Cruz Blasts Administration For Not Calling Ft. Hood Shooting a ‘Terrorist Attack'

August 26, 2013 - 3:04 PM

Nidal Malik Hasan

Nidal Malik Hasan, who was convicted of the Nov. 5, 2009 shooting at Fort Hood.  (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – “Hiding behind ‘workplace violence’ and excluding evidence on [Army Major Nidal] Hasan’s pursuit of jihad will not make terrorism go away or properly honor the American heroes who were slain at Fort Hood,” said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) as he lambasted the Obama administration’s decision to classify the 2009 mass shooting as “workplace violence.”

“If we ever hope to defeat the ongoing threat from radical Islamism, we need to start by calling this terrorist attack on our armed forces by its name,” Cruz said in a statement Friday shortly after Hasan was found guilty on 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder after he  admitted waging a “jihad against U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Both the White House and the Department of Justice told CNSNews.com on Monday that neither President Barack Obama nor Attorney General Eric Holder have released any statements following the Fort Hood verdict.

However, both Obama and Holder commented  following last month’s acquittal of George Zimmerman on murder charges for killing Trayvon Martin in self-defense.

“When Trayvon Martin was first shot I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago,” President Obama said, encouraging the nation  “to do some soul-searching” about race.

"We are all mindful of the tragic and unnecessary shooting death of Trayvon Martin,” Attorney General Eric Holder said. “I am concerned about this case and . . . as we confirmed last spring, the Justice Department has an open investigation into it."

Obama’s initial reaction to the Fort Hood attack was to “caution against jumping to conclusions until we have all the facts.”

Even though an FBI investigation reported that Hasan’s “violent radicalization” led to his “transformation into a killer,” and a 2011 Senate report called the Fort Hood shooting “the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil since September 11, 2001,” the Department of Defense classified it as “workplace violence” instead of “terrorism,” which meant that victims could not receive Purple Hearts or “combat-related special compensation that provides disability pay for wounded service members.”

The Department of Labor defines workplace violence as “any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site. It ranges from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and even homicide.”

In 2010, the Pentagon issued a memo noting “DoD programs, policies, processes, and procedures that address identification of indicators for violence and radicalization are outdated, incomplete, and fail to include key indicators of potentially violent behaviors.”

The memo recommended several initiatives to “improve the Department’s ability to mitigate internal threats”- including policies “addressing workplace violence,” “improving information sharing with partner agencies,” “integrating force protection policy,” and “ensuring that we provide top quality health care to both our service members and our healthcare providers.”

DoD resisted language that would identify Hasan as a terrorist, and instead referred to the “tragic” Fort Hood attack as a “shooting spree."

A few days after the attack at Fort Hood, Obama referred to it only as “an act of violence” and “a crime,” saying that “we cannot fully know what leads a man to do such a thing,” but making no reference to terrorism.

Several days later, the president called it a “terrible tragedy,” adding that “all of us should resist the temptation to turn this tragic event into the political theater that sometimes dominates the discussion here in Washington.”

In May of this year, in a speech delivered at the National Defense University, Obama claimed that there have been no "large scale" terrorist attacks on the U.S. since he became president, even though the Fort Hood shooting and Boston Marathon bombing both occurred on his watch.