Prosecutor Presents Closing Argument In Ryan Anderson Case
September 2, 2004
By KOMO Staff & News Services
FORT LEWIS - Sgt. Ryan Anderson was clear about his intentions in cell-phone text messages, e-mails and meetings with undercover agents he believed to be members of the al-Quaida terrorist network, an Army prosecutor said Thursday.
"It shows that he's trying to do all that he can, that the information he has he's willing to share it with al-Qaida," Maj. Melvin Jenks said in closing argument at Anderson's court martial.
Anderson, a tank crewman whose 81st Armor Brigade unit is now in Iraq, is accused of trying to show terrorists how best to attack the M1A1 Abrams, the Army's primary battle tank, and kill the soldiers inside.
"The overwhelming evidence has shown you that the accused betrayed our country," Jenks said.
During his nearly hour-long closing, he showed segments of the secretly recorded videotape of Anderson's Feb. 9 meeting with undercover agents he believed to be terrorists. Jenks also displayed text messages and e-mails Anderson posted on extremist websites.
"On behalf the United States Army, I ask you to find him guilty of all chares and specifications," Jenks concluded.
The defense was scheduled to submit its closing arguments next.
The 27-year-old Muslim convert is charged with five counts of trying to provide al-Qaida with information about U.S. troop strength and tactics, as well as methods for killing American soldiers. A military spokesman has said the charges amount to attempted treason.
Conviction requires agreement by two-thirds of the jury of nine commissioned officers. Anderson could face a maximum penalty of life in prison.
On Wednesday, psychologists testifying for the defense said Anderson suffers from bipolar disorder and other mental conditions.
"He has been an outsider, a social misfit, most of his life," said Jack Norris, a civilian psychologist from Madigan Army Medical Center.
Norris said he began evaluating Anderson in mid-July, eventually diagnosing him with bipolar disorder, the condition formerly called manic depression.
He said he found Anderson has always been socially awkward, with very few friends. "The friends he has had usually revolved around their mutual involvement in some arcane interest."
A second defense expert said he had diagnosed Anderson with Asperger's syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism that impairs cognitive and social functioning.
Dr. Russell Hicks, a retired Army colonel and a staff psychiatrist at Madigan, said his diagnosis and Norris' assessment did not conflict.
Under questioning by prosecutors, Hicks said, "Specialist Anderson has no limitation in his capacity to tell the difference between right and wrong."
Norris, who has been in the courtroom for much of Anderson's court martial, affirmed defense statements that Anderson liked to inflate his abilities.
Anderson also used role-playing to help structure his life and maintain control of his emotions, Norris said. He knows the difference between his role-playing and reality, but doesn't evaluate the consequences of his role-playing, the psychologist said.
Prosecutors contend Anderson jeopardized the safety of his fellow soldiers by providing information to the men he thought were al-Qaida agents.
Defense witness Norris, on cross-examination, read an e-mail Anderson wrote about his fellow soldiers.
"I do not hate them but I do not feel at home in their company," Anderson wrote, adding that they were "crude and immoral."
Wow, let's see, that's TWO DUPES now.....