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Ft. Hood shooter is still collecting a paycheck

FILE - This undated photo provided by the Bell County Sheriff's Department shows Nidal Hasan, the Army psychiatrist charged in the deadly 2009 Fort Hood shooting. Hasan has been hospitalized for undisclosed reasons, military officials said Monday, Sept. 24, 2012. A Fort Hood news release says he is in good condition after being admitted to the Texas Army post's hospital Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012. Hasan was shot during the 2009 rampage and is paralyzed from the waist down. Credit: AP

Alternate headline: Accused Ft. Hood murderer makes more sitting in prison than humble blogger. 

Tip of the hat to JWF for highlighting this bit of troubling news:

The Department of Defense confirms to NBC 5 Investigates that accused Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Hasan has now been paid more than $278,000 since the Nov. 5, 2009 shooting that left 13 dead 32 injured. The Army said under the Military Code of Justice, Hasan’s salary cannot be suspended unless he is proven guilty.

If Hasan had been a civilian defense department employee, NBC 5 Investigates has learned, the Army could have suspended his pay after just seven days.

Personnel rules for most civilian government workers allow for "indefinite suspensions" in cases "when the agency has reasonable cause to believe that the employee has committed a crime for which a sentence of imprisonment may be imposed."

Meanwhile, more than three years later soldiers wounded in the mass shooting are fighting to receive the same pay and medical benefits given to those wounded in combat.

What's more disturbing is why Hasan is still collecting pay from prison:

The Army has not classified the wounds of the Ft. Hood victims as “combat related” and declines to label the shooting a “terrorist attack.”

The “combat related” designation is an important one, for without it Burnett and other shooting victims are not given combat-related pay, they are not eligible for Purple Heart retirement or medical benefits given to other soldiers wounded either at war or during the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the Pentagon.

One last thing…
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