Another Sunday column from Eric...
[SIZE=5]Silencing the tyrant[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Saddam's Soviet-style show trial is a travesty of justice designed to justify Iraq invasion[/SIZE]
By Eric Margolis
Saddam Hussein's trial in Baghdad has become a circus. The presiding judge refuses to return to court, and defence lawyers have been murdered.
What to make of this spectacle? Emotionally, it's good to see the tyrant who terrorized so many on trial for his life. But morally and legally, Saddam's trial is a travesty of justice. This is an old-fashioned Soviet-style show trial set up by U.S. occupation authorities.
Its goal is not to determine Saddam's guilt or innocence, but to justify the U.S. invasion of Iraq -- which, by the way, was a blatant violation of international law.
The court lacks any legal basis, being created by the puppet regime installed by the U.S. after the invasion.
Saddam has no proper legal defence. Witnesses remain secret and beyond cross-examination. Defence witnesses risk murder by Shia hit squads.
Pre-trial publicity -- the vast propaganda campaign by the U.S. to demonize Saddam -- and Iraqi TV programs (controlled by U.S. authorities) about Saddam's alleged crimes, would trigger a mistrial in any proper legal system.
In short, a kangaroo court, designed to find Saddam guilty and probably order his execution.
Dead dictators tell no tales. If allowed to fully testify, Saddam would reveal the whole sordid story of America's long, intimate collaboration with his regime, and how the U.S. and British governments of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher encouraged, armed and financed Iraq to invade Iran. ...
...Those citing the World War II Nuremberg trials as precedent for Baghdad's kangaroo court should read the magisterial words of that court's Chief Justice, Robert Jackson: "No political or economic situation can justify the crime of aggression." Please take note, President Cheney and VP Bush.
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