Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Is He Still In Charge?

Saddam's on trial, and boy is he peeved! He concluded today's testimony with an outburst.

Later, at the end of the session, when the judges decided to reconvene Wednesday, Saddam suddenly shouted that he would not attend. "I will not return. I will not come to an unjust court! Go to hell!" Saddam yelled.

He also complained that he had no fresh clothes and that he had been deprived of shower and exercise facilities. "This is terrorism," he said.

That's amusing enough on the surface. It takes on special absurdity, however, when juxtaposed with this.

Earlier, Saddam had sat stone-faced, silently taking notes as the woman, known only as"Witness A," told the court how she and dozens of other families from the town of Dujail were arrested in a crackdown after a 1982 assassination attempt against him. She testified from behind a screen and her voice was disguised, but her weeping was still apparent.

Two other witnesses — a man and a woman — also testified Tuesday, all with their identities concealed.

"I was forced to take off my clothes, and he raised my legs up and tied up my hands. He continued administering electric shocks and whipping me and telling me to speak," Witness A said of Wadah al-Sheik, an Iraqi intelligence officer who died of cancer last month.

Several times, the woman — hidden behind a light blue curtain — broke down. "God is great. Oh, my Lord!" she moaned, her voice electronically deepened and distorted.

She strongly suggested she had been raped, but did not say so outright. When Chief Judge Rizgar Mohammed Amin asked her about the "assault," she said: "I was beaten up and tortured by electrical shocks."

The witness, who was 16 at the time of her arrest, repeated that she had been ordered to undress.

"They made me put my legs up. There were more than one of them, as if I were their banquet, maybe more than five people, all of them officers," she said.

"Is that what happens to the virtuous woman that Saddam speaks about?" she wept, prompting the judge to advise her to stick to the facts.

She also said al-Sheik fired a gun at the wall to scare her.

When asked by the judge which of the defendants she wanted to accuse, "Witness A" identified Saddam. "When so many people are jailed and tortured, who takes such a decision?" she said.

She later quoted a security officer as telling her, "You should thank your God because you are here in the Intelligence Center. If you were in the directorate of security, no woman would remain virgin." Nevertheless, she also said that many fellow female detainees lost their virginity to security guards.

No, Saddam, that is terrorism.


Thanks for the link!

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