Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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What the Moussaoui Verdict Proves

Two things: 1. The Jihadists are not without their reasons for thinking Westerners have become weak in the face of danger and 2. War Criminals do not belong in civilian courts. Terrorism on this scale is not a criminal act--it is an act of war. Trying Moussaoui as if he were an ordinary mass murderer guilty of breaking the law was as insane, if not more insane, than the persona he presented to that poor jury. And I am not without some sympathy for them. There was some talk about jurors fearing for their safety and that of their families as a result of their service. Who could blame them? They didn’t sign up for that job as do our brave fighting men and women. The military tribunal is the place that ought to have handled Mr. Moussaoui.

Peggy Noonan writes nicely about the miscarriage of justice. But, I think, misses the larger point that no matter what happened to Moussaoui at trial, we made a grave error in giving him that trial in the first place. Still, of course, death would have been a better sentence. As regular caller to the Hugh Hewitt show, Yoni (an American/Israeli citizen) pointed out, what we’re forgetting is that his living will inspire terrorists (foolishly, but nevertheless) to try and take hostages for bargaining. Every second he sucks air he endangers more American lives.

Discussions - 8 Comments

I’m not sure that anyone deserves to die merely for knowing that a criminal act, however heinous, is to take place. I’m also not sure that making a creepy guy like that into a martyr would be a very good idea.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that you and Peggy are depressed that we don’t get a big payback spectacle, seeing as you’ve found your way into that small sliver of space to the right of Dubya and Atty. Gen. Gonzalez, both of whom accepted the verdict. I know that you and Peggy sifted through a lot more information than the jury did, and I know that listening to Hugh Hewitt or just being Peggy Noonan automatically makes one far smarter than any juror/jury could hope to be, but here are some facts (from Reuters):

"Moussaoui was in jail on September 11...

The jury did not believe that his actions resulted in the deaths of about 3,000 people on September 11 -- a central part of the government’s demand for the death penalty.

Three of the 12 jurors found that Moussaoui had limited knowledge of the hijacked-airliner attack plans. Some jurors also believed his role, if any, was minor."

Move on. Despite Moussaoui’s silly bravado, HE LOST, as whatever misery and madness goes on in his head will fester as long as his body persists. Take comfort in that, Christian Warrior.


I disagree.

(1) He will not be a martyr. These guys love public shows of martyrdom. He will not have one.
(3) The jury said he is more or less a basket case - something he did not want.
(4) His actions did not actually kill anyone, instead, his actions (lying) merely threw off the investigation.

He denied involvement for three years after 9/11. Just in the past year, he realizes that he can become a martyr for the cause, and declares himself a mastermind for 9/11. He makes up stories about other attacks he was planning. He was grandstanding throughout the trial.

The thought about taking "hostages for bargaining", will never occur. If anything, his execution time would have been a great threat, but not now.

What will be a REAL shame is if he’s allowed any kind of microphone from prison, or, for that matter, any contact whatever with fellow prisoners. If not the death penalty then his punishment should be 24x7x365 solitary confinement with no television, no books, no writing instruments, no radio or other form of entertainment. THAT would be punishment fitting the crime.

I beg to differ that the jurors didn’t sign up for their service. As citizens, it is our duty to serve when called upon for such tasks. They certainly did not use the opt-out provisos available (e.g. categorical opposition to the death penalty).
We have seen a profound erosion of the sense of common duty over the past 40 years, thanks to the Hell No We Won’t Go generation.

The verdict proves nothing. I would have argued for the death sentence, but given the defenses’ "martyr" argument, this was a tough call, and one made by a jury of ordinary citizens who did their best. God bless America, I say, without the slightest bit of irony, and with contempt for what the Islamists make of the verdict.

M. will now have the pleasure of contemplating over and over again the deaths of 3000 people, for the rest of his life. I believe, however, that even in the maximum security prison some harm will come to him, sooner rather than later.

Mega-dittoes, Julie.

All the talk of making Moussaoui suffer is beside the point. We needed to show our seriousness, our strength of will, to the jihadists, and we did the opposite -- at the sentencing and in the trial. That’s why the life sentence is so discouraging.

These people do not belong in civilian courts. To put them in civilian courts makes them part of our system, which allows them to do more damage to us.
A foolish mistake was made here, and we can’t afford many of these.

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