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Nidal Malik Hasan
While sitting in jail awaiting his death sentence, Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan has been a major pain in the American taxpayer’s pocketbook and nearly an equal pain in his jailor’s neck.
An investigation into Hasan’s jail time revealed the U.S. government spent millions of dollars on unique security measures and privileges for the mass murderer, yet a long record of the inmate’s obstinate behavior has prompted exasperated jail officials to tell him, “You’re a grown man, act like it.”
Official records from Hasan’s 3-year stint at Bell County Jail in Texas, for example, reveal the inmate sent frequent complaints and demands to his jailors, insisted the temperature of his cell be kept at 70 degrees, asked for a thermometer to monitor it, harassed his caregivers and during one episode even began defecating in his trash can instead of the bathroom.
Hasan was held at the jail while awaiting a verdict and sentence for murdering 13 people and wounding another 32 at nearby Fort Hood near Killeen, Texas, on Nov. 5, 2009.
An investigation by KXAS-TV in Dallas-Fort Worth revealed Hasan during that time had cost taxpayers the following:
- $200,000 spent on daily helicopter rides to ferry Hasan from the jail to Fort Hood
- Tens of thousands of dollars setting up a private Fort Hood office for Hasan, who insisted on representing himself at trial
- $5 million in expenses, travel for government lawyers, fees paid to expert witnesses, vehicles and cell phones purchased and major security renovations at the base
- $300,000 in military pay between his arrest and his dishonorable discharge in September 2013.
KXAS-TV was the first to send a news crew inside the jail and see the room known as MW1, the medical ward that housed Hasan before he was eventually moved to the United States Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, where he today awaits execution while his case is on appeal.
The news crew reported the room was much larger than a typical cell and would normally house up to three inmates, but was granted to Hasan alone, along with a private guard who watched him through a window at least 12 hours a day and took notes on what Hasan read and watched on television.
Even Hasan’s civil attorney balked at the all the expense.
“I mean, it’s just a bunch of overkill,” attorney John Galligan told KXAS-TV. “Unnecessary funds that were spent.”
In addition, the Bell County Sheriff’s Office was paid nearly $650,000 to house Hasan, and in return, official records reveal, Hasan filled his jailors’ lives with nearly incessant grief.
For example, on April 15, 2010, Hassan demanded a clock so he could roll over every two hours to avoid bed sores, visits from an imam and the temperature held at no less than 70 degrees.
A jail officer responded that the medical staff would ensure he did not suffer bed sores, that a Sgt. Alexander and Hasan’s own doctor had confirmed the cell’s temperature between 70 and 74 degrees, and that the local Muslim community had been contacted to see if someone would visit.
Hasan filed a repeat request on April 19, complaining of the cold, no clock and no visits from an imam – and when on April 24 his demands had not been met, the inmate began defecating in his cell’s trash can.
“I request that you properly evacuate your bowel,” the officer handling Hasan’s requests responded. “You know how to do it properly, and now after 19 days, you want to do it improperly. This has nothing to do with my staff. Do what you are supposed to do, Major Hasan.”
Nonetheless, Hasan’s complaints kept pouring in, sometimes more than once daily.
On April 27, the officer replied regarding Hasan’s demand for an imam visit: “I cannot make anyone come to you who does not want to. I am not responsible for providing you with an imam. I simply can’t deny you access should one want to see you. Apparently, they don’t.”
Yet, by Hasan’s own admission, he continued using the trash can instead of his bathroom.
On April 28, the jail officer replied, “You were not denied the ability to [use the bathroom]. You refused because you wanted to do things your way. … You are not going to use a garbage can in this jail. Do as you were instructed. You’re a grown man. Act like it.”
The next day, Hasan sent a new question: “I request outdoor recreation as often as possible; every day if feasible. Thank you.”
The next month, Hasan began complaining that the jail’s requirement he clean his own sink amounted to a “punishment attitude” that “is going to ultimately hurt me.”
Staff Sgt. Shawn Manning, who was shot six times in the Fort Hood attack, told KXAS-TV he’s not concerned about Hasan’s comfort in jail. He just wishes the Army would put more money and effort into helping the victims recover, some of whom are still struggling financially and emotionally.
According to witnesses at the Fort Hood shooting, Hasan, a Muslim of Palestinian descent, entered the Soldier Readiness Center at Fort Hood at about 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 5, 2009, took a seat at a table, bowed his head for a few seconds, then stood up and started shooting.
Witnesses say the devout Muslim officer jumped up on a desk and shouted, “Allahu akbar!” – Allah is greatest – before opening fire and spraying more than 100 bullets inside a crowded building where troops were preparing to deploy to Afghanistan and Iraq.
Before he was shot and handcuffed by a civilian police officer, Hasan had killed 13 people and wounded 32 more. All but one of the dead were soldiers, including a pregnant private who curled on the floor and pleaded for her baby’s life.
Prior to the shooting, Hasan reportedly was disciplined for pushing his beliefs on others, routinely wore Islamic dress and the morning of the massacre gave away his furniture and Qurans. His business card carried an abbreviation for “Soldier of Allah.” U.S. intelligence had been aware of e-mail communications between Hasan and the Yemen-based terror organizer Anwar al-Awlaki, and Hasan’s colleagues had been aware of his increasing radicalization for several years. Hasan himself later wrote of al-Awlaki as his “mentor” and spoke out against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Yet the U.S. government has staunchly refused to label Hasan’s attack as an act of terrorism.
As WND reported in 2009, a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., expressed concern about the “troubling refusal by Obama officials to acknowledge that the shooting likely was an act of homegrown terrorism.”
Manning said after Fox News released Hasan’s hand-written testimony about his anti-American views and Islamic extremism, “The government has tried to deny that this was an act of terrorism. I think that, I hope that if people hear the words from Hasan’s own mouth that they will understand that this was an act of terrorism.”
Yet because the Army does not consider the shooting to be an act of terrorism by an enemy combatant upon the military, they have thus far denied the victims requests for combat-related pay and medals that come with additional benefits.