by Juan Jose Silva
It’s been almost four years and still the Ft Hood shooter, Army Major Nidal Hasan, has not been brought to justice and so one must begin to ask and wonder why not. Hasan is accused of killing at least a dozen US soldiers at the Ft Hood military base in Texas. Prior to his shooting spree witnesses have reported that he shouted “Allah Akbar” which is a common victory cry for radical Muslim terrorists. Hasan has not been brought to trial and today it was revealed that the US Government has never stopped paying Hasan his Army salary in the astounding amount of $300K dollasr over the past 4 years which works out to $80K per year. That’s over 1/4 of a million dollars this guy has been being paid for the past four years sitting in jail by US taxpayers! Even more amazing is the US House of Representatives is just now getting on top of this and it only took them four years to get around to it. Reportedly legislation has been introduced into the House known as the “Stop Pay for Violent Offenders Act.” It was introduced into the House only yesterday. If passed into law it would authorize US military officials to stop pay for Hasan and other US military service people accused of capital or sex offense crimes.
Current US law authorizes the military to stop pay for civilian employees if they are accused of crimes but this law does not apply to active US military servicemen and women. An Army spokesman has told ABC NEWS that the Army cannot stop paying Hasan because even though he’s in jail he’s still in the Army, that is, unless he’s convicted of the crimes he’s accused of.
Hasan has admitted to shooting his comrades at Ft Hood on 5 November 2009. He admitted this this past June 2013. But he claims his violent actions were done in the “defense of others” and in this case he claims those “others” were the Taliban! He’s repeatedly refused to enter a plea and this month, July 2013, the Army entered a plea for him of “not guilty.”
As it turns out while Hasan has been drawing his fantastic $80K per year while sitting in an Army jail the victims and families of those people shot or wounded at Ft Hood on that fateful day say they’ve gotten little to no medical or financial help because the Army has refused to characterize the shootings as an act of Terrorism. Instead the Army has classified the shootings as act of “workplace violence” which, frankly, is laughable. I’ve been following this story since the day it happened and I’m astounded that this case is not classified as an act of domestic terrorism for some “odd” reason.
Hasan has let it be known that he is supportive of the TERRORIST group in Afghanistan known as the Taliban. Evidence was uncovered shortly after his shooting spree that he’d also been in regular contact with Anwar al-Awlaki a known terrorist leader with al Qaeda prior to his shooting spree. Yet, Army prosecutors maintain Hasan’s violent and deadly act at Ft Hood doesn’t show enough evidence to say he carried out an act of terrorism which astounds me even more. What do Army prosecutors want to prove it was an act of terrorism? Frankly, I’ve often thought that something in this case is being covered up! In one communications with al Awlaki, Hasan asked him if it was okay to “kill American soldiers.” Apparently the answer was affirmative and Hasan went on his shooting spree.
Congressmen, Senators, and legal analysts are astounded that this case is taking so long to go to trial and some have said the delays are “particularly troubling” to say the least. Even more troubling is the American taxpayer has been paying this guy his regular Army psychiatrist salary while he’s been sitting in a military jail over the past 3 plus years. And yet those in Congress say they really want to control government waste and spending? I think that is simply political lip service, frankly.
Hasan’s trial is now set to get underway this coming August 6, 2013 but I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you as this case has been marred by delay after delay. He has been charged with premeditated murder and attempted murder but he has not been charged with committing acts of domestic terrorism. He has chosen not to have legal representation and has chosen to act as his own attorney in court which, honestly, is usually a big mistake. The Army, however, is also paying the bill for him to have “legal advisers” to assist him in his own defense constituting yet more US taxpayer money going to this man. But that’s not all. According to some reports the US Army’s court martial of Hasan has already cost an amazing $4 million dollars! If that is not outrageous then what is? There should be some sort of investigation into all of these expenditures and NOT by the US Army.
As I mentioned earlier I’ve followed this case since the day of the shootings almost four years ago and I’ve been wondering why there are so many delays and why this man has not been brought to a speedy trial as is his constitutional right. Delay after delay has plagued this case from day one and now after almost 4 years we find out that the US taxpayer is once again being suckered in this matter as in many others. I must ask where is government and military accountability?
Of course the real question is why it’s taken the US Congress almost 4 years to get on top of this and even consider passing legislation that would prevent active military from getting paid while sitting in jail. We have just about the most inept Congress in American history in my opinion. So because they’ve been dragging their feet on this the taxpayer is out an astounding $300K which is over 1/4 of a million dollars! And no accountability anywhere?
Something is fundamentally wrong in America and one of the biggest is the apparent widespread corruption in government. If you are on Social Security Disability and they discover you’re in jail they stop your monthly payments so why doesn’t the military do the same with soldier pay? I really do not think we should be paying anyone sitting in jail especially to the tune of $80K per year. Government calls for austerity from the common man and woman but what about some government austerity? What about the “big wigs” giving something up and sacrificing for once? Why is it that the common man, woman, and family are always the ones made to sacrifice and do with less or without? Of course the answer to that is that the Corporatist Fascists have rigged the system that way on purpose and they are not about to sacrifice anything.
The US Constitution guarantees an accused the RIGHT to a swift and speedy trial. I don’t call 4 years after the facts a swift or speedy trial. And WHAT ABOUT THE VICTIMS? They say they’ve gotten very little to nothing in the way of medical or financial help while Hasan has been sitting pretty in jail drawing his normal Army salary of $80 per year. That is, frankly, beyond OUTRAGEOUS and it is absolutely an INJUSTICE! Like the common man and woman the victims are also made to sacrifice and suffer as if they haven’t done so enough already. What about their lost of injured loved ones? Is such loss not enough suffering already? In my mind it is! Injustice atop injustice has been heaped upon the head of the many victims in this case as well as others.
I am waiting with anticipation for Hasan’s trial to finally start next month which is a few weeks from now but I’m not holding my breath as, frankly, I expect there will be even more delays. That’s even more of an injustice that the victims and their families in this case are being denied closure and that Army prosecutors have so willing allowed this thing to drag on endlessly. It’s time for Hasan to face the music and come to trial in my opinion and it’s long overdue too.
In closing let me say one other thing. I just can’t get over the Army deciding this was not an act of terrorism. He was communicating with a leader of al Qaeda a known terrorist organization. He has admitted his support for the ruthless and murderous Taliban in Afghanistan. He even went as far as asking the al Qaeda leader if it were ok to kill US soldiers! He then allegedly carried out his shooting spree at a US military base in Texas, thus, terrorizing the victims on that fateful day. What more proof do prosecutors need that this was an act of terror? But more than that I must ask why this nation is so afraid of these terrorists? Why do we not confront them and resolve the matter once and for all? What I see is the US acing like the little nino on the playground trying to appease the school bully. Appeasement doesn’t work on the playground or any other venue either! It’s always a bad idea. I’ve long suspected that the real reason Hasan has not been brought to a speedy trial is US fear of offending al Qaeda and the ruthless Taliban. Why are we so concerned we might offend them when they are killing our people?