Sgt. Munley Part of Suit
By Harold Hutchison
Sgt Kimberly Munley, who was one of two cops who engaged and brought down Nidal Hasan, the man suspected of opening fire on Soldiers at Fort Hood, has accused Barack Obama of betraying the victims of the attack, joining a lawsuit filed this past November by a number of victims of the attack in November, 2009.
"Not to the least little bit have the victims been taken care of," she said in an ABC interview with Diane Sawyer. "In fact they've been neglected."
The alleged neglect stems from a failure to include recognition of the Soldiers being wounded in a terrorist attack. Instead, the attack has been characterized as “workplace violence.” The wounded Soldiers have been denied the Purple Heart as a result of this decision.
"Betrayed is a good word," she added. Sgt. Munley was present at the 2010 State of the Union speech where Obama recognized her actions. Munley, who has been laid off, now believes that she was used for Obama’s political benefit.
"There's a substantial number of very serious, crippling cases of post-traumatic stress disorder exacerbated, frankly, by what the Army and the Defense Department did in this case," said attorney Reed Rubinstein, who is representing the victims in a lawsuit filed in federal court. "We have a couple of cases in which the soldiers' command accused the soldiers of malingering, and would say things to them that Fort Hood really wasn't so bad, it wasn't combat."
"These guys play stupid every time they're asked a question about it, they pretend like they have no clue," said Shawn Manning, whose wounds were initially listed as being “combat-related” by a review board until higher-ranking officials overruled the decision. Manning still has bullets in his leg and spine.
Munley has no regrets about the lawsuit. "We got tired of being neglected. So this was our last resort and I'm not ashamed of it a bit," she told ABC News.
"It's a slap in the face, not only for me but for all of the 32 that wore the uniform that day," Alonzo Lunsford who was shot seven times, and blinded in one eye, told ABC News.
According to Secretary of the Army John McHugh, the Army has not awarded Purple Hearts for fear of adversely affecting the court-martial of Mr. Hasan. "To award a Purple Heart, it has to be done by a foreign terrorist element," he said. "So to declare that soldier a foreign terrorist, we are told, I'm not an attorney and I don't run the Justice Department, but we're told would have a profound effect on the ability to conduct the trial."
Hasan was in contact with American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, a high-ranking member of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula who was killed in a UAV strike in 2011, prior to the attack on Fort Hood. During the attack, witnesses reported that Hasan was shouting “Allah ackbar.” McHugh’s explanation has not been accepted by the victims.
"It was no different than an insurgent in Iraq or Afghanistan trying to kill us," said Manning, who served two tours in Iraq, but had to retire from the military due to his wounds. He estimates that the “workplace violence” categorization has cost him $70,000 in benefits. "Basically, they're treating us like I was downtown and I got hit by a car.”
Representative Michael McCaul (R-TX), has vowed to introduce legislation to correct the neglect. "It was clearly an act of terrorism that occurred that day, there's no question in my mind," he told ABC News. "I think the victims should be treated as such."