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July 7, 2005
Saddam's Lawyers Quits, Supports Terrorists

The AP reports this morning, between updates on the London terrorist attack by al-Qaeda, that Saddam Hussein's Iraqi lawyer has quit his defense team. Ziad al-Khasawneh complained that the American contingent of Saddam's legal team tried to tone down Khasawneh's support of the insurgency that has killed so many Iraqis, what the AP calls a "resistance":

Ziad al-Khasawneh told The Associated Press he tendered his resignation in a telephone call Tuesday to Saddam's wife, Sajida, who is believed to be in Yemen.

"I told her I was resigning because some American lawyers in the defense team want to take control of it and isolate their Arab counterparts," said al-Khasawneh, an Arab nationalist who has often expressed support for Iraqi resistance. Among the Americans on the team are former U.S. attorney general Ramsey Clark.

Al-Khasawneh said Clark and Curtis Doebbler, another American lawyer helping defend Saddam, were "upset with my statements and have often asked me to refrain from criticizing the American occupation of Iraq and the U.S.-backed Iraqi government."

Al-Khasawneh said Saddam's eldest daughter, Raghad, allegedly removed all files related to Saddam's defense from his office. "I was away in Libya when she did all that without my knowledge," he said.

Raghad favors the Americans and non-Arabs on the team "because she thinks they will win the case and free her father," he said.

It sounds to me like the other members of Saddam's defense team have a much better sense for the prevailing mood of the Iraqis that will try Saddam for his decades of genocidal crimes. Associating Saddam with the insurgents that continue to victimize the same population that Saddam ruled with an iron fist until March 2003 would appear to almost anyone as a loser for a trial strategy. One would presume that his lawyers will attempt to shove the responsibility for the undeniable atrocities of his regime onto lower-level functionaries and claim that Saddam knew nothing of his underlings' murders and tortures.

Instead, Khasawneh chose to celebrate the terrorists operating within Iraq as a "resistance" to a freely-elected government. Perhaps that will generate sympathy among the tiny minority of Iraqis that benefitted from Saddam's rule, but it doesn't take a legal genius to figure out that they will have little or no role in judging Saddam for his crimes. Khasawneh appears to have used the Saddam case to legitimize the terrorists, and Hussein's family have finally tired of his antics.

Coming as it does on this black day in London, the resignation of Khasawneh exposes him as the dangerous joke that he is.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 7, 2005 8:34 AM

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