With new leadership at Defense, will victims of the jihadist attack finally receive justice?
Three congressmen, two Republicans and one otherwise reliably liberal Democrat, fired off a letter to new Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel asking once again that the status of the 2009 Fort Hood shooting have its status changed from its current designation of "workplace violence" to a combat-related incident. The three congressmen pointed out that because of its currently classified as a case of workplace violence, the victims of the shooting have been given sub-standard care in VA hospitals, provided with sub-standard benefits, and in some cases have not been able to qualify for retirement benefits.
The three signatories of the letter to Hagel are: Rep. Frank Wolf, a Republican from Virginia, Rep. Thomas J. Rooney, a Republican from Florida, and Rep. Chaka Fattah, a Democrat from Pennsylvania. The letter begins with a dire warning that the current classification of workplace violence has had significant negative effects for many of the victims of the Fort Hood attack. The three congressmen hope that now that the Department of Defense (DoD) is under new leadership that this classification will change. The letter explains:
The Department of Defense and Army have designated the attack by Major Nidal Hasan as "workplace violence." This designation has since resulted in an embarrassing lack of care and treatment by our military for the victims and their families. We understand this decision was not made under your [Hagel's] leadership. Therefore, we ask that you swiftly reclassify the victims’ deaths and injuries as "combat-related" so that they and their families may qualify for the full scope of benefits provided to service members of DoD civilian employees who are killed or injured in combat, and to ensure that they are treated with appropriate decency and respect from this point forward.
Further on in the letter, the congressmen list the specific benefits now lost because of this classification.
As the DoD and the Army are presumably aware, the current "workplace violence" designation denies the victims and their families cost-free VA health care for five years, cost-free counseling and critical mental health services, tax free disability benefits, and Combat-Related Special Compensation and makes them ineligible to receive Purple Heart and its associated benefits.
In a press release, Rooney took it a step further and called the designation of “workplace violence” to be an insult.
“Calling this terrorist attack ‘workplace violence’ is an insult to the victims and their families, and it denies them the benefits they deserve,” Rooney said. “The Department of Defense and the Army should be ashamed of the terrible care and service they’ve provided to these heroic American soldiers, and they should rectify this situation immediately by re-classifying their injuries and deaths as ‘combat-related.’”
In an interview with FrontPage, Congressman Frank Wolf said that along with sending the letter, Attorney General Eric Holder was asked in April about this situation before a hearing for the House Appropriations Sub-Committee on Commerce, Justice and Science, a sub-committee Wolf chairs. Wolf said he also arranged to have Eric Holder meet with some of the surviving victims so that the Attorney General could hear for himself how this designation has harmed them.
Fattah, the Democratic signatory, is normally a reliable liberal vote. He voted in favor of Obamacare, the stimulus and Dodd/Frank. He was against the invasion of Iraq, and according to the website On the Issues, he scores zero (0-100) on their immigration scorecard, making him one of the most pro-open borders congressman.
On November 5, 2009, Nidal Hasan walked into and opened fire in the Soldier Readiness Center of Fort Hood, located in Killeen, Texas, killing 13 people and wounding 29 others. He shouted “Allaha Akbar [God is Great]” as he carried out his terrorist attack.
In an investigation that followed, it was discovered that Hasan had carried out a long email correspondence with Anwar Al Awlaki for months prior to his attack. The US-born Al Awlaki became the face of Al Qaeda for a number of years before being killed in a drone strike months after the raid that killed Usama Bin Laden.
Wolf pointed out that originally it was Al-Awlaki that created, edited, and distributed the Al Qaeda publication, Inspire Magazine. According to an Associated Press story from April, 2013, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the Boston Marathon bomber, was an avid reader of Inspire Magazine. His widow has recently faced increased scrutiny after it was reported that material from Inspire was found on her computer.
The classification of the Fort Hoot terror attack as workplace violence is part of an ongoing campaign by the Obama administration to try and tamp down failures of its own anti-terror policy and tamp down the threat from Al Qaeda and its affiliated networks. In the same manner, the Obama administration tried for weeks to claim that the Benghazi attacks were also not the work of terrorists. The reality is that Islamic terrorists have pulled off tree attacks on the US during the Obama administration -- the Fort Hood attack, the Benghazi attack, and the Boston Marathon bombing. With the Obama administration refusing to acknowledge the threat of jihad even for the sake of attack survivors, only more bloodshed can be expected.
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