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Crash, the real-life version
March 15, 2006 12:54 AM   Subscribe

I was waiting for the D train to take me up to Lehman College in the Bronx on Saturday evening... A short and bittersweet encounter that could only happen in New York.
posted by invisible ink (63 comments total)

 
Wow.
posted by loquacious at 1:27 AM on March 15, 2006


Whether or not anyone will ever prove that naughty but cuddly Zack was to be involved in the 9-11 attacks, it doesn't matter. He's plead guilty to four offenses that make him eligible for the death penalty.
posted by shoos at 1:34 AM on March 15, 2006


That was one of the most irritating little blog entries I've ever read
posted by shoos at 1:35 AM on March 15, 2006


No, I'm the mother of Zacarias Moussaoui.
posted by cillit bang at 1:40 AM on March 15, 2006


One of the comments nails it: heartwarming and chilling both. I hope we hear more about the two mothers' relationship; this is just a tantalizing snippet.

shoos: He's plead guilty to four offenses that make him eligible for the death penalty.

Not according to the judge in the Guardian story she links:

...government prosecutors have argued that his failure to tip off federal investigators about the impending attack warranted execution. However, the judge has already warned government lawyers that they are on shaky ground as she could think of no precedent in which a failure to act was punishable by death.

Anyway, Leigh's "hasn't yet been proven that he had anything to do with it" clearly contradicts "He pleaded guilty to involvement in the September 11 plot last year" in the article she links. She seems to have missed the fact that we're in the sentencing part of the proceedings.
posted by mediareport at 1:53 AM on March 15, 2006


It is always strange to me to find out that people are human and have mothers who love them no matter what. I'm a bit concerned that I have the ability to forget this until reminded.
posted by srboisvert at 2:38 AM on March 15, 2006


mediareport, it's worth pointing out that Moussaoui pled guilty to _absolutely everything_, including some very, very weak charges. That's ... unusual behavior.

It's entirely possible that he had very little to do with 9/11, other than having the wrong friends. We'll never really know, because we won't get to see any of the evidence.
posted by Malor at 3:11 AM on March 15, 2006


Apparently his mom never told him that it's not wise to crash a 747 into a building just because your friends do it.
posted by shoos at 3:37 AM on March 15, 2006


Looks like Shoos ate his Snark Flakes this morning.
posted by grabbingsand at 3:58 AM on March 15, 2006


crash a 747 into a building

Minor nit. Actually, they were smaller aircraft -- American Airlines Flight 11 was a Boeing 767; United Airlines Flight 93 -- a Boeing 757.
posted by ericb at 3:58 AM on March 15, 2006


I felt pretty bad about September 11th when it first happened. But years later, now that the incident has been used wrongly both for justifications of foreign wars and cheap emotional tugs, I can look back on the whole thing and smile. After all, a lot of New York Yankees fans died that day.
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:19 AM on March 15, 2006


Yes, the 757 and 767 should be listed alongside the 747 when recounting the list of planes Moussaoui didn't fly into buildings. However, his simulator time and flight manuals were for the larger aircraft.
posted by ryanrs at 4:26 AM on March 15, 2006


Hmm...I'm taking the D Train tonight. If I meet the moms of any terrorists who should be executed I will let you all know.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:49 AM on March 15, 2006


jesus curley i would expect that sort of comment from some in metafilter , but not you . . . damn thats dark.
posted by nola at 5:00 AM on March 15, 2006


"It could only happen in New York?" Feh.
posted by jfwlucy at 5:00 AM on March 15, 2006


"It could only happen in New York?" Feh.

How many twin towers' got hit by airplanes in your town?
posted by thanotopsis at 5:06 AM on March 15, 2006


How many twin towers' got hit by airplanes in your town?

Indeed! New York does tragedy better than anyone, man! And don't you forget it! Bhopal, you're cow town! Kobe, Japan, you can't match the sheer spectacle of New York's disaster! New Orleans, well it's not like you had good bagels or improv.

New York, man! You have to love it! Where else can you get this unique mix? Any major city on any large body of water you say? Can't be, because I'm an aspiring elitist and I specifically moved to New York!
posted by Mayor Curley at 5:16 AM on March 15, 2006


Mayor Curley, you are completely correct. But also, Boston is a second-rate, hick town.
posted by ParisParamus at 5:18 AM on March 15, 2006


Geeze, PP, that's pretty rough... we're executing terrorists' moms now?

:)
posted by Malor at 5:30 AM on March 15, 2006


But also, Boston is a second-rate, hick town.

Your mom calls it a "sexy, great dick town."
posted by Mayor Curley at 5:40 AM on March 15, 2006


Laconic and moving. Thanks for posting this.
posted by By The Grace of God at 5:59 AM on March 15, 2006


yes, dangling participles is a federal felony!
posted by ParisParamus at 6:02 AM on March 15, 2006


No, I'm the mother of Zacarias Moussaoui.

cillit bang, I think the story is plausible.

There's an Associated Press (Journal News) photo of a 9/11 mom hugging Moussaoui's mom at a recent peace meeting in NYC that's making the rounds. SearchAicha El-Wafi on Yahoo News or some other service to see the photo. (I'm not linking directly to the story, because I think it's unfair of me to link to the most convenient website that posted the same AP article that other sites did.)
posted by bugmuncher at 6:26 AM on March 15, 2006


Good post. Sorry about the assholes, but presumably you expected them.

jesus curley i would expect that sort of comment from some in metafilter , but not you

You haven't read many of his comments, have you?
posted by languagehat at 6:30 AM on March 15, 2006


Of course mothers love their children no matter what... for the most part (you know, unlike that woman that drove her kids into a lake and blame it on a "black man").

Lame post.
posted by Witty at 6:32 AM on March 15, 2006


languagehat, i'll disagree; this is essentially someone's highly biased (potentially entirely ficticious) personal blog entry. cillit bang hits the nail on the head, IMO.
posted by jonson at 6:34 AM on March 15, 2006


For some reason, my instinctual opposition to the death penalty becomes even stronger when the crime is especially heinous. In this case, I guess it's because executing Massaoui seems like such a weak parody of justice for the 9/11 victims -- it's like trying to find closure in a relationship by shooting your ex-wife's mean little dog.

I think The Onion said it best regarding another high-profile execution.
posted by xthlc at 6:35 AM on March 15, 2006


No, its not sufficient, but executing criminals is minimum decency.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:41 AM on March 15, 2006


We are all the mother of Zacarias Moussaoui in some strange way. Paris - what criminals should be executed? Murderers? Rapists? What is the level of crime at which you feel the death penalty is justified?
posted by longbaugh at 6:59 AM on March 15, 2006


It's not a matter of being insufficient. It boils down to our country's half-assed third-grade notion of frontier justice.

"Eye for an eye" just doesn't cut it for tragedies on this scale. When something horrible and evil happens in the world, true justice involves a balancing -- not killing the killers, but making sure that their victims didn't die in vain. The real justice for the 9/11 victims would be the end of theocracy in the Middle East and the destruction of the Islamists' dream of a New Caliphate. And I'd rather bin Laden and Massaoui were alive (in a jail cell) to see that.

"Decency" is not mere reciprocity. "Decency" is an objective notion of justice that echoes our values as a society. Decency says, "The criminal may murder, but we do not. The terrorist treats human life as a poker chip in a wider philosophical struggle, but we do not. We arrest, we prosecute, and we punish those who murder and those who torture, and we work to erase the evil of their crimes from the world. But we never debase ourselves to the level of our enemies."

Capital punishment is a fundamentally broken process that tramples on our values as a society and drags us down into a moral sewer of revenge and bloodlust, and is neither just nor decent. It smacks of the medieval mob-pleasing spectacles of shar'ia punishments in Afghanistan and Iran, and is beneath us as a society. We're in a culture war; it's time we started acting like it.
posted by xthlc at 7:12 AM on March 15, 2006


You haven't read many of his comments, have you?

Can't we admit that the whole tragedy (and yes it was a horrible thing that I wish had not happened) has been more or less co-opted by bad politics and maudlin, "Only In New York" stories? Yeah, I'm cynical about it but I don't think it's my fault-- the whole incident has turned into a plot device.

The "Post-9/11 World" concept has turned into a justification for civil rights violations and maudlin creative writing stories. Previously, when I got subjected to New York stories, they were just pretentious stories about urban sadness or self-congratulatory peans to the author for living in a place so unique. Now there has to be a reference to the scars of the attack.

Ever had a dog that hurt his paw, recovered beautifully and then occasionally limped for sympathy? Well, it's cute when a dog does it.
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:12 AM on March 15, 2006


Whilst I don't want to get close to the rhetoric of other comments here, I find the "could only happen in New York" part of the post irritating in the extreme. Yes New York is a great city but please, for the love of God, get the fuck over yourselves! There rant over. I feel better now.
posted by ob at 7:22 AM on March 15, 2006


That's a subjective bit of justice there xthlc, how about some justice where the US got itself out of interfering in the Middle East altogether? How about some justice relating to increased taxation on flying, which would disincentivise future terrorist attacks and be good for the environment? Mmm, justice to serve one's own political ends: easy and fun.
posted by biffa at 7:24 AM on March 15, 2006


Not impressed by this.... at all.

The story could have been a fascinating "wierd coincidence that could only happen in New York" story, had it not been for the author's heavy-handed moralizing at the end.

However, I don't agree with the death penalty, and never will. This isn't because of any sort of overwhelming "mercy" for murderers. I simply think that it is immoral to kill people, and have never been swayed by the typical "eye for an eye" arguments.
posted by Afroblanco at 7:30 AM on March 15, 2006


Mmm, justice to serve one's own political ends: easy and fun.

Many things could be said about "end of theocracy in the Middle East and the destruction of the Islamists' dream of a New Caliphate" but the task being "easy and fun" is not one of them.
posted by lalochezia at 7:33 AM on March 15, 2006


That's a subjective bit of justice there xthlc, how about some justice where the US got itself out of interfering in the Middle East altogether?

That would be very nice. However, we don't have much of a choice at this point. We (and the rest of the Western world) are economically dependent on the Middle East, and the governments of many Middle Eastern countries are unapologetic supporters of those who want to murder our (and your) civilians.

We've screwed up royally in the past (and continue to screw up) in the Middle East. However, disengagement is simply not an option -- we're in it up to our necks, and our only course of action is to take an active role in making things better for the people that we've treated so poorly in the past. What remains to us is a tricky balancing act -- remove the forces that threaten the formation of peaceful, representational government while avoiding imposing that government ourselves.

Will we succeed? Not with the current dipshits in the White House, but that's all the more reason to work hard to remove them.

Mmm, justice to serve one's own political ends: easy and fun.

Trying to navigate the tricky waters where our ethics as a society meet the real world (aka "policy") is neither easy nor fun.
posted by xthlc at 7:51 AM on March 15, 2006


"What is the level of crime at which you feel the death penalty is justified?"

Murder. Although I'm in favor of the next of kin having the say as to whether capital punishment will be applicable.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:32 AM on March 15, 2006


Murder. Although I'm in favor of the next of kin having the say as to whether capital punishment will be applicable.

Dude, wouldn't it be totally awesome if the next of kin could, like kill the murderer himself? Eye for eye, dude! Bitchin'!
posted by interrobang at 8:38 AM on March 15, 2006


?!

Not funny.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:42 AM on March 15, 2006


Allegedly, this guy was supposed to fly a jet liner into a building to kill people. He would have died a "glorious" death and his "soul" would have been reclaimed for a virgin filled "paradise". Why give his "reward" so quickly? From what I've heard prison is pretty close to a living Hell. And who knows, if he receives visits from his Mum she might just tell him stories about some people she has recently met, everytime, and until she dies. I think that's a punishment, although I'm not sure if it would quench the thirst around here.
posted by gsb at 8:45 AM on March 15, 2006


Curley you are an insecure little shit with piss for blood but you ain't wrong.

I'm sorely tired of 9/11, NYC disaster machismo and we're all brothers now. Everybody still hates me in this city and I hate everybody.

Fuck Moussaoui, fuck the death penalty, fuck the D train, fuck Boston, fuck the Yankees and especially that ugly muppet Jeter, fuck disaster tourism, fuck all the rich dickheads in New York who moved here to be at the center of it all and fuck Dale Earnhart. Please, everyone stay away from NYC for ten years, perhaps the egos and the rents will go down and we can smoke weed on stoops again.
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:53 AM on March 15, 2006


I don't understand arguing the finer points of the death penalty re this case. Moussaoui didn't kill anyone.

Next we'll start having conversations as if John Kerry lost an election in 2004. Oh. Right.

I hate these conversations for being so pathologically beside the point and for shifting all rhetoric away from reality and deeply into bizzaro land.
posted by birdie birdington at 8:56 AM on March 15, 2006


I call bullshit.
posted by tkchrist at 9:17 AM on March 15, 2006


I'm with Divine_Wino. The real estate agents, developers, bankers and other carpetbagger parasite scum (the lemming like neohipsters, the soul-less fratboys and sorority sisters of the "Sex in the City/Friends"crowd), couldn't have asked for a finer gift than 911. As a matter of fact I half suspect they were behind it.

If the blog entry was illuminating. Hope it was for real.
posted by Skygazer at 9:32 AM on March 15, 2006


Yeah, since when does a confession prove anything? Even in court, it doesn't substitute for evidence of guilt, it serves as consent to be held accountable. There's a big difference. This dude has a complicated story that we're not allowed to hear and that is severely fucked up. He could be taking the fall, for all we know -- he could have made a deal wherein he pleads guilty to everything and then is set free by the CIA in a staged escape attempt.

Just one more chapter in the 9/11 saga, one more dictionary entry where there should be an encyclopedia of facts. One more rhetorical device designed to coerce consent.
posted by Embryo at 9:35 AM on March 15, 2006


bullshit or not, it demonstrates on point. healing. that's what all of you idiots calling for war forget, what all of you who decry the war forget, what our government feels we shouldn't get so they can pursue their own ends, and especially what terrorists like Osama don't WANT us to get, for FEAR that we will become stronger and more resilient. its what we have all forgotten.

no one gets that. and i haven't seen one person figure it out yet... that is, until i read this story. I don't care what the rest of you think - real story or not, the moral stands. these women began the healing process in a more profound and meaningful way than bombing the fuck-all out of the middle east could ever do.
posted by Doorstop at 9:38 AM on March 15, 2006


here's the account of the meeting, from the Journal News.
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:47 AM on March 15, 2006


So the only 9-11 one whose name he bothers to find out or to mention is the murdering scumbag.
posted by HTuttle at 11:01 AM on March 15, 2006


There is no death penalty case to be fought for here. Moussaoui is guilty of aggravated assault, possibly aggravted arson and conspiracy, as well as terrorism and some other charges I'm probably forgetting. I haven't seen any justification for death penalty in my law courses here (...yet) and I don't expect to. He's never getting out of jail, that's fo sure. I think thats all we could and SHOULD ask for.
posted by Doorstop at 11:29 AM on March 15, 2006


Fuck Moussaoui, fuck the death penalty, fuck the D train

Stigmata, stigmata, stigmata, stigmataaaa!!!
posted by GuyZero at 11:29 AM on March 15, 2006


posted by longbaugh We are all the mother of Zacarias Moussaoui in some strange way.

Sort of like when Charles Manson said he was a product of our society, no?
posted by fandango_matt at 11:30 AM on March 15, 2006


xthlc : We've screwed up royally in the past (and continue to screw up) in the Middle East. However, disengagement is simply not an option

Yeah, so you keep telling yourselves.


-- we're in it up to our necks, and our only course of action is to take an active role in making things better for the people that we've treated so poorly in the past.

It's going really well so far!
posted by Drexen at 12:14 PM on March 15, 2006


C'mon, when you find yourself in a hole, the solution is to keep digging until you see daylight at the other end!
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:16 PM on March 15, 2006


This was badly-written. Perhaps it was true, but, whatever. Although I'm not from NYC, I suspect Divine Wino is completely correct about what we should be doing here.
posted by blacklite at 12:28 PM on March 15, 2006


me: How many twin towers' got hit by airplanes in your town?

Major Curley: Indeed! New York does tragedy better than anyone, man! And don't you forget it! Bhopal, you're cow town! Kobe, Japan, you can't match the sheer spectacle of New York's disaster! New Orleans, well it's not like you had good bagels or improve.


Yea, way to completely miss the point of my comment there, MC. Since the story was about the tragedy at the Towers, then this story is specifically related to New York. Crying "feh" at the "Only in New York" comment was simply incorrect on an empirical sense, and I thought to point it out in an amused tone, as I am also a bit of a ...languagehat.
posted by thanotopsis at 1:30 PM on March 15, 2006


CNN covered this - or a similar - story (9/11 victim's mother attending church with ZM's mother) this morning.
posted by aberrant at 2:00 PM on March 15, 2006


Malor stated We'll never really know, because we won't get to see any of the evidence.

The only person who knew the truth was Will Ferrell, unfortunately he died in a paragliding accident.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 2:25 PM on March 15, 2006


This is remiscent of the post several days ago from the blogger who wrote a "letter" to her sons 12 years hence regarding sexual abuse; mediocre writing about a poignant topic that concludes with the reader being dragged front and center to a "moral lesson". It's a sure-fire recipe for revolt from anyone who feels as though critical thinking shouldn't be flushed down the toilet when they're being spoon-fed pathos.
posted by docpops at 3:10 PM on March 15, 2006


I call bullshit.

*waits for acknowledgment of error*
posted by mediareport at 3:12 PM on March 15, 2006


Curley, yer right this has been coopted by a lot of people. But the thing is, right now you're one of them. You want to sardonically express your disillusionment with government, fine. But don't fucking joke about how great it was that people died that day. To people who lived through it (and I'm one) that just makes us feel like hitting you.

Or maybe that's what you want.....
posted by lumpenprole at 5:11 PM on March 15, 2006


Yes, yes, we're all honorable hard yet sympathetic bad asses who avenge the innocent, don't exploit anyone, etc. etc.

Worth it for this: "There is no way to peace. Peace is the way"

I should tattoo that on the back of my hands.
posted by Smedleyman at 5:45 PM on March 15, 2006


fandango_matt - spot on.
posted by longbaugh at 12:56 AM on March 16, 2006


"Only in New York" sort of phrases attached to any kind of story are self-promoting, disdainful-of-flyover-people, sneering bullshit. You think drama, irony, pain, and even significant moments of historical and political meaning happen exclusively in New York? Sorry, you are way, way wrong.

Feh.
posted by jfwlucy at 3:00 PM on March 23, 2006


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