For survivors of the 2009 Fort Hood shooting outside Killeen, Texas, having the attack called an incident of workplace violence was only the beginning of an ongoing series of injustices. According to Fox News, a Defense Department position paper argues against awarding those wounded in the attack the Purple Heart, because that would suggest that shooting suspect Nidal Hasan was guilty of an act of terrorism that turned Fort Hood into a battlefield, allegedly jeopardizing Hasan’s chance of a fair trial.
Hasan has been charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted murder and faces the death penalty if convicted. Eyewitnesses say Hasan shouted “Allahu Akbar!” before opening fire in this peculiar case of “workplace violence.”
Neal Sher, who is representing Fort Hood families in a lawsuit, called the position paper “a cynical travesty,” adding, “What the government has done by making this statement is guarantee that anything done to help the victims will effectively prevent or impair Hasan’s prosecution. There was no reason for the government to put this kind of a statement in writing.”