Friday, May 20, 2005


Once-feared tyrant to deploy ferocious lawyers over embarrassing photos

Saddam Hussein is filing suit over the pictures of him in his underwear published by tabloids in Britain:

Lawyers for Saddam Hussein said today that they have started legal action against The Sun after the newspaper published a front-page picture of the deposed dictator wandering around an Iraqi jail in his underpants.

Ziyad Khasawneh, who heads Saddam's 20-strong defence team based in Jordan, told The Times that he would also be starting legal action against US forces in Iraq and Donald Rumsfeld, the US Defence Secretary, for allowing Saddam to be photographed in jail in breach of international law.

First, let me say that I think publishing the photos was just plain stupid. But since stupid seems to be the way the press does business anymore, I’m not surprised. Second, let me say that I’m sure Rumsfeld is shaking in his shoes, and will be hiding out and ducking process servers for years to come. Yeah, sure. Particularly since the International Red Cross has already said it doesn’t even plan to issue a statement:

Article 13 of the Third Geneva Convention of 1929 says: "Prisoners of war must at all times be protected, particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity."

The mention of "public curiosity" is taken by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Geneva-based guardian of the Conventions, to mean that photographs should not be published of prisoners of war in which they can be identified.

But the ICRC appeared relatively unconcerned today about any breach of the Convention and said it did not plan to issue any public statements about the Saddam photographs.

What I find delightfully ironic is that Saddam is going to sue somebody over being embarrassed. Well, I guess that’s what you’re left with when you can no longer have people who aggravate you taken out and shot and buried by the truckload, or give them to your kids to put through an industrial chipper-shredder.

Personally, I think Saddam should be paying us for holding and protecting his miserable butt. What do you think would become of him if he was released on the streets of Baghdad today? Can anybody out there say “Ceaucescu”? No? How about "Mussolini"?

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