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January 30, 2005
A Peek Inside The Head Of A Moral Coward

On the day that Iraqis celebrate the end of decades of brutal oppression, one man managed to sound a sour note. Ramsey Clark does his cover version of the Rolling Stones' "Sympathy For The Devil" in the op-ed pages of the Houston Chronicle (via Michelle Malkin):

The United States, and the Bush administration in particular, engineered the demonization of Saddam, and it has a clear political interest in his conviction.

How hard is it to demonize someone who murdered hundreds of thousands of his own population? Does Clark really think that "demonization" is necessary for a man who gassed Kurdish women and children to death as a test of his WMD arsenal?

Obviously, a fair trial of Saddam 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.

This is one of the most tiresome memes floating around the blogosphere. Iraqi democracy most certainly does not hinge on a fair civil trial for Saddam. In fact, he and the Iraqis probably would have been better off had he faced an American military tribunal. Iraqi democracy hinges on the free elections that Clark ignored today, and that his newest client denied Iraqis for decades.

Saddam has been held illegally for more than a year without once meeting a family member, friend or lawyer of his choice.

No, he hasn't. He's been treated as a POW despite being captured out of uniform, and then handed over to the Iraqi interim government, who understandably wants him held without bail. What's so unusual about that? We hold alleged murderers without bail all the time, and people who judges determine to be flight risks as well. Saddam qualifies under both categories, especially with the billions of dollars he stole from Iraqis.

Although 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 Bay.

Clark goes out of his way to insult the American military with this careless accusation. The people who mistreated prisoners at Abu Ghraib are now in prison, having been court-martialed for their actions. But in Clark's vision, the American soldiers are all just as guilty simply for wearing the same American uniform. The guards at Guantanmo Bay still serve there since no one has ever proven a single case of mistreatment there, and at any rate, Saddam's not at Guantanamo.

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.

Now that the Iraqis have elected a new government, the Special Tribunal can either be dissolved or affirmed by the new parliament -- and probably that will be a high priority for the legislators. The Nuremberg tribunals were also the creation of occupying powers (and by the way, Ramsey, the UN approved the Coalition's occupation prior to the capture of Saddam Hussein).

Clark then complains about how Saddam has been treated in his detention:

Among the earliest photographs it released is one showing Saddam sitting submissively on the floor of an empty room with Ahmad Chalabi, the principal U.S. surrogate at that moment, looming over him and a picture of Bush looking down from an otherwise bare wall.

Perhaps Clark would prefer that his client be offered the same hospitality that he offered captives in his own prisons. Would Clark be all right with Saddam being physically tortured, having his hands amputated with an axe, or having his tongue cut out with a knife? I know Clark feels that looking at pictures of George Bush amounts to intolerable cruelty, but Clark's complaint is ghoulish compared to how Saddam dealt with his own people.

Clark wants Americans to congratulate him for providing a principled defense of an accused criminal in the best traditions of American jurisprudence. In fact, this essay only proves that Clark wants to extend his usual apologetics for genocidal socialist dictators by insulting American troops and the society that upholds the values he merely mouths. If I could possibly hold Ramsey Clark in more contempt than previous, that day would be today.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 30, 2005 3:05 PM

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» Someone that should go to Canada from The Gantry Launchpad
Captain Ed has done an excellent job dissecting blithering idiot former General Attorney Ramsey Clark's ...defense... of Saddam Hussein. Apparently we've been "demonizing" Hussein. This definitely qualifies as a Duranty Report.... [Read More]

Tracked on January 31, 2005 2:15 PM

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