Accused Fort Hood Shooter Gets Special Treatment; Victims Suffer
Dallas-Fort Worth's NBC 5 Investigated reports that accused Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan enjoys privileges unusual for a prisoner in jail, while his victims have been denied the same benefits as soldiers wounded in attacks overseas. Hasan travels nearly every day by helicopter with an additional helicopter escort and security detail from the Bell County Jail and Fort Hood.
The Army says Hasan needs to go to Fort Hood to prepare his legal defense; the jail apparently cannot give Hasan the facilities he needs. He does not travel by car because there are “additional security concerns.”
Hasan also lives in a special room that helps him adjust to injuries he received when officers responding to the Fort Hood attack shot him. He has a beard even though Army rules forbid it. And to top it off, Hasan has collected almost $300,000 in salary since the attack, since he has not been convicted.
Meanwhile, the victims suffer. Staff Sgt. Josh Berry, who was shot by Hasan in the attack, committed suicide on Feb. 13, 2013. His father, Howard Berry, told NBC 5: “He felt there were more considerations that were being given to the shooter that weren’t being given to the victims and he couldn’t understand.”
Howard Berry added that Josh was extremely upset the Army denied the Fort Hood victims Purple Heart medals and other combat-related benefits, while the Army denied that Hasan’s act was a terrorist attack. Fort Hood shooting victim Logan Burnett, who was shot three times, agreed, telling NBC 5, “The day that came out was the day the government looked at every single one of the victims of the Fort Hood shooting and spit in our faces, literally spit in our faces.”
The Army has stated, “The prosecution will not comment on the ongoing procedures at this time. In the interest of due process for Maj. Nidal Hasan, it would be inappropriate to comment further.” Lt. Gen. Dana Chipman, who oversees the Army’s law division, would not give comment to NBC 5--though he has written to a congressman saying the Army might call Hasan’s attack terrorism if there is any new evidence.