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Friday, March 24, 2006

Criminal negligence

Robert Parry writes about the exteme negligence exhibited by aWol prior to 9/11, most recently re-exposed by arguments in the Moussaoui case:
Yet, if President Bush had demanded action from on high, the ripple effect through the FBI might well have jarred loose enough of the pieces to make the overall picture suddenly clear, especially in view of the information already compiled by the CIA.

Ironically, that is almost the same argument that federal prosecutors are making in seeking Moussaoui's execution. It's not that he was directly involved in the Sept. 11 plot, they say; it's that the government might have been able to stop the attacks if he had immediately confessed what he was up to.

To some civil libertarians, the case raises troubling Fifth Amendment issues by creating a precedent for putting someone to death who didn't promptly confess and thus didn't provide clues that might have prevented a separate murder that the defendant didn't specifically know about and wasn't directly involved in.

In effect, the government is basing its demand for Moussaoui's death on the notion that the failure to do something that might have prevented the tragedy of Sept. 11 should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

However, the Bush administration has taken almost the opposite position on its own culpability. Despite a strong case for criminal negligence--beginning with FBI officials and reaching up to the Oval Office--Bush and other senior officials have insisted they have nothing to apologize for.