Wednesday, December 07, 2005

make him sit there and listen

The dismal courtroom behavior of Saddam Hussein should not be tolerated. Over the past three days, the court in Baghdad that is conducting Saddam’s trial for crimes against humanity has heard pretty gruesome testimony from witnesses who have survived torture.

But yesterday the trial continued for awhile without Saddam, who the day before had complained about maltreatment: he said he has not had a shower or been allowed to change clothing in three days. And so he threatened to be absent from his own trial. Perhaps a couple of days of listening to the stories of abuse has started to seep into his flesh and bones and rocked his conscience. Who knows?

But for goodness sake, give the man fresh underwear, undershirt, and let him shower. Give him no excuse for skipping his own trial! And don't let him intimidate the judges or the witnesses.

I hope that when the court reconvenes on the 21st of December, the judge will not let the trial resume without the prime defendant present.

Saddam should be made to hear these shocking stories of torture, death, and abuse that he and his men committed against their own people—this is part of rendering justice.

He should be made to sit there and listen, even if it means giving him fresh underwear.

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