A new defense policy bill is being pushed through Congress that will essentially identify acts of domestic terrorism in which active military personnel are injured or killed, as an act of war. This will have the effect of granting the murdered and injured victims of Nidal Malik Hasan’s 2009 Fort Hood jihadist attack their Purple Hearts.
According to a report from the Washington Times:
Victims of the Fort Hood shooting will soon be eligible to receive the Purple Heart, with Congress pushing ahead with a policy change that would officially recognize domestic terrorism as an issue, rather than the “workplace violence” designation the Obama administration had used.
The issue has been contentious since the 2009 attack, with victims and their family members saying Army Maj. Nidal Hasan’s shooting spree was clearly linked to the broader war on terror that the U.S. is fighting overseas.
For years, the families’ congressional allies had butted heads with the Obama administration, which balked at designating part of the U.S. the equivalent of a battlefield.
But the backers finally prevailed, writing the new terrorism designation into the annual defense policy bill that is speeding its way through Congress this month.
“It’s been a long fight, and we’ve always had some stumbling blocks, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed and will be very happy when this thing is signed by the president so we can go back to those people who have been waiting for some acknowledgment of their injuries,” Rep. John R. Carter, Texas Republican, told The Washington Times.
The White House did not have an immediate comment on the change Wednesday.
Hasan shouted “Allahu akbar,” Arabic for “God is great,” while going on his shooting spree that left 13 dead and more than 30 injured. In testimony, the American-born Muslim said he was receiving assistance from foreign terrorist sources, and an FBI investigation found he had been emailing with Anwar al-Awlaki, an al Qaeda leader who was killed in a 2011 drone strike in Yemen.
This very well could be a consequence of the recent elections in which Republicans gained control of the Senate. Since majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has been in control, he has served as a pocket veto for Barack Obama by shelving every piece of legislation that made it to his desk out of the House.
While he’s still the majority leader, Reid will lose that distinction in January. One would think it would be fruitless for him not to bring this bill up for a vote as it’s sure to get passed after he relinquishes power.
Not mentioned in the article is any likelihood that Obama would veto the bill.
Here is a video from 2012 that features the survivors of Hasan’s act of jihad at Fort Hood: