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April 14 2006 9:03 PM

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A commercial about real estate touches a nerve.

(Continued from Page 2)

Fred Kaplan scratches his head over reports of a forming war plan at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Kaplan asks, "is this for real?"

Discussion of that question has barely begun in earnest, but several Fraysters have already weighed in with important questions of their own. Beating Kaplan by a couple of hours, Fritz_Gerlich asks, if America were truly planning a nuclear first-strike against a non-nuclear power, "what is a citizen's duty in such a circumstance?" The only question JLF sees is "when?" Those caring to place a wager on the likely start date of any coming war with Iran should join his thread.

Early sentiment isn't overwhelmingly set against the possibility. Richvidaurri wonders aloud, "what exactly is wrong with nukes? ... They work, and as such, are no more "inhumane" than any other weapon (by the way folks, what does a humane weapon look like?)"

Perhaps unsurprisingly, hitchfan catches a whiff of rose petals in the prospect:

We're in for the fight of our lives. Bluff, disinformation or a real option, if this insane [Iranian] President or the leaders around him in Tehran don't get with it and join the civilised Planet of iPods and higher enlightenment and back off, then preemption it will be. In the aftermath, the people of Iran and not the mullahs, will take charge, throw the mullahs out, and start a civilised dialogue with the West.

What's not to like here?

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Important questions, all. Readers are encouraged—no, requested—to share their tentative answers in the War Stories Fray. GA... 9:15pm PST

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Saturday, April 8, 2006

Frayster reactions were strong and swift to Dahlia Lithwick's lament  over the consequences of Moussaoui's latest act of self-perjury in the 9/11 conspiracy case.

TheRanger indictsLithwick here for her perceived inconsistency on the question of Moussaoui's truthfulness:

When Moussaoui first came into the news, liberals haled him as the Diogenes of the 21st century. Moussaoui unmasked the ineptitude of the FBI when they did not react to the information connected with Moussaoui. Of course that was then, when libs were trying to blame Bush for 9/11 and the only thing they had was a brief which said OSB might want to attack federal buildings with airplanes. Then Moussaoui was a fountain of truth which provided all the necessary information to have prevented 9/11. All Bush had to do was connect the dots. Moussaoui was succefully pulling apart the government's case as Dahlia proclaimed here.

 

This is now; when 9/11 being Bush's fault only sold Michael Moore. Now Moussaoui is a crackpot delusional who was clueless about 9/11 and had no part in it and no details. Bush/adminstration is using Moussaoui as a scape goat because they could not capture OSB because of their ineptitude. When Moussaoui speaks now it is all lies and untruths of a wannabe with a death wish who is engineering his own demise. The dots are now non-existant.

HLS2003 sees in Lithwick's analysis a similar about-face:

In her reporting for the past year or more, Dahlia has consistently beat the drum of civil libertarians who want to see accused suspects in the so-called "War on Terror" tried in normal criminal courts with the trappings of due process. "Give the man a trial, don't keep him locked up indefinitely." "If you have a case, present it to a judge and jury. If you don't, then give it up." "Put up or shut up -- if he's not just a patsy, then try him."



Now, Moussaoui has been tried in a federal criminal court. He testified in open court about his activities. A jury found him guilty, and also found him eligible for the death penalty, in conformity with Blakely. Due process was admittedly slow in coming, but it did eventually come. Moussaoui was not forced to testify against himself, he had an opportunity to challenge the evidence against him, he had lawyers who were appointed for him that (despite Moussaoui's best efforts) tried to represent his interests.



Now what does Dahlia say? Due process is not enough. Moussaoui's testimony cannot be believed (since it is contrary to Dahlia's preconceived beliefs). The jury found the wrong person credible. The system that would "allow" Moussaoui to be sentenced to death is a system crazed and thirsty for revenge without reason.



Obviously, sometimes the legal process reaches the wrong conclusion. Maybe it did here; I don't know, I wasn't on the jury that heard the evidence (as Dahlia no doubt was, based on her confident assertions of fact). But I can't help noting the irony that, having finally gotten what she wanted -- a trial for Moussaoui with plenty of process protections -- Dahlia still isn't satisfied. Is it any wonder that people begin to suspect she isn't really dispassionately interested in "civil liberties" and "process protections" as much as she simply wants any result that is contrary to the government?

TheSFDuke calls the Moussaoui spectacle a new low in American jurisprudence:

Zacarias Moussaoui got exactly what he wanted. It was so obvious that he was lying on the witness stand even I who did not attend the trial could tell just by the excerpts of the testimony that was reported in the news. The prosecution in their zeal to prosecute anyone for the debacle of 9/11 put up the weakest case I have ever seen.



It was obvious that Moussaoui was not totally trustworthy and incompetent. Even his testimony proved that. The prosecution didn't have a case before he testified; and they didn't have one after he did. The only thing the testimony of the defendant did was prove that he wanted to be a martyr and be remembered for something his sick mind was proud of.



The jury bought it only because they wanted to kill someone for 9/11, and Zacarias Moussaoui was the only one they were given. It is a black day in our legal system, and our political system that has allowed incompetence to sink to a new level.