The Last Laugh
Here's the newest defense, following on the heels of Moussaui's claim that he had an unhappy childhood. The Circus Defense, the essence of which is to turn the courtroom into a Three-Ring arena. The Times Online reports on the Canadians suspected of plotting a terror attack in Ontario.
One of the 17 suspects charged with planning a series of bomb attacks in Canada was accused yesterday of a plot to behead the country’s Prime Minister, Stephen Harper. The dramatic claim against Steven Vikash Chand, 25, a restaurant worker in Toronto, was made as the suspects made a brief court appearance. The attack on Mr Harper was reportedly to happen when Islamic extremists were to storm the Canadian Parliament and hold politicians hostage. Mr Chand’s lawyer, Gary Batasar, said: “There’s an allegation apparently that my client personally indicated that he wanted to behead the Prime Minister of Canada. My client has said nothing about that.”
The Mounties have already alleged that the parliament building in Ottawa was among the targets to be bombed. That sounds like such an incredible goal for a mere restaurant worker that maybe Mr. Batasar thought it would help his client to push things into the realm of absurdity. 'And not only that, your honor, he was fixing to decapitate our Head of State' (not strictly true as that is actually Queen Elizabeth), which is ridiculous, almost like trying to topple two one-hundred story skyscrapers with boxcutters or sink a superdestroyer with a rubber boat. Ha-ha-ha-ha.
Ridiculous as compared to the available means, but not perhaps with respect to the available intent. What's really at issue, in both the case of the Canadian terror suspects and the Iranian President is whether there is malevolent intent. The public disbelieves the idea that a mere Third World country would threaten the West with destruction. What about letting Ahmadinejad get the bomb and the West can find out? A restaurant worker of no given beliefs threatens to decapitate Stephen Harper? Impossible. How about we give him a knife and leave him in a room with Stephen Harper and find out? Why not? We're willing to give Ahmadinejad the benefit of the doubt.