|Mullah Omar of the Taliban of the Emirate of Afghanistan|
He is an avowed enemy of the United States of America, a man who shredded his medical degree and birth certificate in the hours before he launched the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil following the horror of September 11, 2001.
No matter the verdict in his General Court Martial or the order for punishment, he considers himself a martyr.
He aimed his gun only at “targets” wearing the combat uniform of the Army of the United States because they were “going against the Islamic Empire.”
Going against the Islamic Empire seems to have included ordering him to deploy to Afghanistan.
According to a “sanity board” appointed by military authorities, Maj. Abu Nidal Malik Hasan gave himself plenty of opportunity to “opt out” of his plans for Guy Fawkes Day, Nov. 5, 2009.
“He stated that 5 Nov 2009 was not of secular or religious importance to him and that it was an arbitrary day that he chose.”
According to their report, distribution of their findings at the time was limited to his defense counsel, Col. John Galligan, a former judge of the local military judicial district. Hasan replaced him in 2011 with three court-appointed Army lawyers. He has since fired them, but they are ordered to stand by in case there is a need to have them step back in to conduct his defense in case the military judge, Col. Tara Osborn, should find some reason to decide to rescind her earlier order to allow Maj. Hasan to conduct his own defense.
She has previously ruled that he is competent to do so.
That was long before Hasan decided to have Col. Galligan release the highlights of the “sanity board” report to the “New York Times” on Monday morning.
The idea was to kill soldiers, according to three medical officers, one each from the Air Force, Army and Navy who interviewed him at the Bell County Jail over the course of three days in December, 2010, beginning on the auspicious date of the seventh, Pearl Harbor Day.
But what if he got cold feet, if there were MP's there, or he “got scared?” He explained that he gave himself plenty of room to change his mind.
On the morning of the fifth, he told them, he went to the mosque for morning prayer, stopped in at the 7-Eleven for coffee and hash browns, and, then – he went home and shredded his medical degree and birth certificate.
From that point on, Hasan manages to make even the good, gray lady of American daily journalism, the “Times” of New York, New York, sound like Huckleberry Finn relating one of Tom Sawyer's wild tales, and on this rawboned stretch of central Texas prairie, amid the tank ranges and supply warehouses, prickly pear, rattlesnakes and mesquite, there is no big river in sight, only dry gulches and rocky, shirt trail creeks, merciless, scorching skies filled with hawks and buzzards, and all the scrub red cedar it takes to fence it all – every last little acre.
Nevertheless, Hasan strides into the collective narrative of a nation's stream of consciousness, dressed in the combat uniform of the Army of the United States of America, gun in hand, as much a character torn from the pages penned by America's first great modern novelist as Pap, or Injun Joe, The Duke, The Earl, or – maybe – even Jim.
Here are some of the highlights.
When he walked into the Soldier Readiness Program at Building 42003, a building jam-packed with soldiers readying for deployment, “He put earplugs in his ears because his guns were loud.”
He told data entry clerk LaToya Williams to go the office of the Officer in Charge, located in the rear of building, to report an emergency because he did not wish to shoot civilians. That office was the scene of a previous confrontation with a female Major of the Medical Corps, the Army department in which Hasan served as an M.D., over whether he would take his flu shot. He did not wish to risk flu immunization because of possible complications with a smallpox vaccination, according to witnesses.
Without a flu immunization, he would have been unqualified for deployment to Afghanistan. He has stated in a pre-trial hearing that he wished to protect the lives of Mullah Omar and other high-ranking members of the Taliban in the Emirate of Afghanistan.
Let's repeat that - the concept, political and religious, of Mullah Omar and the hierarchy of the Taliban of the Emirate of Afghanistan. The hierarchy of the Taliban of the Emirate of Afghanistan makes to distinction between political and religious.
The dictionary awaits.
He carried 20 magazines loaded with 20 rounds each, none of them of the modified, extended capacity of 30 “because they have a tendency to jam.”
At that point in the narrative, Hasan's world seems to have resembled an ultra-violent video game in which the sound effects had been turned off and the laser beams snaked across space to find the targeted combatants.
“He claims he doesn't remember 'seeing pools of blood'” after his sweep through the building, beginning in its northwest corner, thence out the back door on its south side.
He walked out of the building, headed for the auditorium to “shoot more targets.” He referred to them not as soldiers - men and women, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, fellow officers, non-commissioned officers and non-rated men and women - but as “targets.”
When he got to the auditorium, he learned the “targets” were involved in a graduation ceremony, garbed in traditional caps and gowns. “He stated he could not differentiate military from civilian personnel, so he did not go into the auditorium.”
That's when two civilian police officers cut him down in a gun fight. Today, neither of them pursue their former careers in law enforcement due to disability, if not de jure, then de facto. One was badly affected by her wounds, the other has developed a “speech impediment” as a result.
In a 53-page document redacted to three closely-spaced pages of a medical-legal-military memorandum carefully styled and tailored in crisp professional terms to meet the needs of the commission for which they were appointed, the three medical officers polished off their report this way:
He denied experiencing depressive, manic, psychotic, anxiety, or cognitive symptoms during the above-mentioned time periods. He denied experiencing auditory or visual hallucinations to include hallucinations of religious figures. He denied using alcohol, illicit substances, or over-the-counter substances during this time period. He denied occupational problems, and a review of his officer performance report from Ft. Hood does not support occupational impairment during the time he has been at Ft. Hood. He stated "I don't think what I did was wrong because it was for the greater cause of helping my Muslim brothers...I regret being paralyzed." Regardless of their role in direct or indirect combat, he justified his actions by stating that the soldiers he killed were "going against the Islamic Empire," He reported that it would have been an honor for him to die in the commission of his acts, as that would have meant God had chosen him as a martyr. When asked about being alive, he stated "I'm doing my best...I'm paraplegic and could be in jail for the rest of my life, however if I died by lethal injection I would still be a martyr." He acknowledged that his injuries are a "badge of honor" for his actions. He denied having remorse for his actions.