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Justice Deferred?

Reported by Eleanor - July 1, 2004 -

Jack Cafferty on CNN American Morning (July 1, 8:25 a.m. ET) quoted Sadam as saying, "It's all theater. The real criminal is Bush." Cafferty made the following observation, "Sadam's a nasty guy, but he's not stupid. He might be right about the theater."

Cafferty continued with, "There are no Iraqi laws to hang this on - no real Iraqi government." Later, at 9:06, Tim Hughes, a member of Sadam's defense team said that it's scandalous that Sadam was not allowed to have a defense attorney for his court appearance. Hughes said, "It's been denied." According to Hughes, since his arrest, Sadam has been denied the right to see his family, have lawyers, or checks on his health. He was aware of the charges only yesterday.

Sadam defiantly refused to sign a legal brief without a lawyer present to represent him. He said, "How can you charge me with anything and not protect my rights under the Constitution? I'll come back with my lawyer." According to an Iraqi media expert, Sadam's physical appearance as a common man with his plain suit, open collar and short beard is sending a message to the Iraqis that he is in mourning; that in his mind, he is still President of Iraq; and that Iraq is still occupied.

Most of what Sadam said was not translated on the American media for Americans to hear, although he was shown speaking with no audible interpreter. When the Bush administration was told about Sadam's comment that "Bush is the real criminal," the response from the White House was that "Sadam is going to say all sorts of things." This White House comment is being repeated repeatedly on Fox. (Just in case Sadam says something interesting that raises questions? Or that we should discount anything he says?)

Comment: As Cafferty said, Sadam is a "nasty guy," but if he doesn't get a fair trial with the ability to say anything he wants with an honest look at whether or not it's true, as well as the best legal representation, our victory over him will be shallow indeed. The rule of law is what separates us from the likes of Sadam, and if it doesn't apply to the worst of us, we can't count on justice for the rest of us.