Reader JK sends along a provocative item from ABC News. The gist: the soldiers who were shot at Fort Hood by the jihadist infiltrator Nidal Hasan have been denied various benefits, including the Purple Heart, because the Defense Department refuses to define the shooting as an attack by an enemy combatant — preferring instead to treat it as an ordinary instance of “workplace violence”.
Given that we are, and have been for years, at war with Islamic jihadists in theaters around the world, and given also that Mr. Hasan represented himself as a “Soldier of Allah”, and made perfectly clear at the time of the shooting that he was attacking in the name of holy jihad (he shouted “Allahu Akbar” as he killed our soldiers, just as the 9/11 attackers did as they flew the planes into the towers), this is absolutely indefensible.
“These guys play stupid every time they’re asked a question about it, they pretend like they have no clue,” said Shawn Manning, who was shot six times that day at Fort Hood. Two of the bullets remain in his leg and spine, he said.
“It was no different than an insurgent in Iraq or Afghanistan trying to kill us,” said Manning, who was twice deployed to Iraq and had to retire from the military because of his injuries.
An Army review board initially classified Manning’s injuries as “combat related,” but that finding was later overruled by higher-ups in the Army.
Manning says the “workplace violence” designation has cost him almost $70,000 in benefits that would have been available if his injuries were classified as “combat related.”
“Basically, they’re treating us like I was downtown and I got hit by a car,” he told ABC News.
[Secretary of the Army John] McHugh says awarding Purple Hearts could adversely affect the trial of Major Hasan.
“To award a Purple Heart, it has to be done by a foreign terrorist element,” said McHugh. “So to declare that soldier a foreign terrorist, we are told, I’m not an attorney and I don’t run the Justice Department, but we’re told would have a profound effect on the ability to conduct the trial.”
If you should have any doubt that this was an act of lethal aggression specifically directed against U.S. military personnel by the enemy (if you have a better definition of “combat”, I’m all ears), note that Major Hasan deliberately spared civilians, and fired only at soldiers.
Finally, as part of our “national conversation” about gun control, I’ll remind readers also that the area that Nidal Hasan selected for his rampage was a “gun-free zone”, so nobody was able to stop him until the police arrived. (This gave the Soldier of Allah time to shoot forty-three people.) Furthermore, the weapon Hasan used was not a so-called “assault rifle”, but a single low-caliber handgun. He carried multiple magazines.
Read the article here.