Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Massaoui's Assisted Suicide.

There is a good piece in today's NYTimes (through the IHT) on Moussaoui's trial which happens to sum what I have felt about it in the last few weeks.
Through a perverse confluence, Moussaoui's interest in becoming something in death that he never was in life - important - has combined with the government's interest in executing someone for the 9/11 attacks. The likely result is an odd form of assisted suicide, in which Moussaoui will claim martyrdom as he is executed, and the United States will claim that the rule of law has been vindicated by bringing a terrorist to justice for 9/11.
This piece was written by no less than a former attorney general of New Jersey and a senior counsel to the 9/11 commission. He draws an interesting parallel with the Nuremburg Trial. Even though historical comparisons like that always tend to make me uncomfortable as they often result in historical caricatures, he uses it to make a point which is at the center of the whole issue:
Atrocities cry out not just for vengeance, but for justice.

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