In the latest back-and-forth over the NDAA, the White House listed 32 concerns that may lead to a veto. No civil liberties concerns in the White House statement, but there is this:
The Administration objects to section 552, which would grant Purple Hearts to the victims of the shooting incidents in Fort Hood, Texas, and Little Rock, Arkansas. The criminal acts that occurred in Little Rock were tried by the State of Arkansas as violations of the State criminal code rather than as acts of terrorism; as a result, this provision could create appellate issues.
PJ Media’s Bridget Johnson takes this to mean the Administration doesn’t consider the Fort Hood shooting by Nidal Hasan an act of terrorism:
Nidal Malik Hasan, a U.S. Army major who had email communications with senior al-Qaeda recruiter and Yemen-based cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, awaits military trial for the Nov. 5, 2009, massacre at Fort Hood, Texas, in which 13 were killed and 29 wounded.
After the Fort Hood shootings, the FBI quickly said there was no evidence of a greater terrorist plot at work, the Defense Department called it an “isolated” case, and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Hasan’s actions were not representative of his Muslim faith.
The cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen, was put on a kill list, and later killed, along with his teenage son, by the U.S. government, because the government claimed he was a dangerous terrorist. (The specific legal justification has not been released by the government) He was not indicted on a single count of terrorism, nevertheless the government considered him a terrorist threat grave enough to be become a target for assassination. His e-mail relationship with the Fort Hood killer was widely cited in the press after al-Awlaki was killed in a drone strike.
So the victims at Fort Hood are not deserving of Purple Hearts because the Fort Hood incident was not an act of terrorism, but insofar as it can be used to justify the targeted assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki, we’re led to believe that U.S. officials believe he “inspired” terror attacks like… the shooting at Fort Hood.
All part of the rhetorical acrobatics this administration has performed to keep prosecuting a war on Muslim populations abroad and at home while eschewing the language of a war on terror in an effort to obfuscate the definitions of the war. And now those acrobatics leave us with a situation in which one U.S citizen is killed for inspiring a terror plot, but the troops killed in that terror plot aren’t eligible for medals because it wasn’t a terror plot. All while Congress passes laws making the whole planet a battlefield and everyone a potential enemby combatant in an ill-defined war on terror that was never declared and the government doesn’t seem to want to acknowledge exists, except when they fight it. But don’t ask questions. It’s all a secret, even when it isn’t.