunned reaction: I’m supposed to be the one in harm’s way, not you.”