John Galligan is taking lots of abuse for representing Maj. Nidal Hasan, accused of killing 13 people at Fort Hood last November, says the Austin American-Statesman. “This makes me all the more convinced that what I’m doing is correct,” says Galligan, 61, whose 30-year military career included a stint as a judge at Fort Hood. “You demonstrate how good a system is in its most difficult cases.” On Tuesday, Galligan will begin his courtroom defense of Hasan, whose Article 32 pretrial hearing – which will determine whether Hasan faces a court-martial and potentially the death penalty – is expected to feature weeks of testimony by dozens of witnesses, including all 32 wounded victims.
Though his role as Hasan’s attorney has thrust him into the national discussion, Galligan has long been a polarizing figure in his local Bell County, Tx., where friends and foes alike describe him as a fearless fighter who has courted controversy – and the spotlight – in recent years. Galligan has granted many interviews to local and national media, in an effort, he says, to counter the general narrative that his client is connected to terrorism. “Damn right I talk to the media,” Galligan said. “Every time I turn around my client is linked to (terrorist networks), and I’m expected to say nothing? To a public that doesn’t understand” the uniform code of military justice?