Mrs. Munley and Mr. Manning and several other victims appear in a newly released video “The Truth About Fort Hood” in which they give testimonials and express their frustration with the government for calling the attack “workplace violence.”
In the video, the victims point out that Maj. Hasan had several email exchanges with top al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki about the attack, about whether the attack was justified to “protect our brothers” and followed al-Awlaki’s advice to scream “Allah Akbar” (“God is Great”) to invoke fear before starting to shoot. Until his death by a drone airstrike in 2011, Yemen-based Awlaki was one of the United States’ top enemies.
Mr. Manning, who was medically discharged from the Army because of his wounds, recently was denied additional retirement benefits because his injuries were not classified as having occurred in a combat zone.
Another victim, Sgt. Rex Stalnaker, suffers from severe post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, from the incident. As a medic, Mr. Stalnaker treated many of the victims and when he left the building late that day, his uniform was soaked in blood.
Mrs. Munley, who is in close contact with many of the other Fort Hood victims, said top Defense Department and Obama administration officials have never contacted her or any other victim that she knows of about their desire to have the federal government classify the attack as terrorism.
Army Secretary John M. McHugh gave her an award at a ceremony on the first anniversary of the attack, but there was still an ongoing investigation into the Fort Hood shootings at the time and no resolution on whether the government would label it as terrorism.
Earlier this year, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter T. King, New York Republican, and Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, Connecticut independent, introduced legislation that would allow domestic attacks on service members to be reviewed the same way as international attacks when it comes to awarding the Purple Heart.
The coalition also has the support of two Republican congressmen from Texas who wrote a letter to Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta this month citing detailed evidence of al Qaeda involvement in the attack and asking him for the designation.
“Based on all the facts, it is inconceivable to us that the DOD and the Army continue to label this attack ‘workplace violence’ in spite of all the evidence that clearly proves the Fort Hood shooting was an act of terror,” Rep. John R. Carter and Rep. Michael T. McCaul wrote.
The congressmen cited independent investigations by the Army, the Senate, and the Webster Commission, each showing that the Fort Hood attack was an act of terrorism. They also said military colleagues were well aware that Maj. Hasan was unstable and a radical Islamist but the military promoted him anyway without investigating complaints about his suspicious activity because they were afraid of being seen as biased against Muslims.
The Fort Hood victims “should not be ignored or mistreated now because of a misplaced and inappropriate practice of political correctness,” they wrote.
Mr. Panetta’s office did not respond to a request for comment.