Friday, May 05, 2006

we can’t kill them because we already tortured them

Dahlia Lithwick of Slate called the decision by the jury in the Zacarias Moussaoui case “perfect justice,” and said it was an example of a jury that was “much more sophisticated in its thinking than the government, itself.” (audio only—link here)

Lithwick says the government wanted to give the country “an eye for an eye,” but this jury understood you couldn’t execute someone for being happy 9/11 happened—in America, you are punished for the crimes you commit. “Thank god,” Lithwick added, “we don’t live in a country where we believe in scapegoats”

Lithwick was asked if she thought the government was looking for a scapegoat. “I’m quite sure of it,” she responded.

Lithwick called Moussaoui a “bumbling punk,” and asserted that the government knew so. She then said:

There are many other people who are much more directly involved with 9/11 who the government won’t put on trial. . . .

I for one think it’s time to bring the real criminals to trial, and let’s do this trial the right way.

Who are the real criminals? Lithwick suggests three now in custody: Ramzi bin al-Sheib (who allegedly coordinated the 19 hijackers), Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (who reportedly came up with the idea of flying airplanes into buildings), and Mohamed al-Kahtani (whom the US now claims is the real “20th hijacker”). But don’t hold your breath. As Lithwick plainly states:

The reason they’re never going to come to trial is because they have been tortured. . . . We have real constitutional problems that may preclude trials.


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