Watching the Moussaoui Trial: The Kleinbergs
MELISSA BLOCK, host:
We're going to hear now from family members of two men killed in the September 11th attacks who've been following the Moussaoui trial closely. We wanted to know their thoughts on what's come out in the trial, and whether they think Moussaoui should be put to death. Mindy Kleinberg's husband Alan was a securities trader with Cantor Fitzgerald. He worked on the 104th floor of the north tower of the World Trade Center. Ms. Kleinberg has watched part of the trial on closed circuit TV at a satellite courtroom in Newark, N.J., set up for victims' families. She calls Moussaoui a Jihad wannabe, evil, yes, but not directly responsible for the death of her husband.
Ms. MINDY KLEINBERG (Spouse of 9/11 victim): He did not know the date of 9/11. He did not know that there were other plans. He had not met any of the other hijackers. He did not have a route. So this did not sound like a man who really knew about the 9/11 plot. You know, do I think that he should be behind bars, because, given the chance, would he hurt us? Yes, I do.
BLOCK: Ms. Kleinberg, as this trial enters this last phase, where the jury will be deciding whether Zacarias Moussaoui lives or dies, have you thought forward to that decision and how you might feel when it comes?
Ms. KLEINBERG: No, I mean, I think the ball has already been rolling. At this point, whichever way they decide is not important to me. I really would've hoped that they had realized that the best place for Moussaoui was in jail. I just feel that the death penalty should be reserved for those who commit the crime. I would've liked to see my government prosecuting Ramzi Binalshibh and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who were 100 percent connected with the 9/11 plot. They were the financier, and they were the mastermind. And, you know, at this point, you know, it's in the jury's hands.
BLOCK: I wonder if there's ever a moment when you stop and think about Zacarias Moussaoui and what might happen to him when you think, you know, considering what my family's gone through, maybe he should be put to death. Maybe there's some measure of justice there.
Ms. KLEINBERG: What my family has gone through and the impact that it's had on us will be the same whether he's put to death or not. For me, he's never been my proxy. You know, it's almost like a scapegoat. You know, we're going to hold this man up and put him to death so you can all feel better? That doesn't do it for me. If you catch Osama bin Laden, I will feel better. If you fix the FBI, I will feel better. If you fix the CIA, I will feel better. If you get radios for the firefighters in New York that work, I will feel better. Putting Moussaoui to death has zero impact on my life, and he is not my proxy.
BLOCK: There is one thing, though, that's come up through this trial, and that's the question of if Moussaoui is put to death, will he become a martyr for his cause? What do you think about that?
Ms. KLEINBERG: Well, you know, listen, I think that that's what he is hoping for. He has wanted to die for Osama bin Laden for a very long time. We can't really worry about his mindset. That's not what we should be doing. If by our laws it's appropriate to put him to death, then that's what we should do. And if it's not, then we shouldn't.
BLOCK: That's Mindy Kleinberg, whose husband, Alan Kleinberg, was killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.