Zacarias Moussaoui made his final outburst this morning when Judge Brinkema sentenced him to life in prison:
ALEXANDRIA, Virginia (Reuters) – A defiant Zacarias Moussaoui was sentenced to life in prison on Thursday, one day after a jury spared his life and rejected U.S. government arguments that the September 11 conspirator should be executed.
“God curse America,” Moussaoui shouted right before U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema imposed the sentence. “God save Osama bin Laden. You’ll never get him.”
Brinkema sentenced Moussaoui, 37, to life in prison with no possibility of release. An admitted al Qaeda operative, Moussaoui will almost certainly be sent to the super maximum security federal prison in Florence, Colorado, and his words at sentencing were probably his last public comments.
Judge Leonie Brinkema followed the sentencing with this statement:
“Mr. Moussaoui, you came here to be a martyr and to die in a great bang of glory. But to quote T.S. Eliot, ‘you will die with a whimper’,” she added, referring to the famous poet.
I just don’t think Moussaoui was impressed or frightened by the words of T.S. Eliot.
Allahpundit at Hot Air has more.
Update: France may try to get Moussaoui transferred so he can live out the rest of his life in his home country.
He will be formally sentenced on Thursday. Moussaoui’s mother, Aisha el Wafi, said her son would be living like a “rat in a hole” and accused France of siding with the United States during the trial.
He should live the rest of his life like a rat in a hole. The US needs to tell the French government and Moussaoui’s mother to stick it.
Update II: Peggy Noonan today says the jury should have killed him:
I happen, as most adults do, to feel a general ambivalence toward the death penalty. But I know why it exists. It is the expression of a certitude, of a shared national conviction, about the value of a human life. It says the deliberate and planned taking of a human life is so serious, such a wound to justice, such a tearing at the human fabric, that there is only one price that is justly paid for it, and that is the forfeiting of the life of the perpetrator. It is society’s way of saying that murder is serious, dreadfully serious, the most serious of all human transgressions.
It is not a matter of vengeance. Murder can never be avenged, it can only be answered.
If Moussaoui didn’t deserve the death penalty, who does? Who ever did?
And if he didn’t receive it, do we still have it?
Update III: Jay Tea makes a great point in the post just below this one when he says this about the “at least he’s not a martyr” argument:
Finally, to those who worried that an executed Moussaoui would become a martyr, congratulations. Now he’s a LIVING martyr, one who can talk about his “repentance,” one whose freedom can become a rallying cry, one who can continually remind the families of the nearly 3,000 who died on 9/11 that their loved ones are gone, but one of the plotters (and, nearly, one of the hijackers) continues to live — at their expense.
Dead martyrs tend to fade quickly from public memory. Living ones, though, are the gift that keeps on giving. Tookie Williams is largely forgotten, but Mumia Abu-Jamal and Leonard Peltier, on the other hand, are still battle cries to some people.
Update IV: More on France’s transfer request from Ed Morrissey:
If the French get their hands on Moussaoui, we will only wake up a few years later to French pronouncements of miracle cures and rehabilitation, and watch the video of the AQ terrorist gleefully leaving the French prison over the protests of the American government. We do not wish to rely on French tenacity in the war on terror; we learned that lesson a long time ago. Let the French try to invoke whatever treaties they want to request Moussaoui’s extradition, and let them stomp their feet when we tell them to pound sand.