Moussaoui Pleads Guilty - State Assisted Suicide?

Bump and Update: The Associated Press reports that Moussaoui denied being part of the 9/11 attacks in court Friday:

But in his court appearance, Moussaoui hinted at a possible death penalty defense. He tried to distance himself from the specific events on Sept. 11, saying that nothing in the statement he signed declared he was "specifically guilty of 9-11."

Nonetheless, after today's hearing, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, sounding more and more like John Ashcroft, reaffirmed the Government's intent to seek the death penalty against Moussaoui and trumpeted to the world:

"The fact that Moussaoui participated in this terrorist conspiracy is no longer in doubt," he said, hailing Moussaoui's "chilling admission of guilt."

The chilling admission was that he intended to commit a horrific crime but was prevented from doing so by his arrest on immigration violations. Gonzales' statement notwithstanding, the tally is:

--Bush Administration's total Number of Defendants Charged with Participating in 9/11: 1
--Bush Administration's total Number of Defendants Convicted of Participating in 9/11: 0

Update: Here is the statement of facts for the charges to which Moussaoui pleaded guilty today. There is neither an allegation nor an admission that Moussaoui knew about plans for the Sept. 11 attacks.

Judge Leonie M. Brinkema accepted Zacarias Moussaoui's guilty pleas today to every charge in the Indictment, four of which could end in a death sentence.

His lawyers filed a motion earlier today arguing he is not competent . The Judge disagreed.

Moussaoui stated today that Osama bin Laden had personally selected him to fly a plane into the White House. Is he telling the truth? Or is he on a death mission and exaggerating his participation in al Qaeda and his role in it to ensure he gets it? Have the oppressive conditions of his incarceration won out?

Allowing Moussaoui to plead was wrong. Moussaoui has insisted from day one that although he was a member of al Qaeda, he had no participation in or advance knowledge of the 9/11 attacks. That was the stumbling block to his attempt to plead guilty in 2002.

Moussaoui is not stupid. The Judge today said he knew the legal system better than some lawyers who appear before her. I think Moussaoui realized he was doomed to die last month when the Supreme Court upheld the Government's refusal to provide him access to the top al Qaeda prisoners who could establish he was not involved with 9/11. Can you blame him for wanting to at least plan his own death, now that it is all but certain to occur?

Moussaaoui was in a Missouri jail on immigration violations on September 11, 2001. He'd been there for a month. The most the evidence disclosed to the public before today was: He checked out crop dusters, bought some knives and tried to buy flight simulation videos. Ramzi Binalshibh wired him money. And, he flunked out of flight school.

Even today Moussaoui did not admit he had a role in the 9/11 attacks. He said he had been personally approved by Osama to fly a plane into the White House.

The Government made much of the telling us that suicide bombers, like those in the 9/11 attacks, probably were kept in the dark by bin Laden and his deputies until the last minute, possibly the day of or before the attacks. Is is credible that a flunkie like Moussaoui would have been told details of a plan so far in advance?

This case has been like a game of What's My Line? Meet Zacarias Moussoui. Is he:

The 20th Hijacker
The Fifth Pilot
A financial drop for Ramzi Binalshibh,
A Manipulative Defendant or
or a Mentally Unbalanced Defendant?

The significant court documents in Moussaoui's case are avalable here. The AP's Timeline is here. Here is the Superseding Indictment with the charges to which Moussaoui pleaded guilty today(pdf.)

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    Re: Moussaoui Pleads Guilty - State Assisted Suici (none / 0) (#1)
    by wishful on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 06:58:54 PM EST
    Moussoui...Osama...what's the difference?

    Is that a serious question? One was involved in the atttacks. The other wasn't. Guess who'll get the death penalty?

    I think Moussaoui's statement does state that he knew about the attacks. From the statement of facts: 9. Moussaoui knew of al Qaeda’s plan to fly airplanes into prominent buildings in the United States and he agreed to travel to the United States to participate in the plan. Bin Laden personally selected Moussaoui to participate in the operation to fly planes into American buildings and approved Moussaoui attacking the White House. Bin Laden told Moussaoui: “Sahrawi, remember your dream.” I do think it is a fair, if politically difficult, question to ask if the confession is valid. Three years in solitary confinement will break your mind.

    Alex: "The 9/11 attacks" is not the same thing as generic "The attacks." There is no reference to him knowing about the 9/11 attacks, i.e, attacks on the WTC or Pentagon. There's no reference to when the "white house" attack he was supposedly recruited for was going to take place. He was in training to fly a 747 - there were no 747's involved in the 9/11 attacks.
    After his arrest, Moussaoui lied to federal agents to allow his al Qaeda “brothers” to go forward with the operation to fly planes into American buildings. Specifically, Moussaoui falsely denied being a member of a terrorist organization and falsely denied that he was taking pilot training to kill Americans. Instead, Moussaoui told federal agents that he was training as a pilot purely for his personal enjoyment and that, after completion of his training, he intended to visit New York City and Washington, D.C., as a tourist.
    It still doesn't say he knew when the operation was going to occur. Or on which specific buildings. I don't think he did know. He knew of the overall plan and he wanted it to succeed. But as to 9/11....there's still no admission.

    Blaghdaddy can't believe his eyes, reading some of the comments posted tonight. This nutbar is going to fry for all of Al-Qaeda's sins, and we all know he was sitting in a jail cell on 9/11, and that his own "terrorist" allies have dismissed him as a deranged fanatic whose enthusiasm for "the cause" far outreached his intelligence. The man is obviously not in is right mind, and Blaghdaddy wonders if America is so blood-thirsty that it is willing to shoot a rabid dog to feel better about getting its nose bloodied by an elusive nemesis. The whole thing reeks of single-minded vengeance, and if America is going to execute this poor demented bastard so it can feel better about 9/11, the nation has fallen lower than even Blaghdaddy feared... The terrorists in Iraq shot that poor pilot in cold blood, blaming him for their problems...ask yourselves, are we any different? Now's the time to step up.

    This just continues our long and storied tradition of teaching civilization to people by killing them. 9/11 was a particularly bad bit of CIA blowback, which means those on our side who helped set it in motion have to scream for vengeance even louder to get the attention off themselves.

    Now put him in a federal supermax so he can be beaten to death.

    So far the best Bushbag and his cronies could do is Catch only one minow. The Big fish are still out there planning and plotting. Does anyone know if just Knowing about a conspiracy and doing or say nothing makes some one part of it? ie: If someones wife has some knowledge of her husband and others are planning a bank heist but is not part of the conspiracy in the eyes of the law is she complicit or not? I believe this is Mossoui's position

    Ernesto - Perhaps you can tell us what terrible things we have done to the Moslem world to deserve being attacked. For that is what you are saying. You are justifying the murder of some 3000 people on 9/11, and those killed in previous attacks dating back some 14, 15 years. Was it the help we gave Egypt in the early 50's when England and France wanted to re-take control of Egypt because of nationalization of the Suez Canal? Help? Yes. By refusing to agree with our allies, they backed down and Egypt remained independent. Was it the help we gave the Moslem minority in Kosovo? The ones we saved by our unilateral intervention? Or was it the help we gave the rebels in Afghanistan in their fight against the Soviet Union? Perhaps it was for our leadership and majority position in throwing Saddam out of Kuwait. Doesn't sound like much, what with Kuwait being such a small place, but Saudi Arabia was next on the agenda. But hey, who is keeping score? Maybe that was it. All those infidels running around the pennisula just pis*ed old OBL off. But wait! That's not it! He told us in '97 that "the driving-away jihad against the US does not stop with its withdrawal from the Arabian peninsula, but rather it must desist from aggressive intervention against Muslims in the whole world." Source Could that be it? Sure looks that way to me. You see, I have a habit of reading and understanding what my enemy says. So quit blaming your fellow citizens, Ernesto. The radical Moslems, created by their own governments, living conditions, and a culture that needs to be reformed, believe that they are destined to rule the world, and that jihad against the US is a necessary and good thing. And the cynical leaders of al-Qaida will use them as cannon fodder until the leaders are dead, and the middle east changes into a civilization that nurtures common humanity.

    TL - "He was in training to fly a 747 - there were no 747's involved in the 9/11 attacks." What does this prove? To me it only proves he was locked up and couldn't get on board a 747 to fly it into his target. I would guess there are any number of 747 flights out of Boston, NY, etc., that could have been used.

    Even today Moussaoui did not admit he had a role in the 9/11 attacks
    If one of the them was captured or changed his mind the information he'd possess could expose the whole terrorist operation. Thus he wasn't supposed to know what the other hijackers were doing.

    Blag, Ernie, Fred, and no-name ironically reveal their own bloodthirsty hatred against America in general and the Bush administration in particular by witlessly projecting their pathology onto the people responsible for dealing with this criminal in particular and the terrorism problem in general. Thank goodness these four are not in positions of responsibity.

    Re: Moussaoui Pleads Guilty - State Assisted Suici (none / 0) (#13)
    by libdevil on Sat Apr 23, 2005 at 08:26:32 AM EST
    PPJ, you're using a strawman in your reply to Ernesto. There's a difference between recognizing the motive behind an attack and believing that the motive justifies the attack. Some dude beats the crap out of your little sister. The next week, you hunt him down and put a bullet in his skull. Why? Because he beat the crap out of your sister. Can we see the motive, and understand why you did what you did? Of course. Can we recognize how the dude's actions preciptiated the retaliatory attack? Of course. Does that make you any less guilty of murdering him? No. Killing him is still a viscious, inexcusable crime.

    libdevil - Wrong. Read the comment again. I specifically addressed Ernesto's comment that the attack was caused by bad acts of the CIA. I specifically noted four major actions that we took that helped Moslems, both as nations and indviduals. I provided an explicit example of the real motive that drives the radicals, including a specific quotation and a link to the source. Now, if that is a strawman, please pass me my hat. I will place some salt on it and have it for lunch. Your problem, as well as Ernesto's, is that you cannot find any concrete examples of "bad" actions, so you resort to examples so juvenile they are laughable. Your response proves my point.

    Death penalty would actually only do him a favour, put him away for life with only bread and water instead.

    If it's "state-assisted suicide" then you should at least be content that the government doesn't provide him with a plane and a highrise (including several thousand people inside) to off himself.

    Jim...you are totally missing the point of what I said. Please read this article and get something of a clue. Now pay special attention to this part:
    Sen. Orrin Hatch, a senior Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee making those decisions, told my colleague Robert Windrem that he would make the same call again today even knowing what bin Laden would do subsequently. “It was worth it,” he said.
    So on the evening of 9/11, I turn on my TV and whose mug do I see screaming for war, but our very own Orrin Hatch! And I am hoping that either you or Dr. Ace will be sensible enough to spare us the spectacle of justifying what the CIA did in Afghanistan in the 1980s because THAT would be justifying the death of 3,000 people on 9/11. To paraphrase Dr. Ace, it's way too bad that people like you two happen to actually be in positions of power!!

    Oh come on people! It's time to stop the legal shennigans. It's time for Moussoui's lawyers to finally admit that his fanatacism is evil and probably crazy but NOT incompetent! The idiot pled guilty, for whatever stupid reason his warped mind beleves, WHO CARES??? I, for one, won't shed a tear when the needle goes into his arm!!

    Hey people! Ernesto is right on this one! who do you think paid to make bin laden? and remember our government if you can call it a government, paid billions to people like bin laden to fight the Reds. and for a reason where do to think most of the heroine dealers come from and where do you think the heroine comes from? and by the way what did bin laden tell our government in 1991? check it out. see Paul L. Williams.

    Ernesto - You make my point. Yes, we aided the people fighting to throw out the Soviets. So what? Didn't that help the Moslems who wanted them gone? Your comment claims that we "did" something to the moslem world that justifies his actions. So what was OBL's reason for turning against us? That we were helping him? If you want to argue that, with 20-20 hindsight, we should have not aided the Afghans rebels, or that we should not have used OBL in any capacity, go ahead. But that doesn't give OBL an excuse to do what he did. I think you are now trying to slip sideways from the old argument of the Left that "America caused the attacks." Giving a man a gun doesn't justify him shooting you. So what did we do?

    Jim, I am trying to get across to you one simple fact. The madmen that we armed and funded to fight the Soviets hated us just as much as they hated the Soviets. And more importantly, we KNEW this at the time, but we went ahead anyway. So much so that Ronald Reagan in March 1985 made a speech calling Osama et al "freedom fighters". They were then what they are now. They haven't changed. So it should come as no surprise that once the Soviets were gone they would turn on us, since we were the only remaining threat to them. Thus the morphing from "freedom fighters" to "terrorists" was not because they changed, but because their targets changed. Why do you choose to remain ignorant of this little bit of under-reported but essential history?

    Ernesto - I do not believe you meant to say that because of the very first sentence you wrote: "This just continues our long and storied tradition of teaching civilization to people by killing them." You then launch into the CIA blowback bit. But if you want to condem the CIA, and Hatch, for poor foresight, there are plenty of other examples. Shall we again speak of Clinton's not taking OBL when he had the chance? I mean if the CIA knew he was such a bad actor, and if the Senate Intelligenance Committe knew he was such a bad actor, why didn't Clinton pick him up? Do you think that the documents stolen and destroyed by Berger might shed some light on this? You know Ernesto, this is why I avoid playing the blame game. It serves no good purpose, and at best is 99% sepeculation. What we do know is that OBL hates us and has stated that the only way we could avoid his attacks was to not interfere with any moslem in the whole world. We should concentrate on winning the WOT and quit arguing about who knew who, when.

    Jim, Those were two separate statements. The part about killing people to teach them civilization was meant as an illustration of how warped our sense of justice and purpose has been over the years. I'll give you one recent example: Fallujah. We get a few mercs waxed there and we have to level the entire city to extract our pound of flesh. Mission accomplished? Please. This is not a partisan issue. The road to 9/11 began back in the Carter administration and was carried on to alarming heights under Reagan. Look, the focus is not who to blame, but to know what the War on Terror is and how it began if we have any chance of winning it. Judging by the fact that your attitudes are representative of many people, including a lot of those in the decision making roles, we are probably in for an interminable struggle. This suits some people just fine, as it's an effective way to loot the treasury. Do I feel any safer? Ask Orrin Hatch... And while you're at it, ask him where OBL is hiding and why we haven't smoked him out yet, where the WMDs ended up, etc, etc. But most of all ask him if he still thinks "it was worth it".

    Re: Moussaoui Pleads Guilty - State Assisted Suici (none / 0) (#24)
    by wishful on Sat Apr 23, 2005 at 04:03:22 PM EST
    A few convicted terrorists: * McVeigh * Nichols * Moussaoui * Rudolph What are the rules for which terrorists live and which get executed?

    M. plead guilty because in order to sentence him to death as is desired by the prosecution they must actually make the case against him they have sought to delay indefinitely up till now. That is how guilty pleas in capital punishment cases work. The trial still has to occur. And because the government has sought to deny due process it will be all the more evident what is missing as this case goes forward. M., every one publicly connected to him agrees (even his attorneys he doesn't trust) is crazy, is going to have to be proven guilty of what he admits to in order for that ultimate blood-thirsty desired punishment to occur. It is a shame the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the basic principle of confronting witnesses against one's self to precipitate this occurrence. A shame because any effort expended on this detracts from tracking down the real threats to American life. No matter how desireable, securing oil fields does not make America safer.

    If ever there should be a case of a consensus of a feller to fry, this should be the case. I am a principled right-to-lifer and opponent of the deasth penalty in NYC that makes a big fat exception to my principles because I want this fish to fry. Kill him. Do it soon.

    They aren't really principles once you start making exceptions. You can't be an opponent to the death penalty in one breath and claim you want to have someone killed in a judicial setting in the next. I suspect, Demohypocrates, you are not a death penalty opponent. As for consensus, there is no such thing on this case. There hasn't even been a trial -- so deciding guilt is a hair premature. Someone held for over 4 years without trial is not in a position to do anything voluntarily. This is a part of why denial of due process is something to be frowned upon.

    Guilty - Seeing as how he has pled guilty, I think the process of proving same will be fairly straight forward. wishful - It is very difficult to convict terrorists who kill themselves in the act of terrorism. So let's just put in yout list, "*At least 8 died while murdering approximately 3000 people." Ernesto - Anyway you go at it, when you start saying things like, "This is not a partisan issue. The road to 9/11 began back in the Carter administration and was carried on to alarming heights under Reagan," the issue does become partisan. And when you write that, you posit that the US did something that justifies what the terrorist did. You then expand your "US bad" point when you write, "but to know what the War on Terror is and how it began" followed by negative comments re the war's strategy. So, I ask you again. What did the US do that justifies the attacks and hatred? Your silence on this question speaks volumes.

    The admission by Moussaoui has no value for the simple reason that among the facts listed on the "statement of facts" that he signed, appear items that he could not have truthfully authenticated. He for example admitted that the description of the hijacking and crashing of the four aircraft on 9/11 was "factual". As he was not involved in these acts and sat in prison on that day, he could not have corroborated these facts. At best he may have been told of these "plans" in advance,but surely not the fact that UA 93 crashed in Pennsylvania (one of the facts that he authentified by his signature). I believe that he would have signed anything at this juncture, simply in the hope of saving his skin. Perhaps the Justice Department and Moussaoui made a secret deal in which he was promised to escape death. Who knows? It is interesting to note that the Justice Department has not been willing nor able to produce any evidence that any Al Qaeda members boarded the four "hijacked" planes. This, alone, belies the whole official account on 9/11. If any of you have any such evidence, you will earn a fat cash prize. Elias Davidsson edavid@simnet.is

    Re: Moussaoui Pleads Guilty - State Assisted Suici (none / 0) (#30)
    by wishful on Sun Apr 24, 2005 at 09:32:33 AM EST
    PPJ, you apparently missed my point. I am wondering how it is decided which terrorists are put under threat of the death penalty and which are not. The objective decision criteria are not obvious to me. Are they consistent or not? Should they be? Is it possible to make such info available to the public? Do the legislators get any say, or is it an executive branch call? The fourth branch--we the people--what is our role?

    So, I ask you again. What did the US do that justifies the attacks and hatred? Your silence on this question speaks volumes.
    The U.S. government funded terrorists. Let's go back to your analogy of giving someone a gun. The guy was nuts and you armed him and trained him to kill someone you didn't like. You knew he was nuts and you knew he hated you just as much as the guy you wanted dead. Then after he killed the guy you told him to, he turns the gun on you. Are you gonna play victim, Jim? Good luck in getting a lot of sympathy in that case from people like...yourself.

    Oh wait...let me add an addendum...the nut case that was attacking you actually didn't kill you but wiped out several of your family members instead, who didn't have any inkling of the deal you had made with the nutcase, or that you had spent their money buying the gun for the guy.

    Erneesto - We know the US funded rebels in Afghanistan who were fighting the Soviets. We know we aided them. We also know that it was understood that doing so was risky. But they still doesn't the question. What did we do that justifies the attacks and hatred? I mean helping them certainly doesn't justify it. In fact, our helping them makes them even more despicable and morally cupable for turn on someone who helped them. You can't answer the question, all you can do is try to avoid it, because it destroys one of your favorite "US bad" points.

    gesh - I meant: That still doesn't answer the question.

    PPJ... Does it justify them killing 3,000 people? Hell no. Why couldnt they just go after the creeps who had the great idea of arming and funding them?? So what if that made them ungrateful backstabbers. There is no honor among hit men and the people who hire them, ya see.