Happy 238th birthday U.S. Army!
I'm back on post today for another hearing for accused Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan. Most of us are expecting the presiding judge, Col. Tara Osborn, to iron out the issues Hasan's standby counsel are having with assisting him with preparing his "defense of others." Fort Hood's public affairs office put out a release saying she may rule on other issues before the court. However, I do not expect there to be any ruling on the validity of Hasan's defense strategy, in which he intends to frame the mass shooting as a protection of the Taliban in Afghanistan.
My advancer article published today hints at why Osborn may be pushing Hasan's former defense attorneys to diligently help the 42-year-old Army psychiatrist. In short, some think Osborn has already made up her mind to reject Hasan's defense strategy, but she wants trained attorneys to help him prepare an argument to limit the possibilities of a successful appeal. Many military law experts have stressed how important it is to "preserve the record," meaning Osborn must make the hearings as proper, as far as rules of the court goes, as possible. That will be quite a challenge as long as Hasan is allowed to represent himself.
The turnout is less today than at previous hearings. Not surprising, given how stunted previous hearings have been. The New York Times, Associated Press, Reuters and a freelancer from the European Press Agency (their first time to here) are here along with local television stations and a blogger who calls himself The Legendary.
Huffington Post has a basic summary story about what is expected today.
And here's the New York Times' report from Tuesday's hearing.