Maj. Nidal Hasan has asked for a three-month continuance, placing the start date of his trial in jeopardy yet again.

The 42-year-old Army psychiatrist stepped into a little hot water in his first afternoon of running his defense when he asked the judge, Col. Tara Osborn, to delay the trial while he prepares a "defense of others."

What appeared to tick off the judge was the fact that Hasan had explicitly stated in his motion to go pro se that he would not need any further delay. Osborn said she allowed him to go forward acting as his own attorney in part because of what he had put in the motion.

We will find out tomorrow. Osborn placed strict deadlines on all new motions, with them staggered throughout the day. Meanwhile, the government must spend a lot of the afternoon preparing facilities for Hasan.

He has requested access to legal research tools, such as LexisNexis and a telephone. Osborn also ordered that Hasan be provided a computer loaded with all previously filed legal documents in the case and a printer, so he may create his own motions.

But what was on the mind of every reporter leaving the courtroom today, what the heck is a "defense of others."

The above mentioned LexisNexis provides some insight here. It looks like Hasan may justify the killing of 13 people for which he is accused by claiming he was protecting someone else. It lends to the likelihood that it will have something to do with his alleged religious extremism. Quite a development.

Contact Philip Jankowski at or (254) 501-7553

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