They shoot lawyers, don't they?
Given that the U.S. Senate just went out of their way to deny foreigners the right to a hearing or a fair trial (the best of the many editorials on this is David Cole's, HERE or this one, HERE), it's not surprising they don't care if lawyers in Iraq are refusing to represent Saddam Hussein anymore unless there is direct, neutral, international intervention that guarantees their security.
Three of Sadaam's lawyers have been shot, two of them fatally. The lead attorney now refuses to show up for court. This is the trial that, according to President Bush, would give Hussein "the trial that he did not afford his fellow citizens when he was in power."
The whole idea that there would be any justice in Iraq, either for Saddam's victims or those of the U.S. invasion, has been pushed aside. If this trial, for the 1982 killing of 148 Shi'ite men from the town of Dujail, could proceed fairly at least some of Saddam's victims could hear the truth told
in public for the first time. It would be a reminder for the world of what kind of man Saddam was and a reminder that justice, better than bombs, can reveal these truths.
As Noah Levitt writes:
November 20 -- the week before Saddam is scheduled to return to court -- marks the 60th anniversary of the start of the Nuremberg Trials, set up by the Allied powers after World War II to prosecute Nazi war criminals. The first Nuremberg Trial, run by the Allies' International Military Tribunal, set the precedent for major prosecutions of individuals for extensive wartime atrocities.
It would be a fitting tribute, and a sign that the international community has learned from the lessons of the aftermath of WWII, for the major players to reach out to one another and cooperate on ensuring the safety of all those involved in Saddam's trial, so that justice can be protected.