{ An Autopsy of Democracy }

Saturday, January 17, 2004

The Capture and Trial of Saddam Could (and Should) Lead to the Capture and Trial of Bush and His Cabinet for War Crimes

Saddam is in custody. Wonderful. Now, just what exactly are we going to try him for? We put him in power, armed him, and supported him through his worst atrocities (not simply "we" as in the United States as a country or abstract entity, but many of the very same people orchestrating this war). And are we going to have trials for the countless other atrocities committed by the United States during this same period of time?

I'm extremely surprised that Saddam was captured, rather than simply killed. It's rather astonishing that this was allowed to happen, given that a trial will no doubt serve to remind the world how much we helped Saddam and the Baath Party.

Will such a trial actually take place? And will it be an open/public/transparent trial held by an international court?

Very, very doubtful.

Every body of international law and justice has always been fiercely opposed by the U.S., precisely because we would be indicted on so many different counts. (In fact we actually have been indicted, tried and convicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court and the U.N. Security Council for the terrorist "Contra" wars in Nicaragua and Guatemala--the U.N. at its most "relevant"--but of course Reagan simply said we would not recognize the authority of such courts.)

With an open trial of Saddam, it's not just that it will expose the U.S. It's that there are individuals heading the U.S. government that could be arrested and tried themselves for their complicity in Saddam's crimes.

Let's recall. During Saddam's atrocities:

Rumsfeld was Special Envoy To The Middle East.

Cheney was Chief Of Staff and then Secretary Of Defense.

Bush Sr. was head of the CIA, then Vice President.

James Baker was Reagan's White House Chief of Staff (1981-1985).

Richard Perle was Assistant Secretary of Defense under Reagan (1981-1987).

Douglas Feith was a "Middle East specialist" on the National Security Council, then served as Special Counsel to Assistant Secretary of Defense Richard Perle, then Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Negotiations Policy.

Paul Wolfowitz was head of the State Department's Policy Planning Staff, then Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, then U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia (like Suharto, he has always been a lover of democracy . . . ).

John Negroponte was U.S. ambassador to Honduras and Mexico (not as relevant to the Middle East, I admit--but have a look into his humane diplomacy and opposition to brutal dictators in Central and South America . . .).

John Poindexter was Military Assistant (1981-1983), Deputy National Security Advisor (1983-1985), and then National Security Advisor (1985-1986).

Richard Armitage was a Pentagon consultant through 1976, senior advisor to the Interim Foreign Policy Advisory Board for Reagan in 1980, Deputy Secretary of Defense for East Asia and Pacific Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (1981-1983), Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (1983-1989), playing a "leading role in Middle East Security policies."

Caspar Weinberger (now on the National Security Council) was Reagan's Secretary of Defense (1980-1987). (Relevant side note: he was also the Vice President, Director, and General Counsel of the Bechtel Corporation, "which has multibillion dollar ties to Saudi Arabia and numbers among its alumni two Reagan cabinet members, one deputy secretary, and the special ambassador to the Middle East. Re: George Schultz . . .)

Elliott Abrams (now "senior director for democracy, human rights and international operations" on the National Security Council) served under Reagan as assistant secretary of state for inter-American affairs. (Again, not as much relevance to Saddam or the Middle East, but his fervent and unapologetic support for the contras and Salvadoran Death Squads make him a great appointment for an administration that now wants to oppose dictators and terror.)

Lewis Libby was on the Policy Planning Staff in the Office of the Secretary, then Director of Special Projects at the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs in the State Department. (Libby is also on the board of the Rand Corporation, which has many contacts with the Pentagon. He owns shares in armaments companies and has oil interests. He is a consultant to Northrop Grumman, the Defense contractor, which has an active presence in the Defense Policy Board of the Pentagon.)

. . . . .

Well, I guess a lot of very twisted people had a change of heart, suddenly. Maybe Bush helped them to find God or something.



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