Dear kindly Leonie Brinkema,
You gotta understand,
It’s just Zack’s bringin’ up-ma,
That gets him out of hand.
His mother, she’s a junkie,
His father, he’s a drunk.
Well by Allah, natcherly he’s a punk!
Gee, dear Judge Leonie, Zack’s very upset;
He never had the love that ev’ry child oughta get.
He ain’t no mujahid,
Deep down inside him there is good!
There is good!
There is good, there is good,
There is untapped good!
That’s a touchin’ good story.
Lemme tell it to the world!
Just tell it to the judge.
Dear kindly Judge, your Honor,
Zack’s parents treated him rough.
With all their marijuana,
They wouldn’t give him a puff.
They didn’t wanna have him,
But somehow he was had.
Nushkur Allah! That’s why he’s so bad!
Dear Judge Leonie, you’re really a square;
This boy don’t need a judge, he needs an analyst’s care!
It’s just his neurosis that oughta be curbed.
Zack’s psychologic’ly disturbed!
I ain’t disturbed!
He’s disturbed, he’s disturbed,
He’s the most disturbed,
Like he’s psychologic’ly disturbed.
JAMILLA MOUSSAOUI: (Spoken, as Judge) In the opinion on this court, this child is depraved on account he ain’t had a normal home.
MOUSSAOUI’S LAWYERS: (Spoken) Hey, he’s depraved on account he’s deprived. So take him to a headshrinker.
Zack’s father is a bastard,
His ma’s an S.O.B.
His grandpa’s always plastered,
His grandma pushes tea.
His sister wears a mustache,
His brother wears a dress.
Alhamdulillah, that’s why Zack’s a mess!
MOUSSAOUI’S LAWYERS: (As Psychiatrist) Yes!
Dear Judge Leonie, you’re really a slob.
This boy don’t need a doctor, just a good honest job.
Society’s played him a terrible trick,
And sociologic’ly he’s sick!
I ain’t sick!
VOGELSANG AND THE LAWYERS:
He is sick, he is sick,
He is sick, sick, sick,
Like he’s sociologically sick!
In my opinion, this child don’t need to have his head shrunk at all. Islamic jihad is purely a social disease!
Hey, I ain’t got no social disease!
So take him to a social worker!
Dear kindly social worker,
They say go earn a buck.
Like be a soda jerker,
Which means like be a schmuck.
It’s not he’s anti-social,
He’s only anti-work.
Subhan Allah! That’s why he’s a jerk!
DAVID NOVAK: (As Female Social Worker)
Dear Judge Leonie, you’ve done it again.
This boy don’t need a job, he needs life in the pen.
It ain’t just a question of misunderstood;
Deep down inside him, he’s no good!
I am good!
He’s no good, he’s no good!
He’s no earthly good,
Like the best of us is no damn good!
The trouble is he’s crazy.
The trouble is he drinks.
The trouble is he’s lazy.
The trouble is he stinks.
The trouble is he’s growing.
The trouble is he’s grown.
Leonie, we got troubles of our own!
Gee, dear Judge Leonie,
We’re down on our knees,
‘Cause no one wants a jihadi with a social disease.
Gee, dear Judge Leonie,
What are we to do?
Gee, dear Judge Leonie,
It’s up to you!
(Sung to the tune, of course, of “Gee, Officer Krupke” from West Side Story.) “Defense: traumatic childhood left Moussaoui vulnerable to recruitment by radical Islam,” from AP, with thanks to all who sent this in:
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — After an impoverished childhood afflicted by a violent, alcoholic father, Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui embraced radical Islam as a young adult when anti-Arab racism and his background thwarted his desire to become an international businessman, defense witnesses testified Monday.
Struggling to save Moussaoui from execution, court-appointed defense lawyers called a clinical social worker, Moussaoui’s high school friends and his older sisters to try to offset his second damaging appearance on the witness stand last week. Clinical social worker Jan Vogelsang testified it was not her purpose to make excuses for Moussaoui’s actions but to understand how he reached that point.
They described a boy who witnessed violence at home and endured five stints in orphanages by age 6, frequent moves and deep poverty but nevertheless became an engaging and fun-loving teenager known for his smile and his ambition.
His Moroccan ancestry and lack of family financial backing, however, helped block his ambitions, first in France and then in London. He withdrew from family and friends in 1995, gained weight, shaved his head and took up Islamic fundamentalism, these witnesses said.
The testimony drew a mixture of reactions. Jurors took notes as copiously as at any point in the trial during Vogelsang’s testimony.
But leaving court for a break after the judge and jury had gone, Moussaoui said loudly, “It’s a lot of American B.S.”
Though slumped in his chair, even Moussaoui couldn’t take his eyes off most of the videotaped testimony, taken in France last December, from his sister Jamilla.
She described her younger brother as “a pretty little baby, always smiling. … He was the little sweetheart of the family.”
But she also described the abusive atmosphere caused by their father, Omar, who repeatedly beat Jamilla and his wife, Aicha. “He almost killed me; he tried to kill me,” she said. When her mother had money for food, “he ate everything and left us nothing.”
As Aicha moved her four children from town to town while struggling to learn French and hold multiple menial jobs, Omar followed them around even after their divorce in 1972, she said. “Each time he reappeared in our lives, it was to traumatize us,” she testified. “He poisoned our lives. He left us completely destitute. … He was a man who never should have had children.”
When Moussaoui returned from England for a visit in the mid-1990s, however, “he was very turned inward on himself,” she said. “I no longer liked discussions with him.”
At that point, Moussaoui turned away from the screen.
Omar is now hospitalized in France for treatment of bipolar disorder. Jamilla has a guardian and is treated for schizophrenia. The oldest sister, Nadia, also has a guardian and is being treated for psychosis with schizophrenic features, records showed.
Vogelsang said Moussaoui’s mother provided little supervision and no religious training. The family celebrated Christian and Islamic holidays because Aicha wanted her children to integrate into French culture, the clinical social worker said.
She said that children with childhoods like Moussaoui’s fail to develop normal resilience and adaptability to life’s setbacks. They make poor choices of role models and fail to deal with feelings of aggression, she testified, and such family conditions “would place someone at risk to wind up in serious circumstances later in life.”
On cross-examination, prosecutor David Novak tried to undercut the tone of inevitability that Vogelsang had struck. He got her to acknowledge that Moussaoui’s older brother, Abd Samad Moussaoui, emerged from the same family to become an engineering teacher rather than a terrorist.
Novak also stressed that Vogelsang never interviewed Moussaoui herself. Moussaoui wouldn’t agree to be interviewed, but she talked with 50 family members, friends, social service workers and teachers and reviewed records.
As a teenager, Moussaoui was rejected as a “dirty Arab” by the family of his longtime girlfriend, Vogelsang said. Although barred from her family’s home, he won dance contests with Karine Blocat and lived with her briefly during their long relationship.
Two high school buddies from France, Fabrice Guillen in court and Christophe Marguel on videotape, testified how much Moussaoui liked to have fun, party and play sports. Guillen said Moussaoui’s hero was Martin Luther King Jr.
Both said he encountered racism in France. He was barred from clubs because of his skin color, Guillen said. “He said it wasn’t a big deal … but we all knew it bothered him.”
Marguel called Moussoaui “lively, a teasing person who liked to have fun.” But he added that Moussaoui had “a very hard time” dealing with racism.
Gilles Cohen, who met 18-year-old Moussaoui in 1986, said they became good friends and that his family even put Moussaoui and his brother up for several months in 1990 when they left their mother’s home in a dispute over their desire to use all their finances for education.
They talked regularly about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Cohen said, and found it “hard to understand why two peoples from the same area are enemies.”
“I am a Jew; he is an Arab, and we were best friends,” Cohen said. “We were proud we exemplified how two peoples could come together.”
But Vogelsang and all the French friends described Moussaoui as struggling to survive economically, with no family support, in England where he went in 1992. He wanted to learn English and study international business and got a master’s degree from South Bank University in 1995, but by then he had begun to study Islam and had fallen in with radicals who frequented London mosques.
“He started shaving his head and wearing a beard,” Vogelsang said. On visits home, “he was fussing at his sisters for how they dressed,” calling one sister a “whore” for dressing in Western clothing.