Mudcat Café message #1387157 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #62901   Message #1387157
Posted By: Amos
24-Jan-05 - 01:14 PM
Thread Name: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Ramsey Clark, once the aAttorney General of the United States, has written an interesting essay in the Los Angeles Times concerning his reaning for being willing to defend Saddam Hussein in legalproceedings:

Excerpt:

o let me explain why defending Saddam Hussein is in line with what I've stood for all my life and why I think it's the right thing to do now.

That Hussein and other former Iraqi officials must have lawyers of their choice to assist them in defending against the criminal charges brought against them ought to be self-evident among a people committed to truth, justice and the rule of law.

Both international law and the Constitution of the United States guarantee the right to effective legal representation to any person accused of a crime. This is especially important in a highly politicized situation, where truth and justice can become even harder to achieve. That's certainly the situation today in Iraq. The war has caused the deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqis and the widespread destruction of civilian properties essential to life. President Bush, who initiated and oversees the war, has manifested his hatred for Hussein, publicly proclaiming that the death penalty would be appropriate.

The United States, and the Bush administration in particular, engineered the demonization of Hussein, and it has a clear political interest in his conviction. Obviously, a fair trial of Hussein will be difficult to ensure and critically important to the future of democracy in Iraq. This trial will write history, affect the course of violence around the world and have an impact on hopes for reconciliation within Iraq.

Hussein has been held illegally for more than a year without once meeting a family member, friend or lawyer of his choice. Though the world has seen him time and again on television disheveled, apparently disoriented with someone prying deep into his mouth and later alone before some unseen judge he has been cut off from all communications with the outside world and surrounded by the same U.S. military that mistreated prisoners at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo.

Preparation of Hussein's defense cannot begin until lawyers chosen by him obtain immediate, full and confidential access to him so they can review with him events of the last year, the circumstances of his seizure and the details of his treatment. They must then have time to thoroughly discuss the nature and composition of the prosecution and the court, the charges that may be brought against him, and his knowledge, thoughts and instructions concerning the facts of the case. And finally, they must have the time for the enormous task of preparing his defense.

The legal team, its assistants and investigators must be able to perform their work safely, without interference, and be assured that their client's condition and the conditions of his confinement enable him to fully participate in every aspect of his defense.

International law requires that every criminal court be competent, independent and impartial. The Iraqi Special Tribunal lacks all of these essential qualities. It was illegitimate in its conception the creation of an illegal occupying power that demonized Saddam Hussein and destroyed the government it now intends to condemn by law.

The United States has already destroyed any hope of legitimacy, fairness or even decency by its treatment and isolation of the former president and its creation of the Iraqi Special Tribunal to try him.



Saddam's own actions have done more to demonize him -- as far as I know -- than Bush's have, or Bush's father's. But a fair and open trial is in the interest of peaceful resolution of all charges and damages of which Saddam stands accused. ANd there is no question that the politicized and war-torn ambience which has resulted from Bush's invasion make achieving the ideal of a process under law extremely difficult.

A

A