Moussaoui calls for muslim superpower
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Update 23: Moussaoui: 'No Regret, No Remorse'
By MICHAEL J. SNIFFEN , 04.13.2006, 06:51 PM
Reasserting his role in Sept. 11, al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui told jurors Thursday he has "no regret, no remorse," was disgusted by the heart-rending testimony of victims and relatives and only wished they had suffered more.
He said hearing a Navy officer sobbing in court made his day.
"So you would be happy to see 9/11 again?" Prosecutor Rob Spencer asked.
"Every day until we get you," the bearded 37-year-old Frenchman shot back.
As court-appointed defense lawyers began the last phase of their effort to save him from execution, Moussaoui put in a second unsettling appearance on the witness stand.
For 2 1/2 hours, Moussaoui argued with defense lawyer Gerald Zerkin and Spencer about when he had been telling the truth over the last four years and whether he was sane.
In the process, he revealed why he implicated himself in 9/11 after four years of denials, how he would have defended himself, his reasons for hating America and his dream of being freed by President Bush in a prisoner exchange for captured American troops.
Among his most startling statements, Moussaoui said Army Lt. Col. John Thurman's harrowing account of escaping the burning Pentagon left him with "regret that he didn't die."
He mocked a Navy officer who wept as she described the death of two subordinates in the attack on the Pentagon.
"I think it was disgusting for a military person" to cry, Moussaoui said of Lt. Nancy McKeown. "She is military. She should expect people at war with her to want to kill her."
Asked if he was happy to hear her sobbing, he said, "Make my day."
He noted many relatives of victims wept on the witness stand, then walked past him in the courtroom and looked his way without crying. "I find it disgusting that people come here to share their grief over the death of some other person," he said.
"I'm glad there was pain, and I wish there will be more pain," Moussaoui said. "The children in Palestine and in Chechnya will have pain. I want you to share their pain."
So, Spencer asked: "You have no regret, no remorse?"
"No regret, no remorse," Moussaoui responded.
When he left court after the judge and jury, he yelled: "God curse America. We will win. It's just a question of time."
In a lengthy explanation of why he hates Americans, Moussaoui said Islam requires Muslims to be the world's superpower as he flipped through a copy of the Quran searching for verses to support his assertion. He said one verse requires Muslims "to fight against all who believe not in Allah."
"We have an obligation to be the superpower. You have to be subdued," Moussaoui said. "America is a superpower and you want to eradicate Islam."
He criticized U.S. support for Israel. "Every child who has been killed in Palestine has been killed because of you," he said. Israel is "just a missing star in the American flag," he added.
In a particularly revealing response, Moussaoui explained to Spencer why he shocked the sentencing trial by testifying March 27 that he had been ordered to hijack a fifth plane on 9/11 and fly it into the White House - a plot he had long maintained was targeted for a later date.
"I thought it was useless to try to differentiate myself from 9/11," Moussaoui said. "I wanted to stand for 9/11 from the beginning. I thought I could do so and fight on against the death penalty. On purely rational grounds, it's a bit odd. ... By testifying truthfully, I will save my life. It's an act of religion."
Pressed by Zerkin on whether he thought he was helping his case, Moussaoui responded: "I was putting my trust in God, so from an Islamic point of view, yes," acknowledging that non-Muslims might view his testimony as harmful.
For the first time in four years of fighting to represent himself or get a Muslim lawyer, he finally explained the defense he wanted to put on. With U.S. troops engaged around the world, Moussaoui said, a life sentence would make him available "as a bargaining chip they could exchange for U.S. troops" held prisoner.
"This would work with even the most vengeful juror," Moussaoui said. "Put him in jail and one day he could save an American life."
He told Spencer he's dreamed that President Bush will do this before leaving office in 2009. Spencer asked if that wasn't just propaganda. Moussaoui replied: "No, I believe it."
Moussaoui said the vision came to him just like his dream of flying a plane into the White House.
Moussaoui also pointed out that an al-Qaida conspirator in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa avoided the death penalty when jurors decided life in prison would be worse than execution, which would reward him with martyrdom. As it happens, the court-appointed lawyers Moussaoui despises have adopted that argument.
Zerkin got Moussaoui to acknowledge lying in court documents he filed while acting for 18 months as his own attorney and that he told the court a year ago when he pleaded guilty that he had no role in 9/11. Moussaoui wrote those off as "psychological warfare and propaganda."
Defense lawyers claim Moussaoui is lying about his role in Sept. 11 in hope of achieving martyrdom through execution. They have subpoenaed would-be shoe bomber Richard Reid from a federal prison to ask him whether he was to be second-in-command of Moussaoui's hijack crew on 9/11 as Moussaoui testified.
Perhaps anticipating that Reid might not confirm his account, Moussaoui testified that Reid "doesn't know anything. They told me not to say anything to him. When appropriate, they will tell him."
He also argued that he could not get a fair trial so close to the Pentagon and criticized his lawyers for not trying to move the case to Colorado as he tried to do when he represented himself. Moussaoui asserted they preferred the fame that comes from handling a high-profile trial.
The only person charged in this country in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks, Moussaoui already has been found eligible for execution by the jury. Even though he was in jail in Minnesota at the time of the attacks, the jury ruled that lies he told federal agents a month before the attacks kept them from identifying and stopping some of the hijackers.
The trial resumes Monday.
Associated Press writer Matthew Barakat contributed to this report.
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