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Illegal Procedure: The Quick and the Dead

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by Chris Floyd

The execution of Saddam Hussein is necessary, we are told, in order to re-establish the principles of law and order and justice in Iraq, after decades of his arbitrary tyranny. That's why he was not given over to summary justice, a la Mussolini, but was subjected to a "fair trial" under "rules of law." Having been found guilty by this formal legal procedure, he has been duly and legitimately sentenced to die, by hanging, again in accordance with impartial processes of law established by the American liberation of Iraq. (For a somewhat different view of the situation, see the post below.)

But what are we told today by the New York Times? That Saddam will likely be hanged willy-nilly, hugger-mugger, chop-chop, without any bother about those silly-billy legal procedures of a democratic government – you know, the freedom and democracy for which Bush has sacrificed almost 3,000 American lives (topping Osama bin Laden's body count) and more than half a million innocent Iraqis.

From the NYT:

Another senior administration official said later Thursday night that Iraqi officials had told the White House to expect the execution on Saturday, Baghdad time. In Iraq, where the Constitution requires that the Iraqi president and his two deputies sign all execution orders, officials said it was unlikely that legal formalities would stand in the way. The president, Jalal Talabani, had not received the documents by late Thursday.

But a government official familiar with the process said that little objection would be raised if the execution took place almost immediately. “Even if it happens tonight, no one is going to make an issue out of the procedure,” the official said.

Why, it almost seems that…one would almost think…I mean, gosh, it's hard to believe but…could it be this whole "freedom and democracy and law" stuff was just -- how to put it politely, in keeping with the civility demanded of us by all the Broders and Liebermans of the world? – could it be it was just howling bullshit peddled by bloodthirsty predators determined to have their way no matter what the cost? Could it be that – help me out here, Dave, Joe – could it be that we've been, you know, lied to? 

But let us not be intemperate. Let us not be uncivil. Let us each pledge, here and now, that when the time comes, we will ensure that Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney and their many accomplices in Saddamian mass murder will receive a truly fair and impartial trial, and that we will never allow them to be executed outside of the "legal formalities." No, let us stoutly assure those gentlemen (and ladies) that we, at least, will always "make an issue out of the procedure" that guarantees their rights under the rule of law.

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