Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A Bad Guy

I've gotten a few emails from good folks who think I am wrong about Zacarias Moussaoui, the accused 9/11 terror accomplice, deserving the death penalty if that is what the jury decides. One fellow told me that Moussaoui is clearly nuts. Another person seems to think that Moussaoui was being prosecuted for what he "said." In other words, that he's being prosecuted because he says things like he wishes terrorists were driving planes into buildings every day.

I have no idea whether Zacarias Moussaoui is a looney bird or not. From what I have read, I think that he's delusional and warped by his religious beliefs and hatred of America. Maybe he couldn't light the right end of an M-80 if you gave him 2 tries. Evidently, Khalid Sheik Mohamed, the 9/11 mastermind, did not choose to use Moussaoui for the 9/11 operations whatever the reasons (unreliable?). But, is being an incompetent terrorist mean he is absolved of guilt? Or is he just crazy? I doubt it. But, some witnesses are saying that he had a bad childhood and that he's unstable (although he is evidently an excellent dancer and won dance contests with his girlfriend!). And, if he were to be found to be crazy by the judge or jury (I don't think that's his defense, but just theoretically), I would say he should not be eligible for the death penalty. In that case, he needs to be locked up and the key thrown away instead.

Moussaoui is not being tried for saying nasty things. He's being tried on very specific charges of planning terrorist acts and lying to federal investigators who questioned him before 9/11. He may not have known all the details of the operation, but he clearly knew there was an operation in play and who some of the terrorists were. I don't want to mince words here, but this is a really bad thing. If federal investigators could have gotten a whiff of what was up, possibly one or more of the hijackings could have been prevented. So, he had terrorist knowledge that might have prevented the deaths of one or more innocent people and he chose to lie about that to the FBI. He was planning other terrorist acts whether or not he had the competence to pull them off. And Khalid Sheik Mohamed thought of him as an Al-Qaeda operative in the United States (although at what level is unclear). This is why he faces the death penalty. Not because he raves in the courtroom about wishing for more American deaths or because he laughs at crying witnesses recalling their comrades lost in the 9/11 attacks. Although, I suspect this doesn't help him if he were trying to avoid the death penalty.

 

 

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