More than three and a half years after 13 people were killed in the Fort Hood shooting, Maj. Nidal Hasan will finally go on trial in the mass slayings.
Jury selection begins Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. after Judge Col. Tara Osborn last week denied Hasan’s request for a three-day continuance to allow the former Army psychiatrist to decide if he wants to hire a new attorney.
That attorney could bring a decidedly circus-like atmosphere to the trial where Hasan’s “defense” is self-defense against U.S. Defense Department aggression: former Attorney General William Ramsey Clark.
Clark, who served in Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration, is a vocal opponent of the war on terror and has represented a string of nefarious characters including Saddam Hussein and Slobodan Milosevic.
Osborn ruled that the seven days between that hearing and tomorrow’s jury selection allowed enough time to decide if Hasan wants to bring on a new attorney.
Hasan has gone through a string of lawyers and is now acting as his own attorney.
He refused to enter a plea, so the court entered a “not guilty” plea on his behalf. There are no other suspects in the shooting.
“Multiple motions were also addressed, to include motions previously considered by Judge Gregory Gross related to prosecutorial misconduct, disqualification of the Staff Judge Advocate, a set aside of Congressional legislation, and an objection that this trial is being tried as a capital case without having first been taken before a grand jury,” said Fort Hood Public Affairs. “All motions were reconsidered by Judge Osborn and denied.”
In his request to the court to delay the trial, Hasan said he wanted “to convey to you that my actions were meant to defend a people who were attacked by the United States.”
“I defended them because I felt God expected me to help my fellow Muslims even if it meant giving up my worldly accomplishments and gains,” he wrote.