Senator John Cornyn has introduced legislation entitled “Honoring the Fort Hood Heroes Act” (S.1500) intended to declare US Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan’s 2009 massacre at Fort Hood an “act of terrorism.” The text is blunt:
Congress makes the following declarations of policy:
The November 5, 2009, attack at Fort Hood, Texas constituted an act of terrorism, not merely workplace violence. Nidal Hasan…was principally motivated to carry out the attack by an ideology of violent Islamist extremism.
The text goes on to require the Service Secretaries to award the Purple Heart to those wounded or killed in the attack and officially declares the victims equal to those
killed or wounded in a combat zone as the result of an act of an enemy of the United States.
The victims of the attack have long claimed they have been denied benefits they would otherwise have obtained if the attack was classified as terrorism. They sued the US government last year as a result. The DoD has maintained it would not “further characterize” the attack to avoid affecting Hasan’s court-martial. He has now been convicted, though he technically has automatic appeals remaining.
The DoD did present Purple Hearts for the terrorist attacks on 9/11.