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Mousaoui's fate is worse than death

Reader comment on item: Hugging Iraq's Leaders
in response to reader comment: Hugging terrorists

Submitted by Jason (United States), May 8, 2006 at 11:25

Death is not the worst thing that can happen to a person. There are things, even in this life, that are far worse. One of them is to be isolated from the world and forgotten. Mousaoui will suffer from both.

First, he will be completely isolated from the world. Given his statements, he is now and will forever be a threat of violence. As such, the US Department of Corrections will have the power to keep him cut off from almost all human contact. In fact, they can limit his outside visitors as well. The only person Mousaoui has a right to ever meet with is his attorney, and that is the only person DoC will allow him to see. Even those visits will be strictly limited. I know someone who went through this for a year in a Jordanian jail (his imprisonment on drug charges was legitimate). Even after ten years of freedom and psychological counseling, his mental health is still questionable. Mousaoui will be in great shape after ten or fifteen years of such treatment.

More important than isolation is that he will be forgotten. He will be dead, but there will never have been a funeral. There will be no grave to visit to mourn him. HE WILL HAVE BEEN DENIED HIS CHANCE AT MArTYRDOM! He will die as a sickly, decrepit, lonely old man. If he's lucky, he will die in the prison hospital. At least there will be an orderly or nurse present with him at the end. It still won't be a great consolation or comfort, because prison hospital staff are not like most other medical personnel. Working in a prison tends to make them hard, cold, and uncaring.

On a whole, I think that this loneliness is probably the worst part of a life term. In my youth, I got to see first-hand what it does to a person. Our church started a prison outreach program in Pennsylvania. One of the things our minister fought for was the right to conduct religious outreach to the lifers. Back in those days, lifers were excluded form all such programs.

I remember one specific individual whose story was particularly pitiful. At nineteen years old, he and his younger brother had been involved in an armed-robbery-gone-bad. The brother was killed by a security guard. This guy got life under Pennsylvania's draconian felony murder rule. When I met him, he was in his mid-70's. He had been in prison for over 55 years. No one in his family had ever visited him. They say that the day he was convicted, his entire family stood up in the courtroom and turned their backs on him (they were Amish). To say that he was mentally unstable was an understatement.

The state of Pennsylvania added its own special brand of cruelty on top of everything else this guy had been through. On seven different occassions (one heath attack and six suicide attempts), prison medical personnel fought tooth-and-nail to keep him alive. Why? It's all about control. Because in prison, you don't even get to die on your own terms. As one of the guards told me then: for a lifer, death is a release, not a punishment. In prison, even the sweet release of death will only come when God intervenes directly on your behalf.

This is what lies ahead for Mr. Mousaoui. The jury did the right thing. They denied him the glory of martrydom and the release of death, and sentenced him to hell on earth.


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Reader comments (72) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
Explain Iraq's Regression [84 words]DaveAug 23, 2014 14:59217353
1The word Mesopotamia [204 words]dhimmi no moreAug 23, 2014 08:24217346
Either you fight terrorism or you pretend you do. These don't mix [108 words]Marcel ZytoJul 1, 2006 10:3748655
west underating of islam [247 words]italianMay 15, 2006 19:1445678
For Mr. Pipes: A lost cause and a lesson [unfortunately not] learned [838 words]Pro-Israeli DemocratMay 9, 2006 14:1545119
a democratic Iraq? [121 words]frank keefeMay 10, 2006 11:5445119
Suits Me [114 words]Sword of Islam & The Babies of BeslanMay 12, 2006 21:0445119
Question for Mr Daniel Pipes: Is an immediate US military pullout from Iraq advisable ? [135 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
true believerMay 5, 2006 04:1244889
Do Not Pull Out [505 words]John RMay 6, 2006 06:2544889
Mithaq missiles handed over to Sadrists!! [121 words]HarrakMay 6, 2006 11:5344889
Hugging terrorists [175 words]HarrakMay 4, 2006 17:4644866
Mousaoui's fate is worse than death [585 words]JasonMay 8, 2006 11:2544866
France should pay for its citizens [112 words]HarrakMay 8, 2006 19:4644866
re: jason's thoughts on mousaoui [147 words]snakeMay 9, 2006 00:2944866
Put him in jail and keep him there [318 words]Octavio JohansonMay 9, 2006 05:2344866
Hell on Earth [160 words]SeedeaterMay 17, 2006 11:0544866
Nod DoC [15 words]john cookJun 21, 2006 11:4644866
HUGGING IRAQ'S LEADES. [76 words]samMay 4, 2006 13:4744857
Lebanon refuses to allow Taiwan president plane land in Beitut! a Chinese influence [90 words]HarrakMay 4, 2006 12:0744855
more of the same [102 words]Carmen Waggoner, Ph.D.May 4, 2006 08:3244846
A Bunch of Bafflegab [134 words]RichieMay 3, 2006 22:4144828
It would aid the Iraqi government if Bush pretends to be very angry at them [42 words]Brian LuedkeMay 3, 2006 19:2244820
More on "hugs"... [141 words]J.S.May 3, 2006 15:2944808
Get a backbone! [311 words]JustMeMay 3, 2006 13:4344799
Bravo! [65 words]twoheroesMay 4, 2006 00:1444799
Give the Iraqi people a chance to decide [325 words]JasonMay 3, 2006 10:2544791
Not that simple [206 words]PatMay 4, 2006 11:5944791
1The Iraqi people would be sending their government, and themselves, a powerful message [128 words]JasonMay 8, 2006 11:3644791
Wouldn't this be the fourth vote? [161 words]PatMay 8, 2006 16:3244791
Not a very pleasant sight [68 words]PhillipMay 3, 2006 08:4544788
Playing to win. [76 words]Robert LynnMay 3, 2006 01:0844774
ok, don't hug iraqi leaders, but don't ditch them either [90 words]jaleecMay 3, 2006 00:4544773
The notion of a victory in ditching the impossible [400 words]Yuval Brandstetter MDMay 3, 2006 10:0644773
A brief note... [105 words]J.S.May 4, 2006 18:4444773
huggin' the iraqis [125 words]robert fusfeldMay 2, 2006 19:3544767
Hugging [54 words]Donald W. BalesMay 2, 2006 19:0144764
Hugs Hugs and more Hugs [143 words]renchMay 2, 2006 17:0744762
You write a great deal about Israels position, what position is the US in ? [51 words]narmerMay 2, 2006 16:2644759
1Understanding the USA conflict of interest with China and Russia [239 words]HarrakMay 3, 2006 11:3044759
Money Makes Their World Turn [145 words]Sword of Islam & The Babies of BeslanMay 3, 2006 16:3144759
positive! what have you.. [201 words]HarrakMay 2, 2006 16:0444756
Back-Off Time [52 words]Lee D. CaryMay 2, 2006 15:5444754
Hugging the enemy, [228 words]kim segarMay 2, 2006 13:5444747
Are we coming or going? [427 words]PatMay 2, 2006 12:4744745
Suggest You Join, John R.... [84 words]Dr. Lee D. CaryMay 2, 2006 16:0444745
Lots of work for Muslims to do [160 words]PatMay 3, 2006 12:2244745
Indifference Kills [309 words]Lee D. CaryMay 3, 2006 16:1044745
Ungrateful Iraqis nonsense again, huh? [151 words]AmirMay 3, 2006 23:3744745
Selfish Reasons? [214 words]PatMay 4, 2006 16:2844745
Muslims have to stand up and be counted. [598 words]PatMay 4, 2006 17:4544745
Not indifferent after all [387 words]Lee D. CaryMay 5, 2006 17:0744745
You're Right, Amir [247 words]Lee D CaryMay 5, 2006 17:3244745
Going nuclear entails responsibility [218 words]PatMay 5, 2006 19:3244745
Amir lives in the West for selfish reasons [32 words]Octavio JohansonMay 6, 2006 08:5744745
I'm glad [10 words]LD CaryMay 6, 2006 09:4544745
islamic education and honesty [93 words]G.BisvasMay 8, 2006 07:3844745
inability to read the Arab mind [130 words]Yuval Brandstetter MDMay 2, 2006 12:4544744
Intelligence level of US admn. [50 words]G. BisvasMay 2, 2006 12:4344743
Brilliant ad hominem argument [1 words]Lee D. CaryMay 2, 2006 16:0944743
Brilliant ad hominem argument - how? [193 words]G.BisvasMay 3, 2006 04:2844743
Ad hominem Again [274 words]Lee D. CaryMay 3, 2006 15:5044743
Bisvas Knows All [141 words]InfidelMay 3, 2006 16:4944743
re:Mr. Bisvas [354 words]true believerMay 4, 2006 06:4944743
Knows a lot [129 words]G.BisvasMay 5, 2006 05:1144743
True Correction for True Believer [32 words]Lee D CaryMay 5, 2006 17:4044743
The Ad Verecundiam Shift [70 words]LD CaryMay 5, 2006 19:0844743
various types of intelligences [117 words]G.BisvasMay 6, 2006 04:3644743
re: True correction for true believer [14 words]true believerMay 10, 2006 08:1844743
Restraint in Iraq [167 words]Dan WeilMay 2, 2006 12:3544742
Deal with what is feeding the down-side [98 words]David W. LincolnMay 2, 2006 12:2944741
Either smash them or get out [88 words]William Sumner Scott, J.D.May 2, 2006 12:0244740
Thanks [92 words]MarkMay 2, 2006 11:5444737

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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