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The PJ Tatler

Bridget Johnson


May 15, 2013 - 4:47 pm

Two-and-a-half years after a shooting spree that left 13 dead at Fort Hood, it looks like Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan is finally going to go to trial.

Hasan’s pretrial hearings were held up when he grew a beard that he refused to shave. A military judge ordered that he be forcibly shaved to be in regulation, but an appeals court overturned the order and tossed the judge off the case.

In December, the new judge presiding over Hasan’s trial said he would be allowed to keep the beard.

The previous judge, Col. Gregory Gross, found Hasan in contempt of court half a dozen times over the beard.

The next pretrial hearing for Hasan is set for May 29 at the Lawrence J. Williams Judicial Center at Fort Hood, Texas.

Panel selection of the individuals who serve as a jury during military proceedings will begin May 30, and the trial is set for July 1.

Some lawmakers on Capitol Hill are still trying to get the Defense Department to recognize the massacre as an act of terror instead of “workplace violence,” which would qualify the victims for Purple Hearts and enable survivors to be eligible for certain benefits and treatment.

Reps. Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.), Frank Wolf (R-Va.), and Tom Rooney (R-Fla.) slammed the “political sensitivities” that have kept the attack from being recognized as an act of terror in a letter sent to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel last week.

Victims, the members said, have “revealed claims of mistreatment by the Army” in meeting with the lawmakers, including “repeated denials and delays of medical treatment for individuals with physical injuries, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury; denials of retirement benefits; and overall negligence and disregard.”

“When members of our military and DoD civilians are brutally attacked – whether at home or abroad, by a ‘lone wolf’ or by a ‘card-carrying member’ of a designated terrorist organization – it is our responsibility to provide adequate oversight over DoD and the Army’s policies and decisions, both before and after such an attack,” Rooney, Fattah and Wolf wrote.

“The Army’s preferential treatment of Major Hasan – notwithstanding his open extremism and support for religious violence – and the FBI’s refusal to interview Hasan or notify his superiors of his multiple communications with the notorious terrorist leader Anwar al-Awlaki, apparently because of political sensitivities in the Washington Field Office, led to the Fort Hood attack. Frankly, we are deeply concerned that the same considerations of ‘political correctness’ that caused the horrible toll of deaths and injuries at Fort Hood have also informed the Army’s decision to deem his attack an act of ‘workplace violence.’”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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All Comments   (5)
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Let me get this straight: Hasan's trial has been postponed umpteen times and umpteen months because of his BEARD? WTF! How is that even possible?

Anyone with an ounce of common sense would have either ignored the beard or ordered him held down while someone shaved him; if he chose to move around while the beard was being shaved, any resulting cuts would be his own fault. Period.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Since the authorities still maintain this is a workplace incident, shouldn't this be handled by the Dept. of Labor Wage & Hours Division?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
There are too many of us, they only win if we give up.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Justice delayed is justice denied.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
May the terrorist Hasan receive justice here and in hell. All my sympathies are with the patriots he killed and wounded.

I'll stop now and go get my financial records in order, there may be an IRS audit in my future. Cuz I used that other t-word.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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