Wednesday, August 7, 2013

"..we are imperfect Muslims trying to establish the perfect religion... I apologize for any mistakes I made in this endeavor"

But remember, the murders at Ft Hood have nothing to do with Islam or jihad.  To think otherwise would be "Islamophobic"

From US News August 6 by Elizabeth Chuck and Daniel Arkin

Fort Hood suspect: 'Evidence will clearly show that I am the shooter'

An Army psychiatrist accused of one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history told jurors that "evidence will clearly show" that he was the gunman responsible for the rampage that traumatized the Fort Hood military base in Texas nearly four years ago.

But Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, who is representing himself in the long-awaited court-martial, also cautioned that the evidence wouldn't tell the entire story.

"The evidence will clearly show that I am the shooter," Hasan, an American-born Muslim accused of killing 13 soldiers and wounding 32 others on Nov. 5, 2009, told jurors in a less than two-minute-long opening statement, according to The Associated Press.

However, he added: "Witnesses will testify that war is an ugly thing. Death, destruction and devastation are felt from both sides, from friend and foe. Evidence from this trial will only show one side. I was on the wrong side, but I switched sides," Reuters reported.

The court-martial began under heavy security on Tuesday. A row of shipping freight containers, stacked three high, created a makeshift fence around the courthouse on the first day of the trial, which is expected to last several weeks, if not longer, according to the AP. Guards with long assault rifles stood watch outside the courthouse.

Many of the 32 who were wounded will appear on the witness stand during the trial, facing the man accused of wounding them.

Hasan is acting as his own defense attorney at the trial after twice dismissing his legal team. He told jurors evidence will also show "that we are imperfect Muslims trying to establish the perfect religion... I apologize for any mistakes I made in this endeavor," the AP reported.

The 42-year-old Hasan, shot by a civilian police officer and paralyzed from the waist down after the rampage, is confined to a wheelchair.

In his opening statement, military prosecutor Col. Steve Henricks said prosecutors would show that Hasan picked the date of the attack for specific reasons, although Henricks didn't reveal more details immediately, the AP reported.

Henricks also argued that Hasan chose a time when the large hall where he opened fire on the base would be most crowded.

Hasan meticulously planned the attack, the prosecutor said, even going so far as to muffle the sound of his weapon and bullets by stuffing paper towels into the pockets of his cargo pants on the day of the attack.

"All those fully loaded magazines do not clink, do not move, do not give him away," Henricks told jurors, all military officers, during his hour-long opening statement. "He sits among the soldiers he's about to kill with his head down."

Hasan zeroed in on soldiers and tried to clear the Soldier Readiness Processing Center of civilians, Henricks said, telling one civilian data clerk to leave the building because her supervisor was looking for her. The clerk apparently thought it was odd, but left anyway.

"He then yelled 'Allahu akbar!' and opened fire on unarmed, unsuspecting and defenseless soldiers," Henricks told the jury, using the Arabic phrase for "God is great!"

Hasan has admitted to the 2009 rampage, but was prohibited by a military judge from entering a guilty plea because prosecutors are pursuing the death penalty.

Death sentences are frequently overturned in military courts, according to the AP.

The first three witnesses of the trial were employees at Gun's Galore, a gun store close to the base in the central Texas town, where Hasan bought the pistol that was used in the shooting. The store manager, David Cheadle, told the court he showed Hasan how to assemble the gun while Hasan recorded him on video, Reuters reported.

When the weapon was presented as evidence, Hasan said, "Your honor, that is my weapon."

He was about to be deployed to Afghanistan when the massacre happened.

"Evidence will show that Hasan didn't want to deploy and he possessed a jihad duty to kill as many soldiers as possible," Henricks said.

Hasan told a doctor at the base: "They've got another thing coming if they think they are going to deploy me," Hendricks said.

The military judge in the case, Col. Tara Osborn, ruled last Friday that prosecutors can present evidence that Hasan searched for specific terms online in the days and hours before the attack, including "Taliban" and "jihad," which is defined by some radical Islamists as "holy war."

The government claims Hasan sent more than a dozen emails starting in December 2008 to Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical U.S.-born Islamic cleric who was killed by a drone strike in Yemen in 2011.

Hasan may cross-examine any witness, including survivors of the attack. Fort Hood officials have said he plans to only call two witnesses at trial...

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