• “Motive” for For Hood massacre: Defending the lives of Taliban leadership

    This is perhaps the most bizarre murder case “defense” I’ve ever seen. At Nidal Malik Hasan’s trial for Fort Hood massacre, we get treated to this gem.

    On Monday, one of Major Hasan’s first legal maneuvers had been to ask the judge, Col. Tara A. Osborn, for a three-month delay in his trial, scheduled to begin on July 1. His primary reason in asking for the delay was to change his defense to a “defense of others.” At a new hearing on Tuesday, Colonel Osborn asked him pointedly whom he was defending.

    “The leadership of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the Taliban,” he said, specifically naming Mullah Muhammad Omar, the founder of the Islamic insurgent group.

    When she asked if he was defending one person or a group of people, he said it was the group of Taliban leaders in Afghanistan, including Mullah Omar. The judge asked him to explain the connection between the Taliban leaders and the people he is accused of murdering and attempting to murder.

    “They’re part of the United States military,” he said.

    Of course this was not the first time or place that Hasan brought up such ideas.

    In his May 2010 interview, al-Awlaki called Hasan “one of my students” and in an interview held a month after the Fort Hood attack, al-Awlaki explained that he first met Hasan nine years earlier when he served as the imam of a mosque attended by Hasan in the Washington, D.C. area. In their subsequent e-mail communications, Hasan asked al-Awlaki if a Muslim soldier serving in the American Army was allowed to kill his fellow soldiers, expressed his support of killing Israeli civilians and mentioned various justifications for “targeting the Jews with rockets.”

    Luckily al-Awlaki can no longer instigate murder by “students” like Hasan.

    Those who blame such attack on US policy in Muslim countries may want to pause to think what it would be like if anyone other than Islamists acted in this way. What if a Burmese guy opened fire randomly somewhere in the US during the Vietnam war, citing US policy as his reason? What if an Indian person bombed an athletic event in the US in 1952, naming the Korean war as the motive? How shocked would we all be? And would the hypothetical attackers ever name defending their fellow Asians as the reason for their actions? But Islamists, of course, have the perfect justification to seek retaliation for Muslim deaths (not that they have any qualms about murdering Muslims in the thousands themselves), and even many in Western nations parrot the line that we “had it coming”.


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