Kurdish genocide denied by Ramsey Clark Saddam’s attorney
Recently I ran across a Wolf Blitzer interview with Ramsey Clark that aired on CNN June 27, 2006. Wolf Blitzer asked the former attorney general about Saddam’s trial and his involvement in the Anfal campaign.
Wolf Blitzer: “I want to go through that Anfal campaign, which is the next trial that's supposed to start in August. The organization, Human Rights Watch, with which you are familiar, had a report in 1993 on the Anfal campaign.”
The report said “Saddam Hussein's government was involved in mass executions and disappearances; 50,000 people, 200,000 people in the Kurdish areas. There was widespread use of chemical weapons, destruction of 2,000 villages, arbitrary jailing of tens of thousands of women, children and elderly, forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of Kurdish villagers.” That was according to Human Rights Watch. The report concluded that "while it would be unrealistic to expect President Saddam Hussein to put himself and his closest aides and relatives on trial, a successor government in Baghdad should not shirk from its responsibility to carry out a thorough investigation of these enormous crimes and prosecute all those involved to the full extent of the law." That's Human Rights Watch.... What do you make of it?
Clark: “I think they're wrong and I think in hindsight they would realize they're wrong, that you can't have a fair trial there because security doesn't permit it. And that's what we insisted upon in November of '05. You can't have a fair trial when your lawyers are getting killed, when you can't investigate your case, and you can't go forward. And that's very obvious”.
“If you're going to have a fair trial, you've got to have safety for everybody involved. And you don't have that. And we shouldn't presume innocence. The Defense Intelligence Agency, the DIA, the Central Intelligence Agency, the CIA, and the U.S. Marine Corps have all said that Iraq did not have gasses that were used in Anfal or in Halabja. And they've said that in The New York Times and everywhere else. So we'd better wait and assume innocence.”
“I think the presumption of innocence is not a technical rule of evidence; it's a way of life. You'd better keep your mind open. You'd better not be prejudiced if you want to survive in this life because you're creating prejudice and hatred by threats of execution and by unfair trials”.
How many mass graves have to be uncovered for Mr. Clark to be convinced that his client is one of the worst criminals this world has seen since Adolph Hitler? How many documents, witnesses, videos and pictures does Mr. Clark need to see to realize how ridiculous and hypocritical he sounds? How many documentaries have to be produced before Mr. Clark begins to see the truth? All of this, plus Saddam’s confession in court on ordering the killing of 140 Shiites, and we are asked to wait and not to be prejudiced.
Mr. Clark continually reminds us that the reason more than 200,000 Kurds and thousands of Shiites were brutally, inhumanely tortured and buried alive in mass graves by Saddam and his thugs was because they were “sentenced to death under Iraqi law, and it was for treason against your country in time of war, including an attempt to assassinate the president by the Dawa Party.” However, Clark forgets to mention the laws were created and manipulated by the dictator he is defending.
Let us assume you are right Mr. Clark. All 140 people in Dijal that attempted to assassinate Saddam and 5,000 Peshmarga forces that sided with Iran during Iraq – Iran war deserved to be sentenced for treason and death. What about all those reports of Kurdish and Shiites atrocities, mass graves of harmless women and children that are being discovered daily? What about the 5,000 civilians in Halabja? How could you say Saddam did not have poison gas ability when Physicians for Human Rights, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and every other human rights group that exists today are confirming the use of chemical weapons by Saddam on Kurdish civilians? What about the 4,000 villages that were uprooted from Kurdistan with the inhabitants never to be seen again? If Massud Barzani, the current president of Kurdistan, was guilty for leading the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) forces and siding with Iran, what about the 8,000 innocent Barzani civilians including men, women and children? What was their crime? What about Saddam’s own confession on Iraqi TV? Just one month after Barzani Kurds were taken, Saddam admitted publicly his regime was involved in their disappearance. When asked about his safety, Clark says he “feels pretty safe in Iraq. I'm an American. I can get in and out. I don't live there. My family's not there. I don't have to worry about my family.” That’s right, Mr. Clark, but tens of thousands of Kurds and Shiites families did not have that luxury under the brutal dictator you are defending.
U.S. president Abraham Lincoln once said “Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally” I wonder how you would feel if you were a Kurd from Iraq and lived under Saddam laws and your family disappeared without a trace and you waited more than 15 years to hear something about their status only to find out they were buried alive in a mass grave some where in the dessert near Saudi Arabia. Would you still say the Human Rights Watch is wrong?
Mr. Clark is the same man who defended Karl Linnas, an ex-Nazi concentration camp guard in Estonia who oversaw the murder of some 12,000 resistance fighters and Jews. Clark is the same man who attended the funeral of Slobodan Milosevic and declared: "History will prove Milosevic was right. Charges are just that, charges. The trial did not have facts." Clark also described Slobodan Milosevic and Saddam Hussein as "both commanders" who "were courageous enough to fight more powerful countries.”
Mr. Clark these are not just baseless charges. This was genocide. There are hundreds of thousands of documentations captured by the Kurds from the Iraqi army that are stored at Colorado University in Boulder that prove genocide without a reasonable doubt.You have crossed a moral line and have lost your credibility by defending thugs like Saddam Hussein.
It is worthy of attention that Ramsey Clark is the son of Tom Clark who was also an attorney general under President Truman. President Truman admitted to a biographer that "Tom Clark was my biggest mistake." But Truman insisted: "It isn't so much that he's a bad man. It's just that he's such a dumb son of a bitch”. I wonder if Truman was alive today what he would say about young Mr. Clark.