Fort Hood Revisited

The Fort Hood terrorist massacre occurred seven years ago this November 5th. With interviews from various family members, the victims themselves, and some officials American Thinker revisited the circumstances surrounding that tragic event.

Everyone interviewed had something in common: the feeling that their life has changed forever and that a part of them has been lost forever. On that horrible day as he cried “Allahu Akbar”, U.S. Army Major Nidal Malik fired on his fellow soldiers killing fourteen, including an unborn child, and wounding thirty. He was an officer sworn to protect, a psychiatrist sworn to help, and an American sworn to uphold the U.S. Constitution. 

There were warning signs from his college days at the University of the Health Sciences in Maryland. College classmates who knew him in 2007 said at that time Hassan had radical beliefs. Dr. Val Finnell, a retired USAF colonel recently stated to American Thinker, "Hassan was a Muslim first, held to Sharia Law before the Constitution, believed he had a duty to fellow Muslims before Americans, and justified suicide bombings. I had an environmental class with him where he did a presentation against the War on Terror, and in support of suicide bombings in the name of Islam. This was so completely off topic that a bunch of us complained to the professor who did nothing because of political correctness and allowed him to continue."

Another classmate, a retired Navy physician, called Hassan “a ticking time bomb. He made himself into a lightning rod, and was very vocal about his beliefs. He used the Koran and the Hadith to justify murder and mayhem. I even asked him after his presentation if he believes that killing innocent men, women, and children are justified. He looked me in the eye and said he did the research, and then answered yes. I also asked him if Sharia Law transcends the Constitution and he also answered yes. Even though these statements are incompatible with the oath he took as an officer, nothing was done.”

Political correctness has dominated developments since the shooting. The Obama Administration and the Department of Defense outrageously designated the attack as "workplace violence" instead of terrorism. It took approximately five years to change the designation. Congressman Tom Rooney (R-FLA), a former JAG officer, is angered, “Because it was not designated as an act of terrorism, both surviving victims and those we tragically lost that day were not afforded the benefits that accompany military combat pay and the awarding of the Purple Heart.”

Staff Sergeant Patrick Zeigler was shot four times including the head, left shoulder, arm, and hip, and cannot move the left side of his body. He strongly believes, “This administration was trying to cover up the knowledge of Hassan’s radicalization. His goal was to attack and kill American soldiers. I consider it a dereliction of duty on the part of the U.S. government. I consider Hassan a traitor and feel he should have been brought up on treason charges as well as murder. He switched sides and became aligned with the enemy. He will probably die of natural causes while I was told I will end up dying early because of an increased risk of stroke and an early onset of dementia. If I can live five days more than he does I will be happy. Because of the original designation a lot of those wounded have been financially impacted for the worst. We were never paid retroactively after the status changed.  No one in the government apologized or showed remorse for the wrong classification.”

Thanks in part to Congressman John Carter (R-TX), whose district includes Fort Hood, he was able to work with others, bypass the president, and shepherd a bill through Congress thay he says “redefined the military version of terrorism. Hassan’s goal was to shoot soldiers, and those injured and killed were either on their way to a battle, or returning from one. This became a battlefield with one side completely unarmed. This political correctness run amok caused major harm to a number of people that volunteered to fight for this country.”

Karen Nourse lost her son, Frederick Green, an Army specialist. She is very upset, “My son was shot twelve times, more than anyone else. It was horrible that I had to hear Hassan’s opening statement in which he said, ‘I want to apologize to Jihad for not killing more soldiers.’ He was promoted even though he wanted to fight with the Jihadists. It was never workplace violence, but premeditated murder. I feel the military failed my son and the others who were wounded or killed, because they knew about Hassan’s desires. How did that man get all the ammunition and weapons through that gate? I hold the military fully responsible. The military might have lost a soldier, but I lost a son, my grandchildren lost a father, and my daughter-in-law lost a husband.”

Sheryll Pearson, who lost her son, Private First Class Michael, told American Thinker he stood in front of a desk to protect the nurses. When the 911 call was replayed she listened to her son “moaning in the background. This is something no one should have to hear. He was the last to die and I found out by watching TV when it was reported that the dead count went from twelve to thirteen. A few seconds later my phone rang and I was told he had passed. I don’t want to think or speak of Hassan again. Since my son’s death I have had to reassess my values. This incident changed everything about me.”

Finally in 2015 the victims of the 2009 Fort Hood massacre received Purple Hearts and the benefits that come with it because of Congressman Carter’s due diligence to change the law. Carter told American Thinker, “This has been a long, hard fight. The victims of this attack have struggled, suffered and been abandoned by this administration. No more.”

One of the victims was Amy Krueger, who joined the Army shortly after 9/11 and was to be deployed to Afghanistan. Her mother, Jeri, told American Thinker, “Amy enlisted for our country, lost her life in our country; yet, our president chose to look the other way because of his beliefs. He came up with workplace violence to steer away from terrorism. Now designating it as terrorism and the awarding of the Purple Heart does not take away from all the years of frustration. There will always be an open wound.”

It was not until August 2013 that Hassan was sentenced to death. Colonel Jack Jacobs, awarded a Medal of Honor, thinks the time period between the shooting and a trial, “Is unconsciable. I am afraid no one is paying much attention to the fact Hassan is still sitting on death row.”

Lisa Windsor, a retired Army colonel, who served 22 years with the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, now focuses her private practice primarily on military law. She agrees, “the trial took way too long, but at the end of the day justice was served. But I want to warn that the appeals process can be extremely lengthy and arduous, possibly another five to ten years, or longer. Any person receiving a punitive discharge or time in jail has their case automatically reviewed, and they cannot waive it. Appeals can go all the way up to the Supreme Court. Hassan could even appeal for clemency although he will never get it. Even though there has not been an execution of an active duty service member since 1961, it does not mean they won’t do it.”

Eduardo Caraveo Jr. lost his father, Major Eduardo Caraveo, the second highest-ranking officer. He wonders if Hassan is stonewalling and stalling. Regarding the sentencing, “I don’t want him to have the personal satisfaction of dying as a martyr. He should be treated as any other inmate, nothing more, nothing less.”

Joleen Cahill, who lost her husband Michael, one of the few civilians killed, agrees with Eduardo. “My husband gave his life for the soldiers, attempting to stop Hassan. I personally do not care how Hassan is treated at Leavenworth. He can live out his life in jail, in a cubicle, where he doesn’t get outside very often.”

The family members of those who died and the wounded hope that Americans will continue to remember the sacrifices they made for their country, some paying the ultimate sacrifice, while others having their lives changed forever. They agree with Congressman Rooney, “The most important takeaway from this incident is that the government could have prevented this attack, but it didn’t out of deference for political correctness, which plagued their response both before and after the attack. We should never allow political sensitivities to impair real anti-terrorism investigations.”

The author writes for American Thinker.  She has done book reviews, author interviews, and has written a number of national security, political, and foreign policy articles.

The Fort Hood terrorist massacre occurred seven years ago this November 5th. With interviews from various family members, the victims themselves, and some officials American Thinker revisited the circumstances surrounding that tragic event.

Everyone interviewed had something in common: the feeling that their life has changed forever and that a part of them has been lost forever. On that horrible day as he cried “Allahu Akbar”, U.S. Army Major Nidal Malik fired on his fellow soldiers killing fourteen, including an unborn child, and wounding thirty. He was an officer sworn to protect, a psychiatrist sworn to help, and an American sworn to uphold the U.S. Constitution. 

There were warning signs from his college days at the University of the Health Sciences in Maryland. College classmates who knew him in 2007 said at that time Hassan had radical beliefs. Dr. Val Finnell, a retired USAF colonel recently stated to American Thinker, "Hassan was a Muslim first, held to Sharia Law before the Constitution, believed he had a duty to fellow Muslims before Americans, and justified suicide bombings. I had an environmental class with him where he did a presentation against the War on Terror, and in support of suicide bombings in the name of Islam. This was so completely off topic that a bunch of us complained to the professor who did nothing because of political correctness and allowed him to continue."

Another classmate, a retired Navy physician, called Hassan “a ticking time bomb. He made himself into a lightning rod, and was very vocal about his beliefs. He used the Koran and the Hadith to justify murder and mayhem. I even asked him after his presentation if he believes that killing innocent men, women, and children are justified. He looked me in the eye and said he did the research, and then answered yes. I also asked him if Sharia Law transcends the Constitution and he also answered yes. Even though these statements are incompatible with the oath he took as an officer, nothing was done.”

Political correctness has dominated developments since the shooting. The Obama Administration and the Department of Defense outrageously designated the attack as "workplace violence" instead of terrorism. It took approximately five years to change the designation. Congressman Tom Rooney (R-FLA), a former JAG officer, is angered, “Because it was not designated as an act of terrorism, both surviving victims and those we tragically lost that day were not afforded the benefits that accompany military combat pay and the awarding of the Purple Heart.”

Staff Sergeant Patrick Zeigler was shot four times including the head, left shoulder, arm, and hip, and cannot move the left side of his body. He strongly believes, “This administration was trying to cover up the knowledge of Hassan’s radicalization. His goal was to attack and kill American soldiers. I consider it a dereliction of duty on the part of the U.S. government. I consider Hassan a traitor and feel he should have been brought up on treason charges as well as murder. He switched sides and became aligned with the enemy. He will probably die of natural causes while I was told I will end up dying early because of an increased risk of stroke and an early onset of dementia. If I can live five days more than he does I will be happy. Because of the original designation a lot of those wounded have been financially impacted for the worst. We were never paid retroactively after the status changed.  No one in the government apologized or showed remorse for the wrong classification.”

Thanks in part to Congressman John Carter (R-TX), whose district includes Fort Hood, he was able to work with others, bypass the president, and shepherd a bill through Congress thay he says “redefined the military version of terrorism. Hassan’s goal was to shoot soldiers, and those injured and killed were either on their way to a battle, or returning from one. This became a battlefield with one side completely unarmed. This political correctness run amok caused major harm to a number of people that volunteered to fight for this country.”

Karen Nourse lost her son, Frederick Green, an Army specialist. She is very upset, “My son was shot twelve times, more than anyone else. It was horrible that I had to hear Hassan’s opening statement in which he said, ‘I want to apologize to Jihad for not killing more soldiers.’ He was promoted even though he wanted to fight with the Jihadists. It was never workplace violence, but premeditated murder. I feel the military failed my son and the others who were wounded or killed, because they knew about Hassan’s desires. How did that man get all the ammunition and weapons through that gate? I hold the military fully responsible. The military might have lost a soldier, but I lost a son, my grandchildren lost a father, and my daughter-in-law lost a husband.”

Sheryll Pearson, who lost her son, Private First Class Michael, told American Thinker he stood in front of a desk to protect the nurses. When the 911 call was replayed she listened to her son “moaning in the background. This is something no one should have to hear. He was the last to die and I found out by watching TV when it was reported that the dead count went from twelve to thirteen. A few seconds later my phone rang and I was told he had passed. I don’t want to think or speak of Hassan again. Since my son’s death I have had to reassess my values. This incident changed everything about me.”

Finally in 2015 the victims of the 2009 Fort Hood massacre received Purple Hearts and the benefits that come with it because of Congressman Carter’s due diligence to change the law. Carter told American Thinker, “This has been a long, hard fight. The victims of this attack have struggled, suffered and been abandoned by this administration. No more.”

One of the victims was Amy Krueger, who joined the Army shortly after 9/11 and was to be deployed to Afghanistan. Her mother, Jeri, told American Thinker, “Amy enlisted for our country, lost her life in our country; yet, our president chose to look the other way because of his beliefs. He came up with workplace violence to steer away from terrorism. Now designating it as terrorism and the awarding of the Purple Heart does not take away from all the years of frustration. There will always be an open wound.”

It was not until August 2013 that Hassan was sentenced to death. Colonel Jack Jacobs, awarded a Medal of Honor, thinks the time period between the shooting and a trial, “Is unconsciable. I am afraid no one is paying much attention to the fact Hassan is still sitting on death row.”

Lisa Windsor, a retired Army colonel, who served 22 years with the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, now focuses her private practice primarily on military law. She agrees, “the trial took way too long, but at the end of the day justice was served. But I want to warn that the appeals process can be extremely lengthy and arduous, possibly another five to ten years, or longer. Any person receiving a punitive discharge or time in jail has their case automatically reviewed, and they cannot waive it. Appeals can go all the way up to the Supreme Court. Hassan could even appeal for clemency although he will never get it. Even though there has not been an execution of an active duty service member since 1961, it does not mean they won’t do it.”

Eduardo Caraveo Jr. lost his father, Major Eduardo Caraveo, the second highest-ranking officer. He wonders if Hassan is stonewalling and stalling. Regarding the sentencing, “I don’t want him to have the personal satisfaction of dying as a martyr. He should be treated as any other inmate, nothing more, nothing less.”

Joleen Cahill, who lost her husband Michael, one of the few civilians killed, agrees with Eduardo. “My husband gave his life for the soldiers, attempting to stop Hassan. I personally do not care how Hassan is treated at Leavenworth. He can live out his life in jail, in a cubicle, where he doesn’t get outside very often.”

The family members of those who died and the wounded hope that Americans will continue to remember the sacrifices they made for their country, some paying the ultimate sacrifice, while others having their lives changed forever. They agree with Congressman Rooney, “The most important takeaway from this incident is that the government could have prevented this attack, but it didn’t out of deference for political correctness, which plagued their response both before and after the attack. We should never allow political sensitivities to impair real anti-terrorism investigations.”

The author writes for American Thinker.  She has done book reviews, author interviews, and has written a number of national security, political, and foreign policy articles.