On November 5, 2009, Major Nidal Hasan murdered 13 fellow soldiers at Fort Hood and wounded more than 30 others. How could one man–a psychologist of sorts, amazingly enough, not a combat professional–inflict such damage on an Army base? Simple: the base is a gun-free zone. That’s just one of many facts that must make Major Hasan think we are even crazier than he is.
Frustrated by being labeled a mere perpetrator of “workplace violence” by the Obama administration, Hasan released a manifesto to Fox News a few days ago. In a series of documents, he patiently explained that Islam requires him to make war on the Constitution and American freedom, to renounce his citizenship and his membership in the armed forces, and to kill as many American servicemen as possible. It’s all in the Qu’ran.
Today Hasan’s military trial began at Fort Hood. Having fired his lawyers some time ago–I suppose because they were trying to get him off–Hasan delivered his own opening statement. It lasted around a minute. “The evidence will clearly show that I am the shooter,” he said. Not that there was ever any doubt. Still, it does make you wonder: why did it take nearly four years to bring this man to trial? Apparently they were arguing over the length of his beard, among other things. He won that one–undoubtedly more evidence, in his mind, that we are crazy.
What has Hasan been doing for the last four years? Collecting his pay: $278,000 since the Nov. 5, 2009, shooting, because the military says it can’t suspend his pay until he is convicted. More insanity. Let’s hope Hasan hasn’t been allowed to send that money to Islamic terrorists in the U.S. or abroad. I wouldn’t bet on it.
In his opening, Hasan did express one regret:
His only utterance of regret was an acknowledgement that he was among “imperfect Muslims trying to establish the perfect religion.”
“I apologize for any mistakes I made in this endeavor,” said Hasan.
This is where we could use a complete transcript. Was murdering 13 people and wounding 30 or 40 more a “mistake” that he made en route to establishing the “perfect religion”? That isn’t a trick question; based on the manifesto he released last week, I would guess the answer is No. It would be interesting to know what Hasan considers his “mistakes” to be.
After nearly a four years’ wait, Hasan’s trial doesn’t promise to be a long one. Most likely we will know the answer to that question before it is over. In the meantime, it is understandable if, from Hasan’s point of view, everything that has happened since 2009 validates the ideology that drove him to kill.