In other words it’s already a farce, not making it through the second day before the presiding judge halted the proceedings. Accused
radical jihadi murderer workplace violence perpetrator Maj. Nidal Hassan was granted the right to represent himself in his own defense so really, what could possibly to wrong? Concerned that after the batshit crazy psychiatrist fired two earlier legal teams he was, well, too batshit crazy to adequately defend himself, the judge appointed a backup team of lawers to monitor Hassan’s defense efforts. After watching yesterday’s proceedings in what must have been slack-jawed disbelief (Hassan told the panel in his opening statement that the trial “will clearly show that I am the shooter” and questioned only two of the prosecution’s first twelve witnesses), a member of his legal bullpen tried to jump in when it became apparent that the only thing on Hassan’s mind is the seventy-two virgins waiting for him somewhere in the great beyond . . .
washingtonpost.com recounts the fun and games:
…Wednesday morning, one of them, Lt. Col. Kris Poppe, offered to step in to represent Hasan. Poppe told the military judge, Col. Tara Osborn, that it is “clear [Hasan’s] goal is to remove impediments or obstacles to the death penalty and is working toward a death penalty.”
Poppe asked that his own responsibilities be minimized if Hasan insisted on continuing to seek his execution, saying the defendant was acting in a way that “we believe is repugnant to defense counsel and contrary to our professional obligations,” according to wire reports.
Hassan, of course, objected. When he wouldn’t give the judge the reason for his objection in writing, she called a halt to the circus.
Hasan has previously sought to plead guilty but is not able to do so under military rules governing cases that carry a potential death penalty. At earlier hearings, the judge ruled that Hasan could not defend himself by arguing that he was seeking to save the lives of Taliban leaders in Afghanistan.
The trial is scheduled to resume today. We’d advise Lt. Col. Poppe that when your enemy is doing something stupid, it’s best not to get in his way. But we understand he has a duty to look out for Hassan. Not that it’s likely to do him much good.