Selective Justice Aand The Execution Of Saddam Hussein
By Gregory Elich
12/31/06 "InformationClearingHouse" -- -- Hailedby...
State Departmentofficial putit,"We were franklygladtobe ridof them.Youask that theygeta fair
trial?You have got to be kidd...
More than sixtyofficialsof the U.S.Defense IntelligenceAgencywere involvedinthe programthatnot
onlyprovidedIraqwithintelli...
Selective justice aand the execution of saddam hussein
Selective justice aand the execution of saddam hussein
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Selective justice aand the execution of saddam hussein

514

Published on

Published in: News & Politics
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
514
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
1
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Selective justice aand the execution of saddam hussein

  1. 1. Selective Justice Aand The Execution Of Saddam Hussein By Gregory Elich 12/31/06 "InformationClearingHouse" -- -- HailedbyPresidentBushasan act of "justice,"formerIraqi presidentSaddamHusseinwasexecutedonthe morningof December30.Hussein'strial,Bushaverred, had beena"fair" one.Yetthere waslittle thatcouldbe regardedas fairand legal aboutthe proceedings. The court itself wasestablishedatthe BushAdministration'sbehest.U.S.dollarsfinancedthe proceedings,andU.S.officialsprovidedaid,traininganddirectinvolvement.The trial wasfraughtwith problems.Three of Hussein'slawyerswere murderedandmanydefensewitnesseswere intimidated intosilence.The trial wasa U.S.-directedeffort,intendedtopaintthe occupationof Iraqinthe best light.The U.S. andBritishinvasionhad,we are remindedbyWesternofficials,overthrownthisparticular tyrant.But tyrants,like warcriminals,are inthe eye of the beholder,andactionsthatmightwinpraise and supportforone man mightbe condemnedforanother.SaddamHusseinfoundhimself onboth sidesof that equationatone time or another. How doesithappenthata man can be regardedas a friendandallyone day,and an enemythe next? How isit that as praise fadesaway,thatsame man comesto deserve capture anddeath?Isitbecause hisbehaviorhaschanged,or because there hasbeena transformationinperception? At one time,SaddamHusseinwasbackedandpromotedbythe U.S. Hisbrutal methodswere regarded as effectivemeasuresinfurtheringU.S.objectives.Butashisactionsbeganto threatenU.S.interests,he earnedopprobrium. In hisearlyyears,SaddamHusseinwasonthe CIA payroll.Contactsbeganin1959, whenthe agency sponsoredhimasa memberof a small teamassignedtoassassinate Iraqi Prime MinisterAbdal-Karim Qasim.The Prime Ministerhadmade himself atargetbycommittingthe unpardonable sinof takinghis nationoutof the anti-SovietBaghdadPact.Husseinwassetupinan apartmentacross the streetfrom Qasim'soffice andtoldto observe hismovements.ButCIA plansreceivedasetbackwhenthe attempted assassinationonOctober7,1959 was conductedinso ineptamannerthat it failedtoachieve its objective.Anover-anxiousHusseinfiredtoosoon,killingQasim'sdriverandonlywoundingthe Prime Minster.Followingthe botchedattemptonthe Prime Minister'slife,CIA andEgyptianintelligence agentshelpedHusseintoescape toTikrit.Fromthere he crossedintoSyriaand thento Beirut,where the CIA providedhimwithanapartmentandputhimthrough a shorttrainingcourse.Evenat that young age,a formerU.S.intelligenceofficial recalls,Hussein"wasknownashavingnoclass.He was a thug - a cutthroat."But he did have excellentanticommunistcredentials.FromBeiruthe waseventuallysentto Cairo,where he remainedunderthe watchful eye of hisCIA handlersandmade frequentvisitstothe U.S. embassytomeetwithagencyofficials.U.S.hostilitytowardsQasimhadnotabated,andhe was eventuallykilledinaBa'ath Party coup in1963, afterwhichthe CIA gave the Iraqi National Guardlistsof communiststheywantedtosee imprisonedandexecuted.AccordingtoformerU.S.intelligence officials, manysuspectedcommunistswerekilledunderthe personal supervisionof Hussein.Asone formerU.S.
  2. 2. State Departmentofficial putit,"We were franklygladtobe ridof them.Youask that theygeta fair trial?You have got to be kidding.Thiswasseriousbusiness."Withhisimage burnishedthroughsuch accomplishments,Husseinfirstwentontobecome headof Iraqi securityandthenin1979, presidentof the nation.He remainedalliedwiththe U.S.duringhisfirstdecade inpowerashe orderedthe arrestof communistsandotherpolitical opponentsbythe thousands.Nearlyall wouldbe torturedorkilled.(1) In 1980, Saddam HusseinsentIraqi troopstoinvade Iranin an attempttoseize territorybyforce of arms. The resultingwardraggedonfor eightyears,causingimmensedestructionandcostingthe livesof 1.7 millionpeopleinone of the twentiethcentury'sworstwars. Relativelyearlyinthatwar,in December1983, PresidentReagansentenvoyDonaldRumsfeldto Baghdadto meetIraqi PresidentSaddamHusseinandofferAmericanassistance.RumsfeldtoldHussein that the U.S. wantedfull relationsand"wouldregardanymajorreversal of Iraq'sfortunesasa strategic defeatforthe West."Justone monthbefore,State Departmentofficial JonathanHowe hadinformed Secretaryof State George Schultzthat Iraq wasusingchemical weaponsagainstIranianforcesonan "almostdailybasis."Itwasalsowell known bythenthatthe Husseingovernmentwasengagingin widespreadrepression.Manythousandsof individualswerebeingimprisoned,tortured,executedor sentintoexile. Howard Teicherworkedforthe National SecurityAgencywhenhe accompaniedRumsfeldon that mission.Teicherrecalls,"PresidentReagandecidedthatthe UnitedStateswoulddowhateverwas necessaryandlegal topreventIraqfromlosingthe war withIran,"and formalizedapolicyof assisting Iraq ina National SecurityDecisionDirective[NSDD] whichTeicherhelpeddraft.CIA DirectorWilliam Casey"personallyspearheadedthe efforttoensure thatIraqhad sufficientmilitaryweapons, ammunitionandvehiclestoavoidlosingthe Iran-Iraqwar.Pursuanttothe secretNSDD,the United Statesactivelysupportedthe Iraqi wareffortbysupplyingthe Iraqiswithbillionsof dollarsof credits,by providingU.S.militaryintelligenceandadvice tothe Iraqis,andby closelymonitoringthirdcountryarms salestoIraq to make sure thatIraq had the militaryweaponryrequired." CIA personnel visitedIraqona regularbasistoprovide surveillanceintelligence gatheredbyU.S.- suppliedSaudi AWACSplanesinsupportof the Iraqi wareffort.Boththe CIA and the Defense IntelligenceAgencydirectlyassistedanIraqi offensiveinFebruary1988 by electronically"blinding" Iranianradar for three days."The UnitedStatesalsoprovidedstrategicoperational advice tothe Iraqis to betteruse theirassetsincombat,"Teichersaid."Forexample,in1986, PresidentReagansentasecret message"throughEgyptianPresidentHosni Mubarek,actingasan intermediary,"toSaddamHussein tellinghimthatIraqshouldstepupitsair war and bombingof Iran,"and "similarstrategicoperational militaryadvice waspassed"toHusseinthroughmeetingswithvariousheadsof state. Teicher"personallyattendedmeetingsinwhichCIA DirectorCaseyandDeputyDirectorRobertGates "notedthe needforIraq to have certainweaponssuchasclusterbombsand anti-armorpenetratorsin orderto stave off Iranianattacks." The CIA suppliedclusterbombstoIraqthroughCardoen,a Chilean company.
  3. 3. More than sixtyofficialsof the U.S.Defense IntelligenceAgencywere involvedinthe programthatnot onlyprovidedIraqwithintelligence onIranianpositions,butactuallyhelpedIraqtodeveloptactical battle plansas well asplansforair strikes.Althoughitwaswell knownbythe laterstagesof the war that Iraqi forceswere routinelyusingchemical weaponsagainstthe Iranians,AmericansupportforIraqi offensivescontinued."The use of gason the battlefieldbythe Iraqiswasnota matter of deepstrategic concern,"recalledaformerhigh-rankingDefense IntelligenceAgencyofficial.U.S.leadersweremore interestedinensuring the defeatof Iran.The Pentagon"wasn'tsohorrifiedbyIraq'suse of gas," rememberedaformerofficial involvedinthe program."Itwasjustanotherway of killingpeople - whetherwithabulletorphosgene,itdidn'tmake anydifference." SaddamHusseinreceivedunstintingsupportthroughouthiswarwithIran.Hiscrimeswere neveran issue.Not,thatis,until he miscalculatedandinvadedKuwaitin1990 inanotherattemptedland-grab. Thiswar, however,wasnotonthe U.S. agenda,and Hussein'srecklessactiontriggeredanattackby the U.S. and Great Britain,alongwiththe impositionof UN sanctions.(2) That SaddamHusseinwasonce regardedas a friendof the Westis rarelymentionedthese days.Aslong as he directedinternal repressionandexternal warsatthose U.S.policymakersloathed,he couldcount on support.Itwas onlywhenhisactionswentagainstU.S.intereststhathe wassuddenlytransformed intoa tyrant and criminal.Hismethodshadnotchanged.Onlythe Westernperceptionof him had shifted,because he nolongerservedthe purposesof global capital. The U.S. didmuch to create Saddam Husseinandotherslike him.Itisimpossibletoavoidconcluding that the trial of SaddamHusseinwaslittle more thanacase of selective justice,meanttoprovide post- justificationforaninvasionthatwasitself agrave violationof international law.SaddamHussein's crimeswere real enough,butthose actswouldneverhave broughthimtotrial had he continuedto operate withinthe parameters sketchedforhimbythe West.The trail of SaddamHusseinishailedasa triumphof justice,despitethe factthatit wasinitiatedandguidedbyanoccupyingpower.Yetone wonders.Whowill judge the Westernpowersthatstandinjudgment? 14 BerkeleyWomen'sL.J.126 (1999) SelectiveJustice:ProsecutingRape inthe International Criminal Tribunalsforthe FormerYugoslaviaand Rwanda;Nahapetian,Kate

×