Sen. Lieberman to seek Purple Heart for slain soldier in Defense bill

“Your son should obviously be awarded the Purple Heart,” Lieberman said. “There’s a conference committee this afternoon on the two Department of Defense authorization bills that have passed. I’m sure everybody will support this. I’m going to see if we can draft up language included in that conference report.”

ADVERTISEMENT
A Lieberman spokeswoman said that adding the Purple Heart to the Defense bill was a new idea for the Connecticut senator and he did not know yet whether it would be possible.

Long’s father Daris Long testified at Thursday’s hearing, which covered his son’s attack and the Ft. Hood shooting. Long blasted the government’s response after his son was killed.

“I am convinced the government’s position is to deny Little Rock as a terrorist attack,” Long said. “By not being open and transparent, and despite promises to do so, to this administration's shame two soldiers have been abandoned on the battlefield in the advancement of a political agenda.”

House Homeland Security Chairman Peter King (R-N.Y.) said it was “very odd” that the U.S. didn’t consider it an act of terrorism.

Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) called the decision not to award the Purple Heart a “head scratcher. He asked Jim Stuteville, an Army senior adviser for counterintelligence operations and liaison to the FBI, why the military honor was not awarded.

Stuteville responded that the Army Secretary could not award the Purple Heart because the attack had been deemed a criminal matter and not terrorism.

He said he would take the senator’s concerns back to Army leadership, and that if “new information surfaced” it could be considered in the future.