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Two of the remaining men on the execution list in Iraq for crimes against humanity in the Saddam Hussein regime were executed overnight, ending speculation on when the Nouri al-Maliki government would proceed with the hangings. The Iraqis forced witnesses to pledge to behave themselves, but one of the defendants lost his head, literally:
American military officials, who had custody of Mr. Hussein, were particularly upset and pushed hard to ensure that the execution of his co-defendants, Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, former head of the Mukhabarat secret police and the younger half-brother of Mr. Hussein, and Awad Hamad al-Bandar, who was chief judge of the revolutionary court under Mr. Hussein, was carried out properly.
The government spokesman who announced the executions, which took place at 3 a.m., Bassam al-Husseini, said both the executioners and the witnesses had to sign statements promising to behave in a dignified manner.
In what government officials called a “rare incident,” the head of Mr. Tikriti was severed from his body by the noose as it snapped tight around his neck.
In rare cases, a hanging can turn into a decapitation, which apparently was what happened to Saddam's half-brother. The BBC reported that the news of the decapitation got released by the government in order to head off certain criticism over the incident, which no doubt would have multiplied exponentially if the Iraqis had tried to hide the incident. Barzan ran the Mukhabarat, the secret police that killed, maimed, and tortured hundreds of thousands of Iraqis to keep Saddam in power, and while the decapitation was a particularly gruesome manner in which to die, it shouldn't outweigh the despicable manner in which Barzan maintained his power.
The other executed man, Awad Hamad al-Bandar, also had a perverted idea of justice. He ran the Revolutionary Court in the manner of Roland Freisler. Awad made sure that Iraqis had no chance for justice under Saddam. He ran a kangaroo court that served to dress up Saddam's brutality in a veneer of legal process. In the case at hand, Awad signed the death decrees for the residents of Dujail for the 1982 assassination attempt on Saddam, condemning men, women, and children to execution as a reprisal for the insult.
No doubt that this will inspire more protest by people around the world opposed to the death penalty, as well as those opposed to the Iraq War. They should remember the brutal methods these men used to oppress and murder Iraqis by the thousands, and the real fear that a coup d'etat by Ba'athist remnants could return them to their former positions. These are not common criminals but bloodthirsty tyrants whose deaths are required for Iraqis to have confidence in their departure from power.
The only question remaining is whether we will see more video from surreptitious cell phones. Even in Iraq, technology defeats lax security. I predict that we will see some imagery from this execution within 24 hours.Sphere It View blog reactions
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» Former Head from Sensible Mom
Last night in Iraq Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, Saddam's half-brother, was hanged and as the rope tightened around his neck he was decaptitated. Given that I found his description in the New York Times to be spot on: The executions of [Read More]
Tracked on January 15, 2007 12:14 PM
» Former Head from Sensible Mom
Last night in Iraq Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, Saddam's half-brother, was hanged and as the rope tightened around his neck he was decaptitated. Given that, I found his description in the New York Times to be spot on: The executions of [Read More]
Tracked on January 15, 2007 12:16 PM
» Now Hanging Of Saddam Hussein’s Half-Brother Is Controversial from The Moderate Voice
The Iraq government is now faced with yet another probable public relations problem on its hands — this time apparently more a quirk of grisly fate than of execution bystanders seemingly out of control: Iraqi government officials have shown journ... [Read More]
Tracked on January 15, 2007 12:44 PM
» Oops! Another "botched" execution? from Bill's Bites
Botched? Not exactly; they're dead ain't they?Anger as hanging decapitates Saddam's half-brother By Qassim Abdul-Zahra, AP Saddam Hussein's half brother and the former head of Iraq's Revolutionary Court were hanged before dawn today, two weeks and two ... [Read More]
Tracked on January 15, 2007 3:25 PM
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