After nearly four years of delays over everything from beards to uniforms to declaration of love for terrorists, the court martial of Maj. Nidal Hasan for the 2009 massacre at Ft. Hood finally begins today, 1200 WOAI news reports.
Jeffrey Addicott, who heads the Center for Terrorism Studies at St. Mary's University and is former Army Judge Advocate, says the tenor of the trial will be obvious from opening arguments.
He says if Hasan, who is acting as his own lawyer, decides to use his statement to spout radical jihadist gibberish, he says it will be a short trial.
"If he tries to include in his opening statements praise for radical jihad and radical Islam, the judge, of course, will shut that down."
Hasan has never denied opening fire at a soldier readiness center at Ft. Hood on November 5, 2009, killing 13 people and wounding 32 before he was shot four times by civilian police officers and left paralyzed from the chest down. In fact, Hasan has bragged about his role in the crime, and even berated one prospective juror during jury selection for questioning whether he did it.
"He will use this trial as an opportunity for a platform to espouse radical Islam," Addicott said.
Hasan has indicated he will only call two witnesses in his defense, and he is expected to be one of them.
Military prosecutors, however, will call several of the victims in the case to show beyond a reasonable doubt that Hasan is guilty. That will lead to the bizarre spectacle of Hasan cross examining people he tried to kill.
Addicott says Hasan doesn't care if he is convicted and doesn't care if he gets the death penalty. He says Hasan's goal to the preach jihad to the world.
"He doesn't care about the court, he doesn't care about he jury," he said. "He cares about what impact he can make on a wider world, hoping to influence a new generation to follow his example."