Like I said, we think he’s nuts; he thinks we’re nuts. Right now, there’s a petition on the Internet seeking to persuade the United States government to reclassify Hasan’s “workplace violence” as an act of terror. There are practical consequences to this: The victims, shot by an avowed enemy combatant in an act of war, are currently ineligible for Purple Hearts. The Pentagon insists the dead and wounded must be dishonored in death because to give them any awards for their sacrifice would prejudice Major Hasan’s trial and make it less likely that he could be convicted.
Hence, the Internet petition. Linking to it from their homepage, my colleagues at National Review Online promoted it with the tag: “Thirteen people lost their lives with dozens of others wounded. And now the man responsible wants to claim it was workplace violence.”
That’s not true — and actually it’s grossly unfair to Major Hasan. He’s admirably upfront about who and what he is — a “Soldier of Allah,” as he put on his business card. On Tuesday, he admitted he was a traitor who had crossed over from “the bad side” (America’s) to “the good side” (Islam’s). He has renounced his U.S. citizenship and its effete protections such as workplace-violence disability leave. He professes loyalty to America’s enemies. He says, “I am the shooter.” He helpfully informs us that that’s his gun. In this week’s one-minute statement, he spoke more honestly and made more sense than Obama, Gates, Casey, the Armed Forces Court of Appeals, two judges, the prosecution and defense lawyers, and mountains of bureaucratic reports and media coverage put together.
But poor old Hasan can say “Yup, I did it” all he wants; what does he know?
Unlike the Zimmerman trial, Major Hasan’s has not excited the attention of the media. Yet it is far more symbolic of the state of America than the Trayvon Martin case, in which superannuated race hucksters attempted to impose a half-century-old moth-eaten Klan hood on a guy who’s a virtual one-man melting pot. The response to Nidal Hasan helps explain why, in Afghanistan and elsewhere, this war is being lost — because it cannot be won because, increasingly, it cannot even be acknowledged. Which helps explain why it now takes the U.S. military longer to prosecute a case of “workplace violence” than it did to win World War Two.
— Mark Steyn, a National Review columnist, is the author of After America: Get Ready for Armageddon. © 2013 Mark Steyn