Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Teresa Nielsen Hayden has said, "I deeply resent the way this administration makes me feel like a nutbar conspiracy theorist," but I think at this point that this observation falls short of the reality. I deeply resent the way this administration has turned my country into the embodiment of what people who hate America have said it is. Arrogant, war-mongering, greedy, selfish-- really, is there anything that a left-wing French newspaper could call the United States that wouldn't be true? I am particularly appalled at the way this bunch has corrupted the legal system-- perhaps the crowning accomplishment of American civilization, the single best thing we have contributed to the world. The trial of Zacharias Moussoui is an appalling travesty made no less so by the odd fact that both Mr. Moussoui and the Department of Justice are apparently going to get what they want. The government gets an elaborate show trial to demonstrate how tough it is, and Mousssoui, "a suicide bomber with a four year fuse" gets an elaborate show trial to demonstrate how counterfeit and corrupt American society is. Richard Cohen gets it right: "If I had my way, I would deny Moussaoui his opportunity. I would do so not just because it is pretty clear the man is crazy and, on account of that, he played a marginal role at best in the 9/11 plot, but because I would not complete the plot for him. I would not grant him what he wanted from the day he stepped foot in America -- his own death. If, in his case, the punishment is to fit the crime, then he would suffer most by spending the rest of his life behind bars. When he dies of old age, he will have been forgotten. In no place will people gather to mark his death. That will not happen if he is executed."

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