Guy W. Farmer: Manning and Hasan got what they deserved
A military jury last Wednesday sentenced the Fort Hood shooter, deranged Army psychiatrist/jihadist Maj. Nidal Hasan, to death by lethal injection. He got what he deserved, as did Army Pvt. Bradley Manning, who was sentenced to 35 years in prison for delivering thousands of classified documents to the aggressively anti-American website WikiLeaks.
Maj. Hasan, a self-described “soldier of Allah” who served as his own defense attorney, shot 13 fellow soldiers to death at Fort Hood, Texas, almost four years ago. He claimed he opened fire to save the lives of al-Qaida and Taliban fighters in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the war-torn Middle East. The jury didn’t buy it, recognizing that Hasan’s Islamo-fascist buddies have one major objective — to kill as many “infidels” (i.e. Americans) as possible.
Hasan probably will spend many years in military prisons before he is executed, if he ever is, after a series of automatic appeals of his death sentence (the president must eventually approve a military death sentence). And finally, Hasan will be dishonorably discharged and stripped of his pay and benefits, which he has been receiving while awaiting trial. He betrayed the Army and his fellow Americans, who paid his way through medical school. As a psychiatrist, he was supposed to be helping soldiers who were about to be deployed to the Middle East. Instead, he tried to kill them; that’s how he earned the death penalty 13 times over.
The Obama administration still refuses to brand Hasan as a terrorist even though he shouted “Allahu Akhbar” (God is great) as he opened fire, and refers to the Fort Hood massacre as “workplace violence.” Shameful! Hasan should have been sentenced to life without parole in order to avoid turning him into a martyr.
As for Manning, a military judge sentenced him to 35 years in prison for committing espionage and other crimes; however, under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, he’ll be eligible for parole in seven years. He also received a dishonorable discharge and will forfeit pay and benefits.
“He betrayed the United States, and for that betrayal he deserves to spend the majority of his remaining life in prison,” said the chief military prosecutor.
Manning’s civilian attorney asserted that the 25-year-old soldier was an idealistic whistleblower who only wanted to expose governmental wrongdoing, but the judge rejected that specious argument. The case took a bizarre turn after the sentencing, when Manning said he wanted to serve his prison term as a woman named Chelsea, claiming he’s a woman trapped in a man’s body.
What does that have to do with espionage? Nothing, and that’s why taxpayers shouldn’t be required to pay for Manning’s gender-reassignment therapy and/or surgery.
In a third horrendous case, Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, 40, was sentenced to life in prison without parole for murdering 16 Afghan civilians, including women and children, last year. Bales offered no explanation for slaughtering unarmed civilians and showed no emotion as he received a life sentence at Joint Base Lewis-McChord south of Tacoma, Wash. Family members of the victims of Bales’ murderous rampage gave emotional testimony against him at the sentencing hearing.
At the same time, I wonder if the Islamic militants who killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, in a terrorist attack at Benghazi last fall will ever be brought to justice. Probably not as long as the CIA/State Department stonewall continues in Washington, D.C.
Guy W. Farmer of Carson City is a retired U.S. Foreign Service officer.