Friday, July 19, 2002

RIVETING: Dahlia Litwick's coverage of the Moussaui trial is extremely worth reading. Here she is wrapping up the latest installment:

The judge makes one last effort to explain that in entering a guilty plea, Moussaoui is "admitting to doing what the government says you did." He can't later pick and choose which allegations he meant to deny. (Why is he unwilling to perjure himself with a not-guilty plea because some allegations are true, but eager to admit to allegations he knows to be false? Anyone?) In a strong message that he's being an idiot, Brinkema tells him that it's "normal, in criminal cases, to plea bargain. Even in the most serious cases." She is trying to tell him that this information he's so eager to give the government for free is his only currency, that he should shut up and negotiate a deal for himself instead of blurting out everything he knows about al-Qaida while marching himself off to the electric chair. But he won't listen. He's too smart for her tricks. Alfred E. Neuman could negotiate this man a plea deal, but he tells her he won't let her "manipulate the system." She gives him a week to reconsider.

He replies, "In another week's time, I will be declared insane," which forecloses the only real option most of us are still gunning for. She closes the hearing, asking him to take the week to see if he still wants to plead guilty. "Bet on me, I will," he snaps.

Remember that Simpsons episode, when Homer is licking the hallucinogenic toads and Bart calls to ask whether he's been licking toads again? Homer's answer, "I'm not not licking toads," is an anthem for 7-year-olds everywhere. Moussaoui's "guilty" plea today is just a modified double-Homer. He's not really pleading guilty. He still maintains he's innocent of the Sept. 11 plots. But he's going to show Brinkema with his absurd "I'm not not pleading not guilty." That'll teach her.

Even if it kills him.

Quite literally.

Somebody's been watching too many X-Files episodes.

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