April 23, 2005

Did Moussaoui admit to being part of the 9/11 conspiracy?

He tried not to:
He said that despite his guilty plea he had nothing to do with the Sept. 11 attacks.

Instead, he said, he had been planning to participate in a separate undisclosed plot to fly a plane into the White House at a different time....

"I am guilty of a broad conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction to destroy the White House," he said, offering a new account of his role in plots that is at odds with the different versions government prosecutors have put forward.

Speaking with a heavy French accent, Mr. Moussaoui said there was nothing in the indictment or the fact sheet to which he assented that demonstrated that he was supposed to participate in the Sept. 11 attacks.

"You can't point to me and say that Moussaoui came to U.S. to participate in 9/11," he said.

He told the court he felt it was important to emphasize that he had not admitted any connection with the Sept. 11 attacks because that would increase the pressure for his execution "when the government brings victim statements to court."

He tried not to admit to being part of the 9/11 conspiracy, but he didn't succeed. We use the date 9/11 as shorthand for the attacks that took place, because they happened to occur on one day, but that doesn't mean that attacks planned for a different day were a different conspiracy. He's admitted to being part of a conspiracy to attack buildings with planes, and it appears to be one large conspiracy, which was planned to take place over the course of more than one day. The conspiracy was stopped, so the additional events didn't take place, but if there is one conspiracy, he is responsible for all the acts of the co-conspirators, and he has admitted to being responsible for everything that took place on 9/11!

That's the position of the U.S. government:
[Attorney General Alberto] Gonzales and other officials also noted that the statement of facts signed by Mr. Moussaoui included an admission that he "knew of Al Qaeda's plan to fly airplanes into prominent buildings, and he agreed to travel to the United States to participate in the plan."

The statement also said that Osama bin Laden "personally selected Moussaoui to participate in the operation to fly planes into American buildings and approved Moussaoui's attacking the White House. Bin Laden told Moussaoui, 'Sahrawi, remember your dream.'"
That's one conspiracy. I can't believe Moussaoui won't get the death penalty for that. Moussaoui said in court that he'd fight against the death sentence, but as he left the courtroom he shouted: "Allah akhbar! God curse America!"

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