Judge to Saddam: “You Are Not A Dictator”

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There was I, waxing sentimental about Saddam’s trial and the sight of a Kurd taunting the big guy. But now we slide from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Questioning a Kurdish witness Thursday, Saddam said, “I wonder why this man wanted to meet with me, if I am a dictator?”

The judge interrupted: “You were not a dictator. People around you made you (look like) a dictator.”

“Thank you,” Saddam responded, bowing his head in respect.

I’m no lawyer, but that judge strikes me as less than fully objective.

Saddam and six others have been accused of genocide and other offenses committed in the 1980s. The prosecution alleges that about 180,000 Kurds died.

Saddam also vowed to Kurdish witnesses to “crush your heads” after listening to them tell of the horrors allegedly committed by his regime.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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