Friday, November 08, 2002

Mir Aimal Kansi, who I recently wrote about, is slated to be executed by the State of Virginia on November 14, 2002. The U. S. State Department has issued a 'Worldwide Caution', based on the fear that this execution may trigger retaliatory attacks against Americans. Just as in the case of McVeigh an execution is going to occur where evidence is going to be irretrievably lost, and just as in the case of McVeigh this will presumably suit some in the U. S. government just fine. Kansi is calling for there to be no retaliatory attacks, and claims that his actions were not terrorism, but were a response to U. S. policy in the Middle East and American support for Israel. I still find this extraordinarily suspicious, as I do not see how to make any sense out of his taking random shots at people based only on the fact that they might have worked for the CIA, and then disappearing without drawing any political connection until after he was caught. Did he think that shooting a few Americans who possibly worked for the CIA would be a logical response to U. S. policy in the Middle East? Was this supposed to change U. S. policy? What does he mean when he claims that what he did "had nothing to do with terrorism"? Commuting his sentence to life imprisonment would: 1) preserve the possibility of obtaining evidence from Mr. Kansi, particularly as he does not seem to hold a grudge against the United States but only claims to have had a problem with certain American actions; and 2) preserve the lives of those Americans who will probably be killed in retaliation for the execution. Just how important is it to prevent Kansi from ever being able to tell the real story of what happened?