Lt. General says Hasan still has rank, getting paycheck
by Bruce Gietzen
FORT HOOD - Lieutenant General Donald Campbell Jr., the Commander of Fort Hood said Wednesday accused gunman Major Nidal Hasan still has his rank and is still drawing a paycheck from the military while he awaits court martial set for March 5, 2012.
Hasan's confinement and medical expenses are also being paid by the military, and he is moved on post once or twice a week for treatment and occasionally to see his legal defense team.
Campbell said it's all part of the judicial process that says Hasan is innocent until proven guilty.
"The bottom line is when you cut through everything we are as an army, we have to be fair to him regardless of what we saw or we think we saw or whatever the case may be. It's imperative we maintain the integrity of the court martial so he gets as fair a shot as possible defending himself with his team," Campbell added.
As the convening authority for the military trial, he said, "I have to remain absolutely neutral through the process. It's a delicate balance. We believe this is a location (Ft. Hood) where we can have a fair court martial. We want it to stay here not for any ulterior reason, but that we have the capacity to have it here."
The comments were made at a luncheon Campbell hosted for reporters Wednesday, touching on a number of issues regarding Fort Hood, which is expected to nearly double in population in the next year with soldiers returning home.
The post commander lauded the support the military gets from the Killeen community, and said work is well underway on a $500 Million new medical center that he hopes will include residencies for behavioral health and also OB/GYN, since Fort Hood sees so many new births.
Three new community based medical clinics have opened recently, and Campbell hopes there will soon be a new post exchange in an area similar to a town hall complex. He said the military is also partnering with KISD on plans for a new athletic stadium for high school football and other sports.
Campbell called it a "season of transition" on post, with lots of changes coming.
A new training center is in the planning, and the army wants to make sure it has the facilities and programs in place to absorb thousands of soldiers coming back to Texas. They include behavioral health, re-integration training based on need, and taking care of families in the Ft. Hood community so the nation's largest military installation can be prepared for growth.
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