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Fort Hood Families Sue U.S. Government

Today is the third anniversary of a shooting rampage that killed 13 people and wounded dozens at the Fort Hood Army post in Killeen. Survivors and family members today fileda lawsuit against the federal government.

Lawyers for the victims say the Army ignored warning signs that Major Nidal Hasan was embracing militant Islamist views and violating military regulations in the months before the attack. If officials hadn't, they say, they could have prevented the shooting. Attorney Reed Rubinstein says victims want the attack reclassified as terrorism, which could qualify them for additional benefits. 

 
"The injuries that they have suffered, if they have suffered them in Afghanistan or Iraq, that would have led them to be discharged with medical disabilities but in this case, they're denied those," Rubinstein said in a phone interview. "The government has seemingly deliberately engaged in an effort to push the Fort Hood attack and the victims of that attack down a memory hole."

The Department of Defense says reclassifying the attack now might affect their case against Hasan. The court martial is currently on pending a legal battle over Hasan's beard. The beard is forbidden by military rules, but Hasan says federal laws on religious freedom allow it.

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at nbernier@kut.org. Follow him on Twitter @KUTnathan.
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