A Fort Hood soldier was sentenced Wednesday to a month in jail for refusing to deploy to Afghanistan over his beliefs that the war violates international law.Fort Hood US Army base in the heart of Texas is home to some 50,000 US soldiers, their families and civilian support staff. The complex is next door to the town of Killeen where in 1991 another infamous shooting took place: a man rammed his truck into a cafe and shot dead 23 people, yelling beforehand, "This is what Central Texas did to me!"
Spc. Victor Agosto, 24, of Miami, pleaded guilty to disobeying lawful orders and was sentenced at the central Texas Army post.
"I really had no Army way of being consistent with my conscience," Agosto said. "The courts haven't recognized soldiers' rights to refuse an order they believe to be illegal.... I believe future courts will find that the Afghanistan war is illegal because it violates international law."
Like a gigantic departure lounge for troops sent to America's war theaters, the base is the first and last port of call for thousands of troops returning from, and being sent (or resent) to, Iraq and Afghanistan. What took place there on the day Guy Fawkes is remembered for high treason, recalls similar incidents that take place all too frequently in the US. A gunman (or two or three or more) shot dead 13 and wounded 31 soldiers and support staff at one or more facilities on the base. Within 24 hours, the investigation was all but declared a wrap as media consensus crystalized around a single perpetrator; a US soldier. An army Major no less. A Muslim army Major. In fact, a Muslim soldier of Palestinian descent. We couldn't help but think that this man seemed an exceedingly convenient scapegoat for a demoralised country conditioned by years of racist anti-Muslim propaganda. With the army changing its story throughout November 5, we smelled a cover-up and decided to dig around a little to see what interesting connections might come up.
The initial reports said that 7 people had been killed and 12 wounded in a shoot-out. Reuters relayed that two gunmen had been dressed in "military uniform." One had been taken into custody, but the other was still "on the loose."
Sgt. Major Jamie Posten, speaking on the phone from the base, told CNN that there was definitely more than one shooter involved:
This was also reported by MSNBC, which added breaking news that the shooter still on the loose was now surrounded at the base's postal exchange or commissary, completely separate buildings from the Soldier Readiness Center (where soldiers undergo medical screening prior to deployment), and was armed with a high-powered sniper rifle.
The military brass at Fort Worth confirmed these reports, Lieutenant Colonel Nathan Banks saying that two shooters were involved.
Then it was reported in local media (CentralTexasNow.com) that Fort Hood was "under attack from three shooters":
There are reports this afternoon that there are one or more shooters at a PX (Post Exchange) at Fort Hood, Texas.So it appears that at least three gunmen were shooting at people in different incidents which took place in different locations. A Dow Jones Newswire press release further suggests that they took place at different times:
The shooters are wearing military uniforms, but have not been identified as members of the military.
Given the fact that there are 3 shooters, the likelihood that it is a mental health/PTSD issue is less likely.
Fort Hood is on "lockdown". One gunman is reportedly in custody, and the third gunman is reportedly firing on S.W.A.T. teams that have been deployed.
A second gunman is in custody after a shooting at the Army's Fort Hood in Texas in which at least seven people were killed and 12 wounded, reports KCEN-TV of Waco. The report comes about two hours after a first suspect was captured, shortly after gunfire broke out.A curious report on CNN quoted another "senior military officer" describing how "men in suits" arrived to take a suspect away following a stand-off at a golf course two and half miles from the base:
The incident reportedly began at Fort"Hood's theater and then moved to the Soldier Readiness Processing Center, Killeen City Public Information Officer Hillary Shine told Fox News.
A senior officer who was playing golf Thursday near Fort Hood, Texas, told CNN he witnessed the arrest of one of the two surviving suspects of the shooting at the Army installation.
Shortly after the shooting, the officer said, military police told him to clear the course and he saw other MPs surround the building that held the golf carts, he said.