OP-ED: Hasan/Bales

Sean Patrick Miller August 26, 2013 0

By Sean Patrick Miller
YA BASTA! | www.seanmiller12.wordpress.com

ptsd soldiers

Nidal Hasan, Maj. US Army, faces execution after being found guilty of thirteen homicides and thirty two attempted homicides in the infamous Fort Hood massacre. He carried out the murders of unarmed servicemen in a medical building, waiting in line for inoculations, prior to deployment. The jury, which reached a unanimous verdict to convict Hasan, must deliberate his sentencing on Monday. Without another unanimous decision, Nidal Hasan faces life in prison. The likelihood is this decision, too, will be unanimous. One of his victims said, “Let the sword of justice swing.”

Robert Bales, Staff Sgt. US Army, has been sentenced to life in prison, without the possibility of parole, for wantonly murdering sixteen unarmed Afghan civilians and burning their bodies. Nine individuals were fortunate enough to survive the attack. Bales’ brutality was exemplified by his crushing the skull of an elderly woman under his foot. Jurors were shown photographs of a young girl who was killed, as she screamed and cried. Surveillance video showed Bales calmly returning to his base, after accomplishing his personal mission.

Bales had already served three combat deployments, suffered a brain injury, and was completing his fourth deployment, when the incident occurred. His attorneys stated that he suffered from PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder).

Hasan is a US born Muslim, and suffered untold incidents of harassment, because of his religion and ethnicity. He was facing deployment to the Middle East, and strongly opposed his deployment, because of religious and cultural issues. Subsequent to the massacre, colleagues and associates stated Hasan, a psychiatrist, suffered from debilitating psychological maladies, secondary to the chronic harassment and the potential of deployment, ostensibly, among his own ethnicity.

We have two soldiers. One is a combat veteran, tormented by multiple deployments, and suffering from a brain injury. The other is a non-combatant, tormented by superior officers and the military system, because of his Muslim faith, and his Middle Eastern ethnicity. The former murdered sixteen Afghan civilians. The latter murdered thirteen fellow servicemen. Bales received life. Hasan may receive death. Both were tortured souls. Both were victims, themselves, of these bitter, unholy wars. To sentence Sgt. Bales to death would have been a travesty. His actions were those of a madman, acting out in violence because of his own internal suffering. Hasan suffered, too. An American Muslim, he suffered rejection and discrimination from his own country, the country he sought to serve; a country which was about to add insult to injury, by ignoring his requests to not be deployed to the Middle East. Each man is said to have ‘snapped’. To sentence Bales to death would, indeed, have been a travesty. To do the same to Hasan would be an even greater travesty. It would be just another denial of Equal Justice Under Law.

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