DOD says awarding Purple Heart to Ft. Hood survivors would hurt Hassan trial

Ft. Hood Memorial Service

Photo Credit: Commercial Appeal

The Department of Defense is attempting to block legislation that would award the Purple Heart to the heroes from the Fort Hood shooting, claiming that “labeling the attack terrorism” would hurt the prosecution of Maj. Nidal Hasan.

Fox News received the Defense Department’s “position paper,” which said that to broaden criteria for receiving the Purple Heart to include “domestic criminal acts or domestic terror attacks would be a dramatic departure” from tradition.

The document goes on to say:

The Army objects to [the proposal] because it would undermine the prosecution of Major Nidal Hasan by materially and directly compromising Major Hasan’s ability to receive a fair trial. This provision will be viewed as setting the stage for a formal declaration that Major Hasan is a terrorist, on what is now the eve of trial. Such a situation, prior to trial, would fundamentally compromise the fairness and due process of the pending trial.

Moreover, the effect of such an act by Congress would be to deprive the victims of these crimes the right to see justice done.

Attorney Neal Sher, who represents the survivors of the 2009 attack in a lawsuit against the agency, told Fox News the document, representing the Army’s official response to a Purple Heart request, is “an utter outrage.” But the attorney said it wasn’t surprising since it came from the same agency that labeled the attack “workplace violence.”

“This is a cynical travesty. What the government has done by making this statement is guarantee that anything done to help the victims will effectively prevent or impair Hasan’s prosecution,” Sher told Fox News via email. “There was no reason for the government to put this kind of a statement in writing, even if it were true (which it is not).”

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Janeen Capizola

"And though she be but little, she is fierce." And fun! This conservative-minded political junkie, mom of three, dancer and one-time NFL cheerleader holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science. [email protected] Twitter: @JaneenBPR

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