Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Cry me a river

Saddam Hussein now claims he was beaten while in custody. Oh, I'm all shook up inside.

A good beating is the least of what he deserves, and only the start; just wait until he's convicted and sentenced to death. Even so, a traditional Muslim stoning would be too merciful for the evil he's done:
Earlier, Saddam sat quietly as a witness testified that his regime killed and tortured people by administering electric shocks and ripping off their skin after pouring molten plastic on it.
Add to that the meat grinders, rape rooms, and old-fashioned mass executions.

As our friend Quincy has noted, Ramsey Clark is advising Saddam's lawyers. LBJ's former attorney general has quite a resume in legal assistance to various terrorists and war criminals, and I think the most despicable one is that he advised the PLO when its leaders were sued by Leon Klinghoffer's family. (If you haven't, see the cinematic account starring Burt Lancaster as Klinghoffer, which brings to life what those thugs did.) [Edit: my bad, TKC pointed out that I had confused Ramsey Clark with Richard Clarke.]


Anonymous Standard Mischief said...

Everyone deserves a fair and impartial trial, and adequate legal representation, even Saddam. Even if he is an alleged gasser/torturer/murderer/all around bad guy.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005 5:21:00 PM  
Blogger TKC said...

Perry, I think Ramsey Clark was in LBJ's administration, not Clintons.

There is a General Wesley Clark who was the Clinton admin's man in NATO.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005 6:14:00 PM  
Blogger Perry Eidelbus said...

Oh, yes TKC. My bad.

And for the record, I support a fair and fully impartial for Saddam -- as long as we get to execute him.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005 8:53:00 PM  
Blogger Ocam's Razor said...

Be careful with your judgements there boys - don't forget that Saddam was an American puppet just like most other world-class villians, which makes the American administration just as guilty as them - Saddam included. Rumsfeld and Bush gave Saddam the full go-ahead to invade Kuwait the day before he did which was the same day they condemned him. I doubt we'll ever know the full truth about this story and it is true that history is written by the victor - but don't be too confident in the victor - the victor is a freaking liar and the world's greatest villian.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005 9:06:00 PM  
Blogger Perry Eidelbus said...

We halfhearted backed Saddam because Iran was our enemy. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" is not always the most successful policy, but it is the nature of modern international diplomacy.

Saddam was no one's puppet, least of all the United States'. And if we really built up his military, why were we facing T-54s, T-55s, T-62s and T-72s, instead of American-made tanks? Why was the Iraqi army outfitted with AK-47s instead of M-16s? Who built the Mirages, MiGs and Su-xx line that comprised Saddam's air force? Who sold Saddam a nuclear reactor that, had Israel not thankfully bombed in 1981, might have made the first Gulf War a nuclear one? Compared to what Russia, China and much of Europe did for Saddam, the germs we sold him were inconsequential.

It's actually not true at all that we gave Saddam permission to invade Kuwait. Here is a site historical revisionism site that tries to make it seem like we did, but it quotes Ambassador Glaspie too accurately:

We have no opinion on your Arab - Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait. Secretary Baker has directed me to emphasize the instruction, first given to Iraq in the 1960's, that the Kuwait issue is not associated with America.

"The Kuwait issue" was the Shatt al Arab. The massing of the Iraqi army was a bluff, perhaps, or Saddam would try to take over the land surrounding the river, which wouldn't warrant much international intervention. It was unthinkable that he'd invade and occupy all of Kuwait, just like it was unthinkable among intelligence analysts that terrorists would fly airplanes into the World Trade Center. A possibility, yes, but so extreme it was unimaginable.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005 9:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Standard Mischief said...

It's a show trial, a kangaroo court. It's being done by judges that has been trained by the US under a constitution we largely wrote. He at least deserves a change of venue, but that would not let the Iraq people judge and kill him, which is the aim of the whole thing.

THat being said, I think he's guilty and deserves to be hung.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005 11:08:00 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

A change of venue to where?

Thursday, December 22, 2005 2:55:00 AM  
Blogger Perry Eidelbus said...

Standard Mischief, is there something wrong with our legal system? It's about as fair as you can get considering mankind's imperfections.

A change of venue, however, is a good idea. We still need to try him ourselves for kidnapping American citizens during his 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

Saddam is now saying that U.S. officials are lying when they deny he's been beaten. I actually hope Saddam is right. I do hope he's been thrown around and pummeled, because it's a good start.

Thursday, December 22, 2005 9:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Standard Mischief said...

Standard Mischief, is there something wrong with our legal system? It's about as fair as you can get considering mankind's imperfections.

Let's see, some kind of Tort reform. Increasing the limits for small claims, yea, I have a number of suggestions.

Occasionally you have a anonymous witness, when our congress critters put on their dog and pony show trials, but would this fly in a real court over here? Defendants have a right to face their accused. Saddam is getting fried by anonymous witnesses that are testifying from a booth with electronics used to garble their voice. Does that sound fair? Would that kind of crap fly in say, Switzerland?

Also, I'm all for allowing the cameras in to document things, but all the tape ought to be held by the judge until the verdict has been handed down. The same thing ought to happen during trials over here, but won't because OJ and Blake make such great TV.

Surely there's enough evidence to hang Saddam in a fair court, in a neutral county, for his crimes against humanity.

Thursday, December 22, 2005 6:41:00 PM  
Blogger Perry Eidelbus said...

I was speaking about criminal matters, but I'll add that insofar as the civil half, I've supported tort reform for a long time. My problem with attempts at it, though, is that it will be done by the same system that allowed it to get out of control in the first place.

The witnesses need their identities protected specifically because testifying openly is a death sentence. Would it fly over here? It doesn't really apply to us, not just because we have the Witness Protection Program, but because we've never had someone like Saddam. When his supporters can't wage a vendetta against the witnesses and their families, they'll go after their friends, neighbors, and probably their mosque too, with such bloodthirstiness that would put any Mafia don to shame. These are people who blow up children queued for candy outside a hospital.

Besides, I really don't see how concealing their faces and voices makes the trial any less fair, because their testimony is corroborated by physical evidence.

Thursday, December 22, 2005 7:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Standard Mischief said...

I am an anonymous blogger. Would you accept my hearsay testimony in your trial? If the physical evidence can not stand on it's own, if he can't face his accuser, then it's not a fair trial.

Certainly it's within our ability to do some kind of witness protection program here, even if that means a new identity and resettlement in another country.

Friday, December 23, 2005 9:30:00 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Saddam went in and leveled an entire village after someone took a potshot when he drove through. In fact, I believe that particular incident is the one that is on trial here. Like Perry said, its not an issue of "witness protection." As you say, we can resettle a witness and their immediate family. But if we do that, we are giving the witnesses' extended family and friends a death sentence.

Friday, December 23, 2005 11:19:00 PM  
Blogger Perry Eidelbus said...

Right you are, Mike. Sometimes what we think is "fair" must give way to what is pragmatic: the "insurgents" would think nothing of reliating by attacking an entire village.

SM, the testimony by itself is not down to the level of hearsay, though by itself it lacks credibility. However, the testimony does not stand alone: there's so much physical evidence to corroborate it. The prosecution's case doesn't need the witnesses' testimony for conviction, but such testimony enhances the physical evidence and also shows the world Saddam's barbarism.

Friday, December 23, 2005 11:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Standard Mischief said...

Then stop this “trial” charade. If he can't get a fair trial, don't give him some mockery of a trial and pretend that it's fair. Just shoot him as he gets out of the spider hole. March him to the town center and hang him. Just don't pretend that he's getting a fair trial. Really, I'd have much less of a problem if you did that.

The trial exist as a propaganda tool to convince the people of Iraq that the old state is dead. But you do a disservice to “fair trial” with this propaganda just like you do a disservice to “free speech” when you pass laws against “hate crimes” or ban the viewing of certain movies, or you build the great firewall of China.

Saturday, December 24, 2005 2:49:00 PM  
Blogger Perry Eidelbus said...

I personally would have simply shot him and strung him up by his heels, like the Italians did with Mussolini. However, it would have deprived the Iraqi people of the right to avenge themselves.

We know what happened, we have so much evidence, and we know what the outcome will be. So was Nuremberg, though. The trial isn't as much propaganda as it is revealing the precise details of Saddam's crimes -- and to show Iraqis that, despite overwhelming evidence of guilt, they have a better way. They are better than Saddam was, because even if the trial is a circus, they've embarked upon a course toward true rule of law.

Saturday, December 24, 2005 3:06:00 PM  

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