In everything Hasan says about his murders, he links them to his Islamic faith. Yet anyone who dared to suggest that perhaps the texts and teachings of the Islamic faith should be examined so as to understand his motives and goals more fully would be denounced as “Islamophobic.”
“Fort Hood Gunman Told Panel That Death Would Make Him a Martyr,” by Manny Fernandez for the New York Times, August 12 (thanks to Kenneth):
KILLEEN, Tex. “” One year after he waged a deadly shooting rampage at the Fort Hood Army base here in November 2009, Major Nidal Malik Hasan told a panel of military mental health experts that he wished he had been killed during the attack because it would have meant God had chosen him for martyrdom.
His statements to the panel, detailed in documents released by Major Hasan to The New York Times through his civilian lawyer, provided the first account of the shooting in Major Hasan’s own words and suggested that he believed the Army”s pursuit of the death penalty offered him salvation. Paralyzed by police officers who ended the attack when they shot him four times, he viewed the possibility of death as a badge of honor, according to the documents.
“I”m paraplegic and could be in jail for the rest of my life,” Major Hasan told the panel. “However, if I died by lethal injection I would still be a martyr.”
Major Hasan, 42, an American-born Muslim of Palestinian descent whose long-delayed court-martial began last week in a Fort Hood courtroom, said in the documents and in previous statements in and out of court that he carried out the attack to wage jihad for what he has called the illegal and immoral wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In the documents, he described in blunt and unapologetic terms how he killed soldiers as he stepped into a medical processing building on Nov. 5, 2009. He said he wore earplugs to muffle the sound of his semiautomatic weapon, and shot into areas that had the “greatest density of soldiers.” In the end, 13 people were dead.
“I don’t think what I did was wrong because it was for the greater cause of helping my Muslim brothers,” he told the military panel.
The three pages of documents were from a 49-page report of a military panel known as a sanity board, which concluded that Major Hasan was fit to stand trial.
The civilian lawyer who released the pages, John P. Galligan, used to represent Major Hasan in the case but was released by him in 2011. Mr. Galligan continues to provide legal assistance to Major Hasan and meets with him regularly. He has provided other documents at Major Hasan’s request, including other pages of the sanity board report, to Fox News. Army prosecutors were given a summary of the report, but Mr. Galligan said that they had not seen these newly released pages.
The documents shed light on the dispute that has developed between Major Hasan and his team of Army defense lawyers. Major Hasan has split from the lawyers and is representing himself, though the judge overseeing his military trial ordered them to remain as standby counsel. Last week, Major Hasan’s former lead Army defense lawyer, Lt. Col. Kris R. Poppe, asked the judge to limit their role because Major Hasan’s goal was a death sentence and helping him reach that goal violated their moral and professional responsibilities. The judge ordered the lawyers to continue in their current role. The lawyers are appealing.
In court, Major Hasan denied that he had a death wish. He wanted to elaborate, but the judge closed the session. The documents suggested that Colonel Poppe had accurately depicted Major Hasan’s desire to be put to death.
In the report, Major Hasan told the panel that he went to morning prayers at a Killeen mosque that day and then returned to his apartment, where he shredded his birth certificate and other documents. He said he would not need the documents because he would either be killed or in jail.
Major Hasan said he wanted to get to the medical processing building before 3 p.m. when a large number of people would be there, according to the report. He drove to the base, wearing fatigues with his rank and name tag. Major Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, said he had no doubts about his plan, but expressed reservations about some of the consequences, like the end of his medical career.
He said he walked into the building around 1 p.m. with a cellphone to his ear, pretending to talk to someone. Members of the sanity board panel asked him what he would have done had he seen someone he knew.
“I don’t know,” Major Hasan said. “I may not have aimed at them.”
He said he did not want to kill civilians and so told a civilian working at a front desk that the officer in charge needed her. Once she left, he shouted “Allahu akbar,” Arabic for “God is great,” and started firing his FN Five-Seven handgun.
He then went outside to a nearby auditorium to “shoot more targets,” but when he realized there was a graduation ceremony taking place he decided not to go inside because in the gowns, civilians were indistinguishable from soldiers, he said.
He told the panel he did not hear the officers coming toward him because of his ear plugs. He denied having remorse and justified his actions by saying that the soldiers he killed were “going against the Islamic Empire.”