Thursday, April 06, 2006

A conspiracy for fantasy: Moussaoui

Dahlia Lithwick has the perfect summary of the Moussaoui "trial":
When You Wish Upon a Scar By Dahlia Lithwick

... This was what negotiators describe as a Pareto-optimal result: a win-win, in which Moussaoui, the government, and Americans craving vindication all got what they wanted. In the end, the verdict's only casualties are a few impossible-to-explain facts. Facts that should have added up to just this: We don't execute people for fanciful happenings that may have followed from imaginary conversations.

Nobody will dispute that Moussaoui would have happily done anything at all to help the 9/11 plot succeed. But he did nothing to help it succeed because, as everyone but Moussaoui now agrees, he was flaky, wifty, and weird. It's not a capital crime to be flaky, wifty, or weird. Nor is it a capital crime to wish you were a hero instead of a dud.

Yet because of Moussaoui's false testimony, the government's nutty conspiracy theory, and the nation's need for closure, Moussaoui's name will be in the history books and the law books for all time; inextricably linked with 9/11, just as it has always been in his dreams. And perhaps we will all sleep better for believing that if Moussaoui had come forward and told what little he knew, we could have stopped those terrible attacks, just as it happens in our own dreams.
Richard Reid, that sad retarded schizophrenic, was to have been the copilot with Moussaoui. It's the perfect note of mocking hilarity for the musical that will be written about the trial and execution.

Our national state is now passing pathetic.


Maurice Bernstein, M.D. said...

I agree. The other issue is that he may die because of something he didn't tell, the specific date detaile he apparently didn't know and to a higher intelligence system that subsequently didn't even attempt to act on what he did say. But, even though this seems as a bizarre conviction, everybody involved save for his legal team will feel justice was served. ..Maurice.

JGF said...

I wouldn't say Justice was served. Justice is more than the guilty being punished, it's about process and law.

Under current US law Moussaoui apparently doesn't quality for the federal death penalty -- based on what I and many others believe. So this is not serving justice.

Is it a great miscarriage of justice? No. There are much greater injustices that occur in the US every day. The wealthy get away with fraud, theft and murder, the poor rot for far lesser crimes.

So Moussaoui's likely execution is an injustice, but by US standards it's a relatively minor perversion of justice.