Ramsey Clark - Counselor for World ‘Peace’

Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark’s preparing some kind of Twinkie defense for his new client:

Clark Joins Saddam Defense Team
Sun Nov 27, 2005 9:22 AM ET
By Luke Baker

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The trial of Saddam Hussein and seven co-defendants resumes in a fortified Baghdad courtroom on Monday with former U.S. attorney general Ramsey Clark joining the team defending Iraq’s overthrown president.

Clark, a controversial figure who was the top U.S. attorney in the late 1960s before becoming an anti-Vietnam war activist and a defender of figures including Slobodan Milosevic, said he hoped to strengthen Saddam’s defense.

“Our plan is to go to court in Baghdad on Monday morning representing the defense counsel as defense support,” Clark told Reuters in Amman on Sunday before flying to the Iraqi capital.

“A fair trial in this case is absolutely imperative for historical truth,” the 77-year-old said.

“It is absolutely essential that the court is legal in its constitution. A court cannot be a court unless it is absolutely independent of all external pressures and forces.”

Clark will be joined by the former justice minister of Qatar, Najeeb al-Nauimi, lending an international aspect to proceedings which have until now been entirely Iraqi-run.

It might give you pause to the consider this writer’s perspective (with links) in which he asserts that Clark is part of an unholy alliance of the World Worker’s Party (a hard-left socialist group) and unreconstructed Nazis:

Clark Joins Saddam Hussein’s Legal Team

By Brian Carnell

Sunday, January 2, 2005

In a move about as predictable as the fact that the Sun will rise tomorrow, former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark recently joined the legal team advising deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

As the Associated Press aptly noted,

[Clark] . . . is a staunch anti-war opponent who has met Saddam several times over the last 15 years. He was considered a friend of Iraq under Saddam when the United Nations slapped an embargo on Baghdad following its 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

One of his many trips to Baghdad included a human rights conference (!) in which Clark blasted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which, of course, was written predominantly by rich Western democracies—evil de jure in Clark’s pantheon.

When not sucking up to Saddam, Clark was off defending Slobadon Milosivec, going so far as urging Belgrade to resist NATO and promising that, if it did, it would enjoy “a glorious victory.” After losing a case in which he defended Karl Linas, who had served as a Nazi Guard at a concentration camp in Estonia, Clark publicly questioned the need to keep prosecuting Nazis, “forty years after some god-awful crime they’re alleged to have committed.”

From military officials accused of mass rape in Bosnia to preachers accused of genocide in Rwanda, if there’s anyone whose been accused of crimes against humanity in the last decade, Clark has been there to lend his support.

Although Clark has apparently been written off by the more moderate elements of the Left, Clark has been at the forefront of Leftist protests in recent years due to his affiliation with the World Workers Party. The WWP was formed as a split of the Socialist Worker’s Party in the mid-1950s, with the WWP being compose of former SWP members who supported the Soviet invasion of Hungary.

WWP is obscure to most people, but it has a much more well known front group called International ANSWER. International ANSWER, of course, has been a major force in organizing anti-war demonstrations against the U.S. attack on Iraq.

Sources:

The Mysterious Ramsey Clark: Stalinist Dupe or Ruling-Class Spook? Manny Goldstein.

Ramsey Clark, the war criminal’s best friend. Ian Williams, Salon.Com, June 21, 1999.

Us rebel joins Saddam legal team. The BBC, December 29, 2004.

Here is how Clark sees his mission:

Why I’m Willing to Defend Hussein by Ramsey Clark

Late last month, I traveled to Amman, Jordan, and met with the family and lawyers of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. I told them that I would help in his defense in any way I could.

The news, when it found its way back to the United States, caused something of a stir. A few news reports were inquisitive—and some were skeptical—but most were simply dismissive or derogatory. “There goes Ramsey Clark again,” they seemed to say. “Isn’t it a shame? He used to be attorney general of the United States and now look at what he’s doing.”

So let me explain why defending Saddam Hussein is in line with what I’ve stood for all my life and why I think it’s the right thing to do now.

That Hussein and other former Iraqi officials must have lawyers of their choice to assist them in defending against the criminal charges brought against them ought to be self-evident among a people committed to truth, justice and the rule of law.

Both international law and the Constitution of the United States guarantee the right to effective legal representation to any person accused of a crime. This is especially important in a highly politicized situation, where truth and justice can become even harder to achieve. That’s certainly the situation today in Iraq. The war has caused the deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqis and the widespread destruction of civilian properties essential to life. President Bush, who initiated and oversees the war, has manifested his hatred for Hussein, publicly proclaiming that the death penalty would be appropriate.

The United States, and the Bush administration in particular, engineered the demonization of Hussein, and it has a clear political interest in his conviction. Obviously, a fair trial of Hussein will be difficult to ensure — and critically important to the future of democracy in Iraq. This trial will write history, affect the course of violence around the world and have an impact on hopes for reconciliation within Iraq.

Hussein has been held illegally for more than a year without once meeting a family member, friend or lawyer of his choice. Though the world has seen him time and again on television — disheveled, apparently disoriented with someone prying deep into his mouth and later alone before some unseen judge — he has been cut off from all communications with the outside world and surrounded by the same U.S. military that mistreated prisoners at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo.

Preparation of Hussein’s defense cannot begin until lawyers chosen by him obtain immediate, full and confidential access to him so they can review with him events of the last year, the circumstances of his seizure and the details of his treatment. They must then have time to thoroughly discuss the nature and composition of the prosecution and the court, the charges that may be brought against him, and his knowledge, thoughts and instructions concerning the facts of the case. And finally, they must have the time for the enormous task of preparing his defense.

The legal team, its assistants and investigators must be able to perform their work safely, without interference, and be assured that their client’s condition and the conditions of his confinement enable him to fully participate in every aspect of his defense.

International law requires that every criminal court be competent, independent and impartial. The Iraqi Special Tribunal lacks all of these essential qualities. It was illegitimate in its conception — the creation of an illegal occupying power that demonized Saddam Hussein and destroyed the government it now intends to condemn by law.

The United States has already destroyed any hope of legitimacy, fairness or even decency by its treatment and isolation of the former president and its creation of the Iraqi Special Tribunal to try him.

Among the earliest photographs it released is one showing Hussein sitting submissively on the floor of an empty room with Ahmad Chalabi, the principal U.S. surrogate at that moment, looming over him and a picture of Bush looking down from an otherwise bare wall.

The intention of the United States to convict the former leader in an unfair trial was made starkly clear by the appointment of Chalabi’s nephew to organize and lead the court. He had just returned to Iraq to open a law office with a former law partner of Defense Undersecretary Douglas J. Feith, who had urged the U.S. overthrow of the Iraqi government and was a principal architect of U.S. postwar planning.

The concept, personnel, funding and functions of the court were chosen and are still controlled by the United States, dependent on its will and partial to its wishes. Reform is impossible. Proceedings before the Iraqi Special Tribunal would corrupt justice both in fact and in appearance and create more hatred and rage in Iraq against the American occupation. Only another court — one that is actually competent, independent and impartial — can lawfully sit in judgment.

In a trial of Hussein and other former Iraqi officials, affirmative measures must be taken to prevent prejudice from affecting the conduct of the case and the final judgment of the court. This will be a major challenge. But nothing less is acceptable.

Finally, any court that considers criminal charges against Saddam Hussein must have the power and the mandate to consider charges against leaders and military personnel of the U.S., Britain and the other nations that participated in the aggression against Iraq, if equal justice under law is to have meaning.

No power, or person, can be above the law. For there to be peace, the days of victor’s justice must end.

The defense of such a case is a challenge of great importance to truth, the rule of law and peace. A lawyer qualified for the task and able to undertake it, if chosen, should accept such service as his highest duty.


Ramsey Clark was attorney general under President Lyndon B. Johnson.

© 2005 Los Angeles Times

Here’s Ramsey’s own International Action Center web site. Join him and save the all the world’s ex-National Socialist and Stalinist dictators who languish today in prisons without adequate access to Swiss bank accounts or weopons caches due to the inhumanity of U.S. corporate and military power.

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Posted at 6am on 11/28/2005 | comments are closed Filed Under: Daily

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