The First Mistake

I wish I could say I was surprised by today’s verdict, but after all these years of rampant buffoonery in American criminal courts, I really wasn’t. If it would have been possible, I wouldn’t have been all that surprised if Moussaoui’s defense had assembled a jury of cretins blinkered enough to acquit him.

The one and only good thing to come out of this fiasco is that it reveals once again the pointlessness of treating terrorism as a law enforcement issue. It’s not about crime. It’s about war. This waste of oxygen never should have set foot in a civilian court. He is an agent of a hostile foreign power, (albeit not a nation-state, but that’s hardly exculpatory) caught red-handed in the act of planning violent attacks on American civilian, military, and government targets. There is no doubt of his guilt; he himself proclaims it with a pathetic sneer.

Like the Nazi sabateours captured during World War II, Moussaoui should have been turned over to the military, tried by a tribunal, and executed. Look at it this way: if we had captured Japanese forward observers just before Pearl Harbor, would they have deserved full constitutional protections and access to the civilian courts?

Of course not. They, like Moussaoui, would have been the very definition of enemy combatants. As a non-uniformed agent, acting without even the orders of a nation-state, Moussaoui didn’t even qualify for Geneva Convention protections, much less the full constitutional rights of an American citizen.

All that said, I have no doubt the next floor-flushing scumbag we catch in this country will get the same exact treatment. And he’ll probably get off lightly, too.

UPDATE: Several commentors have opined that a life imprisonment sentence is not “getting off lightly,” and/or that since Moussaoui stated he wanted to become a martyr, executing him wouldn’t have been appropriate in any case.

Two points. One, for a guy who wants to become a martyr, Moussaoui fought awfully hard to avoid a death sentence; at one of his early court appearances, he stated explicitly that he would fight against receiving the death penalty with (if I recall correctly), ‘all his strength.’

Second, and far more important, is the message this verdict sends to Moussaoui’s fellow Islamofascists. It tells them that America is weak. It tells them Americans don’t have the stomach to do what must be done to achieve victory. It tells them our civilian culture doesn’t have the fibre to deal seriously with terrorism (and they will, by now, ignore the contradictory lesson of United flight 93). It tells them they can be captured on our soil in the act of committing barbarism, and they will receive not just mercy, but actual succor from a considerable swath of our legal establishment.

It is a bad verdict, and those are very, very bad messages.

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49 Responses to “The First Mistake”

  1. Jonathan Bailey Says:

    Not the most satisfatory outcome, but at least he doesn’t get to lay claim to being a martyr for the cause. Rotting in prison may be a worse punishment for him after all.

  2. Foster Says:

    The only dupe jury is the one that kills him. Rotting in a high-security prison for the next sixty years gives him far more anguish then being killed in a single night at the hands of the accursed infidels.

    If you really think he wanted to escape death, do you think he would have said what he said, or even testified at all? No! He begged to be killed.

    Way off base on this one, I think.

  3. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Will Collier
    RE: On the Contrary

    I think this is a good verdict.

    But, ONLY if it is taken from the perspective of General of the Armies Pershing’s approach to dealing with murderous Muslim fanatics….

    He should serve all the rest of his natural days tending to PIGS and…when he finally dies, one way or another, his carcass will be fed to the PIGS.

    The feeding will be recorded AND provided on the web as well as broadcast over Radio Free Saudi Arabia.

    This will be a lesson to all who would follow in his foolish footsteps.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  4. Chuck Pelto Says:

    P.S. I suspect he would choose death by self-starvation….except, knowing at the end where he would end up, as so much sow-belly futures on the Chicago Comodities Exchange, he might try to last a bit longer.

    On the other hand, I don’t think his comrades-in-incarceration will allow that….

  5. Steve Teeter Says:

    I agree. He didn’t get off lightly. He specifically stated that he wanted martyrdom, to die at the hands of the infidels and thus be wafted to paradise. Instead, the best he can hope for is to be ignominiously offed by some pissed-off fellow prisoner, if they ever let him out of protective solitary.

    Most likely, though, he will sit and rot in an infidel jail for decades, which is probably the punishment he most feared. All the more reason to give it to him.

  6. tom gallagher Says:

    I was also rooting for life not death. Unless he is kept in isolation, I expect he will face a certain amount of negative attitude from fellow inmates. It might even get physical. Just because you are convicted felon does not mean you can’t be a patriot.

  7. Will Collier Says:

    He’s undoubtably going to SuperMax in Colorado. He won’t even see any other inmates, much less be subject for any jailhouse justice.

  8. rbj Says:

    I’d have preferred death, but at least this way we can stop forgetting about him quicker. No headlines about his lawyers’ appeals.

    And whenever someone goes around trying to turn Mouss into Leonard Peltier or Mumia, I will call them anti-American (or unpatriotic).

  9. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Will Collier
    RE: Florence?

    We can raise pigs at that altitude.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  10. Chuck Pelto Says:

    P.S. I could bring him a cake on his birthday. He’s only a few miles away from here.

    I usually use some form of bacon fat in my cooking…..

  11. VinceTN Says:

    He probably won’t need solitary confinement. Plenty of Muslim inmates willing to protect him. Catered meals observing his every religious dietary law code. Probably make the workers wear gloves so as not to defile his meals. All that a Liberal Democrat could want for him.

  12. Mark Says:

    This is my rifle, this is my gun,
    One is for fucking, one is for killing fucktard assholes like Moussaoui.

    Shit, civil court? Nope. For me the court of 7.62×39 (or 30-30, 38, 380 or 357) is a better choice.

    But then, I went to work May 1.

  13. Scot Says:

    I knew I didn’t like this whole business, but I couldn’t put my finger on exactly why until I read this line…

    “It tells them they can be captured on our soil in the act of committing barbarism, and they will receive not just mercy, but actual succor from a considerable swath of our legal establishment.”

    It’s not the terrorists that I’m so pissed about. It’s the stupid fucking liberal weanies who turned this into a legal issue so they could deliver their version of justice to someone who came to our country to kill several thousand of our fellow citizens. In 1941 the bastard would’ve been given a cigarette and a blindfold, and that’s more than he deserved. He should have dissapeared and never even been made the darling of the liberal press in the first place.

  14. John Says:

    Life without parole does open the door in the future to the possibility that some group of terrorists will seize a bunch of Americans either inside or (more likely) outside the U.S. and demand Moussaoui’s release (which would have been possible as well with the death penalty, but if his time between sentencing and execution was in line with Tim McVeigh’s, they wouldn’t have much time to hatch a plot to free Zack).

  15. Clay Ramsey Says:

    I think we have one less martyr, and one more humiliated captive.

    I only hope he humiliated and OFTEN.

    If the guards were to accidentally off him – so be it. He’s dead to me, either way.

  16. jaymaster Says:

    I

  17. skymuse Says:

    I’m generally with Will on this one — it never should have gotten to the civilian court with constitutional protections.

    This waste should have had his 30 days in a military tribunal followed by summary execution.

    That being said, I take some comfort that he will lose bowel control toward the end of his life due to repeated…..intrusions…..

    Send him to Oz!

  18. Jenn Says:

    If I were religious I’d say amen.

    Since I’m not, I’ll say, good post.

    This b*stard isn’t fit to dirty my shoe if I kicked in in the balls he doesn’t have.

    The worst part of it, is that he’ll be placed in a Max. Security prison. No Gen Pop fun for him. What a crying shame.

    He’ll never have the pleasure of having someone shove a spork in his eye or throwing him over a picnic table and making him someone’s b*tch.

  19. Mike Says:

    Lol. spork:)

  20. dukeofpittsburgh Says:

    Again, the American justice system has spoken. This is what it has said, even though it didn’t intend to:

    1. Every shopper in every shopping mall in the USA is now a target for al-Qaedans intent on obtaining Moussaoui’s release.

    2. Every student in every high school in the USA is now a target for al-Qaedans intent on obtaining Moussaoui’s release.

    3. Ditto every sports fan of every major professional sport.

    4. Ditto every public official and their families.

    5. Ditto the families of every serviceman who serves or has served in the GWOT.

    Quite a potential price to pay for feeling good about ourselves, isn’t it? I guess the Constitution has now officially been transformed into a death pact.

    Disgusting beyond words.

  21. boarwild Says:

    i’m sorry to hear he won’t be around any other inmates. the only solace in the fact that he got life imprisonment was that the justice therein was that he could be raped several times a day and forced to perform oral sex on men. that would be ironic justice for a radical muslim convicted of what he tried to do.

    but if he’s “segregated” (i thought that was unconstitutional!!!) it won’t happen.

    i agree with Will. not a good outcome.

  22. wolfwalker Says:

    Will,

    [[ Second, and far more important, is the message this verdict sends to Moussaoui’s fellow Islamofascists. It tells them that America is weak. ]]

    That message would have been sent either way. A death sentence would have meant years of appeals, not from competent-but-uninterested defense attorneys going through the motions, but from groups who actually believe this scumsucking worm deserves the best representation they can provide. As bad as it is to let him live, how much worse would it be to see master-class lawyers paid for with Hollywood-left dollars defending a terrorist?

  23. Michael Says:

    SIR:

    By treating what in essence is a domestic offender as an agent of a hostile foreign power, we would be granting further legitmacy to the Sunni extremist movement and undermine our status as a free society. We demonstrate that our system is incapable of dealing with the terrorist threat–and that in order to deal with terrorists, we have to change. Which is precisely what al Qaida and the other Sunni extremist groups want us to do; change our paradigm in world affairs. By abiding by our own laws and established procedures, we are sending the opposite of your interpertation–not that we are weak, but that we are strong, and that our system of justice (and government) is more than capable of dealing with the likes of small minded people who long for a return to a time when they dominated.

    What twelve men (and women) good and true decided to do with Mousaaoui, whether execution or life imprisonment, was the right thing to do–because that is the way our system of justice should work.

  24. Rod Stanton Says:

    AMERICA, YOU LOST!

    Once again Alberto (our seemingly incompetent but PC AG) has his lunch eaten With Alberto

  25. rosignol Says:

    By treating what in essence is a domestic offender as an agent of a hostile foreign power, we would be granting further legitmacy to the Sunni extremist movement and undermine our status as a free society.

    It would be recognition of the facts of the situation. Please understand that this ‘hostile foreign power’ will continue to try to kill Americans regardless of if we officially ‘recognize’ them or not.

    This was an inappropriate case for criminal courts to deal with. He should have been treated as the German spies in the US were treated in WW2.

  26. William Young Says:

    He should’ve been killed once he admitted to bein in al Qaeda. Tied to a pole, blind-folded, and a .303 round in the brain pan.

    This is a war. Sadly, too many people refuse to acknowledge we are at war.

  27. spongeworthy Says:

    I disagree. I see no reason to make this ineffectual punk into some glorious martyr.

    While it may be tempting to Islamists to kidnap and swap for him, I assure you none care a whit for this guy beyond symbolism. He knows nothing and has no value as a soldier.

    And if they were going to take hostages, they’d swap them for that blind imam we’re holding for WTC in ’93.

    I remember (perhaps incorrectly) that they intended to move that imam on 9-11-01 from the Tombs to another facility. When I heard the explosion that morning my first thought was that the ‘Nutters were trying to spring him by creating a huge diversion.

  28. tfhr Says:

    Moussaoui as incentive for hostage taking is irrelevant. All Americans are targets for that activity regardless of Moussaoui’s status. There are plenty of other candidates for “prisoner exchange” at Guantanamo right now.

    I don’t care what Moussaoui thinks or wanted – I didn’t want him getting martyr status as a result of a court ruling – let the rest of the Islamofacist followers of Al Qaeda wonder what is going on with Moussaoui and not give them something to celebrate. Keep Moussaoui off the air and out of contact forever. We don’t need another update on him and neither does the rest of the world.

    There are plenty of his kind to be killed on the battlefields and it’s time to get on with it.

  29. Rob Says:

    Add me to the list of those who prefer this verdict to death. To hear about this dirtbag for the next five years appealing and spouting off to the media and then finally going down in a blaze of glory would be unbearable.

    Let him go away and rot in jail. I hope never to hear about him again.

  30. Joe Says:

    I also believe this is the best punishment but for a different reason; the notion that we should execute someone because they had information that *might* have saved people is ludicrous.

    Given the utter incompetence of the FBI, I seriously doubt anything would have changed had Moussaoui spilled everything he knew (furthermore, I’m not convinced he knew as much as is claimed.)

    I should also add that the suggestion this sends a negative message to other “Islamofascists” is, well, insane; no matter what you do with the guy, the propoganda machine will turn it into victory, but to the actual terrorists it will make no difference either way. What has enobled islamicists is not the domestic treatment of them, but our cut-and-run foreign policy of the past forty years.

  31. Dan Says:

    The prison he is going to also houses the guy who masterminded the bombing of the WTC in 1993.

    Note that no one tried to get him freed or that he has been given jail house justice.

    While I do not believe in Karma, I think this is not bad. I leaned more towards executing him – but he would have been in prison til he was older than Mumia and my grandkids (who are not yet around by 10 – 20 years) would probably be chanting for his release. (Remind me to cut them out of the will)

  32. DC Carter Says:

    Good post Will. You need to blog more.

  33. Ronin Says:

    Not ending up in civillian court would have been a first choice, getting sent to a non-disclosed location for “intensive questioning until experation occored”, but it didnt happen.

    Life in prison in a general pop prison someplace in the south-east would have been a second choice, or at least to the same prison Dhalmer went to (Now that was f*cking justice!), but didnt happen.

    Life in prison in supermax, in the same prison as other terrorist idiots, but never having contact with them and spending his decades in a small room surrounded by those who hates….meh its not my first or second choice but its better than a quick painless death.

    Although my personal choice would have been to throw out the justice entirely and have him fed to fire ants, slowly.

  34. Sanjay Says:

    Oh, come now. Moussaoui is a horrible human being. He is also a primo, wowie, look-at-that nutjob and screw-up. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that when the total history of everything is known, Moussaoui himself somehow while training pulled some lever, Gilligan-style, that set back al Quaeda fifty years. You can’t execute a guy like that.

  35. Joe Says:

    In my happy, shiny dreamworld, he’d be lathered in bacon grease and dumped into a pit of man-eating pigs, Hannibal style.

    Squeal Zack. Squeal!

  36. john Says:

    Zack may serve his time in France. There is an agreement in place between the US and France to allow convicted nationals to serve their sentences in their home nations, and Zack is a French citizen.

    Read it here

  37. JD Says:

    One thing that can be done – make sure that Zakko is given a cell in which he has to pray toward the toilet in his cell when he faces Mecca.

    Other than that, find the guys who did Dahmer and invite them in for a nice respite in the Rockies.

    The Ordinary Decent Criminals have a long memory, and “life” is going to be a long, hairy, paranoid time for Zakko. May he visit Allah with a shiv in his spine and his dork in his mouth.

  38. rosignol Says:

    Zack may serve his time in France.

    No.

  39. LHM Says:

    Wow! Have to say I agree with you.

    There are several other factors to consider as well.

    Im afraid Moussaoui is going to still be with us a while.

    LHM

    An American Expat in Southeast Asia

  40. mad bikini blogger Says:

    The first mistake was giving him access to our court system.

    I’m not pleased that he was tried in our courts. U.S. courts should be for citizens and citizens only. If a visitor to our fair shores has broken the law, in any way, they should be deported immediately. Breaking the law makes you an undesirable alien.

    Zac should have been deported to Git’mo or one of the lovely CIA black site prisons we’ve, unfortunately, heard so much about. And the case against him… prosecuting someone, a bad dude, for not telling you he’s planning a crime… does that strike anybody else as insane? Since when are criminals prone to giving prior full disclosure?

    The fact that he was found guilty is luck. The fact that he wasn’t put to death is smart. I think we should put cameras in his cell and broadcast his incarceration to al-Jazeera, for all up and coming terrorists to witness what will happen to you if you come to our fair shores and f*@k with US. No sound, of course.

  41. Wally Says:

    I hear ya, Stephen, but I can’t agree.

    First, martyrdom. We are not sending the wrong message to potential martyrs by *denying* martyrdom to Moussaoui. The message we are sending is that if we catch you, “glorious martyrdom” will be denied. Sure, the man deserves to die. But he deserves drawing and quartering, lethal injection is too good for him. So let him rot as a non-martyr.

    Second, constitutional rights are not just for US citizens. They are for everyone in the US. The exception would be bona fide enemy combatants, as specified in the Geneva Conventions. Outside of that exception, every person must have rights. This is part of what makes us Americans, and this is no time to forget that.

  42. Donald Bulloch Says:

    Consider the cost so far on this food for pigs. Consider his back ground. Consider the cost for his incarceration. Consider our future. Kill him with pork bones.

  43. Get real Says:

    Sarcasm alert: American justice is just not good enough for some people.I have higher standards, like firing squads. So what if Mouse was not involved in 9/11 when it happened , he was thinking about it. And that is enough to make me mad and turn him over to the military so he could get some real justice. Ok , so he was already in jail, it was his intent wasn’t it that killed people on 9/11 not his actions? He wanted to be there and it’s not his fault if he was detained.

    And those Japanese dudes in WW2, they got all the right things. Not like those namby pamby military detainees in Guantanamo who sit there without trials, without prison sentences, without any hearings whatsoever. The military is just not like the old days. Guess we cannot trust them either. You know what? I even hear that those hardened terrorists in Guantanamo are being let go by the military . Almost 1/3 of those really tough terrrosits are being let go without any trial or anything. Just because they were not involved in fighting Americans but caught in some military sweep operation is not a reason to let them go; perhaps it was in their heart to fight Americans.
    (Tongue-in-cheek so far it hurts)

  44. beautifulatrocities Says:

    Ditto. That’s why I support the death penalty & don’t buy the silly idea that life in prison is worse than execution. Look at that scum Tookie they finally frosted here in Cal. For decades he sat on Death Row, became a celebrity, had sex, had visitors, & had hope, all things that were forever lost to his victims.

  45. jon Says:

    “He probably won’t need solitary confinement. Plenty of Muslim inmates willing to protect him. Catered meals observing his every religious dietary law code. Probably make the workers wear gloves so as not to defile his meals. All that a Liberal Democrat could want for him.” –VinceTN

    This treatment is afforded to all Kosher diet inmates. Religious rights are held in high regard in the prison system, and liberal Democrats haven’t a thing to do with that. I should know, living in the Liberal Democratic center known as the State of Arizona and from working at a prison.

    And this guy will not be protected by other inmates. For all he’ll know, he could be at Spandau. Other inmates won’t know he’s there.

  46. VinceTN Says:

    When he starts bitching about his treatment, we’ll see how interested the Left is in his situation. I see calls for “understanding” and for Americans being “better than that” as regards his treatment. His life won’t be ideal but it won’t be the hell he deserves.

    How long before he starts being able to communicate with the outside (family first, then “friends”) and finally being able to direct things like many gang leaders do in those prisons?

  47. LeftyRighty Says:

    I’m amazed at how eagerly we Americans advocate death. This ridiculous eye for an eye medieval mentality simply astounds me. The only valid argument that can be made for the use of the death penalty is that it acts as a deterrent. Considering the plan of those like him is to kill themselves and others with them, the death penalty will do nothing except waste enormous amounts of money in appeals, and give some few people a limited sort of bullshit satisfaction. Life in prison was the right call. This is something I am incredibly proud of my country for. We are better than them and this just proved it. We don’t kill people when we’re pissed, they do. America’s goodness has shown through.

  48. eLarson Says:

    The LA Times (via Rantburg):
    “The Slow Rot at Supermax”

    Sounds like a Pyrrhic victory for Moussaoui. At best. He’ll end up begging for the needle.

  49. dick Says:

    Not too far off topic but what has happened to Lynne Stewart? I have not seen anything about that POS who carried messages from the terrorists she represented for a good long while. I do hope that she is locked up and in solitary confinement or if not that she will be. She is one of the most despicable people I can imagine. She takes the oath to be an officer of the court and then does what she did against her own country and the people she grew up among. She is so far beneath contempt that she would need to pole vault to get to slime slug level.

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