In the end, among the reasons jurors may choose execution for Zacarias Moussaoui for his role in the September 11, 2001 massacre of 3,000 innocent people, none may be more pertinent than unbridled ego. Mr. Moussaoui’s ego, that is.

According to The New York Times, Moussaoui’s self esteem suffered when his attorneys, in a heroic effort to save his life, attempted to trivialize his involvement in the plot. The effort proved heroic when Mr. Moussaoui, who would have none of it, took the stand and forthrightly washed his lawyers’ efforts down the proverbial legal drain.

According to The Times, he did so by acknowledging every element of the prosecution’s case, asserting he was set to be part of the Sept. 11 plot by flying a fifth airplane into the White House.

Some have questioned Moussaoui’s sanity, speculating that even his Al Qaeda compatriots were leery of him and tried to distance themselves from him. In the case of Ted Kaczynski, the Unibomber, one can make the case that sanity and intelligence sometimes don’t go hand in hand. Kaczynski was plenty smart, he just wasn’t necessarily sane.

By taking the stand on his own behalf, Moussaoui demonstrated he is neither sane nor intelligent. One wonders if his attorneys didn’t groan out loud while simultaneously putting their beleaguered heads in their hands at having to defend such a one as this.

But according to one family member watching the trial, even these traits are not Moussaoui’s worst attribute. She told reporters, “That man has no soul, no conscience.”

We can say the same for all terrorists, including those who distanced themselves from Moussaoui. Their manner of problem resolution is a form of insanity. But that’s not the worst of it. Theirs is a soulless, conscienceless activity that thinks it has done a good thing by extinguishing the lives of innocent people in an attempt to advance an agenda, or a religion.