Thursday, May 04, 2006

[political-researchp] Bloglines - Moussaoui

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Lawyers, Guns and Money
Family. Religion. Friendship. These are the three demons you must slay if you wish to succeed in business.


By Scott Lemieux

While I certainly don't see this as a reason for celebration, and while as longtime readers know (and I will return to sometime in the near future) I'm a tepid opponent of the death penalty, I'm inclined to agree with the Talking Dog: "As a result of this legally correct verdict, following a government prosecution rife with misconduct and a virtually impossible burden given FBI agent testimony that no matter what Moussaoui said, Bureau chieftains could not be convinced of the merits of a 9-11 plot, Moussaoui will be automatically sentenced to life in prison...Let's just say it's gratifying to see a judge and jury do their job the way the law actually intended." For the reasons that Talk Left has collected in voluminous detail--see here in particular--a death penalty verdict in this case would have been pretty appalling. A death penalty case requires a level of professionalism that the state manifestly failed to meet here, and given Moussaoui's exceptionally tangential-at-best connections to 9/11 I can't say it's a tragedy.


This case was about a conspiracy, about some factual connection, however attenuated, between Zacarias Moussaoui's jihadi heart and the events of 9/11. And although the government has steadfastly stood by its legal claim that it was enough for Moussaoui to have wanted to be on those planes on 9/11, enough for him to have delighted as those planes went down, the jurors recognized this afternoon that a conspiracy to aid in a terror plot requires more than just a bad heart, and more than mere willingness to participate in the next one.

This decision, which will doubtless bring with it some serious national fallout, is more subtle, and more courageous, than the prosecution itself. Acting as a check on a runaway state, these jurors refused to allow a government needing a scapegoat and a man wishing for martyrdom to stand in the way of the facts. These jurors understood that for this country to kill a terrorist for his ideas, hopes, and dreams is not much different than the terrorist's desire to come here and kill us for ours.

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