John P. Galligan (pictured), a Belton solo, who until 2011 led the criminal defense for the admitted Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, continues to act, outside the Kileen courtroom, where a trial is underway, on his former client’s behalf.
In 2011, Hasan told a military court he had released Galligan as counsel. But Galligan says he meets with Hasan three or four times a week and has been making those regular visits since May.
Galligan’s most recent visit with Hasan — who told the court he fired the shots at Fort Hood on Nov. 5, 2009 that left 13 dead and more than 30 wounded — was on Aug. 19, Galligan says. He assists Hasan with his concerns about future civil litigation and Hasan may hire him for an appeal in the criminal case, Galligan says.
The Belton solo expresses dissatisfaction about the fairness of the trial currently underway.
“He is being used as a prop,” Galligan says about Hasan, who at trial represents himself, although a team of three defense lawyers is assigned to assist him only with technical aspects of the case.
Those three lawyers earlier this month asked to withdraw from that minimal level of participation but the judge denied their request.
On Aug. 21, The New York Times posted article that includes links to emails, which Hasan has sent. Those emails were supplied to the newspaper by Galligan per Hasan’s request, according to the Times and Galligan. Among the emails described and posted by the Times includes: “[O]ne sent 13 days before the attack and the second three days prior,” in which “Major Hasan asked his supervisors and Army legal advisers how to handle three cases that disturbed him,” according to the Times article. The Times also describes the disturbing accounts Hasan reports to his superiors.
“In one case, a soldier reported to him that American troops had poured 50 gallons of fuel into the Iraqi water supply as revenge; the second case involved another soldier who told him about a mercy killing of a severely injured insurgent by medics; and in the third, a soldier spoke of killing an Iraqi woman because he was following orders to shoot anything that approached a specific site,” the Times writes.
Earlier, Hasan had tried to introduce the emails as evidence.
“In the trial’s opening day, the prosecution called Lt. Col. Ben K. Phillips, one of Major Hasan’s superiors at the base’s medical center and one of the seven people to whom he sent the e-mails. During cross-examination, Major Hasan asked Colonel Phillips, now retired, to describe the e-mails, but Army prosecutors objected, saying such questions went beyond the scope of his testimony. The judge agreed,” the Times reports.
Galligan believes the emails show a pattern of the army failing to prevent the tragedy of the 2009 shootings.
“Hasan isn’t the only issue in this case. The army is on trial,” Galligan says.