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'United 93' and the Moussaoui Verdict

I found myself waiting for the verdict yesterday, not really sure what I wanted the jury to decide. I of course have zero sympathy for Moussaoui, but as someone who usually has no problem having an opinion on things, I found it a little weird my ambivalence as to what I thought should happen to Moussaoui.

Froma Harrop and Peggy Noonan have two very different takes on the verdict and I find myself agreeing more with Harrop when she writes:

So let's thank the jury for depriving Moussaoui of the glorious execution he yearned for. Instead, he'll be left to rot behind bars and die too old to enjoy the imagined virgins. That is the most appropriate punishment and also the best revenge.

And I reject Noonan's characterization that the verdict "speaks not of gentleness but fear." Having not served on the jury and heard all of the evidence, I do not know how I would have ultimately voted, but given what I do know, it is certainly possible I might have preferred life in prison for Moussaoui. And believe me it wouldn't have been out of fear. Who is Peggy Noonan to declare that these jurors were afraid?

I saw 'United 93' last week with the intention of writing a piece on the movie, but afterwards I found it difficult to write anything. Almost from the beginning I found myself on the edge of my seat the entire movie. When I see pictures of Moussaoui, I see him in that movie flying that plane. I think every American should go to see 'United 93'. I think our media that takes such perverse pleasure in showing pictures of Abu Ghraib ad nausuem and griping about the conditions in Guantanamo should have the guts to show the American people what happened on September 11, 2001.

I'm afraid that large portions of our society are so quick to find any fault in America that they lose track of who the good guys and the bad guys are. I am not afraid of letting Moussaoui rot in prison for the rest of his pathetic life.

Whether you agree or disagree with this verdict, we as Americans should be proud and unapologetic for how our system works. It isn't perfect, but it is the best.