Kudos to Federal Judge Leonie Brinkema, for cutting off Zacarias Moussaoui's last rhetorical blast this morning. As expected, the convicted Al-Qaida conspirator tried to use his sentencing as a final forum for his jihadist propaganda. According to an AP account, the always-arrogant defendant entered the courtroom flashing a victory sign, and proclaiming "God save Osama bin Laden--you will never get him."
In response, Judge Brinkema refused to let the convicted terrorist interrupt her, and reminded him of what awaits him--an isolation cell at the Supermax Prison in Colorado:
"Mr. Moussaoui, when this proceeding is over, everyone else in this room will leave to see the sun...hear the birds...and they can associate with whomever they want. You will spend the rest of your life in a supermax prison. It's absolutely clear who won...Mr. Moussaoui, you came here to be a martyr in a great big bang of glory, but to paraphrase the poet T.S. Eliot, instead you will die with a whimper."
I'm not an attorney, nor a legal scholar, so I really can't rate Judge Brinkema's handling of the Massaoui trial. From a layman's perspective, the trial dragged on far too long (IMO), and at times, Massaoui's antics reduced the proceedings to the level of low farce. I'm not sure how Judge Brinkema rates as a federal jurist, and I don't think her comments today will be remembered as one of the great utterances from the bench. But given the circumstances--and the defendant--her remarks were entirely appropriate.