The Spectacle Blog

Re: Moussaui Lives

By on 5.4.06 | 4:54AM

If I were to overhear someone plotting a murder which later took place exactly as plotted, I would not be legally culpable in any way for not reporting said plot to legal authorities -- so long as I am not a police officer or a lawyer. Moussaui was haled into civilian court on charges that could be called "trumped-up."

No mistake, he belongs behind bars. But he should have been an enemy combatant from the get-go.

Re: Moussaoui Lives

By on 5.3.06 | 9:12PM

Jed, James: There are lots of implications to this verdict that defy easy analysis. Does giving Moussaoui life show that we're better than our enemies, or weaker than our enemies? Do enemies in the War on Terror belong in the civilian court system? How would Moussaoui have faired before, say, a military tribunal?

These are hard and interesting questions, worth chewing over. The question of whether Moussaoui will ever be let out of solitary to become a prison preacher, however, is pretty easy: No, not a chance. No advocate for Moussaoui's rights would even try to get him moved into a general population, where he'd be murdered in a wink. Instead, he'll spend the rest of his life here:

Since opening in 1994, Florence ADMAX has become the new, state-of-the-art Alcatraz for the most violent and escape-prone prisoners.

There are 399 inmates in the prison, which has a capacity of 490 and is run by a staff of 298, said Krista Rear, Florence ADMAX spokeswoman.

Despite the roster, most prisoners lead lonely lives.

Hearing Hearings Rumors

By on 5.3.06 | 7:36PM

I usually hate to publish something that is just a rumor, but when I hear the same rumor from two different good sources -- although, in this case, both of THEM said their own sources were only of the rumor variety, so it may just be the same folks talking to the same folks without solid sourcing -- and when the rumor is important and timely, it's worth airing just for the warning value.

ANYway, I'm hearing that Sen. Specter may be coming close to caving in (and going against what top staff last week had indicated was his own firm decision) by letting the Dems put court nominee Brett Kavanaugh through yet another hearing. On the one hand: Fine. Brett will handle himself well and make the Dems look, again, like jerks. But this is still a very bad development, because it means a delay of AT LEAST one week, almost certainly two weeks, and perhaps even three weeks, before Kavanaugh finally gets out of committee -- meaning it becomes that much more difficult to get him a floor vote before Memorial Day, much less get other nominees the floor votes they deserve.

Re: Moussaoui Lives

By on 5.3.06 | 6:24PM

James: Do you harbor any doubt that the ACLU and some court will combine, in the next few years, to release him from solitary? I sure don't.

Harris Matters

By on 5.3.06 | 5:59PM

We're hearing that Republican Florida House Speaker Allen Bense (R) is quietly talking to state and national GOP fundraisers about challenging Rep. Katherine Harris for the Republican Senate nomination. The filing deadline is May 12. Harris has been under intense pressure to back out of the race in light was a series of gaffes, whiffs of ethical impropriety and staff defections. A candidate should knows she's cooked when her own campaign advisers go public with information that her opponents would normally leak. Timing here, obviously, is critical. Sen. Bill Nelson, who at one time was considered to be a beatable candidate has raised upwards of $10 million, and his seat is now considered safe. All of this comes at a time when national Republican leaders are getting an earful about the dire condition of the party leading into the 2006 election cycle. Day-after reviews of polling numbers in Ohio raise a number of red flags about party enthusiasm and the ability of some candidates to get out the vote.

Moussaoui Lives

By on 5.3.06 | 5:13PM

...and I can live with that. Although terrorism walks a purposefully narrow line between crime and war, Moussaoui's role in the death and destruction of 9/11 is not quite close enough to qualify as murder and not far enough from the event to remove him from enemyhood. Everyone would be content for a really blood-soaked man like Bin Laden to simply disappear, hounded out of existence. If that sort of life sentence for the Prince of Terror satisfies the soul, surely this formal one for a third-rate maniac and evil lummox satisfies too.

Of course, Jed, if they let him out of solitary, that would be the can't-gettingest of no satisfactions.

Imam Moussaoui

By on 5.3.06 | 5:11PM

The verdict in the Moussaoui death penalty trial is in, and surprisingly the jury has returned with a life sentence recommendation. No one - not the feds for sure - will have the stomach to keep Moussaoui in solitary for life. So he will soon be preaching jihad behind bars, and doing more damage in prison than he ever did outside. This is the worst possible result.

Condolences to Tiger

By on 5.3.06 | 3:41PM

If anybody saw the tearful tribute Tiger Woods paid to his father after winning the 2005 Masters, they will understand the sadness of this news -- and appreciate the wondrous blessing of a good father-son bond. May Earl Woods rest in peace, and may Tiger be in our prayers.

World Press Freedom Day

By on 5.3.06 | 12:43PM

Press Freedom Day is being celebrated in the Islamic world, according to this report from the Saudi government "Arab News." The Organization of Islamic Conference has endorsed press freedom with one little catch. Here's the money quote:

The OIC has always underscored the importance of ensuring freedoms for all, chief among which is the freedom of expression. The organization has demanded that journalists performing their professional duties be protected.

However, the pan-Islamic organization said that with freedom comes responsibility. "The publication of the blasphemous caricatures of the Prophet (peace be upon him) last September and its ramifications, have provided each and everyone with the absolute evidence of the consequences of non-abidance by these regulations," the statement said.

"Therefore, the organization demands that an international legislation or a code of conduct be issued affirming the need to prevent dissemination of hatred, premeditated defamation and incitement of denigration," it added.

NBA Gangsta

By on 5.3.06 | 12:38PM

Should an NBA player who settled with the victim in a sexual assault case several years ago be bragging how he likes to play rough on the court? After last night's elbow-fest loss to Phoenix, which saw both him and the fellow defending him ejected from the game, here's what Kobe Bryant had to say: "That's how I grew up playing basketball in Philadelphia. I love playing that style. It excites me more than anything."

O.J. Simpson never had it so good.

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