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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Suicider at long last

The blog Against the War on Terror suggests that Zacarias Moussaoui intended to be martyred, one way or another, and the US government intends to oblige him--serving their purposes and his, but no one else's (well, maybe Osama's).
The administrationís desperate quest for a victory in the war on terror, however, has made it blind to its real effects. It is not just that the government bent the law into conceptual pretzels, but that it actually allowed Moussaoui the only possibility of victory he could achieve. After all, the main reason the prosecution won its case for the death penalty was not anything the lawyers showed, but Moussaouiís eleventh-hour reversal. Having disputed any involvement in 9/11 prior to last week, Moussaoui, in his final testimony, suddenly stated that he was supposed to have flown a plane into the White House, that he knew about the other attacks, and that he concealed them from the government. This, of course, was enough to seal the deal for the government. But what the government doesnít want to acknowledge is that Moussaoui may very well have wanted the death penalty. ... Moussaoui has said previously that he wanted to be executed, and that he was willing to testify against himself if it would mean avoiding a life sentence: it was "different to die in a battle ... than in a jail on a toilet," as he put it. This alone strongly suggests Moussaouiís last minute change of heart had little to do with a sudden passion for the truth or feelings of guilt. Moussaoui and the Bush administration seem to agree on one thing at least Ė that the courtroom should be seen as a battlefield. By ignoring the evidence, both get what they want. The administration adds a legal victory to its win column, and Moussaoui gets a state-facilitated martyrdom.