The "defense of others" is kaput. It makes sense that the ruling would come down when I predicted it would not. If I've learned anything since I started covering Maj. Nidal Hasan's hearings, it's that you can only expect to see the unexpected. So as I sat in the quiet auxiliary court room with the few soldiers and reporters that showed up today, I thought today would be the day for something big to come down, especially since I had just uploaded a blog stating nothing of great interest would happen today. Foot meet mouth.
Today the judge, Col. Tara Osborn, in no uncertain terms told Hasan any facet of his new defense strategy would not be permitted in court. A brief can be found here. Basically all of the military law experts I have spoken prior to and after today's 45-minute hearing had said that Osborn had little choice but rejecting his defense. All except retired Col. John Galligan, the Belton attorney who used to represent Hasan. Despite being fired from the case, Galligan has continued to advocate for Hasan in the media. Today he told me Osborn's ruling was "a gross error."
"She's effectively denied him any opportunity to put on any defense," he said.
Hasan had wanted to tell jurors he killed 13 and shot dozens on Nov. 5, 2009, in order to stop them from deploying to Afghanistan and attacking the Taliban. The argument has been called "frivolous" by many. It does show his frame of mind and likely played into why Hasan targeted a processing center where soldiers were undergoing routine pre-deployment paperwork and tests.
Contact Philip Jankowski at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7553