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Lawyer: Hasan May Use Insanity Defense

From those defenders of the faith at the Associated Press:

A prayer rug rest against the wall in the apartment of Maj. Nidal Hasan in Killeen, Texas, Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2009. Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, is accused of killing 13 people and wounding dozens more Nov. 5 at the Fort Hood military base.

Atty: Fort Hood suspect may use insanity defense

By Angela K. Brown, Associated Press Writer

FORT WORTH, Texas – An Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people during an attack on his Texas post will likely plead not guilty to the charges against him and may use an insanity defense at his military trial, his attorney said Monday.

John Galligan, the civilian attorney for Maj. Nidal Hasan, said he is considering an insanity defense among other options, but that it’s too early to determine his defense strategy.

"Based on the evidence thus far, his mental status must be raised," Galligan told The Associated Press by phone from his office near Fort Hood, about 130 miles southwest of Dallas. "Anybody who allegedly engages in conduct that is completely contradictory to his lifestyle and military career — an insanity defense has to be considered."

Galligan said military law requires his client to plead not guilty if prosecutors seek the death penalty, but he said that decision has not been made…

Galligan said he is frustrated because prosecutors are taking too long to respond to his questions and requests. He said he has asked why no witnesses were allowed to testify during Saturday’s hearing, and why it was closed to the news media….

This attorney is undercutting his own case.

"Anybody who allegedly engages in conduct that is completely contradictory to his lifestyle and military career — an insanity defense has to be considered."

Given that Mr. Hasan was a practicing Muslim, how did anything in his life contradicted his actions? 

Instead, we think Mr. Hasan would be far better served by claiming he was acting upon his religious beliefs.

Which would amount to the same thing.

(Thanks to Melissa for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, November 23rd, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

8 Responses to “Lawyer: Hasan May Use Insanity Defense”

  1. canary says:

    Galligan has been creating a smoke screen to confuse the public. First, he cried they were holding his client without charging him. Then he complained his client wasn’t well enough to hear his charges, as he lay in hospital bed. So, Galligan insisted the hearing be done in the hospital. The media can not legally just go into a hospital taking photos or footage, whether civilian or military. Medical Privacy laws. Aside Galligan representing Hasan, his going on news shows, as some do for attention, is why there are so many lawyers going to hell jokes. Hasan could end up firing Galligan for yakking so much, even for his implying his client is insane.

  2. canary says:

    A Reporters Guide to Military Justice

    …Although the public has a right of access to military court proceedings, bases and military installations typically are not open to the public,…
    Recording devices and cameras can be brought to the base but the rules for court-martial ban them from the courtroom.

    Under narrow circumstances, entire Article 32 hearings or courts-martial, or just parts of those proceedings, may be closed — ….that a particular testimonial privilege outweighs the public’s right of access and that the closure is narrowly tailored to protect the privacy interests at stake.

    Courts uphold closure where military law requires it. For instance, Military…

    Rule of Evidence 513, dealing with the psychotherapist-patient privilege, …

    authorizes a military judge to conduct a closed hearing when litigating the issue of whether patient records may be released to the defense. And courts generally uphold the closure of military proceedings where disclosure of information will likely harm national security or……

    … Roeder said. “Getting to watch the CIA guy testify from behind a curtain was just awesome.”

    Once admitted to a proceeding, reporters may take written notes of the proceedings while in the courtroom and sketch artists may draw court participants. Audio and visual recording devices, however, except for those necessary for preparation of the record of trial or for use as an aid to the introduction of evidence at the court-martial, are prohibited.

    …. Most service people, and therefore, most witnesses, live on base or installation, on which the public is not permitted to freely roam….
    ….The purpose behind this is to ensure that the judicial system is not a party to the further dissemination of these images.

    This guide was compiled by Brooke Weese, a legal intern with the Reporters Committee.

    Personally, I’d love to see Hasan lying wounded in his hospital bed, observing if he appears crazy, seeing what method is used when he eliminating body fluids & waste, (still on bags, or bottle). Observe his face for pain, anger. Is he is capable of using a lap top? …click click..or using a fork or knife?..chop..chop.. chop
    laptop? click..click….

    And do witnesses want their faces on the news with head-choppers out there.

  3. beautyofreason says:

    Are we going to classify all radical Muslims as insane?

    Political correctness demands it.
    Both the NYT and the AP have been pushing the opinion that Hasan is suffering from PTSD by osmosis, in order to draw attention away from some inconvenient Islamic convictions on the part of the terrorist – ahem – misunderstood individual.

    Hasan has a very specific ideology that favors Islamic law over American law, coupled with intense hatred for non-Muslims and the United States. Doesn’t take a rocket scientist…

    His views are prejudiced and destructive, but not insane. He knows how to choose between different value systems and he chose one of the most violent, backward belief systems on the planet.

  4. --dante-- says:

    The insanity plea is a loophole for the guilty to go free but its not insanity when your religion demands this behavior. Also the definition given in the article doesnt work because of course this is behavior that is not consistent with the terrorists past, if he had done something like this before hed be dead or on trial already. What im saying is doing something once does not mean that you are insane.

  5. GetBackJack says:

    Sell, of course Hasan is insane.

    That’s a given.

    Belief in the Blood God of War, Allah, and his thirst to punish and inflict death and misery especially upon women … well, you’ve got to be a total whack-job to begin with for any of that whargarble to appeal to you.

    But that’s not sufficient cause to prevent strapping him to Old Sparky and make him glow like a light bulb.

  6. Why did he snap?

    We are the insane ones! The rules of engagement in Iraq are that U.S. soldiers must appear before an Iraqi Judge to have captive Muslims insurgents imprisoned. They have to present evidence that the insurgents committed the ambush or what ever. The soldiers collect, in a hot zone, the spent cartridges, the road side bomb making materials and other evidence. Some judges require two Iraqi witnesses. Often the captured “alleged” insurgents are let go. Our soldiers are fighting them again in a couple of days.

    Some soldiers such as the “Killings at the Canal” have been shooting captured insurgents rather than go through the hassle of dealing with the “justice” system.

    As they come home, they have tremendous guilt over their actions. They go to psychiatrist Major Hassan. They confess to him in confidentiality. It drives him crazy that he cannot tell authorities and cannot have these, in his mind, “Muslim murderers” arrested.

    In frustration and egged on by his radical Muslim cleric, he plans and commits this vengeful martyrdom.

    In the end, it will be a trial of American atrocities in Iraq. Hassan will be freed.

  7. proreason says:

    Why is he even in the American justice system? Same for KSM.

    Shouldn’t these heroes be judged under Sharia law? After all, they don’t accept the hegemony of US laws.

    Wouldn’t that be the “fair” thing to do?

  8. Tater Salad says:

    In his column below, Wall Street Journal columnist Daniel Henninger raises an important point that ACT! has been posing for years.

    At what point does speech which advocates violent jihad, murder and mayhem against Americans by Islamists cease being protected under the First Amendment?

    It is our opinion that jihadist speech, which includes websites and other communications, needs to be evaluated in a historical and doctrinal context.

    That context is that the “call to jihad,” or the advocacy of jihad, very often leads to jihad. In other words, there is an arguable cause and effect, or at least a high positive correlation. There is an argument that the call to jihad poses an imminent threat to life.

    Osama bin Laden declared holy war against America, which was followed by the attacks on September 11th. Nidal Hasan responded to the advocacy of jihad and perpetrated the worst terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11. Each of the publicized foiled terror plots in the last four months was initiated by adherents to jihadist ideology.

    As Henninger notes:

    “First Amendment law has never dealt with a widely distributed ideology that has as its raison d’être the mass murder of Americans and destruction of American property.”

    Well said. Because whether America likes it or not, at some point we are going to have to wrestle with how the First Amendment applies to jihadist speech. Choosing not to will simply mean more jihadists and more terror attacks.


    Hasan, Not KSM, Is the Real Problem

    If it accomplished nothing else, the Obama administration’s announcement last Friday to try 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in lower Manhattan blew the Nidal Hasan murders out of the news. The KSM fiasco deserves all the attention it gets. What Hasan represents, however, is a more immediate concern.

    Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is an old-school jihadi. They sit in far-off redoubts, assembling terror teams of foreign nationals who now must figure out how to get themselves and their plot inside the U.S. Not impossible, but harder than before 9/11.

    Hasan is new school. He is what’s known as a homegrown terrorist. Virtually all the Islamic terrorist plots thwarted in the U.S. in recent years were homegrown, not designed from afar by a KSM.

    Najibullah Zazi, the Colorado airport-shuttle driver arrested in New York this September and charged with conspiring to detonate bombs, came to the U.S. in 1999.

    The Fort Dix Six, convicted in December of conspiring to attack U.S. military personnel, were mainly ethnic Albanians whose family came to New Jersey in the 1980s.

    Zakaria Amara, the leader of the Toronto 18, who were planning to blow up skyscrapers in Canada, was born in a Toronto suburb.

    How do individuals sitting in Colorado, New Jersey, Toronto or Texas suddenly transform into mass murderers for jihad? Most of the time, they become radicalized by spending vast amounts of time viewing violent Islamic Web sites run from abroad.

    Two years ago, Lawrence Sanchez of the New York City Police Department’s intelligence division told the Senate Homeland Security Committee that the Internet is “the most significant factor in the radicalization that is occurring in America.” Mr. Sanchez described this process as “self-imposed brainwashing.”

    In New York Times reporter David Rohde’s account of his captivity by the Taliban, he wrote that “watching jihadi videos” was his guards’ favorite pastime. He describes them as “little more than grimly repetitive snuff films” of executions.

    If you sit in the United States and watch this stuff ’round the clock—self-brainwashing—it is fully protected activity. It qualifies as “speech,” protected by the panoply of First Amendment law. These protections exist nowhere else in the world.

    The biggest controversy surrounding Maj. Hasan is that the Army knew about his radical Islamic sympathies, from the Walter Reed lecture and the monitored emails to the English-speaking, American-born Yemeni imam Anwar Awlaki.

    The argument is that the Army should have mustered him out of the service and thereby avoided the 13 murders. Really? After kicking him out of the Army, there was no probable cause for authorities to surveil a civilian Nidal Hasan. In time he as easily could have killed 13 Americans in a suburban Texas mall.

    Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, as the judge presiding over the 1995 trial of the “blind sheik,” Omar Abdel Rahman, for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, had to instruct the jury that the sheik’s violent, “holy war” sermons at New York mosques were legal, protected activity (he was convicted of conspiracy). There is a mosque in Manhattan at 96th Street and Lexington Avenue, on whose sidewalk one can hear adherents spouting support for violence against the U.S. That, too, is protected.

    A violent ideology is just an ideology, and that is protected speech. It requires acts to put in motion aggressive surveillance, such as wiretapping.

    I think the Hasan case shows this is wrong, or at least too dangerous. First Amendment law has never dealt with a widely distributed ideology that has as its raison d’être the mass murder of Americans and destruction of American property.

    For now this is the way it is: Future Hasans can get jacked up all day on kill-the-Americans Web sites, and we have to wait until they put in motion a conspiracy like Fort Dix or the Colorado jihadists. Or until they start shooting.

    Politics is the only recourse.

    This is what the political fight was through the Bush years—fights over the Patriot Act, warrantless wiretaps of conversations between U.S. citizens and foreign suspects, using the Swift financial data system to track terrorist transfers (or, with KSM, military tribunals versus civil courts). The argument against these policies was that “our values” require that judges review and approve virtually all such activity.

    The problem with this view is that “our values” were already protected to an unprecedented degree. Raising the bar higher is asking too much of the people assigned to catch all these self-radicalizing jihadists.

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