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Soldier Ordered To Erase Ft Hood Videos

From a quietly approving Associated Press:

Soldier says ordered to delete Fort Hood video

ANGELA K. BROWN, MICHAEL GRACZK, Associated Press Writers
Oct. 15, 2010

FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) — A soldier says he shot cell phone video during last year’s Fort Hood deadly rampage but that an officer ordered him to delete the footage.

Under cross examination Friday, Pfc. Lance Aviles has told a military court that he deleted the two videos at the direction of his NCO on the same day as the shooting, Nov. 5.

Friday is the third full day of testimony at the Article 32 hearing to decide if Maj. Nidal Hasan, the 40-year-old American-born Muslim charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder at Fort Hood, should stand trial.

Witnesses have already described how they saw Hasan open fire, shoot rapidly and reload at least one laser-sighted handgun in a medical processing center at the Texas Army post…

It sounds like Mr. Hasan was not the only person who ran amuck that terrible day.

Still, is this not a crime? Ordering the destruction of evidence of a crime? Of course, in today’s military, political correctness trumps all.

And, come to think of it, is this all that different from a news service ordering its reporters not to cover a news item because it is too politically incorrect?

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, October 15th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

33 Responses to “Soldier Ordered To Erase Ft Hood Videos”

  1. NoNeoCommies says:

    It is a soldier’s duty to refuse to follow unlawful orders.
    It is also a soldier’s duty to provide truthful testimony concerning any incident where rules of conduct are broken.
    That would include preservation of evidence.

  2. wardmama4 says:

    And sadly Privates are notorious for fudging situations/the truth in an attempt to get 1) the limelight and 2) a superior in trouble – no matter how stupid and/or wrong they are. It was an immoral and thus illegal order and he should have not done it. The truly funny thing is that the Army (in one of it’s most ironic states) can and probably will charge him for destruction of evidence – and use his refusal to deny an illegal order as their basis to keep him a Private until he serves his time and is forced out.

    But in this digital age – maybe our young people will learn that words mean something and can paint an even more vivid picture just with the witnesses first hand testimony – it would be nice if some other news outlet than Associated (with Terrorists) Press were covering the event – We just might get closer to the truth.

    God Help America
    A Proud American Infidel

  3. proreason says:


    Insane shooter fire wildly, killing over a dozen in a confined space. Hundreds of people dive for cover, run for exits, play dead, scramble out of the maniac’s line of vision as he reloads and continues firing.

    But one cool-headed private calmly records the in-progress carnage, putting his life at risk to do so. Later, the hero erases the triumph of his life because an NCO tells him to.

    Sorry, I ain’t buying it.

  4. GetBackJack says:

    This whole episode of La Vida Loca smells like fish wrap.

    Something’s really really wrong with this whole thing from start to finish.

  5. canary says:

    The AP did not even give the NCO’s name. Surely, the Private had to give that detail on such a critical issue, and the NCO would have to tell who ordered him.

    The drawings of Hasan makes me sick. His little green cap to cover his shaved head, & blanket or veil he has wrapped around him.

    One photo as the girl on the stand is weeping with kleenix, Hasan has a smirk of a smile on his face. No remorse. He must actually believe his attorney’s sleazy excuse.
    Hasan’s a coward & liar not to confess and put these Americans through hell, having to relive Hasan’s religious terrorist act. Hasan would never say my religion made me do it.

    • wardmama4 says:

      Where did you see the photos? All I was able to track was the same stupid AP story with the picture of Hansan.

      God Help America
      A Proud American Infidel

    • canary says:

      Wardmama there were 1-4 drawings you click through. And you bring up a good point.
      I’ve never seen pictures of those that were murdered, and those crippled by Hasan. The media keeps politely referring to him as a suspect. The military is powerful at covering things up, but why this? It’s probable there were surveillance cameras, and that is the power of the government not to release things. Hasan is a racist & bigot and committed one of the biggest hate crimes in U.S. & U.S. military history. Gosh, being wheelchair bound won’t put him out of work. He can still tell our soldiers how bad they are for fighting terrorists. He won’t even need an ankle bracelet. He should go to Utah where they can legally hang him.

      p.s. Still pray every day for you & your sons. Hang in there, ward mama.

    • wardmama4 says:

      I found them finally on one of the sites. The military does it differently – since he is an Officer – this is like a Grand Jury hearing to see if there is enough to get to trial. That trial (given the location) will probably be in Denver (however, once again – since he is an Officer – not quite sure). And as for information – this was an act committed on Federal property and right now – ongoing. It will take a FOIA request after it is all over for it all to come out.

      We still don’t have the full report on our son’s 2001 injury simply because we have never filed the FOIA. It took us more than a year to simply go through what they did return to us. It is a very hard thing to do – when you relive it daily in flashbacks combined with the dealing with all the medical care issues afterward. And that many of these young men and women are back into service – is amazing.

      Be patient – the military isn’t pussy footing around as much as AP would like to make it sound. It is just the way they work – and Ft Hood has been closed tightly since 9/11 – another aspect of the entire event that the media is not happy about.

      Thank you for your prayers for my sons they certainly need them – as do these fine young men & women who were thrown into a terrible situation not of their making.

      God Help America
      A Proud American Infidel

  6. bobdog says:

    C’mon, folks. This story is from AP. These folks can’t even get their facts right in a four sentence story.

    The AP isn’t even aware there’s a difference between an “officer” and an “NCO”.

    So which is he? An officer, or an NCO?

  7. canary says:

    AP: Military court hears Fort Hood shooting 911 call
    Angela K. Brownangela
    Michael Gracyzk

    FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) — A terrified worker begged a 911 dispatcher for help as gunfire and screams rang out during a deadly rampage at Fort Hood, according to a recording of the phone call played Wednesday at a military hearing…

    … She said she hid under a desk and could only see the shooter’s slow, deliberate footsteps around the center as the tragedy unfolded…

    Harper told the dispatcher “Hurry, hurry, hurry please,” according to the recording, which was peppered with the background sounds of gunshots, the moans of injured victims — including a soldier who was standing in front of Harper when he was shot three times — and people yelling for help…

    Harper cried as the 911 tape was played, but no one else in the courtroom showed any reaction, including Hasan and some of the victims’ relatives assembled there.

    Hasan, who has been paralyzed from the chest down since Fort Hood police officers fired at him during the rampage, was expressionless throughout the morning session of the hearing….

    He wore his Army combat uniform and pulled a blanket around him while sitting in his wheelchair.

    Earlier Wednesday, a sergeant who lost most of the sight in his left eye after being shot five times in the attack, said Hasan pulled out weapons from his Army combat uniform and shouted “Allahu Akbar,” which means “God is Great,” in Arabic.

    “Maj. Hasan and I made eye contact. The laser (on the weapon’s barrel) comes across my line of sight. I closed my eyes. He discharged his weapon,” said Lunsford.

    Lunsford, a 6 foot 9 1/2 serviceman who is now based at Fort Bragg, N.C., testified that he crouched behind a check-in counter at the processing center and watched as a civilian physician assistant, Michael Grant Cahill, tried to knock Hasan down with a chair. Cahill was one of the 13 killed that day.

    entire article

    • wardmama4 says:

      You want to know the crazy aspect of that – calling 911 on Ft Hood? Original dial – gives you the Killeen 911 – and they transfer you to Ft Hood 911! I know as I had to use it for my son’s injury. I could not believe it – as soon as I said I needed an ambulance & gave the address – I was transferred to Ft Hood. Talk about complicating the issue and making the time interval ever greater.

      But no one on the left/media really cares – the military gets what they deserve which is what most liberals feel about anything that happens to them – just imagine if that happened to any of the ‘chosen’ victim special interest groups – the howling from the left would be incessant.

      God Help America
      A Proud American Infidel

  8. oldpuppydixie says:

    If the soldier actually DID destroy the videos, he’s STUPID and cowardly.

    • canary says:

      as he was told to delete it on the same day of the trauma he witnessed, he might not have been thinking straight, and his NCO may have been in his face or had him by the collar. The question is where was the top order from, because I can not see any reason anyone would order this, and would think the NCO was ordered by someone.

  9. Freedom615 says:

    My niece was serving at Fort Hood at the time of the shooting. Hassan was no more than 10 yards behind her and only by the Grace of God was she not harmed.

    We thank God for her being spared and our hearts break for the others whose lives were taken.

  10. Chinnubie says:

    The NCO had to have been ordered, everything in the military is through the chain of command and this would be no different. More than likely to control the damage as much as possible was the thinking behind erasing the video.

    What I’m curious about, why didn’t the Private just tell his NCO that he had erased the video and keet it regardless of the order. Thinking under pressure sure doesn’t seem to be an asset of this particular soldier, I don’t think I would want to go to war with that guy, order asside. Do we know the religious background of this particular Private?? It might make a difference in explaining the reason behind erasing the video, regardless of being ordered.

    • Adam Moreira says:

      I suspect that it may have come from the commander of the fort—or his direct underling.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      Experts in the military chain of command. Who among you two is a veteran?

    • Adam Moreira says:

      While I’m not a veteran, some in my family are very familiar. Officers are the thinkers and NCOs are the doers.

      @Liberals Demise – nope – several family members actually served in the Armed Forces…one in the Air Force and one in the Army…and that’s exactly how it works.

      If you disagree, show me facts.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      Very familiar?
      Your family stay overnight at a Holiday Inn Express, Adam?

    • Liberals Demise says:

      @ Adam
      Then I suggest you say so and leave it at that.
      Here is your fact big boy:
      Saying “familiar” is not the same as “Veteran”.
      Savvy? (that’s 2 v’s)

    • canary says:

      Yes Adam you are not familiar with the military or you’d understand all that b.s. about gays getting booted out is propaganda.
      There is a chain of command that is to be followed.
      If you are given orders you are to follow them. You might have the next on the chain of command nearby, and try and argue. Otherwise, you have to follow the order and then complain fallowing the chain of command.

  11. Coco Q. Rico says:

    Hi folks, a couple points I’d like to bring up, for discussion.

    FIrst, in the Army (I can’t speak for the AF or other branches), rules regarding cell phone use are understandably vague and only recently elaborated. As a Private, this individual probably had to sign some papers about his cell phone upon joining the unit, and may have had strict orders not to carry it on him at certain times.

    When I was a Private, which was extremely recent, I had to sign out my cell phone during a small time span when it was allowed. I was only allowed to turn it on during certain times of the day — personal time, unless my NCO gave me a card with permission to use it for military purposes.

    So I’m not calling BS on a lot of the folks here who are trying to trash this PVT for what he did, or the NCO who ordered him to delete the pics, but I would say that you have to reconsider your views given the reality of the current laws about this technology. I don’t think the NCO was inappropriate in telling him to delete the photos, nor do I think the existence of such photos would have made much of a difference in this trial. It was totally right for the PVT to delete the photos upon orders of his NCO.

    I’m not sure of the other implications people brought up in this thread, like the question of whether the PVT was trying to be a whistleblower. The news item doesn’t imply that.

    Then again the news item is written by someone who doesn’t understand the difference between an NCO and an officer, which is pretty tragic.

    I would advise you guys to get some of your news also directly from the Marine Corps Times, Army Times, et al, which are linked from my website. Just some food for thought.

    Wardmama, I pray for your family and your child involved in the military.

    Lastly, I wouldn’t say political correctness trumps all in the military. What may seem like an unusual sensitivity to Islam comes from the fact that people in places like Ft Hood have disproportionately spent time in Muslim terrain dealing with our Muslim enemies and they’ve gotten to know them as people, so they sincerely view them as human. That’s one of the strange byproducts of war. Many people in the Army come home to the US actually missing Iraq (not so much Afghanistan) and feeling disappointed by American culture, especially American self-indulgence, while harboring an unwilling respect for our Muslim enemies, who seem to exalt in self-sacrifice and religious principle more unanimously than do American citizens.

    • wardmama4 says:

      Thank you for your kind words regarding my family who is serving. As for personal knowledge – I was an Army wife from 1975 to 2004 – both Officer and Enlisted. I have been an Army Mom since 1998. I have been a Marine Mom & a Marine MIL and I had two nephews in the Army & one in the Navy. And that just covers those serving since 1975 – my family has a long history of serving this country in uniform.

      And as much as things change – they stay the same. BS is bs – and PVTs are among the best at it – for many reasons – amongst which probably is most likely – that they don’t know much other than what they are ordered to do.

      The JAG & MPs do not take kindly to evidence being deleted – it would take very little for them to transfer said pictures/video onto a disk and delete it and return the phone to said PVT – and his chain of command be it an NCO or Officer – should be very much aware of that plus the illegal nature of such an order.

      I have mixed feelings on whether the PVT is telling the truth or bsing – 1) this is AP – go back and do some research on the AP since OEF started – they do not have the best interest of the military and the Troops in their ‘reporting’, 2) I can’t imagine and Officer or even an NCO ordering him to delete evidence – that is a chargeable offense but on the other side of the issue is 3) having young adult children I do know that there does not appear to be anything that some of them will not take pictures of or videos of – even if it is wrong or offensive. So I guess we have to let the MPs & CID get to the bottom of the PVT, his alleged pictures/video and the alleged order.

      As for checking the Army Times (or any of the others) – check ’em – they use the AP too – I took a ‘reporter’ to task for a lie – and he stated – he just printed what they were sent. Such is the depth of journalism we have in America today.

      We shall see if political correctness distorts this case or if justice shall prevail – I’m betting on the military – it may take them a while – and it may not fully be what is thought to be right – but involving the intentional killing of soldiers – I believe that they will do the right thing.

      God Help America
      A Proud American Infidel

    • Coco Q. Rico says:

      Wardmama, since 2004 the rules have changed tremendously about cell phones with cameras on them. This PVT was essentially walking around an Army base with a camera, as well as with technology that would have allowed him to send the image anywhere in the world within seconds. That technology was still rather crude in 2004, and the regulations didn’t fully account for it. So your family’s illustrious years of serving in the military do not necessarily mean you can make a judgment in this case about this PVT taking pictures and why an NCO would tell him to delete the photos.

      JAG is a remote little world we don’t even think about most of the time. MPs are often blockheads. I think in this case, as Chase intimates below, there was a PVT who wasn’t supposed to be walking around with a cell phone taking pictures, he took pictures at an inappropriate time, and for security reasons, the NCO told him to delete the images rather than send that imagery to the press or somewhere and then cause the situation to proliferate with more copycat crimes.

    • wardmama4 says:

      Fine I will check with every single person I know currently in the Army from PVT to MAJ – including my nephew who was a JAG Officer – and get their take on the legalities of this.

      BS is bs – wait I already said that. Having worked for the Army in addition to living within The Fortress for almost 3 decades – I am not a frickin’ idiot – and with children of our friends on active duty – I am not as far removed from the day to day – I am just no longer living on post.

      I had a COL once tell me (since like you, all he thought of me was that I was a whinning wife) ‘You think we are God, we can’t do anything.’ Well crock of bs that was – Where I worked we had to be up on the regulations to direct soldiers & family members to the appropriate agency – and I know how to read a Reg.

      Having also worked with a JAG lawyer and having one as a nephew – they are not as remote as you believe them to be. While the MPs might be the lesser of the criminal chain – I see exactly where your allegiances lie.

      Good luck on your career – in my 29 years – I’ve seen people like you every where I went – I was offering a few truisms I learned over the years – you come off sounding like you think you know it all. Big difference.

      I’ve also been around & in my opinion – Ft Hood is one of the best – sorry if that hits some of you wrong. Just my humble .02 opinion (and I’d give anything to be back there now – and I am not a fan of TX at all).

      God Help America
      A Proud American Infidel

  12. Chase says:

    I would argue that NCOs do plenty of thinking (not higher policy, but quick reactions and with regard to keeping soldiers and units and their leaders out of trouble) and that that might be what happened here, if the Pvt. is being forthright.

    The military is also very concerned about images of casualties being out there. If this in fact happened, I would guess that there was a misunderstanding between the shocked Pvt and his NCO, and that the NCO issued his order assuming that the photographic evidence was that of casualties and victims or that which might be misued for sensationlism, vs that of the crime being committed. Abu Ghurayb’s impact and lessons are still pretty close to the surface. Just a guess…

    • mr_bill says:

      Chase, yours is the most reasonable explanation I have heard. I think it is still odd that the officer (or NCO) who gave the order didn’t spend any time finding out what was on the video before he ordered evidence destroyed. Most people would be inclined to look at the video, unless they were under orders from higher up to have the video destroyed, regardless of its content. The whole thing is very strange. Perhaps testimony from the officer (or NCO) will be forthcoming and we will be able to find out who ordered the video deleted and why.

    • Adam Moreira says:

      But at the same time, giving your message a reading now (didn’t see it before), why didn’t the NCO simply look at the photos first, so that any relevant photos could be taken and held under wraps?

  13. canary says:

    Coco. Q. (queen?) rico. There is no military law that a soldier can not walk around a U.S. military base with a cell phone or a camera. Aside it the evidence of the largest terrorist attack on a military base, the NCO would have taken the camera. If the camera was contraband, which it certainly was not, the NCO would have taken the camera. Soldiers take pictures overseas too.

    “…he took pictures at an inappropriate time, and for security reasons, the NCO told him to delete the images rather than send that imagery to the press…”

    “an inappropriate time” ?! The camera should have been handed over to authorities as part of the crime scene.
    OH! Perhaps the evidence was ordered destroyed by that muslim American military officer or the female officer who had no problem speaking to & doing interviews with national media to put Hasan & the military in a favorable light as if they were not aware of a problem with Hasan, even though it turns out they were well aware of a problem, and even the FBI was watching his internet for months before it happened.

    Too bad the same NCO didn’t stop the off duty police officer from entering the building and getting shot while shooting the terrorist. Sorry, but this is federal property and your out of your jurisdiction. Oh my. I hope Hasan’s attorney doesn’t sue the police officer for shooting him while he was on duty. The military might not hand over pictures Hasan shot her too. At least twice.

  14. proreason says:

    I like Coco. He’s not a nut and he’s got guts.

  15. wardmama4 says:

    So leave it to AP to finally let the truth slip out – 2 weeks into this Article 32 hearing:

    Jameson also testified Wednesday that a witness who deleted cell phone footage that day said it showed a wounded soldier in another building and was not recorded in the medical center during the shooting.


    The msm sucks – about as truthful as the tabloids – and about as trustworthy.

    God Help America
    A Proud American Infidel

  16. canary says:

    coco/ First, in the Army (I can’t speak for the AF or other branches), rules regarding cell phone use are understandably vague and only recently elaborated. As a Private, this individual probably had to sign some papers about his cell phone upon joining the unit, and may have had strict orders not to carry it on him at certain times.

    When I was a Private, which was extremely recent, I had to sign out my cell phone during a small time span when it was allowed. I was only allowed to turn it on during certain times of the day — personal time, unless my NCO gave me a card with permission to use it for military purposes.

    Co Co, It sounds like you are a private talking restrictions while in boot camp. So, how come you left the army. A fort preceeds the name of the army post. It’s not an army fort. Airforce has a base.

    So, why & how did you get out of the military early

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