April 13, 2006

"God curse America. We will win. It's just a question of time."

Moussaoui takes the stand:
He noted many relatives of victims wept on the witness stand, then walked past him in the courtroom and looked his way without crying. "I find it disgusting that people come here to share their grief over the death of some other person," he said.

"I'm glad there was pain, and I wish there will be more pain," Moussaoui said. "The children in Palestine and in Chechnya will have pain. I want you to share their pain."...

In a lengthy explanation of why he hates Americans, Moussaoui said Islam requires Muslims to be the world's superpower as he flipped through a copy of the Quran searching for verses to support his assertion. He said one verse requires Muslims "to fight against all who believe not in Allah."

"We have an obligation to be the superpower. You have to be subdued," Moussaoui said. "America is a superpower and you want to eradicate Islam."

He criticized U.S. support for Israel. "Every child who has been killed in Palestine has been killed because of you," he said. Israel is "just a missing star in the American flag," he added.
Much more at the link.


Bissage said...

Okay. The guy's an evil kook. Exterminate him and be done with it.

Verification Word: Yjixe

Speed Racer's other sister?

Jim H said...

He certainly takes the pressure off of his appointed attorneys. They won't have to wonder later whether they could have done anything differently for him.

chuck b. said...

I've been trying to figure out if he's evil on top of being deranged, or just plain deranged. Is that an effete consideration?

He's clearly not living in our world. I don't know if it's mentioned in the AP link, but I read somewhere else today that Moussaoui thinks Bush is going to pardon him and send him to England. He had a vision in a dream, and that's what he thinks.

All evil is deranged. But derangement isn't necessarily evil. Does the usual requirement to show mens rea exist in this case? Maybe it should not.

Alan said...

"We will win"....?

What's he talking about?...are we in the middle of a war or something?

formerly "Alan"

PatCA said...

When is the world going to take them at their word?

MadisonMan said...

When is the world going to take them at their word?

When they get a spokesman who's not a complete and utter nut job slash window-licker?

Someone like the President of Iran, maybe.

We just had a most awesome hail storm here in Madison, by the way. Cool!

The Cranky Insomniac said...

Can a lawyer type explain something to me? Why is it legal for the prosecution to call witnesses and play tapes for the sole purpose of describing what happened on 9/11?

In otherwords, from a purely legal standpoint, why should it matter how sad the families are, how horrific the 911 calls are, etc.? Either he's in some way legally responsible for the deaths or he's not: would it make his crime any less heinous if relatives of the victims took the stand and said, "well, we never liked Ray anyway, and we're kinda glad he's gone"?

My sole point here is to understand why it is legally permissible to introduce evidence whose only purpose is to emotionally affect the jury. In an ideal world, don't we want jurors to be as rational as possible while they're debating their decision? Aren't we meant to believe that our legal system is based on justice, not vengeance?

I thank in advance anyone who can help clear this up for me.

The Cranky Insomniac

Ann Althouse said...

Yeah, the hail storm! That was insane! I'm still trembling!

SippicanCottage said...

I feel like I'm watching Hitler reading Mein Kampf aloud on the steps of Landsberg Prison.

Nah, he must be loopy. He can't mean that.

somefeller said...

I'll assume he means what he says, so he should be executed. I don't think you'll find many people arguing against that, other than people who have a general opposition to capital punishment in all cases. I don't have that general opposition, and such people really don't have much influence in the real world, so bring the needle, unless one can show that life imprisonment would be more unpleasant for him than death row. Hopefully Osama will follow him, though I doubt he'll be captured with the current crew in charge. Perhaps the next President Clinton will clean up that mess.

DRJ said...

It's hard to believe that, over 4 years after 9/11 and knowing that there are thousands of militant Muslims who want to kill (and do kill) people just because they aren't Muslim, there are still people like Chuck B. who ponder why.

Even more amazing is this statement referring to Moussaoui: "He's clearly not living in our world". Moussaoui is living in the real world. Are you, Chuck B? We're at war with militant Muslims who want to kill every non-Muslim infidel, and we Americans are number one on the top ten list of infidels.

Tyro said...

Can a lawyer type explain something to me? Why is it legal for the prosecution to call witnesses and play tapes for the sole purpose of describing what happened on 9/11?

IANAL , but such testimony is an aspect of sentencing - they're past the prosecution phase, from which he'd been determined eligible for the death sentence, and on to the determination of his actual sentence.

Also his 'strategy' was apparently to present himself as a significant figure so as to create the perception that he could be traded for American prisoners. That's where the dream about GWB comes in.

chuck b. said...

There's nothing in what I wrote that suggests I'm pondering why Moussaoui did what he did.

And I think it's perfectly reasonable to question the man's sanity.

In ordinary criminal matters, a lack of sanity is a defense.

What I suggested, clearly, is that in cases like this, insanity should not be a defense.

The Cranky Insomniac said...

IANAL , but such testimony is an aspect of sentencing - they're past the prosecution phase, from which he'd been determined eligible for the death sentence, and on to the determination of his actual sentence.

Thanks for responding, Tyro. I get that such testimony is an aspect of sentencing, I just don't get why. It's obvious why the prosecution would want to introduce emotional testimony that would be likely to make a jury hand out a harsher sentence, but why is it legal for them to do so?

The Cranky Insomniac

Seven Machos said...

This defendant is definitely "living in our world." He is totally sane.

It's true that in Islam, Islam is supposed to be the only superpower and everyone must submit to Allah. A clearer explication of the religion istelf as it was conceived could never be issued. We should thank Zacarias for his clarity.

The problem is: for radical Islamists, they know their religion should be supreme and their culture and institutions are supposed to be supreme, and that the Prophet said Islam would be supreme, but Islam is not supreme and it is politically and economically and in every material way inferior to the West.

This disconnect is what creates radical Islamists. If you want to call it insanity, it's only because so many in the West currentlyh want to label all of The Other as clinically mental ill.

Bissage said...

The Cranky Insomniac asked: Why is it legal for the prosecution to call witnesses and play tapes for the sole purpose of describing what happened on 9/11?

The short answer is that the law presumes a person intends the natural and probable consequences of his voluntary acts. That's why such evidence is relevant. It is to prove that the defendant deserves no mercy.

But that's not necessarily the end of it. Upon objection, the trial judge must weight probative value against prejudicial effect (among other things).

Again the disclaimer: This was the short answer. Hope it helped.

Goesh said...

-remind me to have a pistol along if I ever encounter any of his 'brothers' - I wonder just how many there are out there like him? Will it be hemp or synthetic around his wretched neck? Some will opt for the needle, others for a few thousands volts of electricity.

tjl said...

RE the Cranky Insomniac's question:

Criminal trials are bifurcated proceedings. Once a defendant has been found guilty, the trial enters a separate punishment phase in which evidence that would not be relevant during guilt/innocence becomes admissible. This includes evidence as to the impact on the victims, which is what is apparently bothering Cranky. By the same token, the defense at this point has the opportunity to offer mitigating evidence that would not be admissible during guilt/innocence.

CB said...

Cranky Insomniac,
Remember that this testimony is not being used to determine guilt--that has already been done. It is being used to determine what punishment is suitable for the crime, and so emotional appeals are appropriate. Humans are emotional as well as rational beings, and so the law should consider emotions. There's the quote by Aristotle about law being reason free from passion, and you often hear about the harm that comes from letting one's emotions take over. I think that there is just as much danger in letting one's reason take over, with no human emotions to temper it.

knoxgirl said...

I get the sense that some commenters here think that Moussaoui is somehow unique, that he is especially crazy or evil ...


The victims of 9/11 are "infidels" to him, and therefore easily exterminable, with no remorse. This is indeed hard to comprehend, but it should be accepted as the sad reality we are facing by now!

patca--This comments thread answers your question. People can't get it through their heads that these people would blow them up at the blink of an eye, and would do it this very second if they could. They want to look at it through some "Law and Order, SVU" framework or something.

Al Maviva said...

I can't help but wonder if this guy is talking out the @55 when he says he was part of the 9/11 plot, and he is just seeking martyrdom. That also makes me wonder whether or not it's a good thing, strategically, to make a martyr out of the guy.

And before you flame me, understand, I'd volunteer take a dull, rusty steak knife to the man just on the basis of who he is (regardless of the crimes he is implicated in) if it could be done without consequences. I believe the extremists wish to exterminate us the same way the Orkin man deals death to cockroaches, and I don't think there's a policy cure for the extremist problem, other than doing away with all the extremists whilst embracing any and all who look or sound like relative moderates. (I could live with Islamic mild-extremists whose goal in life is to make me feel guilty...) I just do not know whether it's a wise foreign policy choice to create St. Moussaoui of Minnesota at this stage in time.

Brando said...

they know their religion should be supreme and their culture and institutions are supposed to be supreme

Seven Machos, you realize that you could be equally describing a good chunk of the Christian Right in the United States?

knoxgirl said...

Brando said: "you could be equally describing a good chunk of the Christian Right in the United States"

Maybe, but who really cares what they *think* or *believe* ?? -- I sure don't! When they start threatening to blow people up who think differently, then I'll start worrying.

Why are you acting like Christian rights' behavior--though highly annoying at times--is even comparable? That's willfully illogical.

DRJ said...

Al Maviva,

You have a good point, of course, because we don't want to make Moussaoui a martyr. But as posted elsewhere, how likely is it that the world will view Moussaoui as a martyr after a prolonged trial, years in federal prison during his appeals, and then finally a medically-induced death by injection? I doubt that this scenario does much for jihadis who desire the thrill of martyrdom.

Seven Machos said...

Where in the New Testament does is suggest that Christianity should be supreme? What Islamic society is as tolerant as the deepest red county in Alabama?

Brando, you are being silly. Pat Robertson bloviates but doesn't blow things up and, in fact, has never insisted anyone become a Christian.

Brando said...

Look, knoxgirl, it might be convenient to carve the world into the good vs. evil, and it might make alot of people (namely Shrub's right wing base) feel all self-rightious and jazzed up to believe that we're on the side of good, but the world's much more complex than that.

The actions of the US are no more good in an unqualified sense than the actions of "the terrorists" are evil in an unqualified sense. The sooner we truly understand what the terrorists "think" and why radical fundamentalism is winning over the heart and mind of the Muslim world, then the sooner we'll be able to defeat the terrorists.

By the way, I wonder what Bin Laden is thinkig now. Probably laughing his ass off at the utter folly and stupidity of the US. We played right into his hands. Nice job Bush, you're doin a heckuv job.

Seven Machos said...

Brando -- If everything is morally equivalent, then it doesn't matter what you do. If we are not morally better than the terrorists and the terrorists are not morally better than us, then a strategy of all-out war and killing as many terrorists and supporters and fellow-travelers as possible is perfectly okay. Moral equivalency traps you into accepting this argument.

Also, how have we played in Bin Laden's hands? Do you really think that he envisioned, inter alia, losing Afghanistan, a closer alignment between Pakistan and the U.S., the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, and the rolling up of terror networks across the globe in previously good working environments like Saudi Arabia? Do you really believe that this was part of Bi n Laden's master plan?

You are bloviating. You sound like an idiot. Stop it.

PatCA said...

"Where in the New Testament does is suggest that Christianity should be supreme? What Islamic society is as tolerant as the deepest red county in Alabama?"

You asked for an explanation and got a speech instead.

This is why the left is losing the national argument, brando.

Brando said...

Seven Machos, bloviating seems to be your big word for the day. You deomonstrativly understand its meaning very well.

Look, both George Bush and Bin Ladin believe in the deepest recesses of their heart that they are carrying out God's will, that they are on the side of good. Both invoke God's name on behalf of their cause and use religious rhetoric to win political support. Both are responsible for the killing of innocent lives (Bush no doubt has been responsible for killing innocent lives in the form of "collateral damage" than Bin Ladin).

I'm not suggesting some kind of moral equivalency. I said that our actions are not good in an unqalified sense , which means we just can't assume because we are doing something the name of our cause and interests that is good or otherwise morally acceptable. Why is it okay for us to cause "collateral damage" to achieve our political ends and not for terrorists to cause similar collateral damage to pursue their political ends?

What I am trying to suggest to you is how the terrorists and their sympathizers might think and justify their actions. I doubt you have a very good response other than "we're right and they're wrong and let's just bomb the shit out of them" and that fine if you want to suffer the consequences of that horseshit, but I don't and I don't think the majority of americans do either.

But feel free to surprise us all.

Brando said...

As for you, Patca, where in the bible does Jesus say when it's okay to assasinate poltical leaders, or issue a "Patwah." If judge a tree by its fruits, you'll notice the rancid smell lingering around these days.

Seven Machos said...


1. I guess you didn't find the part in the New Testament about Christianity being supreme. You have therefore resorted to bashing Pat Robertson. That's cutting-edge, man. You are really pushing the envelope. I hope the religious police don't come get you tonight.

2. I fully recognize that the bin Ladens and the radical Islamists and the Ayatollahs and the Saddams are acting in what they believe to be their best interests, and that they can "justify their actions." When the American government acts to kill those people (and when it causes collateral damage) and acts to enervate their interests, why is that not acting in America's best interests. In your world, those who oppose the United States can "justify their actions" but the United States itself, apparently, cannot.

3. You state, bloviatingly and with juvenile non-aplomb, that you think the majority of Americans won't want to suffer the consequences of a hawkish foreign policy (I paraphrase). I disagree. The majority of Americans are unabashed, bloodthirsty Jacksonians. They seek the complete defeat of enemies. Just ask the South, the Native Americans, the Mexicans, the Germans, the Japanese, and the USSR. Americans aren't unhappy about the Iraq campaign, only that we haven't prosecuted it vigorously enough.

In this vein, I urge you to run an anti-war candidate on the Democratic ticket in 2008.

knoxgirl said...

Yeah, I guess I take the unsophisticated view that the actions of the terrorists--no quotation marks for me--are evil.

Brando said...

On the one hand, Macho Man, the Religious Right says we are a Christian Nation (that doesn't have dreams of hegemony). But on the otherhand, you say that the majority of "Americans are unabashed, bloodthirsty Jacksonians" who "seek the complete defeat of enemies" such as "the South, the Native Americans, the Mexicans, the Germans, the Japanese, and the USSR" etc. Something doesn't compute, but i think you have accurately and no doubt unwhittingly captured the the duplicitous essence of Red State America. Bravo, macho!

Brando said...

Suit yourself, knoxgirl, if that makes you feel better about things.

Seven Machos said...

Yes: unwhittingly, no doubt.

Brando said...

Touché for you, Macho, for catching a misspelling. But I’ll take that as the final whimpering sally of defeat (I’m a Jacksonian at heart when it comes to this blog). Happy Easter, kind sir!

Seven Machos said...

I wasn't sure how to respond, Brando, because your post did not make any sense to me. You seem to suggest that you cannot be simultaneously religious and ruthless at war. Was Andrew Jackson an atheist?

I'm pretty sure I got the better of the battle here, but I'm glad you think you have won.

Brando said...

only a flesh wound, you say?

Aenin said...

Brando (mostly):

You should probably keep in mind that over 99% of the population OF THE WORLD firmly believes that some, if not all, of their opinions and beliefs are more qualified than those of other people. A good 85% (this number is guessed, while the former is real) have no basis for this belief.

This is not a trait owned solely by the Christian right. However, this is what the media whores and the parrots of the world will tell you.
Honestly, the majority of the people who openly voice disgust with some facet of another party or religious group do so because they took their opinions off of someone who believes in a similar fashion. Someone for whom they have admiration enough to accept their comments as fact.

Needless to say, this is bull. This in no way constitutes legal right to trample invasively on the mental space of another. But we sure think it does, don't we?

Religion does not require that one believe in God. It is the practice of one's system of beliefs. The daily living of all that nonsense we spew. Therefore, the only way to not be religious is to not hold to your principles. Or not have them in the first place.
To follow this, I would like to say that some of the most religious people I know don't believe in God. But they sure feel strongly about what they think is the proper way to do things.

That is perfectly fine. Every man can believe what he wants. You too. But don't be narcissistic and claim that you don't think your opinion is better than the "Christian Right". You're full of something quite odiferous and brown, if you go that route. (My apologies for the jab, but I felt that this needed something a bit stronger than the objective view for the point to actually come across)

To the original topic:

If we leave religion and morality out, a world society itself requires that all members be equally respectful of the laws set forth.
One law that is common in society is that of not killing others. This power, if allowed at all, belongs soley to the judicial and enforcement system. With good reason. Indiscriminate killing will cause any organized society to disintegrate into chaos.

This man has openly affiliated himself with people who will kill indiscriminately to achieve their aims. He has expressed his desire to continue to do so, and shows no remorse for his previous actions. Therefore, he can no longer enjoy the benefits of society and must be forcefully removed from it until he decides to reform. His punishment, as it were, is solely in the hands of the judicial system. I have no wish to have his blood on my hands (although the red-blooded american in me unjustly desires to get a few good punches in), because I'm not absolutely certain I could make such a large decision rationally. However, in my opinion, he should never set foot outside of an prison (assuming that they waive capital punishment) until he has demonstrated that he will become a productive, cooperative, TOLERANT member of our world-society. I feel that there isn't much that could be said to refute this opinion, but you are welcome to do so.

Tkae note: he certainly doesn't enjoy TV-watching privileges and extended comforts while incarcerated, either. The man should, in all rights, be forced to learn that there are consequences for breaking the quite necessary laws of society. He has expressed desire to murder people and appealed to terrorist factions. Because of this, he has no right to enjoy priviliges that are not expressly granted to all terrorists (that rare subset of criminals who full-out oppose the most fundamental laws of society publically for a declared purpose) regardless of the situation.

It is quite fair, if you consider that he would rob others of those same privileges because of a difference in thought or belief.

Brando said...

aenin, you have made some good points. But i think you are mis-construing one of the issues. I believe people, when it comes to religion, can believe pretty much whatever the hell they want as long as it is not impinging on the freedom other to believe what they want.

If you believe that worshiping a big smelly brick of blue cheeze is important, well then, have at it. Just don't force my kids to worship smelly blue cheese at school. Don't force your smelly blue cheesy beliefs into the decision making process between me and my physician. Don't force your smelly blue cheese beliefs to be a matter of public policy and an instrument of discrimination against those who do not have those smelly beliefs.

If you want to have reasonable discussion of morals and morality, and about what constitutes right and wrong behavior, you're going to have to speak to me in such a way that you leave your smelly blue cheese beliefs out of it because i don't want to hear it. I don't like smelly blue cheese and i don't want to worship smelly fucking blue cheese. Got it?

That's just how things work (or are supposed to work) in a modern democracy. In other words, we can't have a democracy if a legitimate debate is coercively circumscribed by and predicated on the belief in smelly blue cheese.

Brando said...

oh, and I forgot: don't try to make your smelly blue cheese beliefs a matter of science. Thank you and have a good day.

Brando said...

oh and one final thing: let's not elect a president who makes decisions based on what a brick of smelly blue cheese tells him.

Aenin said...


I don't much care what you worship, and I don't want any type of worship taught in the schools, either. I think that if kids are going to be taught religion it should be done at home or in church, and not in public institutions. If parents don't think it is important enough to teach it to their kids themselves, it certainly isn't important enough to have the public school system waste funding on it.

My point was that you cannot claim that someone is stupid, hypocritical or whatever else because they are in the "Christian Right," which I believe is a silly term in the first place. People are stupid all on their own, and it doesn't have a dedicated relation to do with what they believe or disbelieve.

Such simple statements cannot make either of us a scientist. But surely it can be a clue to how open our minds really are. My entire post was designed to be supportive of a persons' right to believe, no matter what they believe. I also support the right to believe it without being treated as idiots because they disagree with someone who believes that they themselves are more educated. I also stated that pretty much everyone, myself included, believes that they have the right to voice their opinion regardless of what they state. And almost all of them believe that they are correct, which I would guess includes us both.

In terms of "Christian propaganda" both posts would be pretty weak sauce. If i was concerned with indoctrination I certainly wouldn't use it. You would do well to not jump to conclusions on my intent based on your preconceived notions of people.

Not at any time was I forcing my belief on you, nor was I attacking you for not sharing it. However, I did and do reject your attacks on people who believe differently than you, and for that you turn your attacks on me.

You, sir, are not attempting to teach people the knowledge that you have. You are not trying to show them the error of their ways. You are telling them that if they disagree they are fools, and stooping to personal attacks. I state that such a thing is not the prerogative of the Christian right (though many Christians are foolish enough to use it), but is merely the tool of demagogues who would use sophistry to achieve their personal aims, and have no qualms about attacking people. Such people can be of any tongue, race, or creed. For those of us who are sensitive to attacks, it is akin to emotional terrorism. I grant you no credit, though some of what you say would have validity if it were not so soaked in vitriol.

I state that taking away someone else right to believe and right to exist is not in accordance with society. Let each person worship what you want, but if that person tries to kill me for it, I won't free him from the judicial system just because he feels oppressed. Let him present his case like any reasonable man, or let him be treated as a common criminal.

I claim not what is the correct punishment for a crime. I have no authority, and little experience in making that decision. Let the government handle that. that is why it is there. But our actions, and not our beliefs, should be the things that will support us or condemn us in the eyes of justice.