What Do You Call It?
Much has been made – in conservative circles, at least – on the administration’s labeling of Nidal Hasan’s assault on Ford Hood as “workplace violence” when there is increasing evidence that it was not a case of an employee “going postal”. The distinction matters in terms of the benefits given to the casualties. At the same time, it wasn’t really “terrorism” as it was an attack on a military target. Not was it a “terrorist attack” in the sense that the USS Cole could be considered such – a military attack perpetrated by people associated with terrorism – because, he was acting alone. Which also precludes calling it a “military attack.”
So I seem to have eliminated every short-hand description I can think of. I would love to say that it’s a one-off event that doesn’t need a description, but this is the world we live in.