The attorney for the victims, Reed Rubinstein, told ABC News, "It's a slap in the face. Given everything that has occurred over the last three and a half years, this is incomprehensible, and in many respects, not worthy of the army. It's regrettable and tremendously wrongheaded."
The position paper says awarding the victims purple hearts "will be viewed as setting the stage for a formal declaration that Major Hasan is a terrorist," and that, in turn, will allow Defense counsel to "argue that Major Hasan cannot receive a fair trial because a branch of government has indirectly declared that Major Hasan is a terrorist – that he is criminally culpable."
Nevertheless, an expert witness for the prosecution, Evan Kohlmann, has said Hasan meets six factors that indicate someone is a homegrown terrorist. Prosecutors said his testimony would show motive. But defense attorneys have tried to limit Kohlmann's testimony, saying since Hasan isn't charged with terrorism and claiming Kohlmann's testimony would be prejudicial to the military jury.
The position paper also states, "The Government has vigilantly tended to the needs of the victims and their families since the tragic events of November 5, 2009."
Attorney Rubinstein, noting that a majority of the victims have joined the lawsuit alleging precisely the opposite, asked ABC News, "Who are they kidding?"
Army officials declined to comment further for this report, saying they didn't want to jeopardize the case.