Sports and my thoughts

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Thoughts: The most dispicable person in America

Ramsey Clark
Former attorney general Ramsey Clark's decision to help Saddam Hussein's defense team marks the latest in a string of controversial causes he has joined.

"Every time these big cases come up, it seems like Ramsey Clark is by their side," said Sean Murphy, a professor of international law at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. "At some point, that diminishes the significance of having a former U.S. attorney general on the case."

Among others he has defended:

• Slobodan Milosevic, the former Yugoslavian president on trial in the Hague, Netherlands, for alleged war crimes in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo.

• Palestine Liberation Organization leaders sued by the family of an elderly tourist shot and thrown off a ship by Palestinian terrorists.

• Elizaphan Ntakirutimana, a leader of the Rwandan genocide.

"I've been in many unpopular cases where there's been high community prejudice against the defendants, but here everybody has been hurt, and everybody is angry," Clark said of the Saddam trial. (Related story: Saddam trial resumes with confrontation)

On Monday Clark sat alongside the defense team representing Saddam and seven co-defendants in a heavily guarded courtroom in Baghdad. He told CNN that it would be difficult to give Saddam a fair trial in Iraq.

"How can you ask a witness to come in when there's a death threat?" Clark said. "Unless there's protection for the defense, I don't know how the trial can go forward."

Clark, 77, served as attorney general under President Lyndon B. Johnson from 1967 to 1969. Earlier, he had served in the Justice Department and was involved in key civil rights legislation, including the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

He went on to teach law and became a critic of the Vietnam War.

Clark, an opponent of the Iraq war, met with Saddam in February 2003, in the weeks prior to the invasion.

He founded the International Action Center, which calls for an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. Clark also started VoteToImpeach, an organization dedicated to impeaching President Bush.

In an opinion article for the Los Angeles Times early this year, Clark wrote that he offered to help Saddam because a fair trial was "critically important to the future of democracy in Iraq."

Ramsey Clark should be tried for treason.


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