Excerpts of a report from a December 2010 sanity board hearing of Major Nidal Hasan were released yesterday by the Fort Hood shooter to FOX News.
The information, along with other documents recently released to the cable news network at Hasan’s request, may offer a glimpse into his thinking over time.
The sanity board report excerpts describe Hasan’s decreasing interest in his performance in medical school, and his feeling that his military service was in conflict with his religious beliefs. FOX News summarizes:
The report continues, “He was able to complete the minimum requirements in medical school and attain his degree, but he stated ‘I stopped caring about being a top student.’ He stated that he became conflicted during general psychiatry residency about his religious identify and his secular identity.”
Near the end of his residency, where he ranked in the bottom 25% of his class, Hasan said his military service was in direct conflict with his religious beliefs.
On page 25 of the official report, he is quoted as saying “I am on the wrong side…I am Muslim first…I have to help my Muslim brothers overseas…the wars (in Iraq and Afghanistan) are wars against Islam.”
Further, the evaluators on the three member panel described Hasan’s belief that democracy conflicts with Sharia law, according to the sanity board report.
MAJ Hasan’s core religious conflict was “laws of man were superseding the laws of God…America loves democracy and it (democracy) conflicts with Islam’s Sharia law and it (America) is going to war to eradicate Sharia law…America tries to impose its will on others…Islam doesn’t believe in the separation of church and state.”
In other documents released to FOX News last week, Hasan – in a handwritten note – renounced his US citizenship, stating that he is “compelled to renounce any oaths of allegiances that require me to support/defend (any – sic) man made constitution (like the constitution of the United States) over the commandments mandated in Islam … I therefore formally renounce my oath of office … this includes my oath of U.S. citizenship.”
In that same document released last week, Hasan also described the late US born Muslim cleric and terrorist recruiter Anwar al-Awlaki as his “teacher, mentor and friend.”
Hasan’s military trial will begin today, where he is expected to represent himself.
In June, he told a judge that he believed he was defending the lives of Taliban leadership from American troops when he allegedly committed the killings, and requested more time to prepare a “defense of others” legal defense. The trial judge however is said to have so far denied that will be Hasan’s strategy, according to Associated Press reports (via Washington Post).
The federal government has depicted the Fort Hood shooting as an incident of “workplace violence,” a label that some survivors say has prevented them from receiving combat-related medical benefits. In light of Hasan’s statements to the court in June, legal representatives for the victims and their families called upon the Army to “admit that the Fort Hood attack was terrorism.”
Staff Sgt Shawn Manning, who was shot six times by Hasan at Fort Hood, is expected to testify. He told Fox News that “I hope that if people hear the words from Hasan’s own mouth that they will understand that this was an act of terrorism.”