Justice for Ft. Hood Victims? 'We Have a Lawyer-Driven System That Is Sick,' Gingrich Says
(CNSNews.com) - Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says every American should be furious that four years after the mass shooting at Fort Hood, Major Nidal Hasan still has not been tried; and the Pentagon is refusing to call the massacre an act of terrorism, fearing that would jeopardize Hassan's right to a fair trial.
The current military justice system is "sick," Gringrich told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday.
"Look, does anybody doubt he (Hasan) was in the room? Does anyone doubt he yelled allahu akbar? Does anyone doubt he shot all those people? We have a lawyer-driven system that is sick. And I use that word deliberately," Gingrich said.
"We have two sicknesses here: An intellectual sickness in our national security system that doesn't want to admit this was an act of terrorism. The Army bent over backwards to pretend this was a workplace incident. This is not a workplace incident. There is no conceivable belief on the planet that this man happened to randomly snap. He had studied to do this."
Gingrich noted that Hasan, before the shooting, had communicated with al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen who was later killed by a U.S. drone in Yemen.
"As I said, when somebody jumps up and yells allahu akbar, you probably know they don't belong to the local Rotary Club, and they're probably not complaining about the local garbage dump."
Gingrich said what happened at Fort Hood in November 2009 was an act of treason against the United States -- a case that could be proven in a week's time: "You bring in all the different witnesses, you say -- did this guy shoot people?"
Because the Pentagon does not consider the Fort Hood shootings a terror attack, it has refused to award Purple Hearts to those wounded or killed.
According to Gingrich, "Congress should pass a law that says if you are hurt by terrorism in the United States, it is an act of war and you get a Purple Heart."
He also urged Congress to hold "serious hearings" about both the military and civilian justice systems: "I mean, I personally as a citizen am tired of being told that we will eventually, some day, maybe, get around to trying somebody who you have every evidence possible is guilty."
Hasan faces 13 counts of premeditated murder. His court-martial is scheduled to begin next month.