Forward to next post: Earth Creatures Put One Right Past Martian Defense Force
Let’s start with this: remember Zacarias Moussaoui? The “20th hijacker,” the only person brought to trial in the US for involvement in the 9/11 attacks?
The Sierra Hotel lawyers for the government are doing their best to blow that case. Most recently, most spectacularly, by witness tampering.
“This is the second significant error by the government affecting the constitutional rights of the defendant and the criminal justice system in this country in the context of a death case,” Brinkema told lawyers in the case outside the presence of the jury.
Defense attorney Edward MacMahon moved to have the judge dismiss the death penalty as a possible outcome, saying “this is not going to be a fair trial.” In the alternative, he said, at least she should excuse the government’s FAA witnesses from the case.
Prosecutor David Novak replied that removing the FAA witnesses would “exclude half the government’s case.” Novak suggested instead that the problem could be fixed by a vigorous cross-examination by the defense.
But Brinkema said she would need time to study what to do.
“In all the years I’ve been on the bench, I have never seen such an egregious violation of a rule on witnesses,” she said.
This action by the Bush justice department makes us safer how? What were they thinking?
I imagine that a conversation somewhere at a very high level went like this:
“We haven’t got anything to show for our War on Terror. We need some convictions and some serious sentences.”
“But judges and juries —”
“I want that guy Moussaoui to get the death penalty. I don’t care what you do, just do it.”
“Yessir. We can —”
“I don’t want to know the details. Either come back with the right verdict or don’t come back.”
Next bizarre bit of business: do you recall Claude A. Allen? Job title was Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy. He was in charge of abstinence education, school prayer policy, and, recently, coordinating the White House’s reaction to Katrina. (“What should we do about Katrina? We don’t have a prayer — wait! Maybe if we just abstained from doing anything…?”) Bush had proposed a federal judgeship for him.
A month ago he abruptly resigned “to spend more time with his family.”
Then last Friday he was arrested in Maryland for a weird retail fraud scheme. Seems he’s alleged to have gone into various big-box retail stores, bought a bunch of items (a Bose home theater, clothing, printers, etc.), then gone out to his car, left the items there, taken the empty bag and the receipt back into the store, picked up identical items off the shelves, put ‘em in the bag, and taken the bag and the receipt over to Customer Service for a refund.
He claims it was all a misunderstanding. A misunderstanding that he apparently had somewhere around 25 different times in various stores in the last year alone.