There appears to be some significant developments in the trial of Fort Hood jihadist, Nidal Malik Hasan involving both highly sensitive evidence that has been obtained via the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978 and a sworn declaration provided by Attorney General Eric Holder.
Via the Killeen Daily Herald:
A federal judge ordered that evidence against the accused Fort Hood shooter obtained through classified intelligence gathering methods will be allowed in trial.
Lawyers for Maj. Nidal Hasan challenged the constitutionality of using the evidence, stating it constituted an illegal search or seizure and prevented Hasan from confronting his accusers.
Federal Judge Walter Smith denied the request Wednesday after reviewing the evidence and classified information outside of the court.
The evidence against Hasan appears to have been obtained via ‘electronic surveillance’:
Authorities obtained the unspecified evidence from electronic surveillance that falls under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. Though investigators found evidence that may be used against Hasan, the structure of FISA rules appears to indicate that authorities were targeting someone outside the country.
It leads to the possibility that the evidence could be communications between Hasan and Anwar al-Awlaki, the al-Qaida cleric who was slain last year in Yemen. Hasan sent a series of emails to Awlaki in the months leading up to the Nov. 5, 2009, mass shooting on post.
Approximately half of those emails have been extremely difficult for attorneys to get their hands on since the shootings. Last year, before leaving the Hasan defense team, attorney John Galligan was frustrated with his inability to get his hands on all of those emails.
Fox News reported at the time:
Hasan’s defense lawyer, John Galligan, says he was given nine emails by the military as part of the discovery process. Yet, sources who have reviewed the email exchange between Hasan and Awlaki which began in December 2008 tell Fox News there are at least 18 emails.
Characterization of the emails exchanged between the accused Fort Hood shooter and the cleric range from benign to clearly concerning in tone. In one email, Hasan reportedly asked if it was okay to kill Americans – though U.S. officials will not comment publicly on the accuracy of those reports or the contents of the emails.
If those emails actually contain that kind of language, it would certainly explain why the Federal Government would fight tooth and nail to prevent their release.
That leads to the Killeen Daily Herald’s reference to Eric Holder:
In Smith’s ruling, he states that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder provided a sworn declaration that disclosure of FISA materials would create a danger to national security. Smith also refused to allow the defense and prosecution to argue the matter.
Is Eric Holder preventing the truth about the Fort Hood shootings from coming out?
Hiding information to prevent the truth about the circumstances leading up to murder?
Does Operation Fast and Furious come to mind?