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Moussaoui says he was to hijack 5th plane
AP on Yahoo ^ | 3/27/06 | Matthew Barakat - ap

Posted on 03/27/2006 10:02:54 AM PST by NormsRevenge

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) -- Al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui testified Monday that he and would-be shoe bomber Richard Reid were supposed to hijack a fifth airplane on Sept. 11, 2001, and fly it into the White House.

Moussaoui's testimony on his own behalf stunned the courtroom as he disclosed details he had never revealed before. It was in stark contrast to Moussaoui's previous statements in which he said the White House attack was to come later if the United States refused to release a radical Egyptian sheik imprisoned on earlier terrorist convictions.

Moussaoui testified Monday he lied to investigators when arrested in August 2001 because he wanted to let the attacks of Sept. 11 go forward.

"Yes, you can say that," Moussaoui said when the prosecution asked if that was why he misled them. The statement was key to the government's case that the attacks might have been averted if Moussaoui had been more cooperative following his arrest.

He told the court he knew the attacks were coming some time after August 2001 and bought a radio so he could hear them unfold.

Specifically, he said he knew the World Trade Center was going to be attacked, but asserted he was not part of the plot and didn't know the details.

Taking the stand in his own defense in his death-penalty trial, Moussaoui said he declined to become a suicide pilot in some future attack when asked by a senior al-Qaida official in 1999.

Nineteen men pulled off the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York in Washington in the worst act of terrorism ever on U.S. soil.

"I had knowledge that the Twin Towers would be hit," Moussaoui said. "I didn't know the details of this."

Asked by his lawyer why he signed his guilty plea in April as "the 20th hijacker," Moussaoui replied: "Because everybody used to refer to me as the 20th hijacker and it was a bit of fun."

Moussaoui testified calmly in his death penalty trial, but against his lawyers' wishes.

Before he took the stand, his lawyers made a last attempt to stop him from testifying, but failed. Defense attorney Gerald Zerkin argued that his client would not be a competent witness because he has contempt for the court, only recognizes Islamic law and therefore "the affirmation he undertakes would be meaningless."

Asked by Zerkin if he was supposed to be one of the men who would pilot a plane on 9/11, he said no, adding: "I'm sorry, I don't know about the number of planes but I was not the fifth (pilot) hijacker."

The 19 terrorists on Sept. 11 hijacked and crashed four airliners, killing nearly 3,000 people in the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and on the planes.

About his guilty plea, he said: "I took a pen. I signed it."

He said talked with an al-Qaida official in 1999 about why a 1993 bombing at the World Trade Center failed to bring the towers down. He said "was asked in the same period for the first time if I want to be a suicide pilot and I declined."

Yet, he said he was taking flight training for a separate attack on the White House, when he was arrested in August 2001 on immigration charges. He was vague on whether this attack was to have been after Sept. 11 or on it.

"I know it was something going on," he said in French-accented English. "We don't do single operation. We do multiple strikes."

He told the court it was "difficult to say" whether he was involved in the planning for 9/11. At some point, he said, he received training on what to do if at the controls of a hijacked plane if a fighter aircraft approached.

Just before Moussaoui took the stand, the court heard testimony that two months before the attacks that a CIA deputy chief waited in vain for permission to tell the FBI about a "very high interest" al-Qaida operative who became one of the hijackers.

The official, a senior figure in the CIA's Osama bin Laden unit, said he sought authorization on July 13, 2001, to send information to the FBI but got no response for 10 days, then asked again.

As it turned out, the information on Khalid al-Mihdhar did not reach the FBI until late August. At the time, CIA officers needed permission from a special unit before passing certain intelligence on to the FBI.

The official was identified only as John. His written testimony was read into the record.

"John's" testimony was part of the defense's case that federal authorities missed multiple opportunities to catch hijackers and perhaps thwart the 9/11 plot.

His testimony included an e-mail sent by FBI supervisor Michael Maltbie discussing Moussaoui but playing down his terrorist connections. Maltbie's e-mail said "there's no indication that (Moussaoui) had plans for any nefarious activity."

He sent that e-mail to the CIA even after receiving a lengthy memo from the FBI agent who arrested Moussaoui and suspected him of being a terrorist with plans to hijack aircraft.

Former FBI agent Erik Rigler, the first defense witness, was questioned about a Justice Department report that he said criticized the CIA for keeping intelligence about two known al-Qaida terrorist operatives in the United States from the FBI for more than a year.

Under cross-examination from the prosecution, he acknowledged the report did not link the pair specifically to a civil aviation plot. But he said the report's thrust was about their preparations for what turned out to be the 9/11 attacks, and their ability to elude federal agents.

"That's why they came here," he said. "They didn't come for Disney."

The two were among the 19 suicide hijackers on 9/11. The report said they had been placed on a watch list in Thailand in January 2000, but not on a U.S. list until August 2001.

Prosecutors argue that Moussaoui, a French citizen, thwarted a prime opportunity to track down the 9/11 hijackers and possibly unravel the plot when he was arrested in August 2001 on immigration violations and lied to the FBI about his al-Qaida membership and plans to hijack a plane.

Had Moussaoui confessed, the FBI could have pursued leads that would have led them to most of the hijackers, government witnesses have testified.

To win the death penalty, prosecutors must first prove that Moussaoui's actions - specifically, his lies - were directly responsible for at least one death on Sept. 11.

If they fail, Moussaoui would get life in prison.

Moussaoui pleaded guilty in April to conspiring with al-Qaida to hijack planes and other crimes, but he has denied any role in 9/11. He says he was training for a possible future attack on the White House.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 199202; 1993; 1993wtcbombing; 1999; 200001; 200107; 20010713; 20010723; 200108; 20010911; 20thhijacker; 5th; 5thplane; 911; 911hijackers; airlinesecurity; almidhar; almihdhar; alqaeda; alqaida; assassinationplots; binladenunit; erikrigler; fifthplane; finsburypark; foreknowledge; foreshadowing; gorelickwall; hijack; hijacker; hijackers; john; khalidalmihdhar; maltbie; maltbieemail; michaelmaltbie; midhar; mihdhar; moussaoui; neededwaterboarding; plane; reid; richardreid; rigler; shoebomber; thailand; thewall; twintowers; wall; whitehouse; whitehouseplot; whitehouseplots; worldtradecenter; wtc; zacariasmoussaoui; zachariasmoussaoui
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1 posted on 03/27/2006 10:02:58 AM PST by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge

Get a rope.


2 posted on 03/27/2006 10:03:59 AM PST by Tinman93
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To: NormsRevenge
And the deomcrats don't want us listening in on Al Queda phone calls......

String him up on the fence in front of the white house and leave him there till he rots....

3 posted on 03/27/2006 10:04:52 AM PST by b4its2late (There are good terrorists.............. DEAD ONES.)
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To: Tinman93

Yup.


4 posted on 03/27/2006 10:05:00 AM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Monthly Donor spoken Here. Go to ... https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: NormsRevenge

The floor should just open underneath his seat and he should fall into an inferno. Every courtroom should operate this way, actually. Convicted, die.


5 posted on 03/27/2006 10:08:18 AM PST by jw777
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To: NormsRevenge
"Al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui testified Monday that he and would-be shoe bomber Richard Reid were supposed to hijack a fifth airplane on Sept. 11, 2001, and fly it into the White House."

Bull. bin Laden would never have given the green light on a two-person mid-air takeover.
6 posted on 03/27/2006 10:08:42 AM PST by jdm
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To: NormsRevenge
He said talked with an al-Qaida official in 1999 about why a 1993 bombing at the World Trade Center failed to bring the towers down. He said "was asked in the same period for the first time if I want to be a suicide pilot and I declined

Hey Group! Is this the first media admission that the 93 WTC bombing has AlQaeda connections??? Who was president then, IIRC... And what did he do about it?"


7 posted on 03/27/2006 10:09:14 AM PST by epluribus_2
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To: jdm

I agree. I would guess he's naming Reid because we already know who he is.


8 posted on 03/27/2006 10:09:34 AM PST by cgk (I don't see myself as a conservative. I see myself as a religious, right-wing, wacko extremist.)
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To: NormsRevenge
Meanwhile , at the Old Bailey..

The Statue of Justice is seen on top of the Old Bailey, August 12, 2005. Seven Britons went on trial on Tuesday charged with plotting to carry out bomb attacks in the country's biggest anti-terrorism court case since the September 11 attacks on the United States. REUTERS/Russell Boyce

9 posted on 03/27/2006 10:09:46 AM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Monthly Donor spoken Here. Go to ... https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: NormsRevenge

"Defense attorney Gerald Zerkin argued that his client would not be a competent witness because he has contempt for the court, only recognizes Islamic law and therefore "the affirmation he undertakes would be meaningless." "

Hmm, wonder if this has been an issue with witnesses and suspects before?


10 posted on 03/27/2006 10:10:01 AM PST by DBrow
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To: NormsRevenge
Just before Moussaoui took the stand, the court heard testimony that two months before the attacks that a CIA deputy chief waited in vain for permission to tell the FBI about a "very high interest" al-Qaida operative who became one of the hijackers.

Gorelick, Reno, Clinton...anyone?

11 posted on 03/27/2006 10:10:05 AM PST by ScaniaBoy (Part of the Right Wing Research & Attack Machine)
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To: epluribus_2

Is the mirror starting to crack?


12 posted on 03/27/2006 10:11:33 AM PST by ScaniaBoy (Part of the Right Wing Research & Attack Machine)
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To: NormsRevenge
But, but, the Imams told us the Joos were behind the attacks.
13 posted on 03/27/2006 10:11:41 AM PST by BigBobber
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To: NormsRevenge

Dam ...there goes Charlie Sheen's theory


14 posted on 03/27/2006 10:12:37 AM PST by woofie
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To: ovrtaxt; Peach; backhoe

PING the rest of the group!


15 posted on 03/27/2006 10:12:55 AM PST by ScaniaBoy (Part of the Right Wing Research & Attack Machine)
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To: epluribus_2
What did he do? He tried for hours to make it sound like a transformer fire! It was only after pictures came out of the huge hole in the parking structure that the WH grudgingly admitted that it may be "a criminal act", never mentioning a terrorist strike.

To this day many MSM reporters refer to 9/11 as "the first terrorist attack on our nation", so effective was the disinformation 'way back then.

As to who, that was in the days of the First Copresidency.
16 posted on 03/27/2006 10:13:15 AM PST by DBrow
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To: woofie

The 'sheen' is off the Sheen .. Part Deux


17 posted on 03/27/2006 10:13:36 AM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Monthly Donor spoken Here. Go to ... https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: NormsRevenge

"Defense attorney Gerald Zerkin argued that his client would not be a competent witness because he has contempt for the court, only recognizes Islamic law and therefore "the affirmation he undertakes would be meaningless." "

Wonder if this has ever been taken into account when putting Islamic people under oath?


18 posted on 03/27/2006 10:14:29 AM PST by DBrow
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To: jdm
Bull. bin Laden would never have given the green light on a two-person mid-air takeover.

Or there are 2-3 muscle hijackers who never got caught.

19 posted on 03/27/2006 10:14:36 AM PST by finnman69 (cum puella incedit minore medio corpore sub quo manifestu s globus, inflammare animos)
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To: NormsRevenge
Asked by Zerkin if he was supposed to be one of the men who would pilot a plane on 9/11, he said no, adding: "I'm sorry, I don't know about the number of planes but I was not the fifth (pilot) hijacker."

Conflicts with article title/first paragraphs.. what up?

He's playing with the court and judicial process, just finish this and let justice begin being served, as there will never be true justice for what Al Qaida has wrought until they are all removed from existence.

20 posted on 03/27/2006 10:15:36 AM PST by Cliff Dweller (No such thing as a threat... just targets)
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To: finnman69

You are thinking. There are more out there and we need to find them.


21 posted on 03/27/2006 10:15:39 AM PST by bmwcyle (We got permits, yes we DO! We got permits, how 'bout YOU?;))
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To: ScaniaBoy

been cracked. Just far too many people's eye's have been closed to see it.


22 posted on 03/27/2006 10:15:55 AM PST by epluribus_2
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To: woofie

We still have no way of knowing if he's telling anything even resembling the truth. My guess is he gets some (much?) pleasure out of stringing us along.


23 posted on 03/27/2006 10:16:32 AM PST by GW and Twins Pawpaw (Sheepdog for Five [My grandkids are way more important than any lefty's feelings!])
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To: NormsRevenge
To win the death penalty, prosecutors must first prove that Moussaoui's actions - specifically, his lies - were directly responsible for at least one death on Sept. 11.

Done!

24 posted on 03/27/2006 10:17:18 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Islam Factoid:After forcing young girls to watch his men execute their fathers, Muhammad raped them.)
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To: NormsRevenge

This is a tough call. Charlie Sheen says the CIA did it all like some kind of movies "special effects" deal and then this guy says muslims did it. OK - I've decided - I'd sooner believe a muslim terrorist than a Hollywood actor.


25 posted on 03/27/2006 10:17:44 AM PST by Emmett McCarthy
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To: NormsRevenge
Dunno if this pic will work or not, but give him the to old Sparky:


26 posted on 03/27/2006 10:17:53 AM PST by ABG(anybody but Gore) (If Liberals had as much passion for our troops as they did for Tookie, the war would be over...)
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To: jdm

Who says there were only two? He's not about to give up names of people that are not already in custody.


27 posted on 03/27/2006 10:18:26 AM PST by Ingtar (Understanding is a three-edged sword : your side, my side, and the truth in between ." -- Kosh)
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To: jdm
Didn't Bin Laden say that the terrorist didn't know what they were doing on their mission, just that they would be martyrs?
28 posted on 03/27/2006 10:18:52 AM PST by do the dhue (I hope y'all will help bail me out of jail after I dot Puss Fiengold's eyes.)
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To: Ingtar

Or still on the run in Iraq...


29 posted on 03/27/2006 10:18:57 AM PST by epluribus_2
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Comment #30 Removed by Moderator

To: bmwcyle
You are thinking. There are more out there and we need to find them.

That's why it is sooo stupid to destroy a data base containing a couple of tera bytes. Remember Able Danger?

31 posted on 03/27/2006 10:19:30 AM PST by ScaniaBoy (Part of the Right Wing Research & Attack Machine)
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To: do the dhue

The leader of each cell knew. Just their non-pilot thugs were left with the big surprise.


32 posted on 03/27/2006 10:19:44 AM PST by epluribus_2
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To: jdm
Bull. bin Laden would never have given the green light on a two-person mid-air takeover.

That may have been exactly why there weren't 5 planes on 9/11. Hijackers are a finite resource, and complex acts of terrorism like this are very delicate things. As much as they may have liked five planes, they may not have been able to flesh out five full crews. Since plots like this don't keep forever, at some point you have to pull the trigger or risk seeing the whole operation rolled up.

33 posted on 03/27/2006 10:19:44 AM PST by Steel Wolf (- Islam will never survive being laughed at. -)
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To: NormsRevenge
The report said they had been placed on a watch list in Thailand in January 2000, but not on a U.S. list until August 2001.

Aside from the debate over whether or not it would be legal to search the laptop, this was perhaps the saddest part of the 911 Commission Report. The pair came to the US in March 2000 but nothing happened...
34 posted on 03/27/2006 10:19:47 AM PST by P-40 (http://www.590klbj.com/forum/index.php?referrerid=1854)
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To: BigBobber
But, but, the Imams told us the Joos were behind the attacks.

And Charlie Sheen says we blew up our own buildings. This guy's testimony is messing up the 911 conspiracy stories. I guess he did not receive the memo.

35 posted on 03/27/2006 10:19:51 AM PST by Route66 (America's Main Street)
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To: P-40

About time to apply a much needed Service Pack 1A to the now obsolete 911 Commission Report...


36 posted on 03/27/2006 10:21:23 AM PST by epluribus_2
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To: Tinman93
Get a rope.

Too good for him. We'll build a very tall tower. Put him in a little "cab" at the top, and fly a drone fully loaded with fuel into the cab.

37 posted on 03/27/2006 10:22:04 AM PST by El Gato
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To: BigBobber

"... but... but... but it was Karl Rove and those darned wascally Jews, I tell you! KARL ROVE and DA JOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOS -- !!!"

38 posted on 03/27/2006 10:22:39 AM PST by KentTrappedInLiberalSeattle ("It'sTime for Republicans to Start Toeing the Conservative Line, NOT the Other Way Around!")
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To: NormsRevenge

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1604007/posts Stark contrast to this little bit of selective reporting


39 posted on 03/27/2006 10:23:06 AM PST by satchmodog9 (Most people stand on the tracks and never even hear the train coming)
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To: NormsRevenge
To win the death penalty, prosecutors must first prove that Moussaoui's actions - specifically, his lies - were directly responsible for at least one death on Sept. 11

SURVEY SAYS

DING DING DING!

That's right! "Moussaoui dimes himself out" is the #1 answer!

40 posted on 03/27/2006 10:23:29 AM PST by Steel Wolf (- Islam will never survive being laughed at. -)
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To: NormsRevenge

Fry him in bacon grease!


41 posted on 03/27/2006 10:23:42 AM PST by CatoRenasci (Ceterum Censeo Arabiam Esse Delendam -- Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit)
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To: ScaniaBoy
We had to cover too many Washington, overpaid, government employees, that want to make the next GS level. It is a true shame but this is the reason Able Danger cover-up happened.
42 posted on 03/27/2006 10:24:03 AM PST by bmwcyle (We got permits, yes we DO! We got permits, how 'bout YOU?;))
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To: satchmodog9

I just saw that, Thanks, hmmmm.


43 posted on 03/27/2006 10:24:03 AM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Monthly Donor spoken Here. Go to ... https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: jdm
Bull. bin Laden would never have given the green light on a two-person mid-air takeover.

He didn't say it was only the two of them. I tend to think it's bull as well, but for different reasons. He ID'd Reid, because we've already got him. He didn't ID anyone else that isn't already dead, or in custody. His accomplices, if any, are still out there.

44 posted on 03/27/2006 10:24:54 AM PST by El Gato
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To: El Gato
Get a rope.

Too good for him. We'll build a very tall tower. Put him in a little "cab" at the top, and fly a drone fully loaded with fuel into the cab.

Actually, I'd be more in favor of rebuilding the World Trade Center, then pushing him off the roof.

45 posted on 03/27/2006 10:25:30 AM PST by Steel Wolf (- Islam will never survive being laughed at. -)
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To: jdm

Which means
(a) he is a nutcase
(b) he had a couple more partners we haven't caught yet
(c) both a and b

My money is on (a). It doesn't seem like he is stable enough to have gotten too far in the planning process with partners.


46 posted on 03/27/2006 10:25:34 AM PST by Gil4 (This tagline for rent - cheap!)
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To: NormsRevenge
Seven Britons went on trial on Tuesday charged with plotting to carry out bomb attacks in the country's biggest anti-terrorism court case since the September 11 attacks on the United States.

Actually, I doubt a single BRITON was involved at all. Arab and Pakis living in Briton? Yes. But they aren't Britons anymore than Mohammad Atta was an American from living in Florida.

47 posted on 03/27/2006 10:26:18 AM PST by Hermann the Cherusker
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To: NormsRevenge; All
Moussaoui testified calmly in his death penalty trial, but against his lawyers' wishes.

All you need to know about "lawyer ethics".

48 posted on 03/27/2006 10:26:50 AM PST by aculeus (Pinch Sulzberger is the Inspector Clouseau of newspaper publishing.)
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Comment #49 Removed by Moderator

To: b4its2late

"String him up on the fence in front of the white house and leave him there till he rots...."

Nope. Handcuff him to a lightpost in Central Park, NYC. The locals will take care of the rest.


50 posted on 03/27/2006 10:27:59 AM PST by FreeInWV
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