Nidal Hasan guilty in Fort Hood massacre. Next question: life, or death?
Army Maj. Nidal Hasan was convicted Friday of all charges stemming from 2009 attack at Fort Hood, Texas, which killed 13 and wounded 30. Hasan has said he wants a martyr's death. Starting Monday, jurors will begin considering that option.
But will the military jury at Hasan’s court-martial give him what he has said he desires – a martyr’s death?
An 11-man, two-woman jury spent six hours deliberating the case that the prosecution had laid before them: that Hasan, a US Army major whose parents were Palestinians, had transformed into a jihadist traitor, carrying out an attack on American soldiers about to depart for the Afghan and Iraq fronts. Jurors will consider his punishment starting Monday, when Hasan may for the first time publicly speak about his actions.
Lawyers for victims of Hasan’s attack immediately called upon the Obama administration “to accept responsibility for the harm done by its political correctness, spin, and cover-up” and amend its classification of Hasan’s attack as an act of “workplace violence.” That designation, they say, has denied their clients Purple Hearts and medical benefits.
While a guilty verdict seemed all but assured – Hasan himself said the evidence would prove he was the shooter – the question still hanging over the proceedings is whether his deadly assault on the base constitutes the first major terrorist attack on US soil since 9/11. President Obama has acknowledged only that Hasan was “inspired by larger notions of violent jihad.”