Less Than Meets the Eye, Maybe

Zacarias Moussaoui entered a guilty plea today, confessing to being part of a plot to murder Americans. Apparently the plea was a surprise; Moussaoui’s prosecution had dragged on for years and seemed to have become an embarrassment to the Justice Department. Moussaoui said in court that he was not part of the September 11 plot, but was training for a later attack on the White House.
I suppose that could be true. But, as far as I can tell, Moussaoui’s guilty plea shed little if any light on al Qaeda or the September 11 plot. The “statement of facts” that he stipulated to in conjunction with his plea is here. It strikes me as almost completely uninformative.
I don’t know what’s going on here. Maybe the authorities have gotten valuable information from Moussaoui, but nothing that’s been said in public suggests that. It seems more likely that they are relieved to have the confession they need to get a conviction and finally bring the Moussaoui case to a conclusion.

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