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October 20, 2005

New York Times Plays Johnny Cochran For Saddam Hussein

If Fallujah was hit, you must acquit:

One of the best ways to repair such a damaged society is a systematic judicial investigation of the old regime's crimes. That should be followed by a scrupulously fair trial of those found personally accountable. In the case of Iraq, where legal training and appointments had been bent for decades to the political whims of the dictatorship, that should have called for enlisting help from international legal experts and using relevant precedents in international criminal law. The Bush administration and its Iraqi allies strongly opposed that step because it would have excluded the death penalty.

Ah. The Times is even against the death penalty for Saddam Hussein.

Stop telling us about "international precedents." This is just code for "the rest of the world is more progressive than America, and we should listen to them."

And this is frankly baffling:

Finally, this prosecution would have been conducted differently if it were a serious attempt to uncover the murky lines of authority and responsibility within the Baathist regime and establish Mr. Hussein's clear personal responsibility for at least some of the roughly 300,000 murders committed in his name. It would have built up its case methodically, from the field operatives carrying out the killings to the officials who gave them their orders and on up the chain of command to Mr. Hussein himself.

Instead, today's trial will begin with what prosecutors and politicians decided was the easiest case to prove, a mass execution in a Shiite town that followed a failed 1982 assassination attempt against Mr. Hussein. These killings ought to be prosecuted. But if the aim is to uncover the broader criminal conspiracy in order to punish the truly guilty and absolve those guilty only by association, other trials should have come first.

Imagine that! Prosecutors going for the crime that is most easily proven! And this is no tax-avoidance rap like they got Capone on; this is a MASS MURDER with orders PERSONALLY SIGNED by Saddam Hussein.

Anyone get the feeling the New York Times would like this detailed, exhaustive investigation to go on long enough so that the trial occurs after the 2006 elections?

I question the timing.

Embarassing. Make no mistake-- there is a segment out there, a lot of them at the Times apparently, that has come to love Saddam Hussein as a plucky underdog with a can-do attitude, sort of like Rocky Balboa except with acid-baths and neurotoxin attacks on civilian populations.

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posted by Ace at 01:03 PM

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