Krauthammer blasts Bush administration for Saddam trial bungling
One of the administration's key apologists turns on them: "Of all the mistakes that the Bush administration has committed in Iraq, none is as gratuitous and self-inflicted as the bungling of the trial of Saddam Hussein.
Although Hussein deserves to be shot like a dog -- or, same thing, like the Ceausescus -- we nonetheless decided to give him a trial. First, to demonstrate the moral superiority of the new Iraq as it struggles to live by the rule of law. Second, and even more important, to bear witness.
Instead of Hussein's crimes being on trial, he has succeeded in putting the new regime on trial. The lead story of every court session has been his demeanor, his defiance, his imperiousness. The evidence brought against him by his hapless victims -- testimony mangled in translation and electronic voice alteration -- made the back pages at best.
'This has become a platform for Saddam to show himself as a caged lion when really he was a mouse in a hole,' said Vice President Ghazi Yawar. 'I don't know who is the genius who is producing this farce. It's a political process. It's a comedy show.'
There hasn't been such judicial incompetence since Judge Ito and the O.J. trial. We can excuse the Iraqis, who are new to all this and justifiably terrified of retribution. But there is no excusing the Bush administration, which had Hussein in custody for two years and had even longer to think about putting on a trial that would not become a star turn for a defeated enemy."