Saddam Scuffles with Guards, Allowed to Walk Free

Saddam Hussein’s trial inched forward today, with a Not Guilty plea entered yet again. It ended with a postponement and Saddam scuffling with his guards and allowed to walk back to his cell on his own.

Saddam Pleads Innocent, Gets Into Scuffle (AP)

Saddam Hussein pleaded innocent to charges of murder and torture as his long-awaited trial began Wednesday with the one-time dictator arguing about the legitimacy of the court and scuffling with guards. The first session of the trial lasted about three hours, and the judge ordered an adjournment until Nov. 28.


When a break was called, Saddam stood, smiling, and asked to step of the room. When two guards tried to grab his arms to escort him out, he angrily shook them off. They tried to grab him again, and Saddam struggled to free himself. Saddam and the guards shoved each other and yelled for about a minute.

It ended with Saddam getting his way, and he was allowed to walk independently, with the two guards behind him, out of the room for the break.

The Iraqi legal system continues to baffle. Of course, the American system not infrequently causes the same reaction.

It makes no sense to have this trial continue to be postponed for weeks and months at a time. Saddam was arrested more than two years ago. There are mountains of evidence for his crimes and he is only being tried for those for which the most evidence exists. This should have been over long ago.

Further, there is no way a prisoner should be allowed to defy his guards and then get rewarded for it. Doing so makes a mockery of the process.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. LJD says:

    How about leg irons & shackles? Ball & chain?

  2. DL says:

    Dig a spider hole in the court room. Or better yet, get him some Kurdish guards.That ought to settle this nonsense!