A Texas lawmaker's attempt to make victims of the Fort Hood shooting eligible for purple hearts has fallen on deaf ears at the Pentagon, ABC News reports. Awarding them purple hearts could "irrevocably alter the fundamental character of this time-honored decoration" and "undermine the prosecution of Major Nidal Hasan" by ruining his chance for a fair trial, a Pentagon paper said. But Rep. John Carter, who introduced legislation for the awards, isn't convinced.
"The DOD position paper is dead wrong to oppose this legislation," he said. Evidence shows that Hasan had communicated with al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki before the massacre that left 12 dead and 31 injured, but the Pentagon says it considers the attack "workplace violence" and not "combat related." For now, Carter plans to hold off "any future publicity on these bills" to avoid influencing Hasan's trial, scheduled to start May 29. But he "will not rest until these victims get the recognition they deserve."