Mercy for the Moussaoui Jurors:
Let's say, and why not, that you are a juror in the Zacharias Moussaoui penalty trial. You have been placed in a locked room with a couple of dozen people. And while in that locked room, you are forced to listen, for hours and hours, to recordings from victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. You're forced to hear the sounds of airline pilots of United Flight 93 gurgling through their slit throats. You're forced to listen to dozens of cell phone calls from people about to die or in the process of dying, including the nightmarish final screams of people in the World Trade Center as the buildings collapsed. You have to look at photos of charred Pentagon corpses, human jerky, and pictures of the exploded water balloon bodies of people who leapt from 90 stories high. You are forced to listen to a parade of testimony from people talking about trying to save others, including tales of heroic rescuers who couldn't hold onto victims because the burned skin kept sliding off in their hands. You hear stories from people who survived, from the families of those who died, about children wanting their parents or uncles. It goes on, day after day, images and descriptions of people leaping, people scrambling, people dying. You, though, are locked in the room. You can't get up and leave. You can't turn the page, click over to the comics, change the channel. And all of it is being paraded in front of you so you can decide whether or not the bugfuck insane egomaniac in the defendant's chair should be executed.

In essence, the prosecution's approach has been to take out a crowbar and beat the jurors bloody and unconscious until they can do nothing but drool and piss their acquiescence to the revenge that the government wants to enact on Moussaoui. The whole ridiculous, overemotional exercise of the prosecution has even been criticized by William F. Buckley. In his most recent column in his ongoing series "Clenched Patrician Anuses Can't Be Pried Open Even With Silver Spoons," Buckley barely moves his thin lips to say, "Thought renders unintelligible what the prosecution is up to in describing the luridities of 9/11 on Flight 93. The only explanation for what they are doing is that they are covert agents for the movie United 93, which is simultaneously going out from Hollywood."

As Buckley says (and, really, it makes the Rude Pundit want to head off for a morning vodka and ecstasy binge that'll end up with him face down in the gutter after being blown and rolled by some hooker or other by noon to say he agrees even partially with Buckley), Moussaoui's been found guilty. What's following is merely blood sport for the sake of blood sport, a real-world rendition of films like Wolf Creek and The Devil's Rejects, where the idea is to see how far the blood and gore and screams can push the audience. Except there the audience decides to go. The Moussaoui jury is trapped in a house of horrors that serves no purpose except to horrify them, to raise their bloodlust, to make them want to enact ancient tortures of tearing Moussaoui limb from limb with their bare hands for having even tangentially been a part of the nightmare they have been forced to experience again and again.

The Rude Pundit has no pity for Zacharias Moussaoui, who should be locked up in the basement of Bedlam in a straitjacket and rubber room where he can shit himself and mutter endlessly about Allah wantin' him to go all jihad on Western asses. He is merely the latest in an eons-long line of deluded wannabe religious martyrs, from every goddamn faith. To execute Moussaoui would be something akin to lashing a masochistic thief - sure, it might make you feel better, make you feel like you're doin' something for the greater good, but, really, you're just givin' him exactly what he wants. That's not to mention the whole "barbarism" factor of capital punishment, but we're not allowed to discuss that anymore, are we.

No, fuck Moussaoui. The Rude Pundit wonders at what point does the jury in the Zacharias Moussaoui trial get to stop being tortured? If this was being done to prisoners at Gitmo, we'd be up in arms. 'Cause the trial's gonna end, soon, and they're gonna leave that locked room, and then we have a dozen or so people who have to go on with their lives hearing the echoes of those cries, those screams, closing their eyes and seeing those corpses. And for what good? In the end, none. Just another stage in our ongoing fetishization of 9/11, our American mourning that we're never allowed to move on from.