KILLEEN, Texas — Days before he opened fire at Fort Hood in 2009, Major Nidal Malik Hasan sent two e-mails to his Army superiors expressing concern about the actions of some soldiers he was evaluating as a military psychiatrist.
In the e-mails, one sent 13 days before the attack and the second three days prior, Hasan asked his supervisors and Army legal advisers how to handle three cases that disturbed him. In one case, a soldier reported to him that US troops had poured 50 gallons of fuel into the Iraqi water supply as revenge; the second case involved a 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 ap-
proached a specific site.
The Army never fully investigated his concerns. On Nov. 5, 2009, Hasan walked into a medical deployment center to kill as many soldiers as he could as part of a jihad to protect Muslims and Taliban leaders from troops heading to Afghanistan, he has said.
The e-mails were released to The New York Times at Hasan’s request through his civilian lawyer, John P. Galligan. They were among several missed opportunities for the Army to investigate Hasan’s troubled state of mind and bizarre behavior. Earlier, Hasan had publicly embraced violent Islamic extremism and justified suicide bombings and the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
In 2007, when Hasan was a resident at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, an academic presentation he made that was required for graduation stated that a risk of having Muslim-Americans in the military was the possibility that they would kill their fellow troops.
He had also asked a supervisor at Walter Reed whether he qualified for conscientious objector status, told classmates during a fellowship that his religion took precedence over the Constitution, and in an academic paper defended Osama bin Laden.
Hasan’s radical beliefs and his correspondence with his superiors have played a limited role in his military trial.
Prosecutors did want to use several pieces of evidence that showed his ideology .
But on Monday the judge prohibited them from presenting that evidence to the jury. The judge, Colonel Tara A. Osborn, said in her ruling that much of the “motive evidence” was too removed in time.
On Tuesday, after calling nearly 90 witnesses in 11 days and presenting an overwhelming amount of evidence, the prosecution rested. The judge told Hasan that he could present his defense Wednesday, though it remained unclear if he would make any case.