-Gibbering old Despot to Face Music, 'In good spirits'-
The first Video started broadcast at 0940 GMT but there was no sound, just a piercing high pitched whine. They led the defendants in one at a time, Saddam was led in last. He was carrying a Qur'an and looking in fit and well. When the Judge, Mohammed Amin, asked him to identify himself for the court, he stood up and got belligerent. He quoted from the Book, he defended his status as President, he refused to give his name or acknowledge the authority of the court.
He was asked to sit down and the next defendant was asked to stand and identify himself. This man informed the judge that their head-dresses had been confiscated by guards. The judge ordered the head-dresses to be brought in and returned to the defendants.
There then followed a very long Pause.
10 minutes later...
They finally get their head coverings. Everyone appears much more relaxed now. Saddam looks like a hunted fox, sharp, almond colored eyes gone dark with contempt, alert and quick. A spark of defiance left in the old man?
But I mean there is no sympathy for the damned. This man is a terrible, ruthless, tyrant, a twisted and savage product of some of the worst idea's that people ever came up with. A last remnant of the late 20th century when rebellion was fun and dictatorship a fashionable pass time in, what was then called, the "third-world". He's a relic, a hold over from the archaic hard-line days of Stalin and Pinochet and Papa Doc Duvalier, and, now, he serve no purpose, like a vestigial tail, or the male nipple. He serves no purpose at all anymore,
Like a sullen child, when asked to identify himself, he threw a tantrum. He's afraid and he has every reason to be afraid. His day has come and he knows it. The eyes of the world can see, in magnificent tape delay, the way this scoundrel squirms. The judge looked amused. Saddam looked weary and cornered.
They're replaying that segment now. They should get new ones every 30 mins. I need a drink
The second tape is coming in now. No one seems to be translating it and MSN video stopped carrying it. Not much is going on there just the 8 defendants are standing up and identifying themselves.
"I will not recognize a court built on falsehoods"- Saddam Hussein, this morning.
Well, this is not going to be easy. Consider that Saddam has a plethora of charges against him which could span the length of several trials. He racked up quite a rap sheet since 1968.
Oh and now the judge has asked them to sign a power of attorney for their lawyers can speak for them. Saddam looked shifty when they said that.
There's whispers of postponement, that the defense will ask for 6 months, but a co-defendant argues for them to find Nagib Moustafa, his lawyer. He was detained by the Americans at the airport, he said. A very patient judge told the man to sit down and it seems like they're trying to find out why everyone else's lawyer is present and not his.
Crazy with fear, now, they are grasping at straws. You can see it in their eyes, the shock of being treated like criminals, the indignant slowly fading to the realization of the doomed.
They're sitting in a pen, a corral, like a big crib. Bars, to keep them from falling out of their chairs and onto the floor, babbling with terror and naming names.
The talking heads are not sure whether to treat this a little like the OJ trial or shoot the moon, but they're trying to make sense of it all. The charges have been read: Killing, murder, forced expulsion, torture, removing or forcing of movement of population, imprisonment and harsh imprisonment, etc...And then they read him Law 406, which states that the death penalty goes to anyone who kills intentionally.
There it is, my Freaky Darlings. Death is on the line, and for these men and there will be no escaping it.
Jimmy Carter once said "The sad duty of politics is to establish justice in a sinful world." And he was right, for the most part.
(Saddam Please Not Guilty-Innocent...All defendants plead same.
That last bit just came in on Fox...Won't be on the vid for about 20 mins)
This trial, this is global broadcast, coming from a heavily fortified former Baath party headquarters, in the Green Zone in Baghdad, is the first time in Arab History a Leader is being tried for War Crimes. Imagine what those poor bastards on the Arab Street must feel like, right now, watching this. It's Ramadaan over there -A long ass day of fasting- What a way to end the day. To have to watch images of their former Glorious Leader as he gets spanked for all to see on a defendants dock like a common criminal. But it gets worse...Because they can't even have a glass of tea to wash down the bitter bile of resentment, or smoke a stone of tobacco in a water pipe, to let the sound of the bubbling drown the sound of their choked back sobs. Now, that's just cruel.
The vid of the judge reading the charges is in. Much of what they reported before on Fox. Judge basically reads them the Gang Law and told them that they're going to be fighting for their lives here.
This certainly clears up much of the speculation that has circulated for months about how this trial will play out. They are going after him for an incident in Dujail, on Thursday, July 8, 1982, because they have solid evidence on him to convict him. By putting the death penalty on the line, if he/they are found guilty on this matter, then it trumps the others because a man can only die once for any number of crimes.
The judge tried to go one by one and they all pleaded innocent on the charges of the executions.
It gets real quiet in the courtroom after that.
The judge then asks the attorney General to reads the charges. But they lost audio.
Saddam is looking shiftier and shiftier as the prosecutor makes his opening statements.
1151 am gmt
well, You're on your own on this for the time being, my Freaky Darlings. I need some huevos rancheros and a couple of cold ones to face this kind of savagery in the morning. Let's face it, the AG was no where near as entertaining as Saddam
1215 am gmt
Court adjourned until Nov. 28
Defense has until then to get these guys heads out of the noose.