Monday, January 08, 2007

A Clark's Tale

I really do think there is a solid case for impeaching George W. Bush – and Dick Cheney as well come to think of it. But when I got an email passed on from Ramsey Clark, asking me to support his impeachment campaign, I had to demur.

There are many good reasons for opposing the war, but none of them involve the innocence of Saddam Hussein, Clark's erstwhile client. Bush lied about the war. The Bush dynasty covered up their complicity in Saddam's crimes, but that does not exonerate the latter.

Ramsey Clark has simply no credibility on this matter. He has a consistently recidivist record of defending war criminals, tyrants and butchers from Milosevic to Saddam. My article on Clark in Salon in 1999 still holds in still holds, and if anything, he has probably gone down hill since.

There were legitimate war resisters in the Second World War. Few of them had the bad taste to defend Hitler and Mussolini, yet what is about so much of what passes for the Left in America that they are so undiscriminating. They ally themselves with supporters of ethnic cleansing in the Balkans, in Rwanda, and now the butcher of Kurdistan. It is perfectly acceptably, and indeed politically much more sensible to recognize that the US war can still be wrong even though Saddam Hussein was indeed an evil dictator.

And what is worse, Clark is a lousy lawyer. For example, in his defense of Rwanda genocide indictee Pastor Elizaphan Ntakirutimana, aligned with Neocon sentiment against multinational tribunals -- somewhat ironically for a case originating in Texas -- said his client faced execution if extradited. Unlike Texas, the Tribunal, of course, has no death penalty, and indeed when it found Ntakirutimana guilty of participating in the killing of hundreds who had sought refuge in a Seventh Day Adventist hospital, it only sentenced him to ten years – about what he would get for a driving offence while black in Texas.

Perhaps it is no wonder that Clark's clients are all found guilty are imprisoned, die in prison or are executed. I would sooner trust him with brain surgery than with drawing up credible articles of impeachment. I groan when I see him representing war resisters from the forces, seeing any legal defense disappear in a cloud of Neo-Trotsykite rhetoric inspired by his sponsors.


Anonymous said...

You dub Milosevic as on of several 'war criminals, tyrants and butchers'.

He was none of these things. So much for your credibility.

Deadline Pundit said...

Vukovar, Dubrovnik, Srebrenica, Kosova. Oh yes he was.