Crime or Terrorism?

November 2009


Purple Heart - Getty ImagesThe investigation into the mass murder on Ft. Hood continues, but there is no doubt who was responsible, and his motivations are clear. He (his name doesn’t deserve mentioning) acted out of a radical belief in Islam and a hatred of the United States.

One decision by the Army will determine how the service, and the administration, view this attack. Will it be viewed only as a crime, or will it be viewed as a terrorist attack committed by an enemy of this nation? The answer lies in whether or not the victims are awarded Purple Hearts.

Army Regulation 600-8-22 (regulation page 20, pdf page 40), article 2-8 b.(6), requires that “the act must be recognized by the Secretary of the Army as an international terrorist attack.”

(6) After 28 March 1973, as the result of an international terrorist attack against the United States or a foreign nation friendly to the United States, recognized as such an attack by the Secretary of Army, or jointly by the Secretaries of the separate armed services concerned if persons from more than one service are wounded in the attack. (http://www.army.mil/usapa/epubs/pdf/r600_8_22.pdf)

The victims of this cowardly and monstrous attack deserved better than to die or be wounded in what was otherwise a place of safety. Their sacrifice must be properly recognized. They earned and deserve the Purple Heart. What, and when, will the Secretary decide?

Posted by Fouled Anchor in Army, Homeland Security
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  • CS1 Kelly

    Absolutely! It was a terrorist attack. It doesn’t matter that he was wearing gold oak leaves at the time of his cowardly actions. Every soldier wounded in this attack deserves a Purple Heart. The civilian female police sergeant has one coming as well since she was wounded three times while in the process of quelling the attack.

  • CPT Joe

    What’s so unbelievable is the response of the Jhihad Deniers in the Media. You would think that they, especially, since many of them are Jews, would understand that what this murderer did was the result of a religion that believes in killing nonbelievers.

  • Chaps

    Dead and wounded certainly deserve Purple Hearts but no way on God’s green earth will they get them. No body in the administration will acknowledge that this was an attack by an enemy of the United States.

  • I’d like to see the soldiers receive the Purple Heart, but will one of you smart people explain to me the “international” aspect of this terrorist attack?

  • Fouled Anchor

    XBradTC, international just means that it can occur anywhere – not necessarily in a “combat zone” – including right here on our own soil as we were reminded of last week.

  • RickWilmes

    Did any of the victims in the Timothy McVeigh bombing receive the Purple Heart?

  • CS1 Kelly

    “No body in the administration will acknowledge that this was an attack by an enemy of the United States.”

    Let’s stop for a moment and think about that shall we? He actively displayed capability, opportunity and most importantly, INTENT when showing up at the scene with multiple magazines, and two pistols as he popped off multiple rounds before being brought down. He committed an act of terrorism plain and simple, on home soil no less. Every one of those men and women have a PH coming. If the Secretary of Army is a smart man, he’ll damn well do his duty accordingly and present the awards himself.

  • Grandpa Bluewater

    There is another man who should have already presented said awards, but that’s “not how he rolls”.

  • Jim Dolbow

    Great post Fouled Anchor! They do indeed deserve to be awarded the Purple Heart along with the wounded. If the administration does not have the courage to do this then the Congress should legislate it. I am willing to draft it

  • Fouled Anchor

    Jim, draft it. It might come in handy. I really would like to hear from the Army Secretary on this.

  • Jay

    Calm down…I am sure there are lots of folks in the Army trying to just that: figure out what the folks who were killed or wounded deserve.

    I am sure they will be justly honored. If there is a way to get the dead and survivors Purple Hearts — it is being worked.

    This was not international, so quit trying to Sea Lawyer that.

    Grandpa Bluewater — Really? Making a swipe at POTUS over the Ft. Hood tragedy? Really? Really? Shame on you.

  • Fouled Anchor

    Jay, it doesn’t take much figuring out to know they deserve Purple Hearts.

    The word international doesn’t need any sea lawyering, or anything other litigation. Just because this took place in Texas does not mean it was not international. Terrorism is terrorism.

  • NavySpook

    RickWilmes – i’m not sure if any of the victims of Timothy McVeigh’s bombing received the PH but they must be military and serving on active duty to receive it.

    Jay – I agree that, while we’re all obviously abhorred by these events and are venting our frustrations, I don’t see that reprimanding someone for their opinion is appropriate… unless you know each other and are just [metaphorically] poking one another in the ribs.

    This post isn’t about who POTUS is or isn’t – its about what happened in Ft. Hood. POTUS, whether (D) or (R) got elected and can defend their own actions. Please honor these victims lives by leaving that childish and self-serving rhetoric out of it.

  • Byron

    Jay, is not the battlefield that Al-queda has chose an international one? The US, Britain, Spain, most of Europe, the Phillipines, Indonesia, Pakistan, India….Or does your definition of international only apply to our troops over “there”?

    And for what it’s worth, I’m not really a lawyer, even though I stayed in a Holiday Inn once…

  • Derrick

    According to Wikipedia (not the most credible of sources, I know), what happened at Fort Hood is a terrorist act. (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrorism).

    So I’m sure the White House is treating it as such.

    Therefore I’m sure victims will be awarded Purple Hearts, though personally, I believe that is small consolation, especially for those that lost their lives.

    I think an important message to bring across is that Islam does not teach violence against the US. Those that spread that BS are not worthy of being in the Islamic clergy.

  • This was not international, so quit trying to Sea Lawyer that.

    Sorry, Jay is right. There’s nothing international about it. On the other hand, I see no reason why the Secretary can’t waive so much of the regulation as to permit the award. I DO want to see it awarded. But under the current provisions of the regulations, the soldiers aren’t eligible. So, change the reg.

  • Byron

    Brad, this is once where you and I are 180 out. Al-queda made this a war HERE on 9/11, and they’ve been trying to take shots HERE ever since. Since this is a de facto battlefield and not a “secure rear area” as exeplified by the events of Ft. Hood, it qualifies those that fell as having been victims of an international war. Give ’em the medal, they earned it.

  • Derrick

    Well…it was an act of terrorism, because the perpetrator used the multiple murders to instill fear, supposedly in the name of Islam.

    This brings an interesting point as the regulation states that terrorist committing the act must be connected to a foreign terrorist group. So the question is: does the perpetrator’s claiming of committing this act in the name of Islam qualify him as affiliated to an international terrorist organization?

    I guess the other way to word it is that since the perpetrator was an active member of the US military, the victims were wounded/murdered as a result of “friendly” fire, and therefore qualify for the Purple Heart in that regard? So maybe the regulation does not require changing?

  • Fouled Anchor

    Derrick, where in the regulation does it say that the “terrorist commiting the act must be connected to a foreign terrorist group?” I don’t see it.

  • jim mc connell

    Did they not take an oath to support and defend the US and constitution against all enemies, both foreign and domestic? They died or were wounded in that processing center fufilling their obligations . No sea lawyering, clear cut in my mind. They were killed by a domestic enemy of the US.

  • Julian Bauer

    To help the dispute of what terrorism really is and entails;

    According to the Oxford English Dictionary Online, is the “systematic use of terror as a policy.”

    This is the online definition so this excerpt is all i got. It might be helpful if someone with the actual definition put it forth.

    On the events of Fort Hood, my condolences go to all those soldiers and families whose lives have been tainted by the cowardly display of the defector. Yet, there is no where near enough evidence to link the shooting and an international terrorist group. Just because he made pro-Islam exclamation during the events odes not associate him as a terrorist. That also doesn’t negate the pain felt by many American soldiers injured at Fort Hood and I see the purple hearts as a necessary gesture. The troops in question for the Purple Heart will receive reward and the assailant will be persecuted justly. Have faith in our system, it is in place for a reason.

  • Grandpa Bluewater

    Died in combat, on duty, a target of enemy action. A one day investigation by a competant field grade officer should be able to establish that. Most likely has done just that.

    Bureaucrats. Political appointees. Results vary, we all know that, but this is a new low.

    Painful to see.

  • david kerr

    Political correctness costs the Navy so many young officers and petty officers. They leave in disgust over widespread hypocrisy.
    A flight instructor in whom the Navy has invested a million dollars leaves when he can’t wash out a student who lacks talent, but is in a favored gender or ethnic group.

    Political correctness is a cancer on naval leadership. It undermines the integrity needed to lead. I saw a much higher standard of meritocracy in my civilian career post USN.

  • Grandpa Bluewater


    Thank you for your continuing interest in my opinions with regard to current events. Or in the grumbling of a cranky old man, characterize it as you wish.

    To whom any given comment may refer, you are welcome to draw your own conclusion, and continue to freely offer any criticism and evaluation of me you wish, based on that conclusion.

    As one of the rather large phalanx of anonymous, long retired, powerless, possibly ill informed, opinioned (QED) and insignificant retirees, I think I possess something approaching a right to free speech myself. Including the freedom to be mistaken. Perhaps I am misinformed. Perhaps I am misunderstood. Perhaps I am politically incorrect. Perhaps I have too much sympathy and appreciation for the common soldier and not enough for those with great power and perquisites, you know, Corps or Force Commanders and above. Or perhaps not.

    Let each reader draw his own conclusion.

    Warmest regards, as always.

  • Jay

    Grandpa Bluewater,

    I will consider “Including the freedom to be mistaken.” to be a round-about apology. Apology accepted.


  • Byron

    Jay, I believe you took Grandpa’s reply to be an apology. This would be a mistake, as I took it to be sarcasm. As a grandfather myself, we grandfathers rarely if ever apologize 😉

  • Grandpa Bluewater


    I am happy to extend to J the same freedom to be mistaken I claim for myself.

    My apologies do tend to be formal and infrequent. But then insignificance confers a certain immunity to one’s remarks about the haberdashery of the mighty, absent paranoia on their part.
    I do not recommend my style to the young and ambitious.

    Attempting to mute my evaluation, criticism, irreverance and general bad attitude by pointing a finger and crying shame might be a suboptimal technique, compared to offering an alternate point of view on its own merits..

    But it’s nice that J looks forward to breaking a lance with me in the future. I think he enjoys a good joust.

  • Byron

    Gramdpa, one day we’ll have to sit down and have a beer or three. I think we’ll have a grand old time.

  • Derrick

    In section 2.8 of the document at http://www.army.mil/usapa/epubs/pdf/r600_8_22.pdf, on point 6 on page 20 (40 when viewing through PDF reader, but 20 is on the bottom of the page), it states that:

    After 28 March 1973, as the result of an international terrorist attack against the United States or a foreign
    nation friendly to the United States, recognized as such an attack by the Secretary of Army, or jointly by the
    Secretaries of the separate armed services concerned if persons from more than one service are wounded in the attack.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    “Just because he made pro-Islam exclamation during the events does not associate him as a terrorist.”

    I would submit that his anti-American statements, his praising of suicide bombers, association with a radical Imam, his declaration of loyalty to Islam above what was supposed to be his oath to support and defend the Constitution, his declarations that the oppressors will be punished, combined with shooting thirty-some American soldiers and civilians, killing 13, while shouting “Allahu Akbar” does, indeed, make Major Hasan a terrorist.

    The absolutely absurd denial that Hasan was an Islamic radical terrorist, or that his radical religious beliefs played no part in his actions is in line with the equally absurd notion of treating terrorism as a law enforcement issue, and trying Khalid Sheik Mohammed in a US courtroom.

  • Fouled Anchor

    Derrick, that paragraph does not address the requirement you previously stated: “as the regulation states that terrorist committing the act must be connected to a foreign terrorist group.”

    There is neither a requirement that the act be associated with a terrorist group, nor be foreign in nature. Otherwise, I think we agree that this qualifies as a terrorist act.

  • CS1 Kelly

    Grandpa Bluewater’s

    “My apologies do tend to be formal and infrequent.”

    Sorry? For what Grandpa? You said nothing wrong. You have the inherent ability to actively sound the BS alarm when required. Your comments here and on Commander Salamander’s site, tell me you know what’s going on in life. That right there is a strength. But for some guys, that rattles them considerably when they are confronted with their own BS that they put out in public. And then they get defensive once they’re called on it. That would include myself as well. I’m in my early 30s now, and I’ve only recently begun to realize that I would do well in life to SHUT UP, stop and listen to my elders occasionally.

    What I mean is, that the old guys don’t need to say “I’m sorry” for anything. You’ve clearly earned the right to stand up and rattle your walking stick and speak up when & where you deem necessary. In 30 to 40 years from now, I suspect I’ll be doing the same thing.

    As for the present topic, I just hope we find a way to defend against and not allow a similar tragedy to ever happen again. My thoughts and prayers are with the soldiers and families involved.


  • Grandpa Bluewater

    CS1 K.

    Thanks for the vote of confidence.

    That said, reread J’s post and then the first line of mine.
    After you swallow and put your coffee cup down.

    As for the present topic: “I just hope we find a way to defend against and not allow a similar tragedy to ever happen again. My thoughts and prayers are with the soldiers and families involved.” Well put. I completely agree.

  • Fouled Anchor

    Lawmakers Seek to Award Casualty Benefits to Fort Hood Victims

    “The status would allow military personnel to receive the Purple Heart and civilians to receive the civilian equivalent award, the Secretary of Defense Medal of Freedom.”


  • Fouled Anchor

    The same poll I just mentioned over on URR’s post – https://blog.usni.org/?p=4926 – addresses how people view the event.

    A Fox News poll released Friday finds nearly half of the public — 49 percent — think the shooting is most accurately described as “a killing spree.” Almost as many — 44 percent — say the incident should be called an “act of terrorism.”


  • Fouled Anchor

    So, I still haven’t read anything in the press from the Pentagon on this topic. Are they still debating whether or not this was an act of terrorism? Maybe this will sway some opinion.

    “The Army psychiatrist charged with killing 13 people at Ft. Hood early last month asked a radical cleric whether killing fellow U.S. soldiers “was a religiously legitimate act or not,” the cleric said in an interview translated by the Washington-based Middle East Media Research Institute.”

    “Awlaki expressed hope that Hasan, charged by the military with 13 counts of pre-meditated murder and another 32 counts of attempted murder, would be executed.

    “I pray to Allah to receive him in the ranks of the martyrs, since when he did what he did he was expecting to be a martyr,” Awlaki said, according to MEMRI. “If he is executed, good for him.””


  • Fouled Anchor

    Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano considers the attack at Ft. Hood a terrorist act. “‘Violent Islamic terrorism … was part and parcel of the Ft. Hood killings,’ Napolitano told the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday morning.”


    Has John McHugh, the Secretary of the Army, said the same thing yet? Have Purple Hearts been awarded yet? It’s well past time.