Help me understand this. Nidal Hasan has been held for almost three years after shouting “Allahu akbar!” and opening fire on fellow soldiers at Fort Hood, killing 14 and wounding several others. Almost immediately, evidence arose that Hasan had been in contact with the late and unlamented al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki to discuss the legitimacy of conducting jihad within the American military, a scandal that prompted questions about why the military hadn’t intervened prior to the massacre. Most people assumed that was enough to consider the massacre a terrorist attack, including me.
Apparently not, however, according to Stars and Stripes. The Obama administration has thus far refused to consider the November 2009 mass murder a terrorist attack, choosing instead to call it — I kid you not — “workplace violence.” The victims and families of those murdered by Hasan want that changed ASAP:
Victims of the Fort Hood shooting are rallying in a grassroots effort to get the rampage classified as an act of terrorism.
A coalition of 160 victims and family members released a video Thursday detailing what happened at the Texas military base on Nov. 5, 2009, and why they believe it was a terror attack.
In “The Truth About Fort Hood,” victims give testimonials about their experience and express their frustration at the government calling the incident “workplace violence.”
They point out that the accused shooter, Maj. Nidal Hasan, consulted by email with top al-Qaida leader Anwar al-Awlaki about whether an attack against American soldiers was justified to “protect our brothers.” Until his death in an airstrike in 2011, Yemen-based Awlaki was considered one of the United States’ top enemies.
The shooting for Hasan “was his jihad,” Staff Sgt. Alonzo Lunsford, who was shot five times that day, said in the video.
Here’s the video, and it’s heartbreaking:
I’m not sure what possible purpose there is in refusing to call this what it obviously was, which was a lot more than “workplace violence.” Unlike the Benghazi attack, which took place more than three and a half years into Obama’s term of office, Fort Hood took place relatively early. Also unlike the Benghazi attack, it would be impossible to hang responsibility for the lack of security on Obama or his administration; Hasan was symptomatically a problem before Obama took office. The political damage of admitting this to have been a terrorist attack would have been negligible at the time, and probably would be negligible now if not for Benghazi.
Whatever the reason, calling this an example of violence in the workplace is absurdity on an Orwellian scale. To wait three years to provide official clarity on this terrorist attack is not just wrong, but petty beyond belief.