Monday, March 27, 2006

Suicide by Witness Chair

Zacharias Moussaoui makes his case for his 72 virgins in heaven:

WaPo: Moussaoui Testifies Over Attorneys' Objections

Zacarias Moussaoui testified in an Alexandria courtroom this morning that he was tapped by Osama bin Laden to hijack a plane and fly it into the White House as part of the terrorist attacks that claimed nearly 3,000 lives on Sept. 11, 2001.

Testifying at his own death-penalty trial, over the objections of his attorneys, Moussaoui said he had not known the precise date the attacks were to take place, but that he knew they would involve the White House, the World Trade Center and other targets.

He said he was supposed to head a five-man crew that also would have included Richard Reid, a British citizen who tried to set off explosives in his shoes aboard a transatlantic flight two months after the Sept. 11 attacks.


Questioned by defense lawyer Gerald Zerkin for less than 30 minutes, Moussaoui was asked: "Were you scheduled to be a pilot in the operation that was to be run on Sept. 11, 2001?''

He replied: "Yes. I was supposed to pilot a plane to hit the White House. I only knew about the two planes of the World Trade Center in addition to my own plane.''

Prosecutors have argued that Moussaoui should be executed because he lied to the FBI when he was arrested in August 2001 -- and Moussaoui appears to have made much of their case in his testimony today by admitting that he lied "because I wanted my mission to go ahead.''

When he pleaded guilty, Moussaoui signed a document admitting he had lied to allow his "al-Qaeda brothers to go forward" with the plot. Asked today who he meant, he named Mohamed Atta, the leader of the hijacking teams who piloted the first plane that hit the World Trade Center.

Well, he wanted to go down in flames. He'll get his wish. The government tried to drive a stake in its own case against him with the cheating FAA lawyer, etc., and Moussaoui made himself Dead Man Walking by his desire to tell his story. The urge to be heard is always powerful. Who will ever know if he is telling the truth. If you're facing life in prison at a minimum, why not make yourself seem really important?

Dana Milbank essay, WaPo: A Terrorist's Grand Delusion

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