As reported in my last Online Journal article, “Painwashing”
the Moussaoui jury and us ,“On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge
Leonie Brinkema issued an order requiring an unidentified individual to be produced
for testimony. The order apparently applied to would-be shoe bomber Richard
Reid. Defense lawyers issued a subpoena last week seeking his testimony. Prosecutors
had opposed the subpoena.
”Moussaoui testified previously that he and Reid were going to
hijack a fifth plane on Sept. 11 and fly it into the White House. The defense
lawyers, who have tried to discredit their client's credibility, have said Moussaoui
is exaggerating his role in Sept. 11 to inflate his role in history.”
Sure enough, as a result of that action, “The prosecution acknowledged
on Thursday that even the government’s chief investigators did not believe
the claim of Zaccharias Moussaoui that Richard C. Reid, known as the shoe bomber,
was to help him fly a jetliner into the White House on Sept. 11, 2001.”
This quotes surfaces in Friday's New York Times, article, Prosecutors
Concede Doubts About Moussaoui’s Story, written by Neil A. Lewis.
It’s nice to see the Times catching up. The jury was actually presented
with a document that said “the Federal Bureau of Investigation had agreed
that Mr. Reid was never meant to be part of the Sept. 11 attacks.”
In fact, the document read to the jury by a Moussaoui court-appointed lawyer,
was a “substitution” for having Reid brought from prison in Colorado,
where’s he’s doing life, for trying to explode a bomb in his shoe
on an American Airlines flight on Dec. 22, 2001. Moreover, the document standing
in for Reid, in essence shooing him away, was agreed to by prosecutors, probably
fearing a leap of the trial from the strange and deranged into the land of Mission
God knows what Reid would have revealed, either in his state of mind (or absence
thereof) or reminding the jury of what a defective duo he and Moussaoui would
have made. It also demonstrates that the Justice Department itself acknowledges
the government’s main investigators on the case doubt a key part of Moussaoui’s
statement that he made on the witness stand last month about his role in the
It should make the jury really wonder why the prosecutors cited over and over
again in their summation last month Moussaoui’s testimony that he was
going to fly a fifth hijacked plane into the White House on 9/11 and that Rich
“the Shoe” Reid was a sidekick. It was a cheap shot that came back
to bite them in the butt big-time.
Defense lawyers, in spite of Moussaoui’s urge to martyr himself (programmed
or au natural), insisted Zaccharias cooked up the claim to look like a big-time
player in the plot and in Al Qaeda. It was another case of “patsyitis,”
the symptoms of which can lead to death by fatal injection. Yet the drum was
beaten by the prosecution that Moussaoui’s claim was a key to finding
him guilty for the fatal hot shot.
The story goes that the defense lawyers wanted to bring the “Shoeman”
to court this week to kick the story to pieces. But “complications, objections
from his lawyer, made that difficult.” Ergo the Reid stand-in document
that said “to date, there is no information available that Richard Reid
had preknowledge of the 9/11 attacks and was instructed by Al Qaeda leadership
to conduct an operation with Moussaoui.” Nor will he be appearing at next
year’s Superbowl as a guest kicker.
The prosecution statement also mentioned to the jury that Reid had (conveniently)
left documents before he got on the AA flight stating he had no wish to take
part in a martyrdom plunge with Moussaoui. The documents included a letter to
his mother and a will leaving his belongings to Moussaoui, I guess just for
thinking of him for the project.
The truth is, Reid was globe-trotting (not with the Harlem team) when the 9/11
hijackers were purportedly huddling in the U.S.
Based on all this, two FBI analysts agreed it was “highly unlikely that
Reid was part of this operation.” In other words, let’s not put
nitro and glycerin together in one courtroom. You never know what might blow
up in our faces.
With the Reid statement, Moussaoui’s lawyers, with whom he doesn’t
speak, ended their case and probably proceeded to the nearest bar (not Association)
for doubles (not tennis).
As you probably remember, Moussaoui, not bin Laden or Bush/Cheney,
is the only individual to stand trial (take the fall) in the U.S. for the 9/11
attacks. Nevertheless, the jury decided last month he qualified for
the death by hot shot. The fact that he was in jail at the time of the attacks
did not dissuade them in their blood lust. After all, it was said, he concealed
his knowledge of purported “Al Qaeda” planes about to fly into buildings.
But then, after all, so did the Bush administration conceal all the intelligence
it had received from nations around the world, not to mention US intelligence.
You may remember the president had done gone fishing for the entire month directly
before 9/11. Does he stay late after school for that, like for several life
sentences, for playing hooky as American’s greatest at-home catastrophe
was being hatched? Ah well, he’s the president, I forget. And he corresponds
directly with God and is not to be judged by the same laws and rules of ordinary
What’s more, to add insult to injury if not confusion, Dr. Raymond Patterson,
the prosecution's forensic psychiatrist who checked out Mr. Moussaoui, said
Zacarias suffered merely from a “personality disorder” but not from
paranoid schizophrenia as diagnosed earlier by a defense psychiatrist. So, let’s
say they cancel themselves out and we’re at Ground Zero with that item,
Oh, and by the way, in another case of “media catch-up,” Richard
Serrano writing in the April 17 Los Angeles Times (Moussaoui
Jury Faces a Complex Defendant) finally got around to mentioning, “Federal
marshals, according to courthouse sources, strapped an electronic device onto
his [Moussaoui’s] midsection and hid it under his prison suit. They could
zap him should he become unruly or violent during the trial.
“Moussaoui confirmed the presence of the device during his testimony
last week. Asked why he was well-mannered when the trial was in session, he
said he would prefer to act up, but ‘I have a box on my back.’”
A US King Kong on his back would be more like it.
Nevertheless, a second round of testimony for the defense from family members
of 9/11victims did not ask for the death of Moussaoui, proving that compassion,
intelligence and a sense of justice may be still alive, well and kicking in
the good old US of A. And hopefully Moussaoui’s parodying Springsteen’s
classic with “Burn in the USA” will not be his swan song. Stay tuned.
Jerry Mazza is a freelance writer residing in New York.
Reach him at email@example.com.