Thursday, May 04, 2006

Why Moussaoui was tried and not the other 9/11 fellows!

Probably like most people in the US and in France, I don't feel too sorry for Z. Moussaoui. After all, he dug his own grave (or hole!). But the main question (raised by some of the victim's families) remains:

Why has the US government not tried the other (and more real) criminals they have caught?

(cf. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, or Qualli bin Atassh who are all directly involved with 9/11)

One conservative reporter suggests (see here):
It goes straight into the White House, the Oval Office and the vice president`s office because key decisions were made about aggressive interrogation techniques that were going to be used on these people.
As much as the Moussaoui trial was a side-show, to use Michael Isikoff's words, it took place precisely because of its diversive nature. Even when the Justice Department learned that he was not the 20th hijacker 'there was a feeling that the country needed a trial, the cathartic effect of a trial to deal with the most horrific crime in American history', Isikoff rightly added. (see the video here via Crooks and Liars).
So Moussaoui was NOT tried because he was an Arab or a French citizen or because France wanted to 'please the Americans' (as his mother now suggests) but because the Bush administration messed up their own cases with the real guys by using illegal techniques that cannot be scrutinized out in the open.

NOTE: Despite what some of the jurors felt, (here) I don't agree that "the prejudice he faced as an Arab growing up in France, or the abuse he suffered as a child from his father and the stints he spent in orphanages" should be mitigating factors. He could have done what other victims of prejudice do in France - burn cars on occasional riots or on New Year Eve!

NOTE2: It is one thing for a victim to say somethign wrong like '
I guess in this country you can kill 3,000 people and not pay with your life', since Massouai did not after all actually kill anybody, it is another thing for a supposedly responsible politician like Giuliani to say: 'I would have preferred to see the death penalty, but I kind of stand in awe of how our legal system works that it can come to a result like this'.


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