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Richard Reid, the "Shoe Bomber," sentenced

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  • Richard Reid, the "Shoe Bomber," sentenced

    I looked for an existing thread to post this but gave up: 8 pages of hits when I search on "shoe bomber."

    Anyway, you guys remember Richard Reid, the so-called "Shoe Bomber?" Caught trying to light his shoe on an American Airlines flight. Well, his trial was over and he was sentenced in 2003. I don't recall seeing anything about it in the media (for reasons that escape me at the moment), but I thought you might be interested in the comments made by the sentencing judge, Judge William Young of the US District Court:

    I've also already checked this on SNOPES.COM, if you're interested: It is accurately attributed.

    Prior to sentencing, the Judge asked the defendant if he had anything to say. This was his statement:

    I start by praising Allah because life today is no good. I bear witness to this and he alone is right to be worshiped. And I bear witness that Muhammad Sa'laat Alayhi as-Salaam is his last prophet and messenger who is sent to all of mankind for guidance, with the sound guidance for everyone.

    Concerning what the Court said? I admit, I admit my actions and I further, I further state that I done them.

    I further admit my allegiance to Osama bin Laden, to Islam, and to the religion of Allah. With regards to what you said about killing innocent people, I will say one thing. Your government has killed 2 million children in Iraq. If you want to think about something, against 2 million, I don't see no comparison.

    Your government has sponsored the rape and torture of Muslims in the prisons of Egypt and Turkey and Syria and Jordan with their money and with their weapons. I don't know, see what I done as being equal to rape and to torture, or to the deaths of the two million children in Iraq.

    So, for this reason, I think I ought not apologize for my actions. I am at war with your country. I'm at war with them not for personal reasons but because they have murdered more than, so many children and they have oppressed my religion and they have oppressed people for no reason except that they say we believe in Allah.

    This is the only reason that America sponsors Egypt. It's the only reason they sponsor Turkey. It's the only reason they back Israel.

    As far as the sentence is concerned, it's in your hand. Only really it is not even in your hand. It's in Allah's hand. I put my trust in Allah totally and I know that he will give victory to his religion. And he will give victory to those who believe and he will destroy those who wish to oppress the people because they believe in Allah.

    So you can judge and I leave you to judge. And I don't mind. This is all I have to say. And I bear witness to Muhammad this is Allah's message.
    Judge Young then delivered the following statement:

    "Mr. Richard C. Reid, hearken now to the sentence the Court imposes upon you.

    On counts 1, 5 and 6 the Court sentences you to life in prison in the custody of the United States Attorney General. On counts 2, 3, 4 and 7, the Court sentences you to 20 years in prison on each count, the sentence on each count to run consecutively. (That's 80 years.)

    On count 8 the Court sentences you to the mandatory 30 years, again to be served consecutively to the 80 years just imposed. The Court imposes upon you for each of the eight counts a fine of $250,000, that's an aggregate fine of $2 million. The Court accepts the government's recommendation with respect to restitution and orders restitution in the amount of $298.17 to Andre Bousquet and $5,784 to American Airlines.

    The Court imposes upon you an $800 special assessment. The Court imposes upon you, five years supervised release simply because the law requires it. But the life sentences are real life sentences so I need go no further.

    This is the sentence that is provided for by our statutes. It is a fair and just sentence. It is a righteous sentence.

    Now, let me explain this to you. We are not afraid of you or any of your terrorist co-conspirators, Mr. Reid. We are Americans. We have been through the fire before. There is too much war talk here and I say that to everyone with the utmost respect. Here in this court, we deal with individuals as individuals and care for individuals as individuals. As human beings, we reach out for justice.

    You are not an enemy combatant. You are a terrorist. You are not a soldier in any war. You are a terrorist. To give you that reference, to call you a soldier, gives you far too much stature. Whether the officers of government do it, or your attorney does it, or if you think you are a soldier, you are not-----, you are a terrorist. And we do not negotiate with terrorists. We do not meet with terrorists. We do not sign documents with terrorists. We hunt them down one by one and bring them to justice.

    So war talk is way out of line in this court. You are a big fellow. But you are not that big. You're no warrior. I've known warriors. You are a terrorist. A species of criminal that is guilty of multiple attempted murders. In a very real sense, State Trooper Santiago had it right when you first were taken off that plane and into custody and you wondered where the press and the TV crews were, and he said:

    'You're no big deal. '

    You are no big deal.

    What your able counsel and what the equally able United States attorneys have grappled with and what I have, as honestly as I know how, tried to grapple with, is why you did something so horrific. What was it that led you here to this courtroom today?

    I have listened respectfully to what you have to say. And I ask you to search your heart and ask yourself what sort of unfathomable hate led you to do what you are guilty, and admit you are guilty, of doing? And, I have an answer for you. It may not satisfy you, but as I search this entire record, it comes as close to understanding as I know.

    It seems to me, you hate the one thing that to us is most precious. You hate our freedom. Our individual freedom. Our individual freedom to live as we choose, to come and go as we choose, to believe or not believe as we individually choose. Here, in this society, the very wind carries freedom. It carries it everywhere from sea to shining sea. It is because we prize individual freedom so much that you are here in this beautiful courtroom, so that everyone can see, truly see, that justice is administered fairly, individually, and discretely. It is for freedom's sake that your lawyers are striving so vigorously on your behalf, have filed appeals, will go on in their representation of you before other judges.

    We Americans are all about freedom. Because we all know that the way we treat you, Mr. Reid, is the measure of our own liberties. Make no mistake though. It is yet true that we will bear any burden; pay any price, to preserve our freedoms. Look around this courtroom. Mark it well. The world is not going to long remember what you or I say here. The day after tomorrow, it will be forgotten, but this, however, will long endure.

    Here in this courtroom and courtrooms all across America , the American people will gather to see that justice, individual justice, justice, not war, individual justice, is in fact being done. The very President of the United States through his officers, will have to come into courtrooms and lay out evidence on which specific matters can be judged and juries of citizens will gather to sit and judge that evidence democratically, to mold and shape and refine our sense of justice.

    See that flag, Mr. Reid? That's the flag of the United States of America . That flag will fly there long after this is all forgotten. That flag stands for freedom. And it always will.

    Mr. Custody Officer. Stand him down."
    I can't say why, after 10 years, the judges comments struck me so. But I do want to record them here, nonetheless.

  • #2
    Re: Richard Reid, the &quot;Shoe Bomber,&quot; sentenced

    The talk the judge gave at one time would have brought a lump to my throat. But it no longer does.

    The talk of the terrorist should show WHY those people do, and try to do the things that they do. One has to listen to both sides, the reasoning involved, even if you don't like what you hear.

    Who here would not feel the same way as that muslim, if 2 million of our kids were killed in an invasion? And just take their crazy religious beliefs out of the argument for now, and only consider the other things he mentioned.

    In no way do I justify what he wanted to do, as I value human life, much more than Islam does, but I only mention this in order to attempt to bring understanding to the violent acts committed by both sides. What he stated, the terrorist, is HOW these people think. And you will not change how they think. Except by killing the brains that think in that manner, which will of course created more brains that think in that manner.

    As long as we think and believe that we have some sort of right to interfere in the business of the middle east, these people will not yield to that, no more than we as a nation would yield to such an intrusion by muslims, Russians, Chinese and so on.

    I get along with my neighbors here where I live. But that would quickly go by the wayside if I interfered in their business. That America refuses to not interfere is the problem.

    For as long as America or any other nation interferes with other nations there will be conflicts and loss of life from this. That is the price that we are willing to pay, apparently. But don't try to climb to some moral high ground, because we don't have it. Just acknowledge that we as a nation since ww2 are busy bodies, sticking out noses in the affairs of others, and then we get indignant when they strike back. And act like we have done nothing wrong. This attitude will insure we will continue to create enemies who want to kill us, especially in the middle east, a land that shows humanity the worst side of religion, as we were shown that by the Church for a couple thousand years.

    And don't call me some sort of loony liberal for thinking the way I do. Or unpatriotic. I volunteered for military service during the viet nam war and did not have to be drafted. I placed my own life on the line for my nation. I walked that walk. But by the time my enlistment was over, I figured that war was totally not needed and I lost friends because of a war that was fabricated using a helluva lie about an occurrence in the gulf of Tonkin. And I woke up from my sleep. America needs to wake up, and there ain't a chance in hell of that ever happening.

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