Excuse me, I'm sorry, and I beg your pardon, but the jury's decision on Moussaoui gives me a very bad feeling. What we witnessed here was not the higher compassion but a dizzy failure of nerve.
How removed from our base passions we've become. Or hope to seem.
It is as if we've become sophisticated beyond our intelligence, savvy beyond wisdom. Some might say we are showing a great and careful generosity, as befits a great nation. But maybe we're just, or also, rolling in our high-mindedness like a puppy in the grass. Maybe we are losing some crude old grit. Maybe it's not good we lose it.
No one wants to say, "They should have killed him." This is understandable, for no one wants to be called vengeful, angry or, far worse, unenlightened. But we should have put him to death, and for one big reason.
...He could have stopped it. He did nothing. And so 2,700 people died.
Yeah, no one wants to say "They should have killed him" except for almost the entire conservative media. Nothing says "political bravery" like calling for the death of Muslim terrorists on the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal. Far from being cowed by the forces of liberal oversensitivity, as Noonan insists, I think the Moussaoui jurors displayed real nerve, real will, in applying our nation's laws appropriately, and rising above the atmosphere of vengeance and fear that has been stoked by our government and media in general, and by the prosecution in this case in particular.
Dahlia Lithwick's coverage of the trial has typically been very good.