04/13/2006 12:25 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Zacarias Moussaoui -- Suicide By Cop

Zacarias Moussaoui is a demented creep who is evil incarnate. He should rot in a dark cell... be fried in an electric chair...or burn in hell.

I could care less. It doesn't matter what happens to him. What matters is what is happening to us.

It's obvious that something is terribly wrong with the ongoing trial. Moussaoui was in jail when the World Trade Center was bombed. A review of his contacts, and his personal computer records, shows that Moussaoui clearly didn't know when 9/11 was going to happen, or even what was going to happen. He wasn't the 20th hijacker. He didn't know any of the other hijackers. Didn't know Richard Reid, the shoe-bomber. He clearly wasn't part of any conspiracy having to do with the 9/11 bombers.

The evidence against him is based on his own grandiose, and obviously false, testimony. He is trying to become something in death that he never was in real life -- a martyr. Real Al Qaeda honchos barely knew him, didn't trust him, called him "an unreliable hanger-on" and thought he was crazy.

By trying to get the death penalty served on him, he is hoping to become a Muslin martyr and go straight into the arms of all those 70 virgins who are waiting for him in the after life.

We should not let him have his way. Put him in a dark hole for the next seventy years, on whatever legitimate charge we have against him, and there are plenty.

But the present legal proceedings are a grotesque farce driven by American thirst for public revenge. As a NYT Op Ed piece pointed out earlier this week, Moussaoui is a poor stand-in for Osama bin Laden, who continues to taunt us from afar. We should be ruthless against real terrorists, but we should not lower ourselves to their level. We are better than that. We don't have to make up stuff about Moussaoui. This carnival of a trial against someone who is so obviously insane cheapens and demeans our whole judicial system and the rule of law.

When a spectacular crime occurs, as cops and DAs well know, the crazies come out of the woodwork by the dozens to confess. Good cops deal with this crap all the time and know how to separate the paranoid from the real culprits.

There is a well-known phenomenon called "Suicide By Cop" in which a crazy person deliberately taunt cops with a fake, unloaded, or loaded gun, begging to be shot to death. It happens hundreds of times a year. The victims are apparently looking for a "manly" or "macho" way to die, according to a study by Clint Van Zandt who has studied this for the FBI. Others point out that by forcing the police to kill them, victims avoid the stigma and social, perhaps religious, taboos associated with suicide. One study in Los Angeles found that over a ten-year period 43 killings met the definition of Suicide By Cop.

"It's an officer's worst nightmare," said Van Zandt, who suffered through an incident 26 years ago, which obsesses him to this day. The Moussaoui trial will haunt the American judicial system for decades to come. History will never forgive us, and we will never forgive ourselves, for this bloodthirsty parody of a trial in which the main evidence we have is the unsubstantiated word of a delusional man who is saying everything he can to get himself killed.