Friday :: Jul 2, 2004

Saddam Quickly Faces Trial With No Laws In Place For Months


by Steve

It was just weeks ago that President Bush said it may take months before Saddam Hussein was handed over to the Iraqis for trial, because of US concerns that security wasn’t sufficiently high enough within Iraq to warrant his handover to a volatile situation inside Iraq. Then, after an accelerated transfer of some power to the Iraqi interim government Monday, Saddam was turned over to the Iraqis for “trial” this week, with all the trappings of a major media campaign to document his handover and first court appearance. Suddenly, the concerns about security have vanished.

Saddam’s first appearance in “court” yesterday was a spectacle perfectly packaged for Fox News. There will be much video of Saddam flooding the airwaves in the coming days and weeks. His defiant and rambling appearance will be replayed over and over again to remind voters that Bush succeeded in one of his major goals of this war, and has already given Bush and Cheney the needed talking points to crow about their success while pushing other stories like Abu Ghraib, the Plame investigation, and the continuing military deaths in Iraq off the page. But I suspect another major purpose behind the sudden transfer is to show Iraqis that they have turned a page themselves and can take pride that their dictator is now a captive. But what laws is Saddam being held accountable for? It should be noted that the laws that Saddam is alleged to have broken haven’t been written yet, as the Los Angeles Times notes in a story that also mentions such a trial will be months away. So Saddam will sit in Iraq, waiting for the laws to be written by whichever government is in power at the time, testing the fragile security in place to keep him in custody.

But at least it sucks the oxygen out of Kerry’s media coverage leading up to the Democratic convention, right? And isn’t that really what this was all about anyway?

Steve :: 7:07 AM :: Comments (42) :: Digg It!