Here’s a bit of good news that’s been a long time coming: victims of the 2009 Fort Hood shooting outside Killeen, Texas, that was deemed “workplace violence” will be awarded the Purple Heart after all.
As one of his very last official acts of 2014, President Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act, which the Senate last week passed 89-11. The NDAA includes plenty of pork and a huge number of legislators’ pet projects, but fortunately one of them is Texas Sen. John Cornyn’s measure which will award the Purple Heart to those wounded or killed when gunman Nidal Hasan opened fire at Fort Hood.
The Defense Department and president have long insisted that the attack was workplace violence and not an act of terror, with some concerned that awarding Hasan’s victims the Purple Heart would presuppose that Hasan, charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted murder, was guilty of an act of terrorism, therefore jeopardizing his chance of a fair trial.
Representing himself in court in 2013, Hasan told a judge that the shooting was done to protect the lives of members of the Taliban from “members of the United States military about to deploy to Afghanistan.” Hasan was sentenced to death in August 2013 and is currently on death row at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.