DC has given me precious little to whine about over the last couple of days. Everyone has been polite to me, I have figured out how to properly walk off of an escalator, and the weather has been super. So, what that means for you, dear reader, is that you have to bear with me as I rant about a legal or political issue for a couple of paragraphs. I know a lot of people hate these posts, but it's better than not posting at all! Um, right?
I, like many of you I'm sure, have been following this Zacarias Moussaoui farce for quite a while. It's really entertaining stuff. This "trial" highlights some of the ugliest qualities of the American character: A gruesome combination of reality show carnival with an unhealthy lust for revenge (which some people are ignorantly calling "closure"). Frankly, this whole ordeal makes me sick.
Full disclosure: One of the few absolute positions I hold in terms of law and politics regards capital punishment. I'm against it in every situation. I'm against executing Saddam. I'm against executing Osama. So it goes without saying that I am certainly against executing Moussaoui. I understand if you disagree with my position. I just subscribe to the belief that if America is truly the greatest country, we should act damn well act like it. One way to act like it is to treat our society's scum, our weakest links, as human beings. It's a position that holds a great deal of moral superiority.
Even capital punishment supporters will admit (if not, they should) that killing a killer is a cloudy moral issue. Which brings me to this: Who exactly did Moussaoui kill? I understand that he was affiliated with terrorists. That right there is worthy of some severe punishment. But what did Moussaoui actually do? We're not entirely clear. We know what Mossaoui pled guilty to, but I'm less than convinced that we should take him at his word. Everything he has testified to has rung utterly false.
Of course, what really happened is secondary to what has happened in the eyes of the court. Moussaoui pled guilty to conspiring with 9/11 hijackers. We know this is false. This is something that even other terrorists admit is laughable, but whatever. We found our scapegoat! Now let's have some fun!
(This all reminds me of that guy who will point guns at cops hoping that the cops will take a shot at them? Suicide-by-cop. Well, this is worse. This is suicide-by-government. Even worse than that: martyrdom-by-government. And it's working. We're totally falling for it.)
All in the name of closure. Or revenge. or whatever you want to call it. This trial is such a joke that I'm surprised we haven't thrown Moussaoui in a glass cage and scattered his ashes in the Mediterranean yet. It's so bad that the mere act of defending Moussaoui has become grounds for criticism. Just look at Michelle Malkin hyper-retarded article comparing defense counsel to jihad sympathizers. Hey, Michelle, defending people is their job. It's kind of required in the Constitution that you love but do not understand.
And, just because this all isn't ugly enough, we have to add a healthy dose of melodrama to the proceedings. Let's drag victims' families into this mess. Let's open the wounds of probably the worst day of all of our lives and use it to kill an inconsequential terrorist. What kind of closure is this anyways? The kind of closure where we remember how awful 9/11 was? Where we get to see pictures of the buildings crumbling? Where we see the video of falling victims hurdling towards the pavement? This kind of closure sucks.
Well, in a few weeks Moussaoui will, more likely than not, be sentenced to death. And people will celebrate. And we'll have a new martyr on our hands. We'll be killing someone not for any particular crime, but because it makes us feel good. We will be killing because those 19 hijackers killed themselves. We need something, and Moussaoui is the best we can do. Sick.
And it won't matter. There will still be that horrible scar in Lower Manhattan. Moussaoui's death will not erase the memories of lost loved ones. Nothing will change. We'll just be that much closer to the very terrorists we hate so much. Killing not out of necessity, deterrence, or protection, but rather to make a political point. Sounds kind of like Hamas and al-Qaeda, doesn't it?