December 4, 2012

"The military judge supervising the trial of accused Ft. Hood shooter Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan was removed from the case Monday..."

"... with the military's highest appeals court ruling that his 'duel of wills' with Hasan over the defendant's beard gave the appearance of bias."
"Although the military judge here stated that [Hasan's] beard was a 'disruption,' there was insufficient evidence on this record to demonstrate that [Hasan's] beard materially interfered with the proceedings," the unsigned ruling said.

"Taken together.... the decision to remove [Hasan] from the courtroom, the contempt citations and the decision to order [Hasan's] forcible shaving in the absence of any command action to do the same could leave an objective observer to conclude that the military judge was not impartial."

The appeals court did not specifically rule on Hasan's claim that his beard was protected under freedom of religion.

53 comments:

X said...

under the UCMJ he can go to prison for the beard alone, as he agreed when he was sworn in.

SteveR said...

I think the judge was acting properly, its a military court, after all. Let the appeals court do their thing.

chickelit said...

Suppose that flouting UCMJ language is one of the goals in this matter?

Mitchell the Bat said...

Here's my beard.

Ain't it weird?

Don't be skeered.

It's just a beard.

-- George Carlin

Ironclad said...

PC Justice in the military is the new normal. Remember too the "incident" that caused all this was "workplace violence" nothing to do with religious beliefs.

Like the beard, nothing to do with religious beliefs.

Keep repeating that, nothing to do with religious beliefs.

Roger J. said...

As a 25 year veteran in the US Army, this decision apalls me--the UCMJ is quite clear as to standards for appearance. The fact that the Army command structure has abandoned clearly stated standards for politically correct positions saddens me greatly. This is not the Army I served.

virgil xenophon said...

If anyone had ANY doubts that the armed services are by now THOROUGHLY shot through with multi-culti PC "diversity" idiocy, this latest little gem of PC drivel should remove all doubts..

AllenS said...

Rules of engagement are nothing more than PC bullshit. Promotions are given to a certain percentage of those who qualify for no other reason than their race and gender. It's been like that for quite a while. I know this from receiving the Army Stars and Stripes for a year. It was painful to read.

Emil Blatz said...

Oy vey! This is going to take a long time if they have to deal with this fine a gradation of procedural distraction. Let's get to the point.

Wayworn Wanderer said...

The Appeals Court judges are a bunch of pussies. They can all kiss my retired army ass. Hasan should already have been tried, convicted, and executed -- and would have been back when we had real men for commanders.

jacksonjay said...

So we can assume from this ruling that the next judge (male, of course) will stop the proceeding in order to allow Hasan to pray and will probably make the women in the courtroom cover their heads!
We are Doomed!

The Drill SGT said...

Roger J,

Though my heart agrees with you, my brain says the Judge was over the line. The Appeals panel correctly pointed out that it was the 3 Corps Cdr who is responsible for making grooming decisions and enforcing them. Alternately, let the prosecutor make the case on the ID grounds. The judge should decide both circumstances, not be a third litigant.

Bottom line for me:

1. It's the Command that are the PC wusses, not the Appeals judges

2. Dot all the I's and cross all the T's, even at the cost of a bit of a side show,

3. Find me 12 field grade combat arms, combat vet, officers, I want his ass dead, dead, dead... after a fair trial of course :)

Chip Ahoy said...

We aint afeareda
yer admirable beard
It's just we heered
that you was geered
to git yerself hiy-erd.
And as we jeered
That it's yer beard
is frayed and lay-yerd
and tiered
So we think it best
You cut it.

mccullough said...

It's been 3 years. Why hasn't this Islamist been tried already?

edutcher said...

If he was a Nazi, would they allow a swastika brassard?

Carlo said...

'it could reasonably appear to an objective observer that the military judge had allowed the proceedings to become a duel of wills between himself and [Hasan]'- really? how would Zacarias Moussaoui's trial [judge] rate by these standards?

Eric said...

Justice delayed is justice denied.

Carlo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roger J. said...

Drill--you are right, of course. In general, in my past experience I have found military judges to be pretty good. In retrospect, the judge let the atmospherics get away from him. Dont know who the corps commander is, but I do agree with your assessment that the army command, starting with the chief of staff, has lost the bubble to PC.

BTW--havent looked this up but how does the army impose the death penalty--I am assuming it is hanging, but dont know.

The Drill SGT said...

unfortunately injection.

I'd prefer a good hanging or a firing squad. YMMV

EMD said...

BTW--havent looked this up but how does the army impose the death penalty--I am assuming it is hanging, but dont know.

A firing squad would work nicely.

Pastafarian said...

Shit, I'd just assumed this guy had been taken out back and shot by now.

I had no idea that military courts functioned like our civil courts, with an endless parade of stupidity, lawyerly posings, and minutiae, and trials that drag on for months and years.

This entire process should have taken no more than 3 or 4 days, including execution of sentence.

Humperdink said...

Judge Ito joins the Army. Who knew?

The Drill SGT said...

Pastafarian said...
Shit, I'd just assumed this guy had been taken out back and shot by now.


LOL,

I expect that the good Texans of Killeen would have been happy to shoulder that burden.

ricpic said...

The article isn't clear as to whether the prosecutors put their argument to the judge that Hassan's beard would make him more difficult for witnesses to identify. If they did and the judge agreed wouldn't that be within the judge's legitimate discretion?

John said...

Hanging, nothing. He should get the chopping block. (If he's found guilty, of course.)

Aridog said...

chickelit said...

Suppose that flouting UCMJ language is one of the goals in this matter?

So you noticed...good.

Ironclad said...

Remember too the "incident" that caused all this was "workplace violence"...

Of course...but that is the President's executive office interpretation, and they have a heavy thumb on the Hassan proceedings.

Roger J. said...

This is not the Army I served.

Me either...but it hasn't been for a long time. In my early "olden days" the Court Martial was an exercise termed "bring the guilty bastard in"...subsequent to a possible AR 15-6 investigation and subsequent de rigueur Article 32 finding and determination...the Court Martial itself was merely to mitigate sentencing.

No fair? Tough shit. Every single enlisted man and commissioned officer was informed repeatedly of that feature from the first week of Basic onward.

AllenS said...

Rules of engagement are nothing more than PC bullshit. Promotions are given to a certain percentage of those who qualify for no other reason than their race and gender....[and/or world class ability to suck political ass.] It's been like that for quite a while.

Highlighted part mine...where I fixed that for ya' Allen :-)

Now as for Rules of Engagement, the worst abominations, vis a vis preservation of Afghan nationals at the expense of addition ISAF lives,(US losses alone have doubled in the last 3 years of the 10 year war) were implemented by Gen McChrystal, then Gen Petraeus said he'd look in to them....but he didn't change diddly squat so that anyone on the line would notice. We are now fighting with an enclave mentality once again ... which has never worked out for us in the past.

Dempsey, McChrystal, Petraeus, and all the rest of the most senior commanders have less counter insurgency experience (versus "schooling") than the average US Marine corporal on CAP duty in Vietnam.

I just read "Into the Fire", the story of MOH winner Sgt Dakota Meyer. When finished I wanted to vomit and go beat up somebody's momma.

The Drill SGT said...

Bottom line for me:

1. It's the Command that are the PC wusses,...


The senior "Command" has never been more under the White House's thumb than today. It is suck up or get out. End of story.

chickelit said...

@Aridog: Dick Dale on what I think was RoE back in 2010: link

Aridog said...

Chickelit .... Thank you. Now read the casualty lists and weep ...and note when the doubling of KIA's began.

lawyapalooza said...

The judge was being ridiculous. What did he expect was going to happen: they were going to strap the guy down and shave off his beard by force? Gee, that would not have led to more bloodshed... In life, and in the military, you have to pick your battles. The judge wasted countless hours and resources in what was definitely a battle of will rather than a necessary legal issue. Lock the guy up forever. Who gives a shit about his beard?

lawyapalooza said...

The judge was being ridiculous. What did he expect was going to happen: they were going to strap the guy down and shave off his beard by force? Gee, that would not have led to more bloodshed... In life, and in the military, you have to pick your battles. The judge wasted countless hours and resources in what was definitely a battle of will rather than a necessary legal issue. Lock the guy up forever. Who gives a shit about his beard?

Cedarford said...

The Drill SGT said...
Roger J,

Though my heart agrees with you, my brain says the Judge was over the line. The Appeals panel correctly pointed out that it was the 3 Corps Cdr who is responsible for making grooming decisions and enforcing them. Alternately, let the prosecutor make the case on the ID grounds. The judge should decide both circumstances, not be a third litigant.

===================
Have to agree. While the judge can censor any lawyer or court employee that is not presentable by accepted standards of grooming - even up to jailing them for contempt of court..or toss out members of the public for improper attire..he cannot censor the defendant.
The proper path would be to say the killer did not meet grooming standards of the UCMJ, the accused is active duty under the UCMJ, and it was up to his command to present him in a fit condition for trial. And if Hasan disobeyed direct orders, command could take corrective actions or obtain a court order to allowbphysical coercion. But outside the court and judge supposedly objectively weighing his fate for the shootings.
It was within the judges rights to say "not in my courtroom until the defendent is presentable".
And if it happened once trial was started, there is a large body of acceptable actions a judge can take with disruptive defendents that are hindering the duty of the court to effect justice in a methodical deliberative way. That review has shown do not constitute ground to challenge a judge executing a "fair trial".
Defendents may be removed and not in the court for their trial if need be. In a room where they can listen and respond to questions asked...with they jury informed n why they are not present. They may be gagged or shackled if need be. They may be hooded. Diapered if they seek to disrupt the court by urinating or defecating.

Crunchy Frog said...

Why should I care
If I have to cut my hair?
I've got to move with the fashions
Or be outcast

chickelit said...

@Crunchy Frog: But Mitt Romney helped forcibly cut someone's hair against his will!!! Where's your outrage?

Curious George said...

Strap him in. Light him up. No more beard.

Aridog said...

For those interested, the rules of engagement at May 2011 can be revviewed here at a link to ROE Lessons Learned Handbook. Almost everyone will have different takes on the contents. It can be downloaded or read on the link provided.

Mine is that I seriously doubt I was good enough to abide all the rules. The young men and women, enlisted and junior officer, today seem to be really the best of the best. Better than me, for sure.

Smilin' Jack said...

...the trial of accused Ft. Hood shooter Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan

The fact that this guy is still alive is yet more proof that we as a nation are doomed.

Cedarford said...

lawyapalooza said...
The judge was being ridiculous. What did he expect was going to happen: they were going to strap the guy down and shave off his beard by force? Gee, that would not have led to more bloodshed... In life, and in the military, you have to pick your battles. The judge wasted countless hours and resources in what was definitely a battle of will rather than a necessary legal issue. Lock the guy up forever. Who gives a shit about his beard?

=============
People in the military give a shit.
There are protocols and legal requirements of grooming and decorum that have to be obeyed.
By all parties in the military. You don't make exceptions.

If it wasn't a beard, Hasan could have played other games. If he wasn't fortunately paralyzed and in pain from a great shot by a male police officer that also ended his shooting spree, Hasan could resist showing up in a hated infidel uniform.

What then, wise one? Try him in his underwear?

And yes, the recourse should be his chain of command having the legitimate authority to force him to do things, physically if it came to it. Without dragging the trial judge into it..she made an error of judgment in substituting herself for the change of command in matters of good order and discipline and lost her "impartial" status in the process.

Prisons do have, even in civilian life, the latitude to force behaviors by physical means. A prisoner who refuses to shower or dress man be taken down by guards and forcefully cleaned and dressed.

Danno said...

Execute him, already!

Amartel said...

Making him shave off his beard would HELP his case, make him appear less terrorist-esque. But it seems it is the defendant's perceptions that matter so, buh bye judge.

EMD said...

Ooh la la Nidal Sassoon!

AllenS said...

How come, ritmo, freder, inga, garage, and others, haven't commented

Paul said...

Now you see why it should have been labeled a terrorist insident and stuffed him in Gitmo!

This whole thing is a farce.

Don M said...

So how did this schmuck get to be a Major?

Oh, medical service corps, that is like 1LT for them.

Another reason to do away with Medical Corps and Med Service Corps as branches, and have it be a compensated skill. You see when an organization nurses a viper in its bosom, there ought to be potential for the institutional death penalty.

JonRobert said...

Dante's Eighth Circle of Hell

SDN said...

I can't help but contrast the solicitude for this murderous scumbag's rights with the casualness with which filmmaker Nakoula's rights were treated for making a freaking video.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

JonRobert,

Dante's Eighth Circle of Hell

You think? Which bit? I kind of assumed Hasan belonged to the Ninth myself.

chickelit said...

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

You think? Which bit? I kind of assumed Hasan belonged to the Ninth myself.

You mean the Ninth Circuit, don't you?

Dick Stanley said...

Can't win wars, can't name jihadi events for what they are, can't even try a murderer without tying themselves in knots. Tell me again, why do we have a military?

Diggs said...

How 'bout we just put him on Obama's drone hit list, paint an IR X on the top of whatever car he's being driven to court in, have the driver step away "for a second" and BLAM! One less Hellfire, one more raghead in hell looking for his 72 virgins.

Aridog said...

Don M said...

So how did this schmuck get to be a Major?

Very simple, his senior officers were pussies who promoted him to move him out...to Fort Hood. He should have been separated from duty just based upon his evaluations, which ordinarily would have blocked promotion to major from Captain...and twice passed over you are out. However, his senior officers kick the can down the road...and every one who promoted him should be on trial with him.


Another reason to do away with Medical Corps and Med Service Corps as branches, and have it be a compensated skill.

Nonsense. For one thing, you're not going to get compensated medicos to deploy to forward surgical units under fire. Next, even in evacuation (EVAC's) hospitals, you need the surgeons who have extensive trauma experience of the kind generated by limb tearing gut shredding combat.

In my case, in an EVAC unit, two field grade surgeons put my face and head back together ... perfectly, so perfect there is no disability to this day. I owe my life to the military medical staffs from the nurses up to the surgeons.

You get the officer corps you demand politically....and today the officer outcome of the politics of the day now aren't very fit for duty...and I include Generals. It didn't start with Obama...F'ing Gates & Bush sacked General Pace, to avoid a reappointment fight in the Senate, and appointed an Admiral to lead us in two ground wars...and Admiral who had never once faced combat himself.

Michael K said...

"I just read "Into the Fire", the story of MOH winner Sgt Dakota Meyer. When finished I wanted to vomit and go beat up somebody's momma."

Me too.

If he insists on a beard, why not put him in white robes and a little skull cap then put him in front of a Texas jury?

That would be cruel and unusual.

Texpatriate said...

I think the appeals court got it right. It sounds like the judge spent too much time fuming over a passive challenge to his authoritah, and not enough on the legal issues before him. Saw a lot of that in four years as a soldier and 10 years as an army brat.