Finally. Four years after Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan walked into the Soldier Readiness Processing Center at Fort Hood, Texas, and perpetrated the bloodiest massacre ever on an American military base, the self-confessed jihadist's court martial proceedings began this week. Have you forgotten?
Americans obsessed over the O.J. Simpson, Casey Anthony and Jodi Arias trials. Gun-control lobbyists turned Newtown, Aurora and Tucson into national awareness-raising, fundraising and legislation-promoting campaigns. But where are the celebrity lobbyists and high-profile advocates for the victims of bloodthirsty Muslim vigilante Nidal Hasan?
The White House, which downplayed the terrorist mass murder as "workplace violence," exacerbated national apathy for his evil acts. Our soldiers deserve better. Here are three facts you've probably forgotten -- or never knew -- about the Fort Hood terror spree.
--Fourteen victims fell on Nov. 5, 2009, not 13. Thirteen of our U.S. military personnel died in cold blood at the deployment center. But the death toll was actually 14. Pvt. Francheska Velez, 21, was pregnant when Hasan shot her during the first round of gunfire. At a military Article 32 hearing in 2010 (analogous to a civilian grand jury hearing), a survivor of the Fort Hood shootings testified that Velez cried out, "My baby! My baby!"
In his opening statement on Tuesday, Hasan (acting as his own lawyer) apologized to his fellow jihadists for not destroying more innocent life.
--The victims were all unarmed. Soldiers inside the deployment center were and are forbidden from carrying weapons -- either issued weapons or personal arms -- on base. When Hasan commenced his shooting spree by shouting, "Allahu Akbar," several brave men and women in uniform used chairs, tables and their own bodies to try to stop him. But it wasn't until a courageous, armed civilian police officer, Sgt. Kimberley Munley, arrived on the scene with her 9mm Beretta that Hasan's rampage was interrupted.
In a gunfight outside the deployment center, Munley wounded Hasan -- who was able to return fire and shot her in the hand, thigh and knee. While she lay on the ground, Hasan kicked away her weapon. Another armed civilian police officer, Mark Todd, was able to fire at Hasan five times and brought him down.