ACLJ to President Obama: Time to Award Purple Hearts
Today at Fort Hood, Texas, justice was finally served. Army Major Nidal Hasan was unanimously convicted on all 45 counts of killing 13 fellow soldiers and wounding 32 others at Fort Hood on November 5, 2009. Major Hasan had been in contact with a radical al-Qaeda cleric in Yemen. That cleric convinced Major Hasan to attack his fellow soldiers. In so doing, Major Hasan betrayed the oath he took to become an officer in the United States Army and, instead, sided with the enemies of the United States. Based on the encouragement he received from the al-Qaeda cleric, Major Hasan “single-handedly turned a part of Fort Hood into a battlefield in the ongoing war on terrorism.” Unfortunately, the Obama Administration refused to recognize that what Major Hasan did was an act of war—instead, incredibly, the Administration characterized the massacre at Fort Hood as a case of “workplace violence.” By calling the attack “workplace violence,” the Administration denied the dead and wounded the right to receive Purple Heart medals as well as other military and veterans benefits. The ACLJ believes that what the Administration has done is reprehensible and prolongs the pain of the loved ones of those killed as well as of those who survived but were grievously wounded. As such, the ACLJ has sent letters to both President Obama and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel demanding “that the United States Government right this serious wrong and that it do so quickly” since “[t]here are no legal or logical grounds to delay such a decision.” Our letter demanded the following: First , [that the President and Defense Secretary] recognize the attack at Fort Hood for what it truly was—an actual battlefield in the ongoing war against al-Qaeda. Second , [that they] acknowledge that the dead and wounded were engaged in an actual battle in that war . . . . Finally , [that they] order the Secretary of the Army to ensure that the dead and wounded at Fort Hood be awarded Purple Heart medals immediately. Although Major Hasan will undergo the penalty phase of his court martial beginning on Monday (that phase will determine Major Hasan’s sentence), his guilt has been established beyond all reasonable doubt. It is high time for the Administration to do the right thing, recognize the Fort Hood massacre for what it was, and award Purple Hearts to the soldiers killed and wounded. Our brave men and women in uniform deserve no less! ACLJ will continue to monitor and keep you informed.