Now that the Iraqis are in charge, they intend to lose no time in bringing Saddam Hussein to trial. An Iraqi spokesman announced today that Saddam will be charged before an Iraqi judge within the next few days.
Meanwhile, Saddam’s defense team has been busy, making various appeals for his release. Here is what astounded me: Saddam’s team now consists of no fewer than 1,500 lawyers! Many are from Arab countries, but others are Americans and Europeans. Presumably Saddam no longer has access to the money he stole during the long years he ruled Iraq, so can we assume that 1,500 lawyers believe that representing Saddam Hussein constitutes “pro bono” work? Disgusting. It shows, too, the folly of treating someone like Saddam as a criminal defendant. There were, I think, two good options for dealing with him: 1) shoot him on sight, or immediately upon completion of interrogation, or 2) establish a committee of inquiry to take testimony from, and on behalf of, Saddam’s victims. The committee would not hear from Saddam, but would issue a report itemizing his misdeeds for the historical record. Then he would be shot.
Unfortunately, the criminal prosecution model now seems to be established as the “proper” way to deal with a deposed tyrant. I hope they’ve got a big courtroom in Baghdad.
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