And so the Moussaoui circus continued in a suburban courtroom near the nation's capitol, with federal prosecutors giving the first public recital of the Flight 93 cockpit voice recorder. No question that the passengers and crew of that flight fought heroically to resist the hijackers, who were heading the aircraft toward a target in the Washington area widely believed to be the Capitol building; still not dispositive (I don't think) as to exactly how the plane came down, or even whether the passengers made it through the cockpit door, particularly with the substantial inaudible and garbled parts of the tape. But this was certainly an interesting way to publicly release this tape for the first time exactly 55 months and a day after 9-11.
Of course, in an ideal (or at least... an alternative) world, Mr. Moussaoui will put on a better defense than "please kill me." Indeed, he would not have taken the stand at the first (causation) phase of the penalty section of his trial, and the government's case against him would have fallen like the misconduct laden house of cards it was. But there you go. Mr. Moussaoui nonetheless stands as a testament to arbitrariness: presumably, a purported 9/11 plotter is more dangerous than the hundreds of uselesss schmucks we are holding at Gitmo, for example, or elsewhere, who are deprived of due process because they are "the worst of the worst" and too dangerous to risk trying in a court with any kind of "fairness"... and yet, we see that the criminal justice system functions to the point where it can not only obtain a conviction, but a probable death sentence.
Nonetheless, I'd like to present a hypothetical defense of Moussaoui, even at this late stage, based on a possible "reasonable doubt" alternative theory of the case. While he will put on his own "defense"... I will offer mine. For my version, we can presume that Mr. Moussaoui has fired his lawyers again, and is addressing the court himself. [BTW, I happen to consider Moussaoui a dangerous mad-man, though the government's prosecution of him has been rife with misconduct, and the limited theory of "but for" his misleading FBI agents, the events of 9-11 could have been thwarted has, to my mind, already been shown to be bunk by an FBI agent's testimony that higher-ups in the Bureau wanted to ignore any evidence of any kind of a plot... it seems unlikely that even a fully candid Mr. Moussaoui-- before 9-11-- could have changed their already well-made-up minds.] Anyway, my hypothetical defense presentation follows here:
Judge Brinkema: Mr. Moussaoui, I caution you, I will not allow my courtroom to be turned into [more of] a circus.
Moussaoui: Your Honor, am I not entitled to put on a defense? Must the Government not prove all elements of their case beyond a reasonable doubt?
Judge Brinkema: Sit down [you twit]. Alright Mr. Moussaoui, but you are cautioned. Before you put on evidence, I insist you make an offer of proof-- lay out your case for me, so that I may rule what portions can be presented to the jury.
Moussaoui: Your Honor, we have just heard the flight 93 cockpit voice recorder. But there is reasonable doubt there...
Judge Brinkema: Sit down [you twit]. Alright Mr. Moussaoui, what are you driving at?
Moussaoui: There is a substantial and growing body of evidence that Flight 93 was shot down by your own air force.. If nothing else, the large volume of pieces spread over a large area is consistent with that... The debris field and other evidence on the ground are not consistent with the story told about that crash...
Judge Brinkema: Sit down [you twit]. Alright Mr. Moussaoui, what does it matter why or how the plane went down if your actions by lying to federal investigators prevented them from foiling the hijacking?
Moussaoui: Well, given that there is some doubt as to the facts of the plane crash, or of course, whether your air force was an intervening superceding event by shooting it down...
Judge Brinkema: Sit down [you twit]. Alright Mr. Moussaoui, but you are citing crackpot sources...
Moussaoui: Is that not for the jury to decide on their veracity? Is it not a matter of my merely having to demonstrate that there is reasonable doubt with the case presented against me?
Judge Brinkema: Sit down [you twit]. Alright Mr. Moussaoui... proceed.
Moussaoui: Thank you, Your Honor. You understand that I have not raised the "more prejudicial than probative" argument to the Government's presentation of these various sounds and images of September 11th designed to inflame the jury's passions, just as your government did so to inflame passions to win elections...
Judge Brinkema: Sustained [for a change]. Mr. Moussaoui... confine yourself to this case.
Moussaoui: A thousand pardons, Your Honor. Your Honor, I think there is enough doubt about the events of flight 93... I'd like to address some aspects of the Pentagon and World Trade Center collapses...
Judge Brinkema: Sit down [you twit]. Alright Mr. Moussaoui... proceed.
Moussaoui: Of course, there are doubts as to the whole events of that day... for one, the pilot flying the plane was an idiot (like me) [laughter] and couldn't have executed such a deft maneuver as steering a large 757 into a low building... let alone a mostly unoccupied part of that building... and others think it was a 2-engine Cessna plane...
Judge Brinkema: Sit down [you twit]. Go on...
Moussaoui: But just as the Pentagon crash seemed designed to kill as few people as possible (while still killing people), the World Trade Center... event... seemed designed to kill as many people as possible... for one thing, many engineers believe that the Trade Center towers did not fall from the plane crashes, but from controlled demolition explosions...
Judge Brinkema: Sit down [you twit]. Alright Mr. Moussaoui... proceed.
Moussaoui: Indeed, Your Honor, the report I just provided identifies the primary defects in the official account of the WTC collapses, and its sister theories. These problems were entirely ignored by The 9/11 Commission Report (2004), so the government appointees must have found it difficult to account for the following facts (I am quoting from the report, Your Honor):
Fire had never before caused steel-frame buildings to collapse except for the three buildings on 9/11, nor has fire collapsed any steel high rise since 9/11. The fires, especially in the South Tower and WTC-7, were small. WTC-7 was unharmed by an airplane and had only minor fires on the seventh and twelfth floors of this 47-story steel building yet it collapsed in less than 10 seconds. WTC-5 and WTC-6 had raging fires but did not collapse despite much thinner steel beams (pp. 68–9). In a PBS documentary, Larry Silverstein, the WTC lease-holder, recalled talking to the fire department commander on 9/11 about WTC-7 and said, "…maybe the smartest thing to do is pull it," slang for demolish it. FEMA, given the uninviting task of explaining the collapse of Building 7 with mention of demolition verboten admitted that the best it could come up with had "only a low probability of occurrence." It’s difficult if not impossible for hydrocarbon fires like those fed by jet fuel (kerosene) to raise the temperature of steel close to melting. Professional demolition, by contrast, can explain all of these facts and more. Demolition means placing explosives throughout a building, and detonating them in sequence to weaken "the structure so it collapses or folds in upon itself" (p. 44). In conventional demolitions gravity does most of the work, although it probably did a minority on 9/11, so heavily were the towers honeycombed with explosives. Each WTC building collapse occurred at virtually free-fall speed (approximately 10 seconds or less). Each building collapsed, for the most part, into its own footprint. Virtually all the concrete (an estimated 100,000 tons in each tower) on every floor was pulverized into a very fine dust, a phenomenon that requires enormous energy and could not be caused by gravity alone ("…workers can’t even find concrete. ‘It’s all dust,’ [the official] said"). Dust exploded horizontally for a couple hundred feet, as did debris, at the beginning of each tower’s collapse. Collapses were total, leaving none of the massive core columns sticking up hundreds of feet into the air. Salvage experts were amazed at how small the debris stacks were. The steel beams and columns came down in sections under 30 feet long and had no signs of "softening"; there was little left but shorn sections of steel and a few bits of concrete. Photos and videos of the collapses all show "demolition waves," meaning "confluent rows of small explosions" along floors (blast sequences). According to many witnesses, explosions occurred within the buildings. Each collapse had detectable seismic vibrations suggestive of underground explosions, similar to the 2.3 earthquake magnitude from a demolition like the Seattle Kingdome (p. 108). Each collapse produced molten steel identical to that generated by explosives, resulting in "hot spots" that persisted for months (the two hottest spots at WTC-2 and WTC-7 were approximately 1,350o F five days after being continuously flooded with water, a temperature high enough to melt aluminum (p. 70). Controlled demolition would have required unimpeded access to the WTC, access to explosives, avoiding detection, and the expertise to orchestrate the deadly destruction from a nearby secure location. Such access before 9/11 likely depended on complicity by one or more WTC security companies. These companies focus on "access control" and as security specialist Wayne Black says, "When you have a security contract, you know the inner workings of everything." Stratesec, a now-defunct company that had security contracts at the World Trade Center and Dulles International Airport, should be investigated, among others, because of the strange coincidence that President Bush’s brother, Marvin P. Bush, and his cousin, Wirt D. Walker III, were principals in the company, with Walker acting as CEO from 1999 until January 2002 and Marvin reportedly in New York on 9/11. At least one report claims that a "power down" condition prevailed on September 8–9 (pdf, p. 45) at WTC to complete a "cabling upgrade," presenting an opportunity to plant explosives with low risk of detection. A related point is that demolition companies go to considerable expense to wire steel-framed skyscrapers with explosives to produce safe implosions, and they would love to do it more cheaply by simply setting two small fires like those that (allegedly) caved in building 7. Apparently, the terrorist-inventors have kept this new technology secret
I realize that some will consider this more stuff of crackpots... but consider a member of your own Congress was willingly to permit the publication of similar doubts... consider why your President's brother, who was in New York that day and who also had ties to the company providing security to the Trade Center (and United Airlines... and Dulles Airport) and to a major insurer of the Trade Center... ask yourself about why war games, including in New York, were scheduled that day by your government... consider the removal of bomb-sniffing dogs from the Trade Center just days before the attack...
Judge Brinkema: Why don't you wrap it up, Mr. Moussaoui?
Moussaoui: Yes, Your Honor... there are other accounts that should give pause to the government's version of the events of that day... which coupled with its documented misconduct in this very prosecution... requires a finding that the government's version of anything should be per se tinged with reasonable doubt...
Judge Brinkema: Sit down [you twit]. Alright Mr. Moussaoui... we are in recess, while I consider what I have just heard.
Nicely done, counselor. Question - is the easily faked cockpit recording germaine to the jury's deliberations?
Posted by Thomas Ware at April 13, 2006 10:54 AM
Thank you, and good question. I certainly don't think it is germane to the case... but since the idea is to get the jury all riled up so that they issue a death sentence, I'm sure it will serve that end.
No way to know re: the "easily faked" part; let's just say that there has been a lot of prosecutorial misconduct in Moussaoui's case, and you certainly have to wonder about whether, in over 4 1/2 years, the government hasn't decided to, you know, "enhance" the tape, particularly as this was its first public airing.
The whole point here concerns the "reasonable doubt" standard... a reasonable person could conclude that there was plenty of reasonable doubt to go around...
Posted by the talking dog at April 13, 2006 11:40 AM
Yes. Finally. The truth comes out. It's like I keep saying: Mom, you can't handle the truth.
And she says get some real friends, and get off the computer.
And I say: Mom-there are people out there that know the truth, man. We're gonna solve this crime, like CSI, only with like Bin Laden and terrorists and stuff.
And she says: It's a nice day, go outside and play.
And I say, Dammit Mom, I'm gonna be famous for catching OBL.
And she says: Are you playing with yourself down there?
And I say no.
And she says, cause if I catch you playing with yourself with that porn stuff, your father is gonna cut your hands off.
And I say, but Mom.
And she says: Don't but me, young man. I'm not gonna have my son playing with his ding dong in my basement, now go outside and play.
And I say, but Mom, I'm 37 years old and all my friends are at work.
And I'm gonna bring down the Bush White House, like a house of cards, starting with Andrew Card (get it?-LOL).
And she says I'm gonna kill your father for coming near me with that thing, which I don't know what that means.
But anyway, You Rule, Dog. Buds forever. We're gonna tear that playhouse down.
Posted by Marvin Feeblemeister at April 13, 2006 12:50 PM
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