Sunday, July 28, 2002

While Zacarias Moussaoui tries to decide whether to allow himself to be railroaded or not, it is interesting to consider just what the evidence is against him. He is facing the death penalty, and the evidence of his wrongdoing in total appears to be as follows:

  1. He is a Muslim.

  2. He took flying lessons and was interested in cropdusting (the fact that he is a Muslim and took flying lessons appears to constitute the new American crime 'Flying While Muslim' (FWM), a crime similar to the much more common 'Driving While Black' (DWB)).

  3. He received money from Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, allegedly a former roommate of Mohamed Atta, and someone wanted by the U. S. and named in court papers as an unindicted hijacking co-conspirator. Al-Shibh allegedly wire transferred the money to Moussaoui from the United Arab Emirates (or possibly Germany) using an alias (how then do the U. S. authorities know who sent the money?). Al-Shibh's German phone number was also found in Moussaoui's laptop. Al-Shibh had allegedly also wired money to Marwan al-Shehhi, the pilot of one of the planes that flew into the World Trade Center. I note that Moussaoui appears to be claiming that the person he received the money from is not al-Shibh. The FBI also claims that Moussaoui got funding from Yazid Sufaat, an alleged al-Qaeda operative in Malaysia who previously had met with two of the 19 hijackers.

  4. He allegedly attended an al-Qaeda-based training camp in Afghanistan three years ago.

There is also the fact that Atta visited (but didn't attend) the same flight school in Norman, Oklahoma that Moussaoui attended, Atta was also interested in cropdusting, and Atta and Moussaoui both purchased the same “flight deck” instructional videos for the Boeing 747 from the same retailer in Ohio. On the basis of this evidence, and apparently nothing more, the prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Moussaoui. Back in the good old days of about a year ago when the United States still had a Constitution, before the days when you could convict a man merely by yelling 'terrorist', prosecutors used to have to actually prove that the defendant committed a crime. Moussaoui may have actually been up to something, but it is difficult to see how prosecutors can prove anything against him on the basis of the evidence they seem to have (and hints are being dropped that at least the investigators are unsure that the evidence against Moussaoui is sufficient for a conviction). Receiving money from questionable people does not, or at least did not at the time, constitute a crime. The 19 September 11 hijackers seemed to make a point of being seen together. As Moussaoui didn't associate with any of the 19 hijackers, I don't feel he was part of the September 11 hijacking group - the irony is that Moussaoui may be completely innocent of the September 11 hijacking because, unlike the others, he was a member of al-Qaeda, or perhaps more accurately, he was only a member of al-Qaeda. There is a new report that Moussaoui actually was seen with Atta in Norman, Oklahoma around August 1, 2001. If this were true, it would be the evidence the prosecution needs to tie Moussaoui to the hijackers. It is odd that in the absence of any real evidence that Moussaoui committed a crime that the prosecution didn't grab onto this evidence as the main part of their case. Of course, the main problem with the story is that Atta was supposed to be in South Florida around August 1 (he arrived back in the United States from Madrid on July 19, asked about cropdusting planes at an airstrip in Belle Glade, Florida in early August, and rented a car from Warrick's Rent-a-Car, Pompano Beach on August 6). Since one of the main problems with the Official Story of September 11 is Atta's strange ability to be in more than one place at the same time, the U. S. authorities may be afraid of this evidence linking Moussaoui to Atta. It would be highly ironic if the only evidence that Moussaoui is linked to the September 11 hijackers can't be used for fear that it would undermine the whole Official Story concerning the identity of Mohamed Atta.