EDWARDS: Obama refuses Purple Heart to Fort Hood victims

Even after the open court admission by the Ft. Hood shooter, Obama refuses to award the Purple Heart to his victims Photo: AP/ Ft. Hood

HOUSTON, August 16, 2013  Following months of email correspondence with Anwar Al-Awlaki, a leader of al-Queda in Yemen, Maj. Nidal Hasan walked into a busy deployment center at Ft. Hood, yelled Allahu Akbar (“God is great”) and opened fire, killing 13 Americans and injuring 32 more.

Hasan turned the largest Army base in America into a battlefield.


SEE RELATED: Nidal Hasan: Let the law apply


Yet President Barack Obama’s Department of Defense classifies this incident as “workplace violence.” That classification, coupled with his refusal to award the victims the Purple Heart, means that the victims do not get the level of medical care or financial support that soldiers injured in battle receive.

Obama and his Department of Defense take the position that Ft. Hood terrorist attack was “workplace violence” despite the mounting evidence to the contrary, including the position taken by other government entities.

Both the army review board and an FBI review both concluded it was a terrorist  attack. 

The many admissions from Hasan himself, including the open court admission this week, also show that it was a terrorist attack. Despite this overwhelming evidence, Obama’s Dept. of Defense refuses to reclassify the attack and award the victims the Purple Heart. 


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In March the Department of Defense provided a one page “position paper” to members of Congress opposing a bill that would have required the Department of Defense to give the victims the Purple Heart.

It stated that giving the victims Purple Hearts has the potential to “undermine the prosecution of Major Nidal Hasan [the alleged Fort Hood shooter] by materially and directly compromising Major Hasan’s ability to receive a fair trial,” and that “this provision will be seen as setting the formal declaration that Major Hasan is a terrorist.”

On the first day of his trial on Tuesday, August 6, 2013, Hasan stated, “Evidence will clearly show that I am the shooter.” He went on to state that “war is an ugly thing,” and that he was on the wrong side of this war. He even tried to use a “defense of others” defense.

It is a doctrine that can be used in criminal proceedings when an individual steps in and uses force to defend others because they were in danger. He wanted to use this defense in regard to the Taliban and al-queda soldiers in Afghanistan where he was to be deployed.


SEE RELATED: What Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan can teach President Obama


The Department of Defense’s standard for issuing the Purple Heart has been stated as follows: “the Purple Heart is awarded to Servicemembers who are killed or wounded and require treatment by a medical officer, in action against the enemy of the United States; as the result of an act of any hostile foreign force; or as the result of an international terrorist attack against the United States.”

Even following this open court admission, Obama and his Department of Defense still will not give the victims of this terrorist attack the Purple Heart.

Giving the victims of a terrorist attack that occurred on American soil the Purple Heart, or civilian equivalent, is not unprecedented. Immediately following 9/11, the Pentagon gave the victims Purple Hearts, or the civilian equivalent thereof, because President Bush wanted to make sure that the victims were sufficiently taken care of.

The Department of Defense paper goes on to state, “The Government has vigilantly tended to the needs of the victims and their families since the tragic events of November 5, 2009.”

The victims and their families seem to disagree with this statement. Over 140 victims and their family members have filed a lawsuit against the Government claiming the exact opposite of what the Department of Defense asserts and that they have, in fact, not been taken care of.

Sgt. Kimberly Munley, whom President Obama gave a hero’s welcome at the White House following the terrorist attack, reiterated this sentiment by saying “Not to the least bit have the victims been taken care of, in fact they’ve been neglected.”

She went on to say that she felt “betrayed” by the President and that he used her as a political pawn.

Hasan delayed his trial for three and a half years by hiring and firing two separate law firms, dragging out a fight over archaic rules regarding the outlawing of full beards in a court martial proceeding, and debating whether he could represent himself in a court martial proceeding or not.

He did this because the American taxpayer was still paying him. He collected over $300,000 while waiting for his trial to begin even as the Dept. of Defense refuses to provide his victims the benefits they deserve.


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James Richard Edwards

James R. Edwards is a medical malpractice defense attorney in Houston, Tx. He obtained a Bachelor’s degree from LSU (Geaux Tigers!) in Psychology and subsequently went on to attend the University of Houston Law Center. James became interested in politics in law school because of the consistent and oppressive disgust and revulsion shown by the staff and Professors for the Constitution and for America in general. He is a tireless advocate for federalism and minimizing the impact the federal government has on all of our lives. 

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