|The Arab Quarter of the Old City in Jerusalem. Step back in time 2000 years - and listen very carefully.|
Ft. Hood – A visit to the courtroom where Major Abu Nidal Malik Hasan will answer for the ultraviolent deaths of 13 unarmed soldiers and the wounding of 32 others means discomfort, cramped seating, and very poor audio quality.
In this game of psychological warfare, carried out on a world-wide electronic stage, exactly what is said is much more important than what you see, the images being so easy to manipulate, distort, defocus, obscure. Besides, no cameras or electronic devices of any kind are allowed inside – even cell phones. Stand-up television reports are made from a remote location nearly a half-mile distant.
The big screen televisions in the “digital courtroom” where overflow spectators are seated carry an image in the darkest mahogany tones of the courtroom furniture. They are images that remind one of a Rembrandt portrait, out of which swim the illuminated faces of the military judge and the court reporter seated at a bench one row below her. A small corner of the rail around the witness stand is visible, upon which someone placed a box of Kleenex tissues.
The voices of the defendant, his standby counsel, and a trio of high-ranking Army prosecutors come through crisp and clear over closed circuit video in a darkened room in building remote from the courthouse, the blinds drawn against the vicious onslaught of the heat of the summer sun, and the message they carry is laden with legal jargon, abstruse and obscure to one without legal training or a lot of courtroom experience – except for vivid, isolated moments of extreme clarity.
As the Article 39, pre-trial hearing came to a close on Thursday, June 27, just such a moment passed in the blink of an eye.
Col. Tara Osborn declared that she expected to hear a plea from Maj. Hasan the following Tuesday, June 2 – guilty or not guilty.
“If you choose not to enter a plea, I will enter a plea of not guilty for you.”
And then, the moment was gone.
|A Palestinian arrested by Israeli police on the national|
holiday, Jerusalem Day, June 6, 2013
In less than the blink of an eye, that unblinking eye of the video camera passed over the moment as just a sliver in time - something the judge had earlier in the proceeding described as “an endless series of still images.”
These images she instructed prosecutors to somehow “redact” when it comes to the blood and carnage of the crime scene video they plan to show prospective jurors who will be seated and questioned in groups of 12 during the process of selection, and in their opening statements in this long-awaited trial, which is expected to begin as a case in chief on August 6.
That moment flashed fire, an intense, diamond-hard, brilliant light that bored into the mind's eye like the rotating beam of a massive lighthouse. It blazed for a millisecond, then revolved into the endless spiral of time, but it left a very, very clear impression of the Islamic holy war of terror and one of the chief tactics its commanders practice.
Hasan has steadily refused to enter a plea of not guilty, knowing that if he does nothing, We The People, represented by The Army of The United States of America, will oblige both he and the cause of jihad and tell the world, in no uncertain terms, that he is not guilty. Certainly, for in American, secular jurisprudence, one is considered not guilty until it is so proven to a jury of one's peers.
The doctor, a psychiatrist by profession, and by extension a licensed practitioner of the art of healing through the study of human behavior and the skillful application of therapeutic prescription and treatment, is performing on a global stage, prompting his enemy, “the Great Satan,” as the Imams and Mullahs of theocratic nations of Islam term our republic, to assert his innocence at every twist and turn of the legal process.
It is a process of reaching the ultimate goal – his execution for the cold-blooded, premeditated murder and attempted premeditated murder of unarmed soldiers standing in line, all hurried up and waiting for the Army to ship them overseas to fight in what the former Commander-in-Chief, President George W. Bush, once referred to as a “Crusade.”
The prize, the target, the key to the struggle – is aa clear and present control over the clear and present danger of loss of control over an entire region rich in petroleum reserves, and the security of the trade routes by which this precious commodity is shipped to markets in the west.
And there you have it. Thus, the reason for all crusades in that area of the world, century by century, is and has always been control over certain commodities and the security of the trade routes by which they are brought to markets in the west.
Cultural anthropologists and certain ecclesiastic authorities seem to agree that Herod the Great was actually an Arab, a monarch of a nation that is today fighting for recognition. It is called Palestine. Jesus was a claimant to the throne of Israel, a direct heir of David, whose son Solomon erected the Temple of Jerusalem, the Holy of Holies. Destroyed not once, but twice – once by the Persians, secondly by the Romans, the last remnant of that temple remains at the Wailing Wall, which is surmounted by the Dome of the Rock, an Islamic mosque.
The State of Israel had no sooner declared its independence in 1948 following a favorable resolution of the United Nations Security Council than the Arab world attacked. Since then, Israel has never waited around for an enemy to attack. Its chief defensive strategy is the practice of pre-emptive, surgical strikes at key offensive targets – always. It's the national defensive posture.
When the Jordanian Army began lobbing artillery rounds into the West Bank in 1967, the Israelis attacked on June 6. On the June 7, they declared a victorious return to the holiest of holy sites in their world, Jerusalem. And thus, the Arab Quarter of the “Old City” became a part of the new capital of Israel.
As a Palestinian-American, Dr. Hasan is clearly sending the message each time the military police roll his wheelchair into the courtroom that he considers himself not guilty of murder, that he is a soldier, performing a holy duty. Jurors will hear ample evidence of his convictions when extensive e-mail correspondence with the Mullah Anwar Awlaki, an Islamic Imam whose hyphenated American citizenship was of the Yemeni lineage.
A native American citizen, he defected to the homeland of his parents, where American forces targeted him last year in an unmanned aerial vehicle rocket strike as he rode through a desert in that nation. He previously served as a mentor and teacher of Islam to Maj. Hasan at an Arlington mosque during Hasan's psychiatric residency at Walter Reed Army Hospital.
Maj. Hasan relies on the highest commanders of his enemy, his own nation, in which Army he still holds the rank of a commissioned officer, to declare his innocence. It is a classic psychological warfare operation – one for the books.