Iraq

Saddam Hanging, or Hanging On?

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Saddam Hussein could be hanging by his neck even as I type this. A.P. reports that a judge has ordered his execution "no later than Saturday." Despite my growing reservations about the death penalty generally, I don't have a problem with this particular example, except for the timing. I could understand if a crowd of angry Iraqis strung Saddam up around the same time they were toppling his statues. I could understand if he were executed after a series of trials, or one big trial, that laid out the depth and the breadth of his crimes. But to hang him after he was convicted of killing a mere 148 people in reaction to an assassination attempt, a crime that could be (and was) portrayed as a case of overzealous self-defense, seems anti-climactic to me.

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  1. I agree with the conviction, but not the punishment, even for him.

  2. Well, they got Capone for tax evasion, so I guess a win is a win.

  3. I agree Jacob, but would even go farther. Hanging him after a kangaroo trial is not just anticlimactic, it undermines the whole point. Basically it’s The Who all over again “Meet the new boss, Same as the old boss”.

  4. Not sure how to say this, exactly, so I’ll just plow on.
    To my mind, you need to have a government that can be trusted to make fair and unbiased decisions in order for a death sentance to have credibility.
    I don’t believe you can have that sort of government, but for the sake or argument, lets suppose that a governing body like that was possible. I suspect it would look nothing like the organization that is currently “running” Iraq.
    That said, even with my gut reaction that Saddam deserves this, the “official sanction” of his death leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

  5. He’s nothing but a low-down, double-dealing, backstabbing, larcenous perverted worm! Hanging’s too good for him. Burning’s too good for him! He should be torn into little bitsy pieces and buried alive!

  6. sounds like an asthetic issue, Jacob.

  7. With comments like you all sympathetic people it’s now wonder Bush can’t get support for the liberation from this dictator. Do you all think he was a good guy to his people?

  8. big one,
    Not at all. He was a nasty tyrant, responsible for untold suffering. What we are saying, is that that this glorified lynching doesn’t provide us with any confidence that what has replaced him is any better.

  9. Big one, in most cases you confuse sympathy with principle: states (territorial monopoly on force, yadda yadda yadda) are incompatible with liberty, and therefore all illegitimate. I disagree with the “Iraqi people” imposing a sentence on Saddam for that reason, not that I don’t think he was a cretin and deserves to die.

    This isn’t a fine distinction: it’s a huge one, but in my experience one that only people who see government as illegitimate can appreciate.

  10. Jacob, I get what you’re saying, but “overzealous self defense” perpetrated against innocents is still murder. And if this is the best-documented of all his murders, well, I guess there are worse things than a state that only hangs people for their best-documented crimes.

    Yeah, it doesn’t seem like the most fitting trial and verdict, but the mundane, anti-climactic aspect is in its own way a sign of a healthy legal system.

    It may very well be the only sign of a healthy legal system, mind you, but that’s a whole other can of worms.

  11. If you held trials for every one of Saddam’s mass murders, it would consume decades or centuries (if this first one is anything to go by). If you tried to just pick a few, you’d get endless political wrangling from victims’ families over which ones to use. At least this way it’s faster, and the result is eminently justifiable. (Plus, Saddam won’t be around to become politically useful to someone a few years down the road.)

  12. I find it ironic that European countries who applied the death penalty to deal with the Nazi and their collaborators now make the strongest objections to foreign courts imposing the same sentence on their own tyrants. Unless the governments of Germany and Norway are going to publicly repudiate the sentences of Herman Goering, Joachim von Ribbentrop and Vidkund Quisling etc, they should keep quiet and let the NGOs handle this one.

  13. So a little question for all of you, that was presented on Washington Journal this mourning:

    Should it be televised?

  14. “””He’s nothing but a low-down, double-dealing, backstabbing, larcenous perverted worm! Hanging’s too good for him. Burning’s too good for him! He should be torn into little bitsy pieces and buried alive!”””

    Looks like Saddam has an angle.

    I bought that movie on DVD not too long ago. A true classic.

  15. Kyle,
    I’m curious if you think anyone has the right to impose a sentence on Saddam (whether death, imprisonment, or some other forcible act)? If some government doesn’t have that right, who does?

  16. “”Should it be televised?””

    I say no, no execution should be. I think that goes to bloodlust, we should be more civilized.

    Killing him now does serve a US interest, we don’t have to explain to the Kurds, in court why the US didn’t object to them being gassed or why we continued supporting Saddam after the fact.

    Something not lost with me is that we supported Saddam when he fought Iran. Now that we no longer support Saddam and took him out of power, Iran’s influence in Iraq has grown. It’s almost like we went back to the 80’s and switched sides.

    Iran wins!!

  17. I say he should be released…with due notice, in the town square in Tirkit or other Kurd city.

  18. Yes, he’s evil, but Saddam kept that miserable little country under control and he was able to stay in power without the help of the Americans. Not like the impotent fanatics who are running the government today.

    He should be hung, but so should every card carrying member of the Supreme Council for Islmaic Revolution in Iraq. And Sadr too. The fact that we’re hanging Saddam while enpowering the Shia is the true crime.

  19. the AP is reporting it will all go down at 10pm EST

  20. I say he should be released…with due notice, in the town square in Tirkit or other Kurd city.

    In the middle of Sadr City would be nice

  21. He should be hung, but so should every card carrying member of the Supreme Council for Islmaic Revolution in Iraq. And Sadr too. The fact that we’re hanging Saddam while enpowering the Shia is the true crime.

    Hopefully, those who want to establish an Iran-style theocracy will not have the same degree of control over Iraq that Saddam and his henchmen had. There are significant non-shia political groups as well as shia who don’t support SCIRI. Its at least plausible that these groups the Sadr fan club in check.

  22. I think that all executions should be televised. If fucktards like Scalia honestly believe that death is not cruel or unusual, then there should not be an issue with them being televised. I mean who’d get bent seeing someone paying a fine? Weren’t hanging open to the public?
    Personally, I don’t have any issues with the death penalty. What I do have issues with the epistemic acuity of our kangaroo courts to determine whether a person committed a crime worthy of such an absolute sentence.
    I mean these dumbfuck prosecutors can’t prove their cases like possession so they invent legal make believe (just like santa clause only it’ll put you on death row) like constructive possession.

  23. I say he should be released…with due notice, in the town square in Tirkit[sic] or other Kurd city.

    Since it’s his home town releasing him in Tikrit would be akin to throwing Br’er Rabbit into the brier patch.

    Before posting you might think about whether you have your facts straight.

  24. killing a mere 148 people [emphasis added of course]

    ??? I can’t believe I site I respect, and a writer I have high regards for, actually posted those words. I could care less who is opposed or for the death penalty. Murdering 148 human beings is uncalled for and is worthy or prosecution and radical punishment and is not a trifling matter.

  25. It’ll be one of his look-alikes.

  26. Drudge has the spinning light gif going, so it look like Saddam is drawing his final few thousand breaths.

    As much as I abhor the death penalty, I can make an exception in this case.

  27. The only problem I have with this execution is from a realpolitik viewpoint. Many, many people in Iraq are going to die over sectarian violence in the next 24-72 hours, perhaps more, and I do not believe that one American soldier’s life is worth the satisfaction of execution Hussein.

  28. “…killing a mere 148 people in response to an assassination attempt…”

    Compared to Dubya’s invasion of Iraq in response to the assassination attempt on his daddy?

  29. Allowing for Issac Bartram’s correction, I agree with creech and ChicagoTom.

    After Friday Prayer would be an opportune time.

  30. Compared to Dubya’s invasion of Iraq in response to the assassination attempt on his daddy?

    Exactly, but that wasn’t Dubya’s only reason either. What about this also:

    “Greenspan, in his first speech after leaving the Fed, said that gold prices were up because of concern about terrorism, and not because of monetary concerns or because he created too many dollars during his tenure. Gold has to be discredited and the dollar propped up. Even when the dollar comes under serious attack by market forces, the central banks and the IMF surely will do everything conceivable to soak up the dollars in hope of restoring stability. Eventually they will fail.

    Most importantly, the dollar/oil relationship has to be maintained to keep the dollar as a preeminent currency. Any attack on this relationship will be forcefully challenged-as it already has been.

    In November 2000 Saddam Hussein demanded Euros for his oil. His arrogance was a threat to the dollar; his lack of any military might was never a threat. At the first cabinet meeting with the new administration in 2001, as reported by Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill, the major topic was how we would get rid of Saddam Hussein– though there was no evidence whatsoever he posed a threat to us. This deep concern for Saddam Hussein surprised and shocked O’Neill.

    It now is common knowledge that the immediate reaction of the administration after 9/11 revolved around how they could connect Saddam Hussein to the attacks, to justify an invasion and overthrow of his government. Even with no evidence of any connection to 9/11, or evidence of weapons of mass destruction, public and congressional support was generated through distortions and flat out misrepresentation of the facts to justify overthrowing Saddam Hussein.

    There was no public talk of removing Saddam Hussein because of his attack on the integrity of the dollar as a reserve currency by selling oil in Euros. Many believe this was the real reason for our obsession with Iraq. I doubt it was the only reason, but it may well have played a significant role in our motivation to wage war. Within a very short period after the military victory, all Iraqi oil sales were carried out in dollars. The Euro was abandoned.”

    Available here.

    Other than that, Saddam would have never been able to commit the atrocities that he did, had our leaders not provided him with technology and weaponry that he used to accomplish it in the first place. You know, we couldn’t dare have Iran overthrow the dictator that we imposed upon them… better to sell another bloody tyrant the weaponry to challenge the will of Iran, as well as suppress his own people.

    Other than that, I think the bastard should hang.

  31. killing a mere 148 people [emphasis added of course]

    ??? I can’t believe I site I respect, and a writer I have high regards for, actually posted those words. I could care less who is opposed or for the death penalty. Murdering 148 human beings is uncalled for and is worthy or prosecution and radical punishment and is not a trifling matter.

    I suspect that what Sullum means is that this is a smaller crime than many other atrocities Saddam ordered.

  32. Brad,
    Thanks for completing my thought.

  33. You are more than welcome Ruthless. Thanks for telling the truth also. It is times like these where the truth is most important. We should never be afraid of the truth, because – as the cliche goes – the truth shall set us free!

  34. Well, FoxNews says he’s dead.

  35. You’re joking, Jacob, right?

    A “mere” 148 [innocent] people?

    “Overzealous” self-defense?

  36. I wonder if Saddam has found Jesus.

  37. Well, at about 10:05 EDT Saddam went to meet his maker, whoever that was.

    I, for one shall shed no tears. As I have said before, if there is anything better than an ex-dictator it is a dead dictator.

    And I say that in spite of being against both the death penalty and the invasion of Iraq.

  38. “..in reaction to an assassination attempt, a crime that could be (and was) portrayed as a case of overzealous self-defense”

    Well, Saddam tried to assasinate George Bush the elder. Does that right of self-defense only extend to crypto-fascist, kleptocratic dictators-for-life like Saddam or do democratically-elected leaders, who leave office when their time is up have that right, as well?

  39. Stop it, Buck. You’re being logical. Government, critical thought and revenge have nothing to do with logic.

  40. Issac Bartram

    My thoughts precisely. However, if he has met his maker, I suspect he is now rather warm.

  41. The news isn’t saying where the execution took place.

    I really, really, really, really, REALLY hope it wasn’t Abu Ghraib prison.

  42. As evil and ruthless as Saddam Hussein was, I have to ask myself what we have gained by this.

  43. P Brooks,

    Nothing. The more I have reflected upon this, I’d have rather seen Saddam die an old man in a facility like Spandau Prison.

  44. The Iraqi government was right to kill Saddam, just as the Italians were right to hang Mussolini, and the Romanians were right to shoot Ceaucescu. While he remained alive (and unrepentant), he was a potential rallying point for the remnants of his regime. I find it regrettable that Duvalier, Amin, Pol Pot, Pinochet and Marcos didn’t come to a similar end.

    -jcr

  45. I wonder if G. Bush and T. Blair will receive the same treatment eventually? Saddam is a lightweight in the killing of Iraqi citizens compared these two, their lies… no WMDs no AQ connections, their Shock and Awe and subsequent killing, maiming, torturing, stealing, and destroying in this “war” should lead them both to The Hague and the International Criminal Court for Crimes Against Humanity charges.

  46. what he did was wrong but does it make it right by his hanging???????

  47. if you make evil rules the so you will die by them

  48. what he did was wrong but does it make it right by his hanging???????

    it certainly guarantees that he and his clan won’t be doing more of that, eh?

  49. No, his death by hanging provides justice to his victims, including their survivors.

    It makes no difference whether he was hanged by a mob or by the government – same thing, really, at least in terms of how they think and behave. A mob just has less permanence and acts more quickly.

    And, as for the “mere 148” thingy, I understand the context, I think, of not having to stand for his other crimes. I’m also reminded of a bit by Eddie Izzard:

    “Pol Pot killed 2 million people. We can’t even deal with that.

    If somebody kills someone, you go to prison.

    You kill 2 people, you go to Texas, they hit you with a brick.

    Over that, we can’t deal with it.

    Someone who’s killed 100 people, we’re almost going, “Well done.

    “You killed 100? You must get up very early in the morning.

    “I can’t even get down the gym!

    “Your diary must look odd. ‘Get up in the morning, death, death, death, ‘”lunch… death, death, death, afternoon tea, death… quick shower…”‘

    So I suppose we’re glad that Pol Pot’s under house arrest. 2 million people, at least we know where he is.”

  50. A simple hanging? Is that all? Considering the hideous tortures and deaths that his regime inflicted on others, I would say that he received an easy end. And that’s putting it mildly.

  51. I think people are misinterpretting Jacob’s remark.

    Killing 148 people in response to an assassination attempt is certainly a legitimate capital case, but ending the legal proceedings against Saddam Hussein and executing him for that would be like trying Himmler for one or two murders he committed with his own sidearm.

    Somebody brought up Al Capone and the tax case. The most important goal vis a vis Mr. Capone was to get him off the streets. Saddam’s case, however, was more like the Nuremberg trials – the airing of the crimes, and the tracing back of those crimes to the grand conspiracy that was Naziis – was far more important even than doing justice to those convicted.

    It would have been better to have a similar set of trials for the top Baathists, and treat these 148 murders as elements in the same crime against humanity/conspiracy case that included Saddam’s coup/purge in 1979 and his establishment of the police state. It would have brought a great deal out into the open, and maybe had the same pedagogical effect up on the world and Iraq that the Nazi trials had.

  52. I really, really, really, really, REALLY hope it wasn’t Abu Ghraib prison.

    Actually the thought of Lynndie England leading him around on a leash is kinda heartwarming…

  53. The news coverage of this has been embarassing. One of the major network Special Reports claimed that Saddam Hussein has been “America’s #1 enemy for over 20 years” (but he was an ally against the fundamentalists in Iran, not public enemy #1). This same newscast said that Saddam ordered the attack that killed 148 people in response to some “random bullets” fired his way (but it’s well established that there was a concerted assassination attempt).

    Why fudge these stupid little details? Do they seriously think that Americans are so freakin’ stupid that they have to make stuff up to paint Saddam as even more evil than he was? The “Butcher of Baghdad” isn’t enough? Now we have to lie about him to make him into some other-world demon? I’m insulted that the news organizations felt they had to exaggerate Saddam’s brutal legacy to sell the execution to Americans, like gassing an entire village isn’t enough.

  54. Saddam’s trial was a joke and his execution will do us no good. From dallasnews.com

    In a farewell message to Iraqis posted Wednesday on the Internet, Saddam said he was giving his life for his country as part of the struggle against the U.S. “Here, I offer my soul to God as a sacrifice, and if he wants, he will send it to heaven with the martyrs,” he said.

    Next article titled, “Bombings kill 46 in Iraq.”
    The side effects from this “remedy” may prove worse than the disease.

  55. I should be clear that I think Saddam was a monster, but true justice can’t be meted out in a kangaroo court.

  56. I wonder what hardcore baathists will do now. They might say that Saddam is a martyr, but who will they put in charge in the unlikely event that they take over?

  57. miche-

    I think it’s quite likely that the bombing you cite would have happened regardless.

    And I think joe is right, both on the issue and on his interpretation of Sullum’s remark.

  58. The only problem with trying Saddam for additional atrocities dating back decades would be that the United States was a supporter of Saddam until the early 1990s. I don’t know if there’s any more explicit connection, but even supporting Iraq during the 1980s could be argued as having facilitated Saddam’s crimes.

  59. Thoreau and Joe’s comments are fine in theory, but wouldn’t that establish a precedent that the US will go after every dictator that kills his/her own people? That could potentially lead to a lot of mud in our eye, especially in Latin America.

  60. but true justice can’t be meted out in a kangaroo court.

    please define ‘true justice.’

  61. Sic Semper Tyrannus.

  62. They have just set saddam free why didnt they hand him over to the victims and let them give him justice.

  63. please define ‘true justice.’

    Webster has more to say, but I think this pretty much covers it.

    justice: 1 a : the maintenance or administration of what is just especially by the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims or the assignment of merited rewards or punishments

    Did Saddam get what was coming? Probably, but there is no way a person would die if that trial were held here. The U.S. should not be in Iraq at all, but we are. And as the authority on “spreading freedom” we should have ensured that a fair trial and appeals process were available.

  64. Am I really the only one here who doubts they killed the real Saddam? I just figure someone like that’s gotta be valuable alive to someone, or he’d’ve been dead a long time ago.

  65. miche, leaving out the tautological first phrase, the second seems to fit, as you acknowledge. so there was certainly ‘justice.’

    now, is it ‘true’ justice? i have no idea, you still didn’t define it.

  66. Edna,
    I call uncle. I said

    …but true justice can’t be meted out in a kangaroo court.

    but I should have said that for some people, a death sentence from a kangaroo court leaves questions about the entire process. I think that is especially true when said kangaroo court is sponsored by an invading country.

    Whether or not I believe Saddam was a monster and deserved his fate is a non-issue. What is important to me is that the process be above reproach. So, while my initial word choice was poorly considered, and since I cannot possibly offer what you might accept as an absolute definition of “true justice”, I ask you to consider true justice as sentencing which would withstand scrutiny in our own courts.

  67. that’s setting the bar pretty low, as a reading of mr. balko’s columns will attest. we don’t execute the rich; shit, we rarely convict them even when clearly guilty (see: Simpson, OJ).

  68. Lamar,

    I’m not recommending anything about the future, certainly not more wars in order to hold more trials. But right now, here we are.

  69. Saddam ruled Iraq and we now know, due to this democracy faliure that ruling Iraq requires a good deal of reuthlessness and cruelty. That being said, how do you draw the line between what is neccessary to maintain order and what is criminal? Surley some of his stuff, like the gassing of the Kurds and the invasion of Kuwait belong in the latter category.

    But in fuzzier circumstances who gets to decide what is neccessary for order and what is going overboard? If create anarchy through benevolence and Saddam creates order through manevolence who is worse here?

  70. Q: Ya know why Saddam was considered an Iraqi sex symbol?
    A: He was hung.

    Q: What did Saddam say when he found out he was to hang at dawn?
    A: “What a lousy way to start the day…”

    Q: What were Saddam’s last words?
    A: GHHHHHHHHWAAARRRRRRRRRRKKKK…

    Feel free to contribute…

  71. Oh, Edna, I saw that coming as I clicked submit. In fact, I almost mentioned it. It would have been a preemptive concession. Yes, there are problems in our own system, but they are under scrutiny. The problems are addressed in many venues as well as appeals courts. I follow Balko’s Cory Maye series with rapt attention. It is my understanding that such appeals (Maye’s most recent denial as an example) are routinely dismissed.

    You throw out a term like “setting the bar low” with regard to Balko’s series and then pretend to keep up the argument. Maye killed a cop. It is my opinion that he was justified in doing so. (circumstantially, at least) Saddam killed untold numbers of people. Sullum points out in his post that the defense’s argument attempted to counter any sans provocation claims.

    Perhaps I am a little young in my libertarian/pro human freedom life, but you cannot argue for a Maye appeal win and defend Saddam’s sham of a trial and execution. They have both taken life.

    ****note****I think Maye should be free to live his life freely and with his family.

  72. Thinking on it, I should be clear that it is my understanding that Saddam was tried for the murders of those he felt involved in the attempt on his life. The second trial- the genocide trial- was under way at the time of his execution.

    Pardon please the double spaces- spilled wine in my laptop’s keyboard and the space key is sticking no matter the number of times I pull it apart.

  73. I think Chalupa is starting to get at the reality of what has been going on in iraq for the last 60 years. Not that the figure would be a significant point in either column, but I often wonder, in our 3 or so years of occupation, whether or not we have equalled the number of ‘civilian’ casualties that saddam authorized under his (much longer) tenure. I’m not an expert etc etc, but I think its pretty clear that there are a handful of (fairly sizable) groups that would simply battle it out until they got close enough to some arbitrary asymptote of mayhem. Its looking like the creation of iraq has become an example of one of those irreversable fuck ups that simply cannot yield a stable outcome.

    People seem to be flabbergasted by iraq’s (and other middle eastern countries) resistance to liberalization, and I think its largely due to people’s assumption that it is democracy, or the structure/philosophy of our government, that makes our societies relatively stable. Of course, any good little hayekian knows that it is mainly commerce that stabalizes a country/society, NOT the fact that it happens to have elections (hence the farcical purple finger). The general idea is that if people have electricity, running water, copious food etc then they will generally see why following the rule of law is a good idea.

    But the virtues of an open society cannot be forced onto a group of people who have had not much more than a taste of it. Its benefits have to be learned first-hand to be convincing. If the iraqi “cultures” are as resistant to eachother as some people make them out to be then I don’t know if there is a whole lot that can be done. People need to appreciate that an open, commerce-ruled society is indeed a rare thing – and that, lacking any restraint on the part of its members, a given culture is naturally going to drift towards something like iraq (pre-war, of course).

  74. Perhaps I am a little young in my libertarian/pro human freedom life, but you cannot argue for a Maye appeal win and defend Saddam’s sham of a trial and execution. They have both taken life.

    i think your problem is that, as you say, the process is more important to you than the actual truth. we agree on what the truth is- he’s a brute who is responsible for more muslim deaths than any figure in history.

    this all happened in a different part of the world with different people, different culture, different customs. so why are the particular rules and procedures of our particular legal system the definition of ‘justice’? do we do a better job of getting to the truth than they did? i think not, but getting to the truth does not seem to be your definition of ‘true justice.’

  75. i think your problem is that, as you say, the process is more important to you than the actual truth. we agree on what the truth is- he’s a brute who is responsible for more muslim deaths than any figure in history.

    Um, I don’t think that we agree on the “responsible for more muslim deaths than any figure in history” part. Truthfully, I don’t know what he or anybody else is responsible for. I know what the papers tell me, but to turn your own bit around, I don’t hear about Cory Maye in my Belo owned newspaper.

    Further, there are few that appreciate other cultures and customs more than I. But to allow your culture/custom/peoples comment,you must understand why it is imperative that the US be without stain in our sponsorship of such a trial and execution.

    You see, the process is important here because we are the bearers of “freedom.” You cannot bring freedom to culture/people/custom while being hypocritical.

  76. Awww, c’mon, Satan! You know I love you…

  77. You see, the process is important here because we are the bearers of “freedom.”

    we are? i thought we were just the guys who knocked off saddam? we can ‘bring’ freedom, but it’s up to them to keep it. as trials go in the middle east, this was a marvel of transparency and probity. and unlike here, the process revolved around the accused and the witnesses, not the posturing of lawyers and the bureaucratic rituals appertaining thereunto.

    in any case, you still haven’t addressed the central points- what was the truth? and what was the result? was the result in accord with the truth?

    i think your answers here would be the same as mine. in which case, in what way, specifically, was this trial ‘unfair’ in a cosmic sense?

  78. Gosh, Edna, the point of the quotation marks was sarcasm. As was my earlier “authority on ‘spreading freedom'” comment. We cannot bring freedom. Freedom is assumed with breath. If the Iraqis had fought for that which they were entitled to, if they had initiated the fight, and brought Saddam to trial themselves, then maybe the sentence would be just. But a bullshit invasion based on deception does not make a free people. Hanging a dictator, no matter how negative our view of him, does not make a free nation.

    As for truth, I know as little as you. I get what I am fed, though I try to eat from many troughs.

    My concern was the effectiveness of the remedy. If you had read the post before the one you cited, that would be clear. If I hadn’t consumed a bottle of wine, I might have ignored your question and spared H&R readers this whole thing.

    I am now more than tipsy and should probably sign off. I maintain that America, in our effort to spread freedom (Bush not me), should be above question.

    But what do I know? I am a high school dropout with an opinion and some booze.

  79. that’s ok, i was expelled from h.s. and had a bottle myself…

    But a bullshit invasion based on deception does not make a free people.

    no, it doesn’t, but it means they’re free of saddam. if they want to make something out of that, it’s up to them. if they don’t, it’s not because they didn’t have the chance. in any event, i’ll try my questions a third time:

    what was the truth?
    what was the result?
    was the result in accord with the truth?

    i’m not trying to be a pain in the ass, i’m still honestly baffled by your rejection of the trial and invocation of the phrase ‘true justice.’

    disclaimer: i opposed the trial also, but for a different reason.

  80. Good morning Edna. My head is killing me. Hope yours is ok.

    what was the truth?
    what was the result?
    was the result in accord with the truth?

    Who knows? The result was a death that brings us no closer to the truth. And because we don’t know the truth, we cannot answer whether result and truth can be reconciled.

    Now, my opinion, based on what my government and newspapers tell me, is that Saddam did very nasty things. It is also my opinion that the trial was a dog and pony show put together to keep our minds from asking about WMDs. Justice was not ours to dispense. (I know that the Iraqis sentenced him, but the entire thing was possible because of our involvement.)

    As for being baffled still, I explained in a previous response my position on “true justice.” Here it is again.

    …but true justice can’t be meted out in a kangaroo court.
    but I should have said that for some people, a death sentence from a kangaroo court leaves questions about the entire process. I think that is especially true when said kangaroo court is sponsored by an invading country.

    Pop me an email. I am sure this is only fun for us.

  81. feelin’ good. did 10 miles this morning in the crisp sf bay winter air. and off to spend the day cooking and getting ready for the big one tonite.

    could i supply what i think are your actual answers? if i’ve mischaracterized, please correct me and i’ll shut up (or take it to email).

    1. saddam is a murdering sack of shit
    2. the court found that he was a murdering sack of shit
    3. in accordance with the law of the land, the murdering sack of shit was executed.

    now i’d guess you’re unhappy with the particular way in which phase 2 was done, but you can’t argue with its accuracy and efficacy. and it was surely done in a better way than the recent aids trials in libya by any measure.

    re the hangover, i used to work in a lab that had a japanese postdoc who’d go out and get plowed every night. he’d show up in the morning with his hair every which way and clearly in pain. in broken english, he’d groan, “oooooh, my brain is very comprex.”

    try to keep things quiet today and my best wishes for a great new year. you’re a real gentleman or gentlewoman or whatever. 😉

  82. Saddam gagged bad in Baghdad.
    RIP.

    Not.

  83. 10 miles this morning? Go you. I slept in until 8:30 or so and made it to the gym at about 11. Nothing cures a hangover like a good long run.

    I am going to think a bit on your summary. I have something bouncing around in my head, but I want to think it through before I commit to it here.

    Best wishes to you too.

    Michelle

  84. “I’d have rather seen Saddam die an old man in a facility like Spandau Prison.”

    That would be my preferred outcome, it I could be assured that such a sentence would stick. However, given Iraqi realities, there would be a great risk that, if Saddam got a life sentence, he might be (a) released from prison in an amnesty after a few years, or (b) liberated from prison by some gang of guerillas.

    When a genuine, Spaudau-style life sentence can’t be guaranteed, I would go with the death penalty for the murder of 148 people, even if this forecloses the possibility of trying the defendant for additional murders he committed. You can only be hanged once, after all — how many murders does a guy need to be convicted of?

  85. The maudlin regrets voiced by those who have short memories and seem to ‘reward’ brutal, animalistic behavior by sadistic national figures like Saddam Hussein insult the entire sweep of human intellect.They lend their applause to the primal urge to destroy, to abuse, to inflict unspeakable experience on innocent fellow humans. The punishment came nowhere near ‘fitting the crime.’ This man was a blight on the entire process of human evolution

  86. I do believe that the SOB is dead, regardless of the doubting thomas’s. His unbridled disregard for human life, and his extreme hubris dealing with his people mark him for death.

  87. TIME magazine interview with Abu Mohammed: Saddam loyalists “threw in their lot” with Zarqawi post-invasion…

    http://regimeofterror.com/archives/2006/12/time_magazine_interview_with_a_1/

    Very interesting story about Saddam’s regime and it’s REAL view about what they thought of working with jihadists

  88. I too have mixed emotions over Saddam hanging. It is not that I think that he did not deserve it. He definately did. I believe in capital punishment. Just for some reason I have mixed emotions. I don’t even know why.

  89. TL,

    Maybe it’s because human beings with consciences feel sadness at the taking of human life. Every lousy human life, and even if they strongly believe that the death is necessary.

    Appreciate that sensation. It means you aren’t dead inside.

  90. Chalupa wrote:

    “Grand Chalupa | December 29, 2006, 5:34pm | #
    Yes, he’s evil, but Saddam kept that miserable little country under control and he was able to stay in power without the help of the Americans. Not like the impotent fanatics who are running the government today.

    He should be hung, but so should every card carrying member of the Supreme Council for Islmaic Revolution in Iraq. And Sadr too. The fact that we’re hanging Saddam while enpowering the Shia is the true crime.”

    ABSOLUTELY RIGHT!

    Was it not Moqtada Sadir that was sentenced to death by hanging in abstentia in Iraq before the US invaded that country? And that was for murder and terroism. Or was it shortly after? We had him holed up and nearly caught, but I think we made a deal with him to behave.

    Did he?… NO!

    Sadir should hang with the same rope that was used on Saddam!

    And he should be reviled just as much as Saddam was from the same gallows.

    As for Saddam’s hanging, KUDOS to the one that had the courage to broadcast that cellphone video. Saddam should have been hung in public before a large crowd, thousands in number.

    What is wrong with that? Just go to my site (http://www.geocities.com/callforjustice911) and see how the Europeans dealt with NAZI war criminals and terroists.

    HUNG THEM IN PUBLIC ! And not with a quick drop and a broken neck. They were left to dangle and strangle slowly at the end of their ropes.

    And now those same Europeans are against the death penalty?

    BULL !

    Terrorists and mass murderers need the same treatment– death by hanging.

    Callforjustice911

  91. 2 Saddam hanging videos are at http://WWW.SADDAMEXECUTION.ORG

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