No Mr. Moussaoui, You Lost

Okay, so virtually everyone in America knows about Zacharias Moussaoui’s outburst after his sentencing, and maybe what the judge said to him after the fact.

Here’s a bit of my take: Yes, Moussaoui lost, and directly because he didn’t get the death penalty. In this trial, he repeatedly made it plain that he was on the same side of the trial as the prosecuting attorneys and that he wanted nothing more than to be put to death and made a martyr. Instead he’s going to rot in jail for the rest of his days, which is much less glorious and infinitely more boring.

I find it probable that he’ll spend a lot of time in solitary to protect him from reprisals by other inmates. Double boring. It’s not like Al-Qaeda really cares whether or not he ever gets out. They considered him a waste of time and effort even before he got arrested. I’m sure they wanted this bungler executed too. He’s worth more to them dead and a martyr than alive and making a fool of himself on TV.

He spent most of the chances he had at the trial trying to antagonise the judge and the jury to encourage them to have him killed, and he spent the rest of it trying to paint his role in the attacks (and al-qaeda) as being much bigger than it was. Basically, the jury decided that he’s a poser and a wannabe, and that he’s not important enough to execute.

In other news, we’ve had several of the men much more directly responsible for the attacks in our custody for over three years now, and they’ve never been charged even while this poser gets a nationally televised trial. That teaches us a lot about the current administration’s doctrine on public punishment of significant terror figures. The pawns like Moussaoui and Richard Reed go to trial, the movers and players vanish into secret detention facilities to be interrogated for years at a time.

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