Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Fort Hood Shooter received $278,000 military pay while awaiting trial

When U.S. soldiers are killed in insider attacks in Afghanistan, the Pentagon, in its casualty reports, often [deliberately] mislabels the deaths as combat-related casualties: "He died in a combat operation in Afghanistan," the reports typically state.

Admitting that the soldiers were gunned down by their supposed Afghan allies - who they're supposed to be training and partnering with - reflects poorly on President Obama's exit strategy, hence the real cause of deaths are omitted from the casualty report, and the soldiers are falsely reported to have died in combat operations.

On the flip side, however, the Pentagon refuses to label the 2009 Fort Hood shooting spree a “combat related” incident; nor will it label the incident a “terrorist attack”; but has chosen instead to categorize the shooting - which took the lives of 13 soldiers and wounded more than 30 - as a case of “workplace violence".

Par for the course for this administration....

From NBC Dallas:
The Department of Defense confirms to NBC 5 Investigates that accused Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Hasan has now been paid more than $278,000 since the Nov. 5, 2009 shooting that left 13 dead and 32 injured. The Army said under the Military Code of Justice, Hasan’s salary cannot be suspended unless he is proven guilty...

Meanwhile, more than three years later soldiers wounded in the mass shooting are fighting to receive the same pay and medical benefits given to those wounded in combat.

Retired Army Spc. Logan Burnett, a reservist who, in 2009, was soon to be deployed to Iraq, was shot three times when a gunman opened fire inside the Army Deployment Center.

“I honestly thought I was going to die in that building,” said Burnett. “Just blood everywhere and then the thought of -- that's my blood everywhere.”...

Burnett is now fighting a new battle; only this one is against the U.S. Army.

The Army has not classified the wounds of the Ft. Hood victims as “combat related” and declines to label the shooting a “terrorist attack”.

The “combat related” designation is an important one, for without it Burnett and other shooting victims are not given combat-related pay, they are not eligible for Purple Heart retirement or medical benefits given to other soldiers wounded either at war or during the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the Pentagon.

As a result, Burnett, his wife Torey, and the families of other Fort Hood victims miss out on thousands of dollars of potential benefits and pay every year.

To Burnett the shooting felt like combat.

“You take three rounds and lose five good friends and watch seven other people get killed in front of you. Do you have another term that we can classify that as?” asked Burnett.

The Army has categorized the shooting as a case of “workplace violence.”...

"There have been times when my wife and I cannot afford groceries. We cannot afford gas in our car,” Burnett said. “Literally, times where we ate Ramen noodles for weeks on end. This [that Hasan is still earning a paycheck] makes me sick to my stomach,” said Burnett...

Rep. Thomas Rooney (R) Florida said: “What happened here is not a case of workplace violence. What happened here was an attack on our military by a terrorist element specifically targeting our military, which just so happened to be in the United States of America."...

No comments: