Monday, November 9, 2009

What’s Likely to Happen to Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan?


A United States soldier walks past an Army poster advertising "Mental Strength For Life" at the Resiliency Center on Fort Hood Army post in Texas November 9, 2009.

Likely Maj. Hasan's reported awakening will be an awakening into his worst nightmare. He's alive. And there is not a single virgin in sight - maybe one or two - but not the 72 he had hoped for. For all those wondering about his mental condition - he may well be suffering from post traumatic stress entirely brought on by his failed jihadist revolt.

The future indeed looks grim for Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the accused Fort Hood gunman, who last week opened fire in a processing center on the base, killing 13. Hasan was injured by gunfire, but remains alive and under heavy guard at Fort Sam Houston. That means, of course, Hasan will presumably be prosecuted for his actions.

But what will the legal proceedings look like for Hasan? The Houston Chronicle attempts to answer the question in a story out Monday.

A key question concerning Hasan’s fate hinges on whether civilian prosecutors conclude he was part of a terrorist plot that might justify moving his case into the federal criminal courts under U.S. anti-terrorism laws. If prosecutors, on the other hand, determine that Hasan acted alone, he could face the death penalty in a military court-martial.

Regardless, it seems, it will take a while to administer Hasan’s case. First, Hasan will be subjected to assessments of his physical and mental health. And if a death sentence is handed down, appeals would likely follow. Numerous appeals that could take years — the military justice’s appeals process, writes the Chron, has effectively thrwarted all executions since 1961.

Perhaps what’s likely to occur, writes the Chron, is a court-martial under Article 2 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, to punish offenses allegedly committed by a man wearing a U.S. military uniform against other military personnel on a military base. The Army’s Criminal Investigation Division is responsible for recommending charges, prompting the military equivalent of a grand jury, known as an Article 32 hearing, where both prosecutors and defense can present evidence.

Those results would be reviewed by the base commander, who would decide whether to convene a court-martial. The 12-person jury would be composed of officers higher in rank than Hasan – lieutenant colonels and above.

Hasan’s family is demanding that he be allowed to consult with a lawyer before speaking to investigators or mental health professionals. In a statement released to the news media on Saturday, Hasan’s brother Eyad declared that his family has “faith in our legal system and that my brother will be treated fairly.”

“We hope that the relevant authorities will provide us with information on my brother’s condition and that he be afforded his right to an attorney the moment he regains consciousness,” Eyad Hasan wrote.



Montana said...

My heart and prayers go out to all the victims, the victims family and friends.

From all the news reports it appears this Major is a career military man and that in his current position for less than a year and was not going well. He did not want to be deployed and in fact wanted out of the Army, so he paid back his military student loans and hired an attorney.

The reason may have been that he was being harassed and called names like “camel jockey ”. I guess all that sensitivity training for those with bigotry tendencies are all for not. (Can training real change the way you were brought up?)

Another reason is called PTSD by proxy, the stress of treating PTSD in other soldiers make you go a little crazy yourself. Its even more stressful because most of the higher ranks don’t even believe in such thing as PTSD. Their denial prompts them to tell suffering soldiers to “drink it off.” Some civilians in the defense dept feel the same way no doubt IMO, it’s why hardly anything is mentioned of PTSD until one of these violent episodes occurs. These people see PTSD as a cop-out or an excuse. First we need to have an understanding that PTSD actually is real before we can ever hope to help treat it (does anyone believe that being shot at or killing your fellow man is not going to affect you in some way either then or in the future?). I guess with the high soldier suicide rate before and after deployment kinda takes care of the complaints from coming in (so those who said he should have just killed himself, well that’s already happening ). What real ticked me off when I heard that the military was trying to say that some soldiers coming back from this war with PTSD or other psychological disorders had “Pre-Existing Conditions” and that the military would not pay to treat them, I think it has been corrected but what a bunch of asses they break you and don’t want to pay.

The final issue is why does the military want to keep people in their ranks that no longer want to be there is it just sheer number? I mean is it ten percent, twenty percent. Is it that it is the only contract in the US that you can’t get out of unless to kill yourself or kill your fellow soldiers? It does not make any sense to me.

I guess the Major could just be another wacko like Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nicholas, of course McVeigh was executed and apparently because Nicholas became a Christian he received a life sentenced. I real think if he gets that far the Major will get the former and not in a million years the latter.

This is so messed up, hopefully they will make some changes that make sense.

Cole said...


PTSD is almost always associated with war. I suppose it might be like a dog chasing you for a few months while you are deployed - and when you are on leave - its like you're free to live your life there is no dog chasing you. At ease. Undoubtedly everyone goes through some difficulty making that switch.

But if you follow what has been going on in radical Islam - then Maj. Hasan's actions begin to paint a different picture.

One of the problems was the reason why was he so stressed about going to war - he joined the army. As we understand from reported comments - he believed that Muslims should not fight other Muslim.

I would have thought that given his qualification - he would have been acting as a doctor rather than a soldier. The very same job he was doing in the US he would have been doing in Afghanistan or Iraq.

There is something wrong with this picture.

And we or the press are moving away from the psychological - to the mosque he attended, to internet postings, to comments he made and all of these extra things point to a jihadist action - no different from that we see around the world.

If there is a backlash against Muslims - there is a mental backlash. And it will probably be a good thing - we are beginning to see some of the mistakes the army made - as well as people within the army - in not taking these warning signs or these red flags seriously enough.

One of the things that puzzles me is that Muslims who knew him said only he was just the nicest guy - but to his non-Muslim colleagues - he seemed to repeatedly say things that were pro-Islamist - one would have thought he would have talked to other Muslims more openly about the same.

In any case this thing is unraveling as we speak - I would like to say that if there was a desire to carry out a jihadist attack - a stressed mind [he didn't want to go to war etc] can create justification for it - and he acted on it. Possibly not out of total madness - he told his neighbor he was going to do God's work.

Don't forget France just had a CERN nuclear physicist brought up on terrorist charges.

There is a interesting article in New Scientist [Tinker, tailor, engineer, jihadi.. 13 June 2009] - which looks at the phenomena of highly intelligent - often engineers being drawn to terrorism. A new profile is emerging