JURIST Special Guest Columnist Curtis Doebbler, an American member of Saddam Hussein's legal defense team, says that the execution of Saddam Hussein after an unfair trial leaves the United States with blood on its hands and makes war criminals of its leaders, creating an ugly and dangerous example for the world in its disdain for the international rule of law...
The same, however, cannot be said about the American officials who have orchestrated the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq and now the consequential murder of the the former President and currently Prisoner of War after an unfair trial.
Even as the time of the extrajudicial execution approaches the United States government has until now denied the former Iraqi President's lawyers to be present at any execution that may take place. This violates the right to fair trial, particularly the right to legal counsel at all times even at an execution.
The United States government has denied the family of the former President the right to his remains if he is executed. One can only speculate that the reason for this immoral action is that the detaining power holding the Prisoner of war wants to make crystal clear its disdain for the law.
More importantly, the execution comes after a trial that has been determined to be unfair by every international expert who has reviewed it. This means that every person who participates in this trial and who did not try to stop it from being unfair is liable to prosecution for war crimes. These accomplices might also ponder the consequences of the United States' example in this case. The United States has said to the rest of world that it will not respect the law and nobody can make it do so by using peaceful legal means.
This is the type of world that American President George W. Bush is promoting: one in which victims of American aggression must depend on using all necessary means--including violence--to respond to America's violations of international law because the United States is blind to the scales of law. This does not bode well for the new year.
Curtis F.J. Doebbler is an international human rights lawyer and a member of the defense team for Saddam Hussein.