FORT LEAVENWORTH, KS — Army officials have confirmed that Nidal Hasan was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel yesterday in a small and solemn ceremony in the gathering room of Fort Leavenworth’s maximum security prison.
The alleged mastermind behind the Fort Hood Shootings was ecstatic about the crossing of a major milestone in his military career and thanked all those in attendance. Meanwhile, protests were held outside the base, with people chanting “justice for the victims” and “don’t promote.” One participant stated that this ceremony was a “slap in the face of all the victims” from the massacre. Base officials refused to comment, declaring that Hassan’s promotion was decided months ago by personnel management officials.
When asked about the promotion, Maj. Gen. William Hewitt, Commanding General of Human Resources Command (HRC), stated that Hasan’s personnel record was not negatively flagged by the chain of command and that by regulation the “Army had no choice but to award promotion to the service member.” When asked to elaborate about how such an oversight could occur, the general stated that the Army’s electronic human resources systems were undergoing upgrades that may have affected Hasan’s status.
“HRC has been physically migrating its systems to a new building at Fort Knox [Human Resources Command Headquarters] after the discovery of asbestos and mold in the current data storage warehouse. Unfortunately the files have been moved to a computer system that is not yet Y2K compliant. This might have affected the records of hundreds of personnel, including Hasan."
During an investigation of Hasan’s service record, Duffel Blog obtained several evaluation reports detailing the officer’s performance history. Of note is one report covering the period during Hasan’s alleged shooting spree. His superior officer, Col. Nathan Butterworth, stated that Hasan has an excellent record stained with the occasional blemish.
“While not the best team player, Maj. Hasan has a peerless tactical mind with a demonstrated record of close quarters combat marksmanship." Butterworth goes on to state “Major Hasan is an unparalleled asset to the Army. His capability to think like the enemy, allows him the ability to provide the military with a perspective not seen by the rest of the organization."
Hasan also received a Legion of Merit from his superiors at Darnell Army Medical Center at Fort Hood upon Hasan’s transfer to Fort Leavenworth. Standard practice in the Army is to award soldiers a “Permanent Change of Station” award reflecting the sum total of their contributions while at their installation. Since Hasan’s movement to Leavenworth’s maximum security facility was technically a Permanent Change of Station, he was submitted for the award as a formality.
The Legion of Merit was awarded during the same ceremony as Hasan’s promotion, although the officer presenting the award was forced to move Hasan’s beard to one side to affix it to his uniform.
The award now hangs inside Hasan’s cell, below a framed letter from Osama Bin Laden, congratulating Hasan on the “successful slaughter of dozens of infidels."
Luckily, said Hewitt, the error was caught in time to prevent the promotion of Specialist Bradley Manning, who allegedly leaked over 40,000 top-secret military and diplomatic documents to the WikiLeaks website in the largest confidential document dump in American history. His adverse action flag was restored before he could attain the rank of Sergeant.
Manning was reportedly disappointed in being removed from consideration, as he had already begun studying for the Sergeant Promotion Board, but at least has the consolation of having received a Good Conduct Medal during the interim. It is unknown at this time how many personnel received promotions and awards in error, and the Army Inspector General’s office is continuing to investigate.