“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Guilty, Guilty Guilty, Hussein To Die.

Hussein sentenced to death

The Iraqi High Tribunal sentenced a combative Saddam Hussein and two other defendants to death by hanging for a brutal crackdown in 1982 in the Shiite town of Dujail. The five-member tribunal met amid heavy security and sweeping curfews, as authorities braced for violent reactions.

Saddam Hussein in court as the verdict was being read

Saddam Hussein has been convicted of crimes against humanity and sentenced to death by hanging.

The former Iraqi president was convicted by a Baghdad court for his role in the killing of 148 people in the mainly Shia town of Dujail in 1982.

His half-brother Barzan al-Tikriti was also sentenced to death, as was Iraq's former chief judge Awad Hamed al-Bandar

Former Vice-President Taha Yassin Ramadan got life in jail and three others received 15 year prison terms.

Another co-defendant, Baath party official Mohammed Azawi Ali, was acquitted.

One hundred and forty eight people from Dujail were killed as collective punishment for a failed attempt to assassinate Saddam Hussein in the town.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki hailed the conviction in a televised address, saying that the sentence was not a sentence on one man, but a sentence against all the dark period of his rule".

What happens next?

In Iraqi law, guilty verdicts on murder charges are automatically sent within 10 days to a nine-judge appellate chamber, no matter who the defendant is.

It can take as little as 20 days for the appeal to be heard.

If a death sentence is upheld, it must be carried out within 30 days, and Iraq's tripartite presidency must sign the execution papers.

Execution is by hanging, although Saddam has asked for a firing squad.

It is unclear whether he can be executed before the Anfal trial concludes.

In addition, the defendants may face other charges relating, for instance, to the suppression of the 1991 Shia and Kurdish uprisings or the wars with Iran and Kuwait.


  1. The timing of this cannot hurt the Republicans. The ads should be up already.

  2. Hung by the neck, until you are dead, dead, dead.

    The timing is indeed suspicious. Wait for the kos kids konspiracy theory threads.

  3. O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for the soul of Saddam Hussein, enemy of the Church and destroyer of innocents, that he may receive the mercies of Christ. Amen.

  4. I would rather he had to deal with an archangel or two.

  5. Well now, the UN Resolutions cited in the "Authorization for Use of Force in Iraq" have now all been complied with. The democratic Iraqi Government has totally emerged.

    The mighty aQ and it's allies in Iraq cannot effect a "Tet".

    Why do we remain? Mr Warner is correct, if the US is to remain in Iraq the Congress needs to pass another, new, Authorization, because the current Authorization has been fulfilled.

    In conjunction with the reathorization of the Occupation, due 31 Dec '06 it'll make for an interesting Lame Duck Congressional debate.

    If the Authorization is not renewed the Imperial US Presidency grows stronger.

  6. What happens if the review court lets him off?

    If he'd only had Johnnie Cochran...."If there ain't no WMD, you must set him free!!"

  7. DR< are you suggesting that GWB will ignore Congress?

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  9. Peacekeeper, they are already suggesting there must be some conspiracy of timing.

  10. Got no W-M-D must set him free. ( Habu's suggestion, just reads better)

  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  12. No, not really.
    I think the Congress could well ignore the reality of completion of the original mission.

    Unless of course the Dems take the House, which would change the formula that Mr Bush is used to operating under.

    Regardless the Iraqi Mission has been completed.

    If the Congress does not hold the President and itself to that reality, the Imperial Presidency expands.

  13. Those Dems are dumber than rocks.

    Their best move would have been, instead of declaring the Iraq Mission a failure, to declare it a success.

    All the pieces are there.

    Then Mr Bush would have to explain that the Military has failed to "really" complete the job.

    They could have begun this tactic anytime in the past year, that they have not proves they are inept, as a group.

  14. have insulted both paleo and neo lithic rocks everywhere.

    My G-d man have you gone mad? We need all the rocks we can get. On land, in rivers, Congress too.

    I mean Cabelas has an entire wearhouse of felt bottom fly fishermans shoes(fishing soon to be outlawed)boots for the slippery rocks.

    You're not one of those Anti-Rock people are 'ya?

  15. hey do you think after the hanging we can get them to suspend him from a bridge with meathooks in his achilles heels?
    Just for a day or two. Or are they gonna fire up the chipper shredder?

  16. When Hussein's Atlas vertebra is snapped, what will be his perception, algorithmically speaking?

  17. That those white grapes are not to sweet.

    But then again, he ain't dead yet.
    Many the slip, 'tween cup and lip

  18. There was deck full of Mameluke cards. I expect at least 52 hangings, and that's not including all the jokers.

  19. David Frum has responded to Vanity Fair. He was not misquoted. He finds no fault with the author of the piece. It seems he just disagrees with the politics of the editors. Perception rears its ugly head again.

    To repeat, Frum does not disassociate himself from his statements or deny the accuracy of the quotes.

    Weak broth this.


  20. Mr Frum says that the Article was accurate, but that the Press Release touting the article was not.

    I have not seen the press release, but did link to the article, the accurate, according to Mr Frum, article.

  21. Can someone point me to Richard Perle's dissociation from the Vanity Fair article or his claim of being misquoted?

  22. rufus said it was so, I'm sure he'll have the link.

  23. Well, I'm sure there is a 1% chance of it, anyway.

  24. DR,

    Isn't "death" itself merely a matter of perception? Personally, until recently enlightened, I thought it a simple, demonstrable fact, but I was just a caveman then.

  25. d'Rat,

    "Now he Tell Us"
    - Now being almost 2007 as opposed to 2003.

    "remorseful" former supporters of the Iraq war.
    - Frum is neither remorseful and neither is a former supporter of the Iraq war.

    Just because you think you can get from A to B differently, doesn't mean you don't want to go from A to B.

  26. At NRO, through the Drudge link Mr Pearle says the Editors of Vanity Fair lied about the release date.

    He also does not like the "Press Release"
    Vanity Fair has rushed to publish a few sound bites from a lengthy discussion with David Rose. Concerned that anything I might say could be used to influence the public debate on Iraq just prior to Tuesday’s election, I had been promised that my remarks would not be published before the election.

    I should have known better than to trust the editors at Vanity Fair who lied to me and to others who spoke with Mr. Rose. Moreover, in condensing and characterizing my views for their own partisan political purposes, they have distorted my opinion about the situation in Iraq and what I believe to be in the best interest of our country.

    He does not deny his quotations, but also says "We are on the right path"

  27. DR,

    re: Frum

    In his non-rebuttal rebuttal of Vanity Fair, Frum makes this statement:
    "When I talk in the third quotation above about failures "at the center," for example, I did not mean the president. If I had, I would have said so. At that point in the conversation, I was discussing the National Security Council, whose counter-productive interactions produced bad results."

    Who headed-up the NSC? Who appointed that NSC head?

  28. nah, Mr Bush would not "hold over" Mr Clinton's team, not in important posts, like the CIA and NSC

  29. Eliot Cohen:

    “That said, I had assumed that the interview would not be published until January, and find the timing of this release of excerpts tendentious, to say the least.”

    “I stand by what I said…”

    “Indeed, insofar as I have any personal regrets… it is for not having spoken up even more often and forcefully… I believed in 2003 that the war was just and appropriate, and have been deeply distressed at its conduct.”

    Wow, that is a stinging indictment of Vanity Fair, if one is easily shocked by “tendentious” (partisan) behavior in an election year.

  30. But what the democratizers fail to perceive is something that the people who dismiss the democratizers have not failed to see:

    The problem lies not in the poisonous cultural effect of tyranny, but rather in the poisonous effect of Islamic Arab Culture.

  31. Michael Ledeen:
    "Ask yourself who the most powerful people in the White House are. They are women who are in love with the president: Laura [Bush], Condi, Harriet Miers, and Karen Hughes."

    While concentrating on and smarting from a previous Vanity Fair article naming him, Ledeen did not deny the quote above. He does claim it was taken out of context, what ever that has to do with implying the President is a pussy-whipped politician.

    More weak broth served by Ledeen, compliments of Rufus.

  32. Everything I have just written about Cohen and Ledeen comes directly from NRO. Of course, in a world peopled by those who hold all things perceptual, words may no longer have any meaning whatsoever, However, until so informed, I will take the Neos at their word.

  33. At the "Symposium" they all are discussing the "Press Release", not the Article.

    Interesting spin, countering the spin. But not a one deny the quotes in the Article.

    I've not seen the Press Release, anyone have a link to that?

  34. Some complain about what was left on the cutting room floor.
    But actors always do.

  35. Allen,

    Words have meaning. But when you string words out of context and impose your own context on them, you create your own reality and meaning.

  36. Richard Perle:

    Like any good lawyer or charlitan faced with uncomfortable facts, Perle attempts to change the subject and obfuscate. Of post-war Iraq, Perle does not deny saying:

    "The decisions did not get made that should have been. They didn't get made in a timely fashion, and the differences were argued out endlessly.… At the end of the day, you have to hold the president responsible.… I don't think he realized the extent of the opposition within his own administration, and the disloyalty."

    Indeed, as both Cohen and Ledeen above, Perle does NOT address specifically any quote attributed to him. The fear of liable can have that effect.

  37. Michael Rubin:

    "Where I most blame George Bush is that through his rhetoric people trusted him, people believed him. Reformists came out of the woodwork and exposed themselves."

    Again, Rubin is mortified by the timing of the release of his perceptions.

    At the NRO Symposium he says:

    “Now, for my own quote: I absolutely stand by what I said.”

    “We cannot go around the world betraying our allies — in this case Iraqis who believed in us or allied with us — just because of short-term political expediency.”

    “We can expect no allies anywhere, be they in Asia, Africa, or Latin America, if we continue to sacrifice principles to short-term realist calculations.”

    If Rubin had hit Vanity Fair any harder, he would have had the publisher halting the presses in remorse.

  38. Matt,

    Perle, Cohen, Frum, Rubin, and Adelman said what they said. To argue otherwise is disingenuous - an oft claimed monopoly of Democrats by contributors in these parts.

    All the gentlemen above THINK the Iraq project has been botched. Ultimately, as softly as they may, all lay fault with the President. That is what they said and, despite the best efforts of true believers to spin it otherwise, they have not recanted.

    By the way, it is assumed here that my reporting the factuality of the quotes means I agree with them.

    In the real world, facts are facts, my personal opinion notwithstanding.

  39. Allen,

    I disagree. They do not think the Iraq project has been "botched", but rather, that it could have been handled differently and more efficiently. They all hold the hope that we still might get there, and that some changes need to be made to realize that goal. And guess what? They are in perfect agreement with President Bush, because he too agrees that some changed will need to be made.

    Why is that so difficult to understand?

  40. Matt,

    "botched": pp. Patched clumsily; mended unskillfully; marked with botches.

    "botch": v.t. To mend or patch with a needle or awl, in a clumsy manner, as a garment; to mend or repair awkwardly, as a SYSTEM of GOVERNMENT.

    From American Dictionary of the English Language
    ___Noah Webster, 1828

    You were saying?

  41. botched

    adj : spoiled through incompetence or clumsiness

  42. spoil

    v 1: make a mess of, destroy or ruin; "I botched the dinner and we had to eat out"; [syn: botch]

  43. Allen,

    Iraq is in one piece so far; it is a democracy; it is not yet ruined or destroyed; it is a mess.

    I prefer it not be a "democracy". I prefer it would be split up and not be a "mess" for US troops to try and clean up. But I support the President, regardless.

  44. Matt,

    re: support the President

    That is the crux of this, isn't it?

  45. Matt,

    re: botched

    I used "botched" as a verb.

  46. Are you saying they don't support the President?

  47. "All the gentlemen above THINK the Iraq project has been botched."

    Sounds as a description (adj) rather than action (verb) to me.

  48. Matt,

    I don't what the gentlemen think. I do know what they said. Are you disputing the accuracy of their quotes. Surely, not, if they are not.

  49. Matt,

    What exactly is exactly, in the President's plan for Iraq do you support?

  50. Allen,

    President Bush hasn't articulated the changes he intends to make, so I can't answer that yet. But I do know that changes are going to be made, and that's something I support