Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Former flight attendant crashes
What is catching my interest in the Moussaoui trial debacle of the last few days is the focus on attorney Carla J. Martin. The New York Times story on her is a biography of a career climber gone wrong:
Ms. Martin, 51, is a former flight attendant at World Airways, where she often flew between the United States and Germany because she spoke German. She began working at the Federal Aviation Administration before she completed law school at American University's Washington College of Law in 1989.
Look out Horatio Alger! Can't you see her, tall and blonde, in a tasteful matching blazer and skirt? By day she worked, pretending to be nice to frat boys heading to Oktoberfest while fending off their roving hands. By night, she studied terms like estoppel and ex post facto, knowing that her keen legal mind was her key to a better life.
Prosecuting what may be the only public trial Americans ever get in connection with the 9/11 attacks, she started to feel self-righteous, a sense of moral invulnerability that comes when the issues are so black-and-white. The United States' side is so clearly right, and Moussaoui's side is so clearly wrong. The only excuse I can think of for such an amateurish mistake as this attempt at witness tampering, is that she had decided (with good reason) that Mr. Moussaoui would be dead by the time anyone stopped to examine her actions.