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Eminent Domain Stuff

New London Update (2/24/06)
Coverage of the Rally at New London's City Hall (w/ pics)

Wednesday, June 30, 2004



I expect that the hoopla surrounding Saddam and his impending trial will only climb the decibel scale over the next few months. Here's the thing, criminal trials are meant to determine whether or not someone committed a criminal act. These work pretty well in civilized countries where witnesses are willing and able to come forward and testify in open court and evidence can be obtained by the proper methods. Serious problems arise, however, when attempting to apply the standards of criminal court proceedings to the trial of a despot that we already know is guilty (say what you will about innocent until proven guilty...that just doesn't fly for Saddam, sorry). Just check out the fiasco that Slobodan Milosevic's trial turned into.

Enter Saddam and his 1,500 closest lawyer friends. From these scum we get such perfectly rational statements as:

"This is a mockery of justice. We are facing clear legal violations. ... The allegations that this is going to be a fair trial is baseless," said Mohammad Rashdan, one of a 20-member legal team appointed by Saddam's wife to represent him.


"Any trial of the president is illegal and unjust and it follows from the aggression that took place against Iraq. The trial is a farce and the guilty verdict had been issued even before the trial has begun," he added.
Right. I'm sure that all of the allegations against this monster are baseless. Also, someone should inform this nut that all of this is merely a formality. We know Saddam is guilty as sin, that will be proven and shortly thereafter he will assume 6-foot-under temperature.

With any luck the vast majority of Humanity will see such claims for what they are. More troubling, it would seem, are the issues raised by Robert Alt at NRO:

The attorneys will of course use every argument at their disposal, but one line of argument is already taking shape. Ziad al-Khasawneh, one of Saddam's harem of lawyers, told AP that the United States has no legal basis to keep prisoners, including Saddam, now that it has transferred authority to an interim Iraqi government.

This argument would appear to be moot after today's transfer of legal custody. But not necessarily — not after Monday's Gitmo decision by the United States Supreme Court. As I explained here, the Supreme Court established a new rule permitting anyone in the custody of the United States to seek a writ of habeas corpus in a U.S. federal court. While the decision does not parse the line between legal and physical custody, a claim filed on the basis of physical custody is within the confines of the Court's reasoning.
Sound ridiculous? I'm not so sure. This argument seems to make technical sense to this layperson, but I guess I still wonder if such a thing would be allowed (maybe there's an inverse loophole).

Regardless, Saddam does not deserve even 0.0001% of the niceties shown him while in our hands. Nor does he deserve to continue to consume oxygen that would be put to much better use elsewhere. Whatever the Iraqis decide, no punishment could possibly be sufficient to account for the horror he subjected the people of Iraq to during his despotic rein.

In the end the critics (and the 1,500 plus lawyers on the wrong side of this one) will be overruled by common sense and justice. I just hope this is all taken care of expediently so the Iraqi people can get down to the serious work of rebuilding their country and shaping their new government.


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