Via Sykes writes
: the always cogent Peggy Noonan on why terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui should have been executed
It is as if we’ve become sophisticated beyond our intelligence, savvy beyond wisdom. Some might say we are showing a great and careful generosity, as befits a great nation. But maybe we’re just, or also, rolling in our high-mindedness like a puppy in the grass. Maybe we are losing some crude old grit. Maybe it’s not good we lose it.
No one wants to say, “They should have killed him.” This is understandable, for no one wants to be called vengeful, angry or, far worse, unenlightened. But we should have put him to death, and for one big reason.
This is what Moussaoui did: He was in jail on a visa violation in August 2001. He knew of the upcoming attacks. In fact, he had taken flight lessons to take part in them. He told no one what was coming. He lied to the FBI so the attacks could go forward. He pled guilty last year to conspiring with al Qaeda; at his trial he bragged to the court that he had intended to be on the fifth aircraft, which was supposed to destroy the White House.
He knew the trigger was about to be pulled. He knew innocent people had been targeted, and were about to meet gruesome, unjust deaths.
He could have stopped it. He did nothing. And so 2,700 people died.
Noonan goes on to outline some of her “hopes” about Moussaoui:
I don’t want to end with an air of hopelessness, so here’s some hope, offered to the bureau of prisons. I hope he doesn’t get cable TV in his cell. I hope he doesn’t get to use his hour a day in general population getting buff and converting prisoners to jihad. I hope he isn’t allowed visitors with whom he can do impolite things like plot against our country. I hope he isn’t allowed anniversary interviews. I hope his jolly colleagues don’t take captives whom they threaten to kill unless Moussaoui is released.
I hope he doesn’t do any more damage. I hope this is the last we hear of him. But I’m not hopeful about my hopes.
Good points all. Executing him would have been the decisive way of seeing that he’s not responsible for any more mischief. But unfortunately, the jury wimped.