November 05, 2006

Saddam Hussein: "Guilty" Death by Hanging

Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death this morning by hanging for crimes against humanity for ordering the massacre of Iraqi civilians. He was convicted of ordering the deaths of 148 Shia men and teenage boys in the town of Dujail in 1982.

Saddam was on trial with seven co-accused:

-Awad Hamed al Bander, former chief judge in Saddam's Revolutionary Court, has been sentenced to hang

-Saddam's half-brother Barzan al Tikriti, head of the feared Mukhabarat intelligence service, was sentenced to hang

-Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan was sentenced to life in prison

-Three Ba'ath party officials were sentenced to 15 years in prison

-Abdullah Kazim Ruwayyid, former Ba'ath official, given15 years

-Mizhar Abdullah Ruwayyid, former Ba'ath official, given 15 years

-Ali Dayih Ali, former Ba'ath official, given 15 years

-Mohammed Azawi Ali, a Ba'ath party official in Dujail, was cleared.

Saddam is in the middle of a second crimes against humanity trial and the appeal against the Dujail death sentence will start on Monday, taking two months.

He had wanted to face a firing squad - that request was refused.

Celebratory gunfire echoed across Baghdad while fighting broke out in the north of the city.

Saddam's lawyer said the former president urged Iraqis "not to take revenge" on the US coalition and to "unify in the face of sectarian strike". [Smooth: Which is really a covert signal to ensure that Iraqis DO take revenge on the US coaltion"]

Amnesty International described the trial as a "shabby affair marred by serious flaws" but who gives a crap about what pro-Arab, anti-American and anti-Israel NGO's think.

Security was stepped up in the capital in anticipation of a violent reaction to the verdict. Sunni supporters predicted a "firestorm" of violence.

Saddam, who was captured by US forces in December 2003, is still seen as the figurehead of many of the insurgent Sunni groups conducting a campaign of terror against Coalition troops and Iraqi civilians.

The trial is the first that Saddam has faced in the wake of his downfall.

It is possible the former Iraqi president's other trials for genocide and war crimes could now be brought forward.

So what did this serial killer do? Facts below are excised from Saddam Hussein's Philanthropy of Terror - by Deroy Murdock:

Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, burned its oil fields in a dastardly act of eco-vandalism, killed some 5,000 of his own people with chemical weapons at Halabjah, and stuffed another 400,000 or so of his constituents into mass graves.

In spite of that, did he possess weapons of mass destruction?

Considering the United States gave him approx 11 - 13 months warning, it can be assumed that nuclear, biologicial and chemical (NBC) weaponry was escorted covertly out of Iraq and into the hungry terror nations that surround the region.

But even if Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction, the question that must be asked is did Saddam Hussein have ties to terrorism?

The notion that he did not is the platform upon which liberals and lefites bleat out their rhetoric.

Here are the facts:

Saddam Hussein knew plenty about terrorism. In essence, he owned and operated a full-service general store for global terrorists, complete with cash, diplomatic aid, safe haven, training, and even medical attention. Such assistance violated United Nations Security Council Resolution 687. The results not only broke international law, but also were deadly.

The public evidence of Saddam Hussein’s cooperation with and support for global terrorists is abundant and clear. The Baathist government’s contacts and collaboration with terrorists in general, al-Qaeda in particular, and even the September 11 conspirators should make all Americans highly grateful that President Bush led an international effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power.

You have to agree that the world is better off now that Hussein was removed from power.

Let’s start with money. At a minimum, we know that Saddam Hussein’s government supported terrorism by paying "bonuses" of up to $25,000 to the families of Palestinian homicide bombers. How do we know this? Tariq Aziz, Hussein's own deputy prime minister, was stunningly candid about the Baathist government’s underwriting of terrorist killings in Israel.

“President Saddam Hussein has recently told the head of the Palestinian political office, Faroq al-Kaddoumi, his decision to raise the sum granted to each family of the martyrs of the Palestinian uprising to $25,000 instead of $10,000,” Aziz announced at a Baghdad meeting of Arab politicians and businessmen on March 11, 2002, Reuters reported the next day.

Aziz simply echoed the policy his boss established one week earlier. As Saddam Hussein put it on Iraqi TV on March 4, 2002:

"We are glad of the Istishhadiyyah [suicide] and heroic spirit of the Palestinian people. By Allah, what the Palestinian people does is beyond my expectations…”
Saddam Hussein’s vice president, Taha Yassin Ramadan, is the man who Israeli intelligence believes was directly involved in funneling money from Baghdad into the hands of the families of homicide bombers. Documents that the Israeli Defense Force captured in the Palestinian town of Ramallah indicate that Vice President Ramadan used the Arab Liberation Front, the Palestinian Liberation Front, and the Palestinian branch of the Iraqi Baathist party to pass these funds into the hands of terrorists’ families.

Here’s the sort of thing Ramadan bought with Saddam Hussein’s money: On March 9, 2002, Fuad Isma’il Ahmad al-Hurani blew himself up in a Jerusalem restaurant called the Moment CafĂ©.

The devastation was extensive inside the eatery. Far worse, of course, was the human toll. Eleven Israelies were murdered while 52 were wounded.

A little over three months after that carnage in 2002, Mrs. Khaldiya Isma’il Abd al-Aziz al-Hurani collected a check for $25,000 as a bonus for her son’s suicide and his homicide of nearly a dozen others. The check was a “President Saddam Hussein’s Grant” paid via the Palestine Investment Bank. These funds were transferred on June 23, 2002.

In another case, Usama Muhammad Id Bahr and Nabil Mahmud Jamil Halbiyyah blew themselves up in Jerusalem's Zion Square on December 1, 2001. Before setting off to "martyrdom," they also left a car bomb set on a timer two blocks away. It exploded just as rescue workers and emergency personnel arrived on the scene.

Here again, the physical damage was extensive, but largely reparable. Alas, the human toll was far more severe, what with 11 deaths and 188 injuries.

The deceased were all between ages 14 and 21. They were out for a night of fun after the end of Sabbath.

On April 10, 2002, Izat Jarradat boarded a crowded bus strapped with explosives. As the bus approached the busy Yagur junction near Haifa, he blew himself up. This vulgarity killed eight Israelis and wounded 15 others.

Not all of these victims are Israeli. American Abigail Litle, the daughter of a Baptist minister, was just 14 years old when she was killed on an Israeli bus on March 5, 2003.

Between the time Saddam Hussein boosted his bonus payments to the families of Palestinian terrorists and the March 20, 2003 launch of Operation Iraqi Freedom, 28 homicide bombers injured 1,209 people and killed 223 more, including at least eight Americans. These bonus checks were handed out at ceremonies where banners proclaimed the friendship of the PLO’s Yasser Arafat and Saddam Hussein.

The Palestinian newspaper, Al Hayat, in December 2000 featured a letter expressing gratitude and appreciation to President Yasser Arafat and to President Saddam Hussein from the family of Imad Al-Dib Badir Al-Dayah.

In addition to funds, Saddam Hussein's government provided diplomatic help to Islamic extremists. This is Abu Abbas, former secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Front. He masterminded the October 7-9, 1985 hijacking of an Italian cruise ship whose name, sadly, is now synonymous with terrorism. The Achille Lauro was on a voyage across the Mediterranean when four Palestinian terrorists seized it on the high seas. They held some 400 passengers hostage for 44 hours.

At one point, they segregated the Jewish passengers on board. One of them was a 69-year-old New York retiree named Leon Klinghoffer. He happened to be confined to a wheelchair. Without mercy, Abu Abbas’ men shot Klinghoffer, then rolled him, wheelchair and all, into the Mediterranean.

The hijackers surrendered to Egyptian authorities in exchange for safe passage to Tunisia. Abu Abbas then joined them on a flight to freedom aboard an Egypt Air jet. However, four U.S. fighter planes forced the airliner to land at a NATO base in Sicily. Italian officials took the hijackers into custody. But Abbas possessed the ultimate get-out-of-jail card: An Iraqi diplomatic passport.

The source for this information is Bettino Craxi. At that time, he was Italy’s prime minister. As Craxi explained in an October 14, 1985 UPI story: “Abu Abbas was the holder of an Iraqi diplomatic passport…The plane was on an official mission, considered covered by diplomatic immunity and extra-territorial status in the air and on the ground.” Seeing that this terrorist traveled as a credentialed Iraqi diplomat, the Italian authorities let Abbas flee to Yugoslavia. After political parties furiously withdrew from Craxi’s coalition, the Italian government collapsed.

Hisham al Hussein is the former second secretary at Iraq’s embassy in Manila.

The Philippine government expelled him on February 13, 2003, just five weeks before the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Cell phone records indicate he had spoken with Abu Madja and Hamsiraji Sali, two leaders of Abu Sayyaf, al-Qaeda’s de facto franchise for the Philippines. The timing was particularly suspicious, as he had been in contact with the Abu Sayyaf terrorists just before and after they conducted an attack in Zamboanga City.

Abu Sayyaf’s nail-filled bomb exploded on October 2, 2002, injuring 23 individuals and killing two Filipinos and one American. That American was U.S. Special Forces Sergeant First Class Mark Wayne Jackson, age 40.

As Dan Murphy wrote in the February 26, 2003 Christian Science Monitor, those tell-tale cell phone records bolster the televised claim by Hamsiraji Sali, a top Abu Sayyaf terrorist, that the Iraqi diplomat had offered this group of Islamo-fascists Baghdad’s help with joint missions.

After escaping Italian police in October 1985 following the Achille Lauro hijacking (thanks to his Iraqi diplomatic passport), Abu Abbas finally ended up in Baghdad in 1994, where he lived comfortably as one of Saddam Hussein’s guests. U.S. soldiers caught Abbas in Iraq in April 2003. This time, he did not get away. He died in American custody, reportedly of natural causes.

Abbas' Baghdad sojourn was not an isolated incident. Saddam Hussein granted avowed international terrorists refuge in Baathist Iraq. Terror mastermind Abu Nidal also enjoyed his hospitality.

Nidal lived comfortably in Iraq between 1999 and August 2002. As the Associated Press reported on August 21, 2002, Nidal’s Beirut office said he entered Iraq “with the full knowledge and preparations of the Iraqi authorities.” 13 Prior to his relocation, he ran the eponymous Abu Nidal Organization — a Palestinian terror network behind attacks in 20 countries, at least 407 confirmed murders, and some 788 other terror-related injuries. Among other savage acts, Nidal’s group used guns and grenades to attack a ticket counter at Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci airport on December 27, 1985. Another cell in Austria simultaneously assaulted Vienna’s airport, killing 19 people.

Among the five Americans that Abu Nidal murdered that day was John Buonocore III, a 20-year-old student at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA, who had studied in Rome that fall semester. Buonocore was shot in the back while checking in for his flight home. He had hoped to return to Wilmington, Delaware to help his father celebrate his 50th birthday.

The New York Times reports that Abu Nidal's Fatah Revolutionary Council murdered the following 17 Americans, at a minimum:

Americans killed in the Abu Nidal Organization's December 27, 1985 attack on Rome's airport:

*John Buonocore III, 20, of Wilmington, Delaware
*Frederick Gage of Madison, Wisconsin
*Natasha Simpson, 11, of New York
*Don Maland of New Port Richey, Florida
*Elena Tomarello, 67, of Naples, Florida

American executed during ANO's 1986 hijacking of a Pan Am jet at Karachi, Pakistan's airport:

*Rajesh Kumar of Huntington Beach, California

Americans slaughtered in ANO's September 8, 1974 bombing of a TWA jet over the Ionian Sea en route from Israel to Greece, killing all 88 aboard:

*Eitan Bard of Tuckahoe, New York
*Seldon Bard of Tuckahoe, New York
*Ralph H. Bosh of Madison, Connecticut
*Jon L. Cheshire of Old Lyme, Connecticut
*Jeremiah Hadley of Poughkeepsie, New York
*Katherine Hadley Michel of Poughkeepsie, New York
*Frederick Hare of Bernardsville, New Jersey
*Margaret Hare of Bernardsville, New Jersey
*Don H. Holliday of Mahwah, New Jersey
*Dr. Frederick Stohlman of Newton, Massachusetts
*Mrs. Frederick Stohlman of Newton, Massachusetts

If there is any justice here, perhaps it is the fact that Abu Nidal died in August 2002. Saddam Hussein’s government claimed that he committed suicide by shooting himself in the head — four times.

Enter Abdul Rahman Yasin. This Indiana-born, Iraqi-reared terrorist remains wanted by the FBI for his role in the February 26, 1993 World Trade Center attack. President Bill Clinton's Justice Department indicted Yasin for mixing the chemicals in the bomb that exploded in the parking garage beneath the Twin Towers, killing six and injuring 1,042 people in New York.

Soon after the smoke cleared, Yasin returned to Iraq. Coalition forces have discovered documents that show he enjoyed housing and a monthly government salary.

Since Iraq was liberated, Yasin remains at large.

Let's talk about Abu Musab al Zarqawi. After running an al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan, he found his way to Baathist Baghdad, where he reportedly checked into Olympic Hospital, an elite facility run by the late Uday Hussein, son of the captured tyrant. Zarqawi is believed to have received medical treatment for a leg injury sustained while dodging American GIs who toppled the Taliban. He convalesced in Baghdad for some two months. Once he was back on his foot, Zarqawi then opened an Ansar al-Islam terrorist training camp in northern Iraq. Zarqawi is thought to be behind the October 28, 2002 assassination of Lawrence Foley.

Foley was a U.S. diplomat in Amman, Jordan who worked on international development projects. For that "transgression," he was gunned down and killed in his driveway at home.

According to dissidents, journalists who have visited, and even United Nations weapons inspectors, Saddam Hussein appears to have offered training to terrorists, in addition to funding, diplomatic help, safe haven and medical care.

So, does all of this, or anything else, suggest a tie between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda? Some evidence is interesting but far from solid, such as this mural that U.S. troops at an Iraqi military base in Nasariyah encountered that seems to celebrate the destruction of the Twin Towers.

Recall that Abdul Rahman Yasin, one of the al-Qaeda bombers who hit the World Trade Center in 1993, fled to Iraq after that attack and lived there freely, reportedly with a government salary. That’s one clear link to al-Qaeda.

Then there is the interesting case of Ahmad Hikmat Shakir — an Iraqi VIP facilitator who worked at the international airport in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Citing "a foreign government service," page 340 of the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on pre-Iraq-War intelligence indicates that, "Shakir claimed he got this job through Ra'ad al-Mudaris, an Iraqi Embassy employee" in Malaysia. On January 5, 2000, Shakir greeted Khalid al Midhar and Nawaz al Hamzi at Kuala Lampur’s airport. He then escorted them to a local hotel where these September 11 hijackers met with 9/11 conspirators Ramzi bin al Shibh and Tawfiz al Atash. Five days later, according to The Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes, Shakir disappeared.

Khalid al Midhar and Nawaz al Hamzi subsequently spent the morning of September 11, 2001 flying American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon, killing 184 people.

Shakir, the Iraqi airport greeter, was arrested in Qatar on September 17, 2001. On his person and in his apartment, authorities discovered documents connecting him to the 1993 WTC bomb plot and “Operation Bojinka,” al-Qaeda’s 1995 plan to blow up 12 jets simultaneously over the Pacific. Interestingly enough, as a May 27, 2004 Wall Street Journal editorial reported, Ahmed Hikmat Shakir's name appears on three different rosters of the late Uday Hussein's prestigious paramilitary group, the Saddam Fedayeen. A government source told the Journal that the papers identify Shakir as a lieutenant colonel in the Saddam Fedayeen.

Of course, we know what happened next. Mohamed Atta and his henchmen went to airports on the East Coast.

Within just three hours, he and the other pilots were in the air, about to reshape history. He and his evil colleagues turned this lovely vista of America's premier city into a towering inferno.

They stole 2,749 innocent souls from the American family and decapitated the most powerful skyline man ever built.

As the May 8, 2003 New York Post and other news outlets reported, Saddam Hussein’s government was complicit in the September 11 attacks.

Thus, there is abundant and undeniable evidence that Saddam Hussein provided money, diplomatic services, shelter, medical care, and training to terrorists of every stripe, including those complicit in the 1993 WTC bombing and — according to a Clinton-appointed federal judge — the September 11 attacks. The Iraqi dictator aided al-Qaeda and other global terrorists who murdered Americans, both at home and abroad.

Saddam Hussein was a living threat to American national security and the safety of the civilized world.

Earth is a safer place with him now where he belonged all along: BEHIND BARS.

Saddam Hussein is a disgusting example of human vermin.

This post was written with gratitude to Deroy Murdock for providing all the source information.