The Los Angeles Times reports that Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan, facing trial in the shooting of 45 people at Fort Hood, asked the judge today for a three-month delay so he can prepare a new strategy: The psychiatrist-allegedly-turned-gunman wants to argue, he said, that he was acting in "defense of others."

Hasan said he was protecting "the leaders of the Islamic emirate of Afghanistan, the Taliban specifically" including Mullah Omar, their spiritual leader. Then he asked for a break to "gather my thoughts.”

When Hasan returned, the judge asked him to further detail his defense, and he demurred.

Hasan fired his military lawyers yesterday, choosing to represent himself against 13 charges of murder and 32 charges of attempted murder. In response to the judge's questioning, he said that the victims at Fort Hood were "about to deploy to Afghanistan," and that he was protecting the Taliban from attackers including "everybody who supported the government—the leadership, the soldiers."

After Hasan said he needed "time to put this together in a coherent fashion," the Times reported, the judge granted him until noon tomorrow.

[Photo via AP]