April 22, 2005
Justice on the Way
Posted by Dave Blount at April 22, 2005 6:25 AM
Hasan Akbar, a pathetic character who became a Muslim, joined the army, and went on a rampage at a base in Kuwait in March 2003, killing two fellow Americans and wounding 14, has been found guilty of premeditated murder. Fortunately, it appears he is on his way to death row.
Akbar's despicable crimes were motivated by his religious beliefs, combined with the sort of paranoid notions then prevalent in the mainstream media that US soldiers were in the Middle East for the purpose of killing Muslims. He snuck around at night, shooting his comrades in the back and throwing grenades at them. Regrettably, he wasn't killed on the spot. Anyone watching the events unfold on CNN may recall how comically long they held out before giving his name or letting on that he's a Muslim. If it wasn't for Fox News, we probably still wouldn't know.
The case draws attention due not only to the appalling nature of Akbar's crimes, but to the appalling nature of the defense that was shamelessly attempted by his lawyer and wisely rejected by the jury. The crux of it, to quote AP, was that "the defendant was sufficiently mentally ill — though not insane — to be confused and fearful about the impending invasion of Iraq."
Imagine if everyone who was sufficiently mentally ill to be confused about the invasion of Iraq was essentially granted a license to kill. John Kerry would be pitching grenades at the Republican side of the Senate. On Hardball, Tweety would be executing guests on camera instead of just browbeating them. And why should Sean Penn settle for punching out photographers?
We can all be thankful this case was tried by the military and not San Francisco's Ninth Circuit, which no doubt would have granted Akbar a substantial monetary compensation for his pain and suffering before letting him free.