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Questions about the fragging attack; Updated: More details

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By Michelle Malkin  •  May 12, 2009 03:36 PM

The shooter in the Monday attack at Camp Liberty’s combat stress clinic outside Baghdad has been identified.

He’s Sgt. John M. Russell of the 54th Engineer Battalion.

He was on his third tour of duty.

For the past 24 hours, the MSM has set a narrative suggesting that the shooter was under combat stress himself. But it’s not clear what exactly he was being treated for, what his possible relationship with the men he murdered was, and what precipitated the fight at the clinic that led him to leave and return to gun them down. News accounts describe him as a “communications specialist.”

Russell had been on the military’s radar screen as a potentially violent threat for some time– and his superiors had taken the unusual step of taking away his weapon.

What did he say or do before the murders of his fellow soldiers that caused the military to take that step? Did he keep a homicidal diary like convicted fragger Hasan Akbar? Did he make prior threats? If so, what was the nature of those threats?

Before the MSM continues to push the stressed soldier narrative, they might want to find out the answers.

***

Update: A few more details

The soldier’s son, John M. Russell II, said Tuesday that he has communicated with his father by e-mail regularly. In the last message he received from him, on April 25, his father sounded normal and planned to be back in Texas to visit in July.

“He’s not a violent person,” he said. “For this to happen, it had to be something going on that the Army’s not telling us about.”

Sgt. Russell grew up in rural Grayson County and graduated from high school in 1985. He entered the Army National Guard in 1988 and served until going on active duty in 1994.

He lives with his wife in Germany, where he’s been for the better part of the past 10 to 15 years but comes home a couple times a year, his father said.

Russell’s ex-wife filed for divorce in 1991 and obtained a temporary restraining order against him, alleging in the petition that he committed “acts of family violence.”

The petition also cited an alleged incident in which he had a confrontation with Denise Russell’s mother.

“During this time, respondent physically attacked my mother, age 58, hitting her on the shoulders and about the head,” a petition affidavit stated.

There was no response Tuesday to a telephone call and a visit to Russell’s ex-wife.

In 1993, a month after the divorce decree was issued, Russell was charged with misdemeanor assault but the matter was dropped, records show.

Jack McGowen, listed as Russell’s attorney for the divorce as well as the threat case, said Tuesday he can’t recall either matter.

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