The American-born Muslim, who has acknowledged his role in the shootings, faces the death penalty in a case that spawned congressional hearings as well as an ongoing debate as to whether the shooting was a terrorist attack or "workplace violence," as the Pentagon has classified it.
"It's hard when the guy who tried to kill you is up there asking you questions," said Munley, a federal police officer at Fort Hood at the time who was the first person to confront Hasan, exchanging gunfire with him. "That's a whole different monster."
Jury selection in the case — besieged by delays ranging from Hasan's refusal to shave his beard to the removal of the original judge — begins Tuesday and is likely to last several weeks. The proceedings will occur in a courthouse surrounded by large sand-filled barriers in a corner of the sprawling base, akin to a building inside Baghdad's Green Zone. Soldiers carrying assault rifles patrol outside the building and pat down guests inside before they walk through a metal detector to get to the courtroom.
Hasan, who is confined to a wheelchair, has opted to represent himself, putting himself in the rare and emotionally explosive position of cross-examining his own victims. He faces 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of premeditated attempted murder."Workplace violence"--that, too, is grotesque.