Published August 06, 2013
The trial of the Fort Hood gunman, who is acting as his own attorney, took a surreal turn as the former Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 in the November 2009 attack grilled witnesses — including his former boss in the military and a fellow Muslim who spoke to him the day of the shooting..
After a short opening statement in which ex-Army Maj. Nidal Hasan called himself a “mujahedeen,” admitted to the rampage and said “the dead bodies will show that war is an ugly thing,” Hassan cross-examined prosecution witnesses, including retired Lt. Col Ben Kirk Phillips, his former boss. When pressed by the defendant, Phillips acknowledged that his officer evaluation report had graded Hasan as “outstanding.”
Hasan also cross-examined Pat Sonti, who met Hasan at the Killeen Islamic Center in Fort Hood the morning of the shooting. Sonti said Hasan took the microphone at the mosque and called for prayer.
“After call to prayer, he bid goodbye and told the congregation he was going home,” Sonti said. “I found that odd.”