We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
So Moussaui gets life. There's a ill-considered meme racing around the internet that since he said he preferred death, life in prison was the worse punishment.
Prefers death? He said he preferred death. That's not the same thing. Many men have the nerve to pitch themselves out of planes. Who can say if they are prepared to hit the ground? Bluster is not courage. He was perhaps willing to die on his own terms. But on ours? I doubt it.
We should not care one whit what Moussaui or his ilk say they prefer anyway. Our society allows for the execution of those convicted of heinous crimes. What crimes could be more heinous, than to contemplate and participate in mass murder, and fervently pray for the deaths of those you could not kill yourself?
Moussaui dared you to kill him. He and his kind will understand only that we didn't have the nerve to do it. He'll be perfectly happy in his solitary jail, offering his life up as a kind of prayer, just as he offered it up before, praying all day, every day, for the deaths of those that spared him.
"There is in Islam a paradox which is perhaps a permanent menace. The great creed born in the desert creates a kind of ecstasy out of the very emptiness of its own land, and even, one may say, out of the emptiness of its own theology. It affirms, with no little sublimity, something that is not merely the singleness but rather the solitude of God. There is the same extreme simplification in the solitary figure of the Prophet; and yet this isolation perpetually reacts into its own opposite. A void is made in the heart of Islam which has to be filled up again and again by a mere repetition of the revolution that founded it. There are no sacraments; the only thing that can happen is a sort of apocalypse, as unique as the end of the world; so the apocalypse can only be repeated and the world end again and again. There are no priests; and yet this equality can only breed a multitude of lawless prophets almost as numerous as priests. The very dogma that there is only one Mahomet produces an endless procession of Mahomets." G.K.Chesterton
Portion of painting by Washington Allston--Elijah in the Desert --from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA