June 18, 2016
Nearly seven years after an Army major’s shooting rampage left 13 dead and dozens wounded at Fort Hood, Texas, lawyers for about 130 of the victims and family members have asked a federal judge to lift a stay in their civil case against the service and other defendants.
While many of those killed or injured received Purple Heart Medals (and the financial benefits that accompany those awards) in 2015, Reed Rubinstein, one of the lawyers on the case, said the Army and other defendants – including the FBI – have yet to pay in full the debt owed to the victims.
“Nothing, nothing is going to happen on this case, if the government has its way, until well into 2017,” said Rubinstein, who first filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in November 2012. “Long after the people involved are gone, and presumably … long after everybody will have forgotten about Fort Hood.”
The complaint cites multiple reports on the killings, including a Senate report that outlines Hasan’s statements in support of extremism in the years before the shooting. Lawyers for the victims also point to a 2013 letter from three members of Congress to then-Army Secretary John McHugh, saying the hands-off approach to Hasan despite his statements that seemed to link him to extreme Muslim ideology, and the promotions he received after making them, amounted to “preferential treatment” given because of his Muslim faith.
That treatment, Rubinstein said, ultimately resulted in the Army failing to stop Hasan’s actions.
“It seems like it’s happening over and over again,” Rubinstein said, alluding to the more recent shootings in San Bernardino and Orlando. “These shooters are being identified. It’s not like they’re missed or weren’t discovered. They’re discovered, and somebody makes the determination to let it drop.”
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