Monday, December 05, 2005

Saddam On Trial Part I: The Green Mile

My credentials as a capital punishment skeptic are always under the threat of revocation when a serial killer or genocidal dictator is the one facing the ultimate punishment.

My skepticism hinges in part on the fact that scores of people who’ve been in prison for decades have ultimately been exonerated of the crime that put them there, typically as the result of DNA testing or of a witness recanting. The thought that just one of these innocent people could have been executed during their sentence by a law system ostensibly designed to protect them is horrifying.

The trial of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein gets underway (again) today, and may result in his execution.

Few question Saddam's guilt, though there is some debate over his potential sentence. If he is sentenced to death, he will probably be hanged.

Saddam, apart from torturing and killing individuals who opposed him, has a few massacres on his resume, the best known of which are the 1988 gassing of Kurds and a 1982 purge of a village where an assassination attempt on him took place.

When Saddam took power in 1979, one of his first acts, as he sat chomping a cigar before his fellow Ba’athists, was reading the names of his political enemies, who were then taken to the basement straightaway and executed.

No one on this planet should wield that kind of power. No one should be able to order the death of another human being simply because that person is a hindrance to one’s own ambitions. Saddam probably did so many more times then we’ll ever know.

It’s not only appropriate that Saddam be executed for his many crimes, it’s crucial. He needs not only to have his life taken from him, but during whatever’s left of it needs to experience what it feels like to be a condemned man. Only then is he likely to feel a shred of human empathy for his own countless victims, far too late though it may be.


crusader bunnypants said...

The Republicans and Democrats in the US Government who have plotted this war and who have kept it going without any plan to end it, should be taken out and shot in batches of ten and without the benefit of clergy.

The time has come to invoke the 25th amendment, install a caretaker government, put the former US Government and Corporate Media on trial for War Crimes, get some rope, until we find some honest people who don't want to swing from lamposts for lying to the American People. It's called Freedom!

If we are going to execute Saddam for his Pre Emptive Invasion and Occupation of Kuwait, Using Chemical WMD, Using Torture, and killing over 100,000 Iraqis what are we going to do with George for his Invasion and Occupation of Iraq, using Chemical WMD, Using Torture, and killing over 100,000 Iraqis?

About 100,000 Iraqi civilians - half of them women and children - have died in Iraq since the invasion, mostly as a result of airstrikes by coalition forces!,2763,1338749,00.html
US General Tommy Franks is widely quoted as saying 'we don't do body counts'," they write, but occupying armies have responsibilities under the Geneva convention."

Use of Chemical WMD in Iraq Ignites Debate,0,1951628,full.story
Critics say civilians died in incendiary attacks. U.S. asserts white phosphorus was only used on insurgents.

Rice to deny US torture claims as Scottish airports linked to CIA row
• US secretary of state to deny claims CIA moved suspected terrorists via UK
• Photographs exist of CIA planes in Prestwick and Edinburgh airport

Pete Bogs said...

quite an intriguing idea you have there, CB! I have previously blogged on our use of torture, WMDs and other points you touched on...

Paddys_Gal said...

"As the end of the session, when the judges decided to resume the trial Wednesday, Saddam suddenly shouted: "I will not return. I will not come to an unjust court! Go to hell!"

Some people get so testy when their normal routine of murdering innocent people is disrupted.