Updated October 15, 2005








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By Greg Szymanski

The biased U.S. mainstream press has again let down the people, distorting facts and slanting story lines. No better example of such shenanigans exists than the recent reporting by FOX News, The Weekly Standard and all big city dailies, including The New York Times, regarding the events surrounding the court proceedings of Saddam Hussein scheduled for Oct. 19.

These outlets intentionally slanted recent interviews with the distinguished and well-respected international human rights attorney and professor, Dr. Curtis Doebbler, making it appear as if the rule of law has been followed to the letter in the Hussein case. But nothing is further from the truth, according to Doebbler.

What is even more troubling is that when Doebbler told his story in the neo-con party line media outlets, many of his statements were intentionally left out or paraphrased to give the sense that Hussein’s defense attorneys were actually being given a fair shot at representing their client.

“The first thing I have to clear up from what the press has reported is that neither [am I nor is former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark] really representing or truly can be called Saddam Hussein’s attorney,” said Doebbler in a telephone conversation this week from New York.

Doebbler cites Article 14 of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights as precedent, pointing out that it is a longstanding international agreement that mandates a defendant be given a right to a lawyer and the lawyer, in turn, be given adequate facilities to prepare a defense.


Since Doebbler and Clark have been given little, if any time, to even see or visit with their client, Doebbler insists neither of them could be called the attorney representing Saddam.

“We are willing to represent Mr. Hussein,” said Doebbler. “Mr. Clark and I have a signed power of representation from him. But if you do not have access to your client, I would rather have my little sister represent him.

“And what is really ridiculous is that the news publications covering this story always start out by saying numerous lawyers are representing him, but this is totally wrong,” said Doebbler.

Doebbler believes the government trial should not go forward since the tribunal itself does not meet international law standards of impartiality and fairness.

“The court set up in Baghdad is not only biased, but it is incompetent and totally lacking any type of legal credibility normally associated with international cases,” said Doebbler.

“As lawyers we hope the rule of law will be respected and thus far this is not the case.

Actually, Doebbler contends that the whole concept behind the tribunal is illegal.

“There is an overwhelming number of jurists and statesmen around the world, bound by international law, who openly recognize the invasion of Iraq as a preemptive strike and in violation of all sound principles of international law,” said Doebbler. “And, it’s important to note, that one cannot create legal rights out of an illegal act, meaning what’s going in the Hussein trial has no legal merit to begin with.”


Another important fact about the Saddam trial ignored by the American press concerns the harassment of the only attorney to be officially appointed by the Iraqi court.

Kalel al Dolami, an Iraqi lawyer assigned to Saddam’s case as the initial legal contact in Baghdad, never has been allowed to visit with his “client” privately. Thus he, in accordance with Doebbler’s remarks, can hardly be considered to be truly representing Saddam either.

Equally shocking, al Dolami has accused U.S. operatives of outright harassment, including breaking into his Baghdad home and stealing and destroying legal documents related to Saddam’s case.

Although Doebbler and al Dolami have tried to bring these violations to the attention of the press and authorities, they have never surfaced in the American media and never been investigated by Iraqi nor U.S. authorities.

(Issue #43, October 24, 2005)

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