Ft. Hood - Major Hasan broke his silence to cross examine his former boss shortly before the noon recess.
The former chief of psychiatry at Darnall Army Hospital on post, retired Lt. Col. Ben Phillips testified that he gave Hasan the highest rating “outstanding, must promote,” as he did the other 15 to 20 psychiatrists under his supervision, because he had no alternative “unless I wanted to basically end their careers.”
Other ratings include satisfactory, should promote, unsatisfactory, do not promote, and “other.” Any of the three ratings can end a career, he explained.
It was Dr. Phillips who informed the former Army psychiatrist that he would be deployed to Afghanistan following a transfer to Ft. Benning, Georgia, on Nov. 28. He approved a period of leave for Hasan.
When the government passed the witness, Hasan, who is defending himself, asked him about some Army personnel who “killed unarmed female civilians,” poured 50 gallons of gasoline in the water supply, and allowed medical staff to engage in mercy killings of wounded Afghanis.
Chief Prosecutor Col. Michael Mulligan immediately objected that the line of questioning is beyond that which he opened on direct examination. The judge explained to Hasan that he cannot question a government witness about anything that the prosecution has not already inquired about.
Other witnesses testified about signs of strange behavior. A neighbor, Patricia Villa, testified that he gave here numerous personal items and $60 to clean his one-bedroom apartment on Nov. 5, 2009, the day of the shooting. He said he would not be returning.
She said she was never got a chance to clean the dwelling because “That was when everything happened.” Law men poured onto the property and began to search Hasan’s apartment, she explained, in the early afternoon. She gave the items he had given her to FBI crime evidence technicians.
On the morning of the day of the shooting, a fellow Islamic faithful described how the Imam at the Killeen Islamic Center had designated him to lead the call to morning prayer. In a surprise move, recalled Pat Santi, Hasan came forward and took the microphone before he could get it, led the call to prayers, and then “He bid us goodbye and told the congregation he was going home.”
He agreed that Hasan’s behavior startled him.