At a hearing yesterday, Major Nidal Malik Hasan announced in court that he will use a “defense of others” argument to justify his actions. Hasan, who is charged with killing 13 and wounding 29 in a shooting at Texas’s Fort Hood in 2009, claims that he sought only to protect the lives of Taliban leaders, arguing that it was necessary for him to massacre the American soldiers in order to prevent Taliban members from being killed.
When asked specifically to name the people whom he was defending, he said “the leadership of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the Taliban,” and specifically named founder Mullah Omar. The Department of Defense has classified the attack not as a terrorist act but as “workplace violence.”
Two days ago, Hasan was granted approval to defend himself in court, meaning that he will be allowed to directly address the judge and question witnesses — many of whom are victims of the shooting. But Hasan’s proposed defense suggests that the he may be using his right to self-representation as an opportunity to launch a radical Islamist, anti-American tirade in court, similar to the performance of convicted terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui, the 9/11 conspirator who denounced America as he received his sentence of life imprisonment.
The judge has delayed jury selection, giving Hasan a day to prepare a brief in his defense.