Zacarias Moussaoui's Water Play


Speaking of paranoid schizophrenics, the Zacarias Moussaoui trial seems to be ending the way it started, with claims that he is mentally ill because he is "delusional" (believing the FBI tracked him through a device embedded in an electric fan) and "grandiose" (predicting he will be released as part of a prisoner exchange). You may recall that the defense attorneys Moussaoui did not want unsuccessfully argued that he was incompetent to represent himself, a claim he vehemently rejected (which was further proof of his insanity). Moussaoui's grandiosity, including his sudden recollection that he was supposed to have taken part in the 9/11 attacks after all, is undeniable, and it dovetails with the government's desire to inflate his significance, despite contradictory testimony from leaders of Al Qaeda. Even the story of the GPS-ready fan helps the government by making the FBI look more competent than it really was. Still, the prosecution is basically right that one man's paranoid schizophrenic is another's Muslim fanatic. Moussaoui's open contempt for the victims of 9/11 and their relatives is harder to fathom than the water he reportedly spat at a visiting psychologist, but it's the product of an evil ideology, not a brain disease.