Monday, August 09, 2004

This business we call show trial

In my previous post, I didn’t link the two Iraq stories together as strongly as I should have. The issuing of warrants against the Chalabis while they were out of the country--and both warrants at the same time though for very different crimes, as a Daily Kos writer points out--tells you everything you need to know about the Interim Puppet Government’s willingness to use the criminal justice system against its political foes, like Karl Rove subordinating the federal government here to the dictates and timing of the Bush "re"-election campaign. Now apply that lesson to the death penalty: people willing to distort the justice system arming themselves with the ultimate sanction to use against their political, clan, ethnic and religious enemies. Roll on the show trials. (Update: shorter version of this argument, from Wonkette: "Hey, it's an unelected, unaccountable government without a functioning justice system and the ability to kill whomever it deems guilty! That seems familiar somehow.")

Also, according to the NYT, it’s broader than I realized: the death penalty applies to attacks on infrastructure, "endangering national security," and activities related to biological and chemical warfare, which I take to mean this will be applied retroactively. And the American-appointed Allawi will begin this wave of executions under the protection of the American military, which makes them our executions.


Alan Keyes figures out a way to justify running for Senate from a state not his own: Barack Obama is a bigger traitor, not to his state, but to "the declaration of principles our country was founded on," by supporting abortion rights. In fact, Keyes is a little like Abraham Lincoln: "You have to ask yourself: Are we in a position where if I do nothing the principles of national union will be sacrificed?" Pompous much? The WaPo explains why the Republicans’ cynical choice of Keyes is a travesty, and they do it without even once using the word whacko, which is the difference between a newspaper and a blog.

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