SADDAM’S FATE ‘UP TO THE IRAQIS’
Well, this didn’t take too long to sort out: DefenseLINK News reports,
The United States will assist Iraqis in developing a process to bring captured former dictator Saddam Hussein to justice for his crimes, President Bush told reporters here today.
Saddam will continue to be detained as the U.S. government works with Iraqi authorities “to develop a way to try him that will stand international scrutiny,” Bush said during a press conference.
The Iraqi people, the president asserted, “need to be very much involved” with Saddam’s fate, since they were the ones who were brutalized during Saddam’s rule. “He murdered them, he gassed them, he tortured them,” Bush pointed out.
Nonetheless, the president maintained that the deposed dictator — who was discovered hiding in a hole and captured Dec. 13 by U.S. troops near Tikrit, Iraq — deserves a fair trial. Saddam’s ultimate fate, Bush declared, “is going to be up to the Iraqis.”
As it should be.
In a related story, Saddam will be given Geneva Convention protections, a lot more than any of his victims got:
Coalition forces are ensuring that former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s Geneva Conventions rights are protected while he is in custody and that he receives “all of the privileges of a prisoner of war,” according to the commander of coalition forces in Iraq.
U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez said today on the CBS “Early Show” that Saddam “has been talkative” since his capture near Tikrit Dec. 13, and that “he’ll respond readily to questions that are asked of him in terms of just normal administrative requirements.”
But Sanchez stopped short of saying Saddam is cooperating with coalition forces. “I wouldn’t characterize it either way, cooperative or uncooperative,” he said. “We still have a long way to go in this process. And at this point, we still have to ensure that we’re taking care of him. He’s being treated according to the Geneva Conventions. We’ll be protecting him.”
Sanchez described Saddam as “a man who looks resigned to be a prisoner, and at times . . . looks a little dazed and confused.”