#1 Fort Hood Judge Bans Evidence of Shooter's 'Jihadi' Motives08-20-2013, 03:10 PM
Fort Hood Judge Bans Evidence of Shooter's 'Jihadi' Motives
Aug. 19, 2013
By RUSSELL GOLDMANRussell Goldman More from Russell »
This undated photo provided by the Bell County Sheriff's Department shows Nidal Hasan, who is charged in the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood that left 13 dead and more than 30 others wounded.
Bell County Sheriff's Dept./AP Photo
Lawyers representing the family members of those killed and injured in the Ft. Hood shooting rampage were outraged today when an Army judge limited prosecutors from introducing evidence, including emails to a known Al Qaeda operative, that would establish accused shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan's "jihadi" motives.
The judge's rulings could inhibit the ability of the victims' families to claim in a civil suit that the shootings were an act of terror. Federal lawyers involved in the civil suit claim that the people shot during Hasan's murderous rage were victims of workplace violence, a designation that could sharply limit the damages in a civil suit.
"This is first degree mass murder case and motive is absolutely relevant to prove premeditation," said Neal Sher, a lawyer representing many of the victims and their family members in a separate civil suit against the government.
Prosecutors have sought to portray Hasan as a Muslim extremist, motivated by Islamist ideology and in touch with known al Qaeda member Anwar Alwaki.
"He didn't want to deploy and he came to believe he had a jihad duty to murder soldiers," lead prosecutor Col. Steve Henricks said in his opening statements. He wanted to "kill as many soldiers as he could."
The judge, Col. Tara Osborn, ruled today that prosecutors could not mention Hasan's correspondence with Alwaki, an American born al Qaeda recruiter and organizer. Osborn also barred prosecutors from mentioning Hassan's interest in seeking conscientious objector status and drawing parallels to a 2003 incident in which another Muslim American soldier attacked U.S. troops in Kuwait, according to the Associated Press.
The judge found much of that evidence was too old, but permitted prosecutors to introduce evidence about Hasan's internet usage and search history from the time of the attack.
Many of the victims and their family members have filed a civil suit against the government, arguing that the attack should be classified as a terrorist attack, allowing victims to receive combat medals, like the Purple Heart, and receive better benefits.
The government maintains that the attack was an incidence of "workplace violence."
"The government is talking from both sides of its mouth," Sher said to describe the Pentagon's decision on the one hand to deny that the attack was an act of terror, while having prosecutors argue that Hasan was motivated by "jihad," or Muslim holy war.
"Our view is pretty basic: It's obvious that the government knew he had jihadist leanings years before the attack," Sher said.
Hasan, who is representing himself, previously called himself a "mujahedeen" or Muslim holy warrior and said he had switched sides in the war between the U.S. and Islamic terrorism.
Prosecutors said on Friday they would soon be wrapping their case against Hasan, which means he may begin his defense as early as Tuesday.
If convicted, he could face the death penalty.
The bolded comment is grounds for a treason prosecution.
08-20-2013, 03:20 PM
- Join Date
- Apr 2005
Hassan has already admitted as much...what's the problem with letting the prosecution confirm what he's already stated?
08-20-2013, 04:15 PM
Once the Cold War began, Democrats began losing presidential elections, especially when they nominated doves. Ike was seen as stronger on defense than Stevenson. JFK actually ran to the right of Nixon on issues like the "missile gap." LBJ won reelection in an emotional response to JFK's assassination, but Nixon mopped the floor with Humphrey and McGovern. Ford was seen as weak on national security, especially after his gaffes about the Polish people not seeing themselves as dominated by the Soviets, while Carter ran as a conservative Democrat. Reagan trounced Carter and Mondale, and Bush 41 did the same with Dukakis. It wasn't until the end of the Cold War that people considered putting a draft-dodger in the White House. Could anyone imagine Clinton getting elected if there had still been a Soviet threat? W was barely elected, but again, neither his nor Gore's national security credentials were much of a point of discussion. Bush beat Kerry, but not by that much, and Kerry did everything that he could to present himself as a hawk during the election. Obama was elected after eight years of unrelenting media bombardment of the nation with horror stories about Iraq and Afghanistan, which were presented as wars of "choice", rather than a response to legitimate threats. Obama didn't win by presenting himself as a peacenik, but as a "realist" who would end our commitments to wars that were seen as unwinnable by the press. His "realism" turned out to be the same old leftist crap, but by then, it was too late. He's spent the last five years pretending that there's nothing going on in the world that requires American leadership, with obviously dismal results, but the media kept the worst of it out of the headlines until after he was reelected. Ironically, Romney would have been a better candidate against him in 2008, when economic issues were central, and McCain would have proven more effective after Benghazi (not that he was anyone's idea of a good candidate).
Absent an obvious existential threat, the media will continue to present American politics as a division of spoils, which is a fight that Democrats are situated to win, but if something blows up in their faces, things will change rapidly.
08-20-2013, 04:45 PM
- Join Date
- Jun 2008
If not, then the court might have the option of seeing Hasan as simply "mentally ill", especially if he was on some kind of psychotropic meds. This case, for me, has shades of the Unabomber about it.
08-20-2013, 04:47 PM
- Join Date
- Mar 2010
In other news, want of money will not be allowed into evidence against those accused of robbery.
08-20-2013, 06:59 PM
- Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the attempted bomber of Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on December 25, 2009.
- Al-Qaeda member Sharif Mobley, who is charged with having killed a guard during a March 2010 escape attempt in Yemen.
- Faisal Shahzad, the attempted car bomber of Times Square in May 2010, who told interrogators that he was "inspired by" al-Awlaki.
- Roshonara Choudhry, who stabbed British former Cabinet Minister Stephen Timms in May 2010, and who was radicalized online by al-Awlaki.
- Those who threatened cartoonist Molly Norris, who had to quit her job, change her name, move, and go into hiding due to a Fatwā calling for her death issued by al-Awlaki, after Everybody Draw Mohammed Day.
After the Fort Hood shooting, al-Awlaki praised Hasan's actions:
"Nidal Hassan is a hero.... The U.S. is leading the war against terrorism, which in reality is a war against Islam..... Nidal opened fire on soldiers who were on their way to be deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. How can there be any dispute about the virtue of what he has done? In fact the only way a Muslim could Islamically justify serving as a soldier in the U.S. army is if his intention is to follow the footsteps of men like Nidal.
The fact that fighting against the U.S. army is an Islamic duty today cannot be disputed. No scholar with a grain of Islamic knowledge can defy the clear cut proofs that Muslims today have the right—*rather the duty*—to fight against American tyranny. Nidal has killed soldiers who were about to be deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in order to kill Muslims. The American Muslims who condemned his actions have committed treason against the Muslim Ummah and have fallen into hypocrisy.... May Allah grant our brother Nidal patience, perseverance, and steadfastness, and we ask Allah to accept from him his great heroic act. Ameen."
Al-Awlaki "blessed the act because it was against a military target. And the soldiers who were killed were … those who were trained and prepared to go to Iraq and Afghanistan".
Al-Awlaki released a tape in March 2010:
"To the American people … Obama has promised that his administration will be one of transparency, but he has not fulfilled his promise. His administration tried to portray the operation of brother Nidal Hasan as an individual act of violence from an estranged individual. The administration practiced to control on the leak of information concerning the operation, in order to cushion the reaction of the American public. Until this moment the administration is refusing to release the e-mails exchanged between myself and Nidal. And after the operation of our brother Umar Farouk, the initial comments coming from the administration were looking the same – another attempt at covering up the truth. But al-Qaeda cut off Obama from deceiving the world again by issuing their statement claiming responsibility for the operation."
Nidal Hasan has clearly stated that he was acting on behalf of jihad. He was in regular contact with an al Qaeda recruiter whose job was to inspire and guide jihadis in the west. Al-Awlaki took credit, on behalf of al Qaeda, for Hasan's acts. There is no doubt that was a terrorist, at least outside of the administration.
08-20-2013, 11:53 PM
This sort of thing happens when you elect a treasonous president who is aligned more closely with our enemies than his own people.
08-21-2013, 10:08 AM
Ody, as usual your post is very well thought out and written, however it really does not address the issue in the story, which is full of uninformed outrage playing off pure emotionalism.
Unless he is charged with hate crimes, treason, or aiding the enemy, evidence of motive is just not relevant to the list of assaults, murders, and other plain-old violent crimes he faces, since there is no substantial question of identity involved, and he has not asserted a defense such as insanity that could bring motive back into play, such as perhaps relating to explaining his peculiarly-distorted Hasanesque reality. If the identity of the shooter were in question, then circumstantial evidence of motive and opportunity would become relevant to the case to pin it on him in particular, but that just doesn't apply.
The findings of a court-martial are limited to the guilt or innocence of the accused on the actual charges preferred and referred to trial ONLY, and not only would the judge refrain from going beyond that, it would have no legal meaning in any other proceeding involving other parties, civil or criminal, if she did.
This willfully-emo line of journalistic malpractice is our own side's equivalent of all those "Poor little Trayvon" stories we deplored and mocked.
08-21-2013, 10:28 AM
It's too bad the MPs or whichever law enforcement agency originally took him into custody didn't just shoot and kill him in the process.
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