Soldiers and civilian defense employees will be protected from retaliation for reporting violent Islamic extremist activity in the future, thanks to inclusion of Whistleblower protection language by Congressman John Carter (R-TX31) in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) conference report scheduled for final passage later this week.
Carter also won approval for mandatory "active shooter" training by military and civilian law enforcement on U.S. military installations, through language from a second bill introduced by the former Texas judge following the Fort Hood massacre in November 2009.
Left out of the final version of NDAA was the keystone measure of the Carter bills to grant the same combat casualty status to Fort Hood victims as that granted to the 9-11 Pentagon casualties.
"Winning tentative approval on two of three pending reforms is certainly a win I am grateful for," says Carter, "especially as both of these measures have a direct impact on preventing this type of attack from succeeding in the future. When NDAA becomes law as expected, never again will a service member be afraid to report the kind of activity and warning signs exhibited by Major Hasan prior to the attack for fear of facing "politically correct' career retaliation."
Carter also praised the inclusion of the "active shooter" training measure to provide all military installation law enforcement with specific training on response to a mass shooting incident like the Fort Hood or Virginia Tech tragedies. Police at Fort Hood credited their ability to stop Hasan to their active shooter training experience.
Carter, who represents Fort Hood in Congress and is Co-Chair of the House Army Caucus, introduced new legislation today to officially recognize the Fort Hood shooting as a radical Islamic terror attack, in response to the lack of inclusion of the combat status authorization, and the Department of Defense reference last week to the Fort Hood massacre as a form of "workplace violence".
"Political correctness is undermining the national security of the United States by refusing to even recognize our enemy," says Carter. "Our enemy in this global fight is radical Islamic terrorism, and we must name it. By refusing to do so, and by ignoring the glaring warning signs of an impending attack as a result of this denial, we will allow future attacks to succeed that could be stopped. The refusal by the Administration to recognize the Fort Hood attack for what it was is to deny the victims and their families their rightful status under existing law to the recognition and benefits they earned through their sacrifice for our country. I will not abandon this fight until it is won."