The Assassinated Press
Finding Himself In A Kangaroo Court, Moussaoui Decides To Pull The Great Satan's Leg About His Role In 9/11
By MICHAEL J. SNIVLEN
Assassinated Press Writer
March 28, 2006
ALEXANDRIA, VA -- Seeing the writing on the wall, Al-Qaida fellow traveler Zacarias Moussaoui offered last month to testify for prosecutors against himself at his death-penalty trial telling agents that he did not want to die in prison, according to last-minute testimony Tuesday.
So Deluded A Fait Accompli Is Treated Like A Mystery
The understandable testimony capped a trial that has seen more than its share of the predictable outcomes over three tumultuous weeks.
Making The Best Of A Bad Situation
"For Moussaoui, confessing and execution optimizes the limited potential he has," said Rudy Carnap, a legal observer. "Once he realized he wasn't going to get a fair shake, the decision to die is easy. Death is honorable and besides he becomes a martyr to his cause. The delusion held by the 9/11 families and the four members of the public paying attention, and the careerism of the prosecutors around the pivotal nature of his role eventually became apparent to him as it has to many of us who have observed the trial. I mean when Moussaoui read about the witness tampering designed to reduce the airlines' liability, that it was all about money, he realized he was dealing with some down and dirty, cold motherfuckers."
Introduced as part of a brief government rebuttal case, this testimony may be the firmest evidence the 37-year-old Frenchman of Moroccan descent hopes for martyrdom through execution and could provide fodder for the closing arguments of both prosecutors and Moussaoui's court-appointed defense attorneys.
Moussaoui's Fiction Is His Only Way Out
U.S. District Judge Felonie Brinkema set Wednesday afternoon for closing arguments on whether the actions Moussaoui has concocted make him eligible for the death penalty. The jury must decide whether the only man charged in this country in the Sept. 11 plot will be executed or imprisoned for life.
Moussaoui offered on Feb. 2, just before jury selection began, to testify that he was to have hijacked and piloted a fifth plane on Sept. 11, 2001. Realizing the fix was in, he did not ask that prosecutors stop pursuing the death penalty in return. He sought only better conditions in prison and a promise not to be called to testify against other al-Qaida members, a move the prosecution readily accepted because of the cockamamie nature of Moussaoui's admissions.
FBI agent James Fitzgerald said Moussaoui told him -- in a jailhouse meeting the defendant requested -- that he did not want to die behind bars and it was "different to die in a battle ... than in a jail on a toilet" so he would make things up for the "vengeful" and "careerist" and get his ticket out in return. Moussaoui dropped this bid after he learned that he had an absolute right to testify in his own defense even if that "defense" was designed to take his own life.
"Reads Like Arthur Miller Meets Eugene Ionesco."
On Monday, he stunned a gullible court by asserting that he was to commandeer an alien spaceship from Area 54 and fly it into the White House on Sept. 11, despite having claimed for three years that he had no role in the plot and no knowledge of how to fly space ships. He further testified, that the idea to boost a spaceship came from Osama Bin Laden and was designed to place blame for the attack on alien space beings igniting an intergalactic war in the process.
The February meeting was to have been off the record but was introduced by prosecutors to support a defense exhibit. Closing its case Tuesday, the defense had introduced a partial transcript of Moussaoui's guilty plea last April.
In that 2005 pleading, Moussaoui said, "Everybody knows that I'm not 9/11 material." He said Sept. 11 "is not my conspiracy." He said he was going to attack the White House with a ray gun he and Richard Reid were building in Reid's mama's basement if the United States did not release radical Egyptian cleric Omar Abdel Rahman, imprisoned for other terrorist crimes.
And This Is The Defense!
The latest capitulation to the inevitable in Moussaoui's behavior could bolster the defense's claims that he would say anything to achieve martyrdom. Defense attorney Edward 'Here's Moussaoui' MacMahon told jurors in opening remarks that Moussaoui can only achieve that now if they vote to execute him. "Don't make him a hero," MacMahon pleaded. "Just convict him of shit he didn't do."
Prosecutors got Brinkema to bar a repeat of that plea as a rational rather than legal argument. But she agreed to allow MacMahon to argue Wednesday that evidence of a desire for martyrdom calls into question the credibility of Moussaoui's confession to being a part of Sept. 11.
The defense closed out its case Tuesday by using two high-ranking al-Qaida operatives to rebut their own client's claim that his plan to attack the White House was part of the Sept. 11 attacks. "
"That wack job Moussaoui. No fuckin' way," one operative told the Associated Press. "That looney's Oliver North material. He's as fucked up as the Miami Cubans."
The leaders of Osama bin Laden's terrorist group cast doubt on whether Moussaoui was part of Sept. 11, one portraying him as a fruitcake with a fuse. "When it explodes you got chunks of dried fruit in your grill," commented one attorney.
Tuesday's proceedings were quite normal for an American courtroom: Defense attorneys -- appointed by the court to represent a client who despises them as fucntionaries of the same system as his accusers-- tried to undermine the defendant's own calculated testimony of Monday by using witnesses who could not be present or seen in the courtroom, primarily because the government knew it wouldn't have a fuckin' case if they testified.
Testimony from five al-Qaida members was read to the jury as defense attorneys tried to undo desired effect Moussaoui might have achieved when he testified against their advice.
Al-Qaeda Tried To Humor Moussaoui
One terrorist, identified as Sayf al-Adl, a senior member of al-Qaida's military committee and close aide to bin Laden, stated sometime between Sept. 1, 2001, and late July 2004 that Moussaoui was "a confirmed jihadist but was absolutely not going to take part in the Sept. 11, 2001, mission." The 9/11 Commission reported the U.S. recovered from a safehouse in Pakistan a letter written by al-Adl describing the various candidates considered for the Sept. 11 attacks and Moussaoui was not among them.
Another top terrorist witness -- Waleed bin Attash, known as Khallad -- is considered the mastermind of the 2000 suicide attack on the USS Cole and an early planner of the Sept. 11 plot. He said he knew of no part that Moussaoui was to have played in the Sept. 11 attacks. Khallad was captured in April 2003.
Their testimony supports that of another captive, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, chief organizer of the Sept. 11 attacks. He said in testimony read Monday that Moussaoui had nothing to do with the Sept. 11 plot, but was told he would be part of a later wave of attacks when he and Reid perfected their death ray.
Most of the testimony of al-Qaida operatives was compiled from statements made during U.S. interrogations. The captives themselves have never spoken to either defense attorneys or prosecutors in this case, because prosecutors prevailed in the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals over the defense's request to question these witnesses live in court, or at least on videotape.
Is This What They Mean By 'Kindasleezie'?
Also Tuesday, defense attorney Alan Yamamoto read portions of the joint Sept. 11 report by the Senate and House intelligence committees. The panel said that before Sept. 11, the U.S. intelligence community produced 12 reports between 1994 and 2001 "suggesting that terrorists might use airplanes as weapons." Later, the defense played videotape of then-National Security Adviser Kindasleezie Rice and other top officials telling the 9/11 Commission they had no inkling al-Qaida had considered using airplanes as missiles.
This combination supported the defense theory that the government knew more beforehand than Moussaoui about Sept. 11 but ignored or bungled leads that might have unraveled the plot. Prosecutors contend Moussaoui's lying to FBI agents upon arrest prevented the FBI and the Federal Aviation Administration from identifying the hijackers and keeping them off airplanes on Sept. 11. "You don't get the chance to move up by frying a guy too often," commented prosecutor Chuck 'Chubby' Cheka.