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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Colorado carnage - Fort Hood accused asked to appear clean-shaven

The World and more particularly those in US were horrified to hear about a mass shooting  on 20th July 12  at a Century movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, during a midnight screening of the film ‘The Dark Knight Rises’. A gunman, dressed in tactical clothing, set off tear gas grenades and shot into the audience with multiple firearms, killing 12 people and injuring 58 others. The sole suspect is James Eagan Holmes, who was arrested outside the cinema minutes later.

His hair dyed a shocking comic-book shade of orange-red, the former doctoral student accused of killing moviegoers at a showing of the new Batman movie appeared in court – when the World got to see him since the terrifying shooting.  Reports have it that, unshaven and appearing dazed, the suspect sat virtually motionless during the hearing, his eyes drooping as the judge advised him of the severity of the case. At one point, the suspect simply closed his eyes. Prosecutors said they didn't know if he was being medicated.
Throughout the hearing, he never said a word. His attorneys did all the talking when the judge asked him if he understood his rights. Well, there are rights for the killers too……

Not many would remember the Fort Hood incident.  It is a military post located outside of Killeen, Texas, named after Confederate General John Bell Hood. Its origin was the need for wide-open space to test and train with World War II tank destroyers. The Fort Hood shooting was a shooting that took place on November 5, 2009- in the course of the shooting, a single gunman killed 13 people and wounded 29 others.  The sole suspect is Nidal Malik Hasan, a U.S. Army Major serving as a psychiatrist. He was shot and taken into custody by Department of the Army Civilian Police officers; he has been charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted murder under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.  Investigations before and after the shooting  reportedly discovered e-mail communications between Hasan and Yemen-based cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who quickly declared Hasan a hero, as "fighting against the U.S. army is an Islamic duty".

Nidal Malik Hasan, joined the Army while in college and became a psychiatrist at Fort Hood, Texas. The attack was described by a Senate report as "the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil since September 11, 2001.  

Now there are reports that a military judge here ruled that Hasan accused in a November 2009 shooting rampage here is in contempt for his failure to comply with an order to appear in court clean-shaven and within Army grooming standards. reports that in an  Article 39A hearing, Army Col. Gregory Gross fined Maj. Nidal Hasan $1,000, the maximum fine the court could impose under the court-martial contempt statute.

It is reported that after the contempt hearing, Hasan refused to voluntarily shave and watched the remainder of the hearing outside the courtroom via a close-circuit television feed. Gross informed him that if he did not voluntarily shave, he likely would compel a shaving so Hasan could attend forthcoming court-martial hearings in person.

Other than being unshaven, the killers James Eagan Holmes and Nidal Malik Hasan seemingly do not have a connection – other than of course the mad killing

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
27th July 2012.

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