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  1. #1
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    The Punishment of Saddam Hussein

    Iraqis Not Ready for Trials; U.N. to Withhold Training
    By MARLISE SIMONS

    Published: October 22, 2004, The NYTimes

    LONDON, Oct. 18 - A weeklong training session for the Iraqi judges and prosecutors chosen to try Saddam Hussein and his top associates ended in London on Monday with both the Iraqis and their Western advisers agreeing on one thing: The Iraqis are unprepared to tackle full-fledged trials any time soon.

    It was equally troubling to many participants that despite invitations to top lawyers and judges from the United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague to join the sessions, the United Nations secretary general, Kofi Annan, barred their participation and raised concerns about the tribunal in general.

    A letter from Mr. Annan's office expressed "serious doubts" that the Iraqi Special Tribunal could meet "relevant international standards." It reiterated his view that the United Nations should not assist national courts that can order the death penalty and said that the organization had no legal mandate to assist the tribunal.

    The two developments suggest that despite assertions by the interim Iraqi prime minister, Ayad Allawi, that the trials would begin as early as November, the likelihood of an early start seems remote. American officials here said that some pretrial hearings might take place in December.

    The London training session was organized by American lawyers who work with the Iraqi investigators and judges in Baghdad, assisting them in setting up courtrooms and preparing trials. Britain also lent its support, with England's chief justice, Lord Woolf, and a leading human rights lawyer, Judge Geoffrey Robertson, among those addressing the group.

    The event was not publicized because of security concerns for the 42 Iraqis - almost the entire Iraqi Special Tribunal - who returned home on Monday. Organizers granted a reporter access to the gathering on condition that any article appear after the Iraqis had arrived home.

    Gabrielle Kirk McDonald, an American who served both as judge and president of the tribunal in The Hague until 1999, said she had come because she felt a duty to help. She called the hands-off order from the United Nations "a travesty," saying, "This is about judges helping judges, this is not about politics."

    But some human rights lawyers agree with Mr. Annan. Richard Dicker, a director of Human Rights Watch, said by telephone that there were still "glaring human rights shortcomings" in the statute of the Iraqi tribunal. For example, confessions obtained through coercion would be admissible as evidence.

    "In a fair trial, the accused's rights must be respected," Mr. Dicker said, adding, "The first group of accused, including Saddam Hussein, had no access to defense lawyers when they were interrogated nor when they were brought to court on July 1."

    At the London meetings, several Western experts said the Iraqis appeared well-informed about their national laws but were unacquainted with the complexities of international law used to deal with mass killing and genocide.

    The Iraqi judges themselves, in numerous conversations, concurred. Some said they had little grasp of what one called "this whole new body of law."

    "This has been very beneficial because these crimes are very new to Iraqi judges," said Raid Juhi al-Saadi, 35, the youngest lawyer here, who became famous when he presided at Saddam Hussein's arraignment on July 1. "We would like more international expertise to assist us," he said. "The literature available to us in Arabic is very limited."

    The American organizers of the event said that because of strict security rules the names of other judges could not be revealed. But in private they were willing to discuss their concerns.

    Judges and prosecutors repeatedly said they wanted more practical training and asked for more material, including samples of investigations and key rulings from The Hague, translated into Arabic.

    In one conversation, three judges, who had long careers as military and civilian lawyers, talked about feeling caught between international public opinion and the opinion of Iraqis. They want experienced judges from other nations to sit on the bench with them but fear that many Iraqis will see this as humiliating. "The public will say that outsiders are deciding the process," one of the judges said.

    Several participants said that involving other countries, and preferably the United Nations, would provide greater legitimacy to the tribunal. "It would stop the impression that the whole thing is run by Americans," said one prosecutor.

    Supporters of Saddam Hussein and Arab media, he added, "are regularly attacking us on this."

    The model for the Iraqi tribunal, conceived in Washington, is to have Iraqi-led trials with American support and foreign advisers. But human rights groups had urged Washington to create a mixed model with international, even United Nations-approved, judges from the start.

    There were lively discussions here about Iraq's death penalty, because the judges were aware that the United Nations and many European countries have said they had problems helping a tribunal that could impose capital punishment.

    "I myself would rather see Saddam go to jail for many years so that future generations can see this," said one Baghdad prosecutor, speaking through a translator. "But we cannot suddenly abolish the death sentence now. The people would be outraged."

    The judges and prosecutors grappled with the notion of plea-bargaining, a concept that was foreign to them.

    After one session, Joanna Korner from Britain, a former senior prosecutor at the war crimes tribunal in The Hague, said she was pleased because "I actually managed to get my judges to understand there is more than one crime against humanity." She was describing the crimes that involve systematic and widespread attacks against a civilian population, which include murder, persecution, mass rape, torture and deportation.

    Another workshop dealt with the protection of witnesses, both for the prosecution and the defense, clearly an enormous challenge if trials begin in Iraq while the violence continues.

    A longtime strategy for the Iraqi Special Tribunal was proposed by Pierre-Richard Prosper, the United States ambassador for war crimes issues, in a closing address. He urged the group to focus on the leadership and send midlevel suspects to ordinary courts in order to lighten their own case load. He also suggested creating a truth commission allowing victims to speak. "Victims badly need to be heard," he said. He told the judges to communicate with the public. "Let the Iraqi people know what you are doing," he said, "and make the public your allies."

    Judge Kirk McDonald offered some solace to the group, some of whom seemed awed by the tasks ahead. "Ten years ago, we were exactly where you were, starting a tribunal, with no experience," she said. "You'll design your own court as you want it. My advice is: Transparency, transparency, transparency."[/b]

  2. #2
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    I couldn't put all the hi-lights I would've liked to since not everyone enjoys reading long articles.....but this really upset me.

    The UN is what?? Worried Saddam Hussein isn't going to get a fair trial and GASP.....he may get the Death Penalty?

    Who the H*LL cares? The people of Iraq should do whatever they want to do with him. THEY are the ones who have suffered under his regime!

    I say put his arms through a paper shredder, douse him down with pig lard and gas him slowly!

    The so called humanitarians just go too far with their 'pity'. I think they are all nuts...and the UN is worthless!

  3. #3
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    I think everything that the terroist did to troops,and contractors they should do to him..........

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    WOW..... great idea Snoopy!

    I'm not sure if a normal person could cut off someone else's head though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Merika
    The UN is what?? Worried Saddam Hussein isn't going to get a fair trial and GASP.....he may get the Death Penalty?
    The law is the law, you can't have it fair for one person and unfair for another. He will go down, thats certain but you can't have an international body like that show any bias or lack of it. It would undermine it. More so than its alread been undermined by the UK and US.

    Some people also see the death penalty making the people convicting on the same level as the person being convicted

    Quote Originally Posted by Merika
    The so called humanitarians just go too far with their 'pity'. I think they are all nuts...and the UN is worthless!
    Worthless?!?! Please read, no offense but to come out with such a statement is a little infuriating:
    http://www.un.org/aboutun/milestones.htm

    Merika, do you know why the UN is here? Do you know who set it up and how it came about? I think the US media has allot to blame for making out the UN is some kind of worthless organisation, no where else in the world is there such negativity towards it, the world would be a much worse place without the United Nations, apartied, racism, sexism, slavery, nuclear weapon all would be more common today without it. Where else can all the countries in the world come together to discuss problems and agree on solutions? As far as I can see, no where else.

    Do you also realise this is political. The US will not sign an agreement virtually every other country has signed which allows there soldiers to be arrested and tried for war crimes. The US won't sign this (I can see why given the war crimes commited in Abu Ghraib) and the UN isn't going to let the US do what it wants with Saddam given it won't sign this treaty, it almost split the UN and certainly undermined its credibility. Its simply resisiting the US bully boy tactics and rightly so. Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt, two of the most respected men in history are probably turning in there graves right now if they could see what there two modern day contempories have been doing.

    Saddam commited crimes against more than his own nation, he should be tried as a war criminal in the Hague like every other war criminal, he's no different from Milosovic

  6. #6
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    i dono maybe not the death penalty jail for life and he would get the crud kicked out of him in the cell after gettin nasty with his cellmate big jim nicknamed big nasty

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    I don't think he'll live to see a trial unless they have him in a heavily guarded, cement Armada with turrets.
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    Mondo...if i recall from my old history lessons, the UN was established to enable third world countries to have a voice in Global politics. Of course this is political, why else would it be a topic of discussion. Now, look at the history of the UN...it's a mess. In regard to Bosina, Haiti, Iraq, Samalia and others, what have they done...almost nothing.
    You speak of infractions in an Iraq prision but you make no mention of the mass burial sites in Iraq.

    What's wrong with Saddam being tried by the Iraqi people? Then lets talk about the INVASION of Kuwait and the people murdered there and the war the resulted. We Had more than ten years of so called inspection, courtesy of the UN.

    Bringing things more up to date, let look at the oil for food program and the graft that resulted. This has long been suspected and the facts are just now coming to light. Yes, some American companies are implicated but they are a drop in the bucket compared to some other Multi-national companies and in fact many national leaders.

    In your reference to the world court. why would we subject our leaders and military personnel to a world court? This is a world court made of world leaders (UN type) that won't honor their basic commitments from the begining....Curruption is a fact of life in that organization. You can't even begin to deny that.

    Your reference to FDR and Winston Churchill are absolutly misdirected. Those leaders would turn over in their graves only because we've let the world become as blind as we've been. How can you make excuses for dictators like Saddam, Mikolivch or others? How about Genocide on massive scales all over the world.

    How can you possilby exonerate, cite or look up to an organization like the UN. Clean it up and it might again become a valid global entity, but what you have now is a centalized source for graft and corruption.

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    Wow, I'm impressed how much you all seem to know. I must have slept through history class because I know none of this stuff.
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    October 18, 2004 -- WASHINGTON — The son of U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has been targeted by a federal criminal probe into corruption of the scandal-scarred Iraq oil-for-food program, sources said.
    Top U.N. officials said 30-year-old Kojo Annan is among a handful of individuals and companies whose business dealings with the gigantic U.N. humanitarian aid program are now facing the white-hot scrutiny of a federal grand jury in Manhattan.

    It was not clear exactly why Kojo Annan is being eyed in the probe, which involves an $11 billion scheme involving alleged kickbacks and illegal oil smuggling orchestrated by deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.


    http://www.nypost.com/news/worldnews/32057.htm

    My opinion is that THIS is why the UN did not support the USA in going into Iraq. Behind Annan's situation....Russia, France and Germany are also being implicated.

    To make it worse, they've done nothing but flood the media with lies regarding the war in order to cover up the fact they were breaking the sanctions agreement in the first place.

    To trust this group of buffoons with the welfare of our soldiers or to make calls on our international policies....isn't going to happen. Rightfully or wrongfully... it would bring about a revolution in America.

    Again, this is only my personal opinion.

  11. #11
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    First of all i would like to put in that the US isnt the one who will be putting Saddam on trial...it would be the IRAQI people the actual PEOPLE who were affected by the mass murderer called Sadam Hussein....

    im not sure if you know Mondo exactly what all he did to his OWN people....yes i understand that he got voted into presidency again but that is only because...he had guards standing by every voting booth armed with riffles who would shoot ANYONE who didnt vote for him....

    Also I feel that after what this man has done(if you can even count him as a man) he has NO RIGHT to be treated HUMANELY...

    im scared that if he doesnt get the death penalty then one day he will be free again and reek havok on all nations that came against him and in MY opinion that is asking for the apocalypse early....

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    Good points there Isis, but would you start a war against a country because of that?, besides that... it was not the initial reason for this war.

    Why is nobody doing something against the middle East conflic (Israel/Palestina), Fidel Castro, North Korea, most of the African countries?

    Its just useless to waste billions of Dollars on war IMO. Why not help the poor countries instead?

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    or give the money to me.
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    No.

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    Well really Sadam Hussein is a big part of the "origonal" war this war wasnt about just Osama Bin Laden or Saddam Hussein but about getting rid of terrorists in general all over the world...

    Then why are we focusing on the Middle East?
    Because that is where we feel terrorists are the worst at this point

    Why are we still occupying Iraq if we have captured Saddam Hussein?
    Because we are rebuilding their government for them so when we leave the terrorists wont take over the country again...

    I know that it seems like I am only seeing the war from one point of view...we that may be because I am A very partriotic American.

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    Isis....I believe someone can be against the war and still be patriotic.

    I think once the election is over...the intensity of what was REALLY going on in the UN and why they couldn't support the war will become obvious. I was suprised the French commission which is doing the investigation on France's participation in this.....began announcing today that there was indeed a problem. I looked for this information to be withheld until after the election.

    They don't disagree with Bush or think he's wrong....they just didn't want the world finding out they had broke sanctions and were underhandedly dealing with Saddam. I'm glad their OWN citizens are finally finding out.

    Also.....there are 38 countries standing in coalition in the war against terrorism. Not just the USA and the UK.

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    I don't know if Canada's involved now but we sure didn't want to be earlier on. We're a bunch of beer drinking, back bacon eating hippee tree huggers.

    The funny thing is, we're all proud of it.
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    Actually, Canada's military budget is right about $12 billion or it was the last I looked. They may have raised it a little since then. Each year it cost more to provide food, housing, insurance, retirement for the troops. (People always look at a military budget and think all of it is going into 'making bombs' ....that's SOOO stupid!)

    Anyway, they are great portion of the coalition against the War of Terror. They've done a tremendous job in Afghanistan in keeping the peace there and working in helping to restructure the country itself. In Iraq ....they've provided medical relief, intelligence assistance and are involved in other areas as well.

    On a side note: I've actually been on a visiting Canadian Navy ship. They were really a great bunch of guys too! I don't particularly like the sea foam green color of the ships...but I really liked the structure and lay out.

    I think sometimes people forget how much their leaders know which is under the areas of classified. Therefore, they say stuff to appease the people....when in reality....they are much more involved than some of their citizens know unless they keep up with their military efforts on a personal basis.

    This is why just watching the 'news' will never keep anyone informed about anything. It's very slanted and usually very inaccurate. This is why people form opinions which are wrong.

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    I was in the Canadian Military for a short while before tearing ligaments in my right foot. You really have to be slightly masochistic to be a private in the Canadian Armed Forces. I think at that time I was 18 years old, a shade under 6 feet tall, and 145 lbs, less than 1% body fat.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merika
    On a side note: I've actually been on a visiting Canadian Navy ship. They were really a great bunch of guys too! I don't particularly like the sea foam green color of the ships...but I really liked the structure and lay out.
    My best friends are in the Canadian Navy, those ships were 20 years out of date when our country bought them. Our military really is crap and there are widely available statistics which show that by 2013 it will be half of what it is now without some drastic changes. But I'm really proud of my friends, the hard work they do and the bs they put up with.

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    Trust me.....there isn't a ship in the sea in worse shape than the USS Kennedy (carrier). Three sailors, a contractor, and almost MYSELF, have died on that ship due to it's messed up toxic tanks!

    The bottom line is though, and same holds true for the Canadian ships or any other nation, is whether or not they can get the job done. As long as they can float and shoot or in a carrier's case launch off a plane....well...then that's what it's all about!!

    I love military ships more than anything! I'm passionate about them. I've had the fortunate experience of crawling through dark wet tanks to climbing the masts. They are INCREDIBLE!

    Paul C....ask your friends if they have ever been on a cruise to Mayport Naval Station in Florida. I may have drank a couple of beers with them! I'm one of the very few female shipyard workers...so most people remember me.

    Keep in mind this baby is 3 football fields long (900 feet) and has 23 stories. 5000 people live on her at one time. She can carry up to 90 planes. COOL HUH????

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    Quote Originally Posted by Isis
    I know that it seems like I am only seeing the war from one point of view...we that may be because I am A very partriotic American.
    "Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of
    the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to
    drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or
    a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people
    can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you
    have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the
    pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater
    danger."

    -- Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trials

    Its not wrong or unpatriotic to say you disagree with your country, its aparently your given right in the US to do so. Its probably more patriotic to question it rather than follow blindly.

    Would you call me unpatriotic to the UK cause I don't support it and I want to see Tony Blair hung up like Mussolini? No im not. Im voicing my opinion, which is my right in one of the oldest democracies in the world and cause I think he's bad for the UK doesn't make me unpatriotic, it makes me more so because I want whats best, not what we've got.

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    I don't know what it is like in the UK.....but in America when people verbally trash our troops, burn the flag, take up or side up with the enemy and show no respect for current leadership, whether or not they agree with the deicisions made, I personally consider them unpatriotic.

    We've had several Presidents in our life time who I have disagreed with regarding particular policies. I may STATE my feelings and dislike them as people.....but I would NEVER be disrespectful and do any of the above.

    This is why I would have to leave the country if Kerry were elected. For once....I would lose total respect for the office of Commander in Chief. Not just because I disagree with his policies (if he could keep them straight)....but because due to his actions 30 years ago....I consider him a traitor.....and yes....unpatriotic. If he loved his country....he wouldn't have done what he did.

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    I've only read snippets of what Kerry did so I can't comment other than I'd prefer him to Bush anyday regardless.

    I openly disrespect Tony Blair and the current government. There inept. Stupid. Clueless and are constantly damaging my nation to the point im in dispair. Why should I not disrespect them? They lied to me, they told me horsesh*t before they got elected and they went back on that. They disrespected me big time. They ignored the entire nation when we went to war, how much more disrespectful can you get? The UK [i]is[/] the basis for modern democracy (yeah yeah, I know you US people think its your thing but history says otherwise ) but they've turned it onto a dictatorship with a smile.

    I consider myself a patriot (whatever that means, were all human after all, we all bleed red as S.O.D like to say) but I don't like the current government 1 bit. They suck and I excercise my right to say so.

    As for the troops, no one here dare say a bad thing about them, not even the strongest opponents of the war, we all know there over there to get the oil cause they were ordered to and allow tony to suck up to bush in the hope he'll get another invite to a texas BBQ at his ranch.

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    Again....I'm with you in that I can disrespect the person in charge without disrespecting my country. Some people don't seem to be able to do that.

    This reminds of when a short-sighted and ungrateful British public ousted Winston Churchill just before Japan fell. Tired of war, the UK traded their nation’s greatest wartime leader for a smooth-talking socialist with promises.

    It was a decision they regretted; five years later, they returned Churchill and his conservative party to power for the next 13 years. Luckily, when the Brits chose the wrong leadership, the war was nearly won so their misadventure with a Liberal government was reversible.

    In our case....it is NOT reversible. One mistake...one wrong call....and seeing folks HURLING out of the World Trade Center, our Pentagon hit or al those people on the planes.....will seem like child's play. See...if we wouldn't have had CLinton as Presient previously and addressed the issue when they bombed our Navy ship or our Marines barracks in Beruit....we wouldn't have HAD a 9/11.

    Our President's job is to keep it THERE and not HERE! That's what the majority of the people demand. He's only doing what the should be doing.

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