Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Hasan Sentenced to Death

Nidal Hasan has been sentenced to death, by lethal injection, by the panel of thirteen officers (some news stories incorrectly call it a "military jury") and the military judge.  It is common in modern  American jurisprudence, and certainly in the press, to perform all manner of legal gymnastics to avoid a death sentence at all costs for essentially philosophical reasons, but not only is this sentence entirely legal, it is also just.


Hasan (he has also lost his rank – 'dismissed', equivalent to a dishonorable discharge – so we no longer have any compulsion whatsoever to include what would otherwise be an 'honorific' title of Major) is convicted and sentenced for the premeditated murder of 13 people (14, if one includes – as I do – the fact that one of the victims was a pregnant Private Francheska Velez, 21, who begged him over and over to spare her baby) and attempted murder of the 32 wounded victims in the crowded clinic waiting room.  We should all be familiar with the fact that he continued to yell "Allahu akbar" ('God is greater [than all other gods]') throughout his rampage inflicted upon the unarmed and helpless crowd until he was finally cut down after ten minutes by responding policeman Mark Todd. 

Objections are already being raised by the usual crowd.  One of these, his anticipated martyrdom, was anticipated by the lead Trial Counsel (prosecutor) Colonel Mike Mulligan during closing arguments in the sentencing phase:
You cannot offer what you don't own; you cannot give away what is not yours.  He can never be a martyr because he has nothing to give….  Do not be misled; do not be confused; do not be fooled.  He is not giving his life.  We are taking his life.  This is not his gift to God; it's his debt to society.  He will not now and will not ever be a martyr.  He is a criminal, a cold-blooded murderer.  On 5 November he did not leave this earth, he remained to pay a price.  To pay a debt.  The debt he owes is his life.
Yet those who would piously defend his life will argue nonetheless that he will be a martyr to the cause, a "recruiting tool" for other Islamic Supremacists.  Soon after the attack of 11 September, which was not the beginning but only the most egregious of the attacks in the crusade against the West, we heard from these same people that "only ten percent" of the Muslim world was so allied to the cause of eliminating or subjugating the world to Islam.  I take small comfort indeed that the resultant 160 million jihadis are perfectly fine with killing me, killing my family, and destroying my religion and way of life.  These people are fanatics, and like all true fanatics they will not be swayed in one direction or another from their purpose, so it makes no difference to them whether Hasan is executed or not, just like the canard about Guantánamo somehow being an excuse for all the attacks before 11 September.

I also reject the Obama administration's refusal to characterize the crime as anything other than "workplace violence", in order to preserve the nicety of treating this as a crime and not an act of war, playing to their dogged insistence that all such threats be treated in a court of law as a civil crime and not within a military tribunal during a time of war.  Yet Hasan was not insane – a legal and not psychological term of art – in that he methodically planned out this attack over a considerable amount of time, and proclaimed his theoretical justification for such an attack to many others who were cowed by the toxic political correctness that would damage their careers if they were to utter anything that could (and would) be construed as anti-Islamic.  Hasan proclaimed himself as an enemy combatant, and that is all that is necessary to classify this as a war crime.  He effectively renounced his allegiance to the Army and to the United States by doing so, and his rights in this matter are so altered.

As for martyrdom being some attempt at a perverted sense of honor, he betrayed his oath to the Constitution and his native country as well as his oath to Hippocrates as a doctor to "do no harm".  He is without honor and can claim no such consideration.

We have abandoned any concept of a speedy trial (it has taken almost four years to arrive at this point) and we should expect no less in the slow trudge to that day when Hasan will finally be punished for his crime, just as applicable under the Law of Land Warfare as well as the UCMJ.

It will be said that on that day when he finally goes to his god that mercy should be shown to his soul.  That is within the purview of God.  I cannot, imperfect being that I am, for I can dredge up no mercy whatsoever for such a cold-blooded murderer.


  1. Cold-blooded, he certainly was, especially when you read his pre-massacre emails the FBI still is covering up (the lefty Mother Jones, of all pubs, published some of them) undoubtedly at Holder's bidding. But I still wish Hassan had been given life without parole instead of death. He wants death, in order to go down as a Jihadi warrior, when it would be much more fitting to make him a perpetual resident of Fort Leavenworth. Perhaps the appeals court---courtsmartials, as I understand it, include automatic appeals---will overturn the death sentence. But either way it certainly didn't have to take so long to try him. What a disaster.

    1. To my mind, keeping him alive has that Brer Rabbit connotation to it. But to take your point: yes, there is a lengthy, automatic appeals process involved. Considering the snail's pace of our court system, he'll probably die of old age anyway.


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