Archive for the ‘Insights Into the Trial’ Category

First, apologies for not getting John Guandolo’s podcast to you correctly. I’m working on fixing it asap.

Second, this reporter reports that: “. . . . more than two dozen other soldiers and civilians spoke under oath about their struggle to survive in the terrifying minutes after he yelled “Allahu akbar!” (“ALLAH is great!” in Arabic) and started shooting,” but then the reporter makes this next ridiculous comment: “Yet the gunman and his motive remain an enigma.” This puts the reporter into a collaborators’ camp; or he’s so green behind the ears he shouldn’t be let out alone to cross the street.

BHO ought to be on trial here as an accomplice to murder, is my thinking, him with his “Don’t name the enemy” junk.
Dorrie

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/16/us/16hearing.html?_r=2&scp=1&sq=At%20Hearing%20On%20Fort%20Hood%20Attack,%20Few%20Clues&st=cse

At Hearing on Fort Hood Attack, Few Clues

FORT HOOD, Tex. � Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, with a blanket draped over his shoulders and a watch cap pulled low over his dark eyes, listened impassively in recent days as several survivors of his murderous rampage a year ago rose and pointed to him as the gunman who had shot them.

No emotion or hint of the defendant’s thoughts flickered across his pale features, as more than two dozen other soldiers and civilians spoke under oath about their struggle to survive in the terrifying minutes after he yelled “Allahu akbar!” (ALLAH is great! in Arabic) and started shooting. He sank low in his wheelchair (he is paralyzed from the waist down after the police shot him to end his shooting attack on Nov. 5) and stared intensely at the witnesses. At times he made small, precise notes on a legal pad, but he said nothing to his lawyers.

A parade of prosecution witnesses, many of them still struggling with their wounds, provided a gripping, almost cinematic account of the attack in which 13 people died and dozens were wounded.

Yet the gunman and his motive remain an enigma. And there were few clues about what sort of defense Major Hasan, a 40-year-old Army psychiatrist, would mount in the face of such overwhelming evidence.

The witnesses spoke at an Article 32 hearing, a military proceeding in which an investigating officer, in this case Col. James L. Pohl, listens to evidence and decides whether to recommend a court-martial, what charges should be filed and what the penalty should be.

The hearing is not a trial, and the defense often uses it discover the strength of prosecution�s evidence, while the prosecution sometimes uses it to encourage the defense to enter a guilty plea.

The lead defense attorney, John Galligan, has left open the possibility he might mount an insanity defense, yet he blocked a mental evaluation of his client a week before the hearing, saying that Major Hasan was not given enough notice.

Cross-examining the witnesses, Mr. Galligan and his team seemed focused on eliciting testimony that Major Hasan fired randomly rather than singling out people, a hint the defense may seek to erode the prosecution theory that the gunman�s actions were coldly planned.

Outside the courtroom, Mr. Galligan has said that the government should disclose, before a court-martial, several high-level investigations into the massacre and what led to it. They include a report on whether Major Hasan�s superiors at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where he worked before being transferred to Fort Hood, should have foreseen that he would become violent.

Experts on military law say that Major Hasan and his lawyers have very few cards to play. He is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder, and he could face the death penalty. To get a capital conviction, the prosecution must show that he rationally planned out the killings beforehand, and that his actions were �premeditated and deliberated.�

�If you can create doubt that this was a planned series of killings, then you have a chance of defeating the level of murder that carries the death penalty,� said Geoffrey Corn, an expert on military law at South Texas College of Law in Houston.

Over three days, more than two dozen witnesses at the hearing described how Major Hasan shouted �Allahu akbar!� and then opened fire with a laser-guided handgun at a crowd of soldiers as they waited to see medical staff members before deployment. He gunned down one man who tried to hit him with a chair and chased another soldier out of the building to shoot him, witnesses said.

Major Hasan, a Muslim whose parents immigrated from the West Bank, fired first at a crowded waiting area, then he walked around and shot soldiers as they tried to hide under desks, chairs and tables, only pausing to reload and saying nothing after his first outburst, several witnesses said.

The air filled with gun smoke and people bled to death while others played dead to save their own lives. The laser guide from the gun cut across the smoky area searching for targets. Some sprinted for the only two exits when he was reloading. More than 100 shots were fired.

Several of the witnesses had survived multiple gunshot wounds.

Staff Sgt. Paul Martin recounted his attempts to escape, as he was hit first in the arm, then in the left leg after he dove to the floor. When he rose and tried to make it to the door, the gunman blocked his way and then shot him in the back as he ran to take cover behind an office partition.

�My legs went out from under me and I hit the floor,� Sergeant Martin said. �I thought �Oh God, I�m paralyzed.� � But the feeling came back to his feet, and he and a female soldier made it out together during another pause in the shooting.

Staff Sgt. Patrick Zeigler said he thought at first the attack was a training exercise. He froze in disbelief as the laser guide crossed his eyes. Then he was hit.

�It felt like someone hit me in the head with a metal baseball bat,� Sergeant Zeigler said, touching the right side of his head where doctors later had to remove part of his brain. He recalled hitting the floor and crawling desperately across the ground toward the door before passing out. �There was a pool of my own blood on the ground in front of me,� he said.

The sergeant was shot three more times and barely survived. He walked slowly into court with a cane, a large scar visible on his misshapen cranium.

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