Was Bush really so totally opposed to executing Saddam Hussein?
An American friend I met in the Middle East called over the holidays and reminded me of the Karla Faye Tucker case some years ago when Bush was governor of Texas. I sort of remembered it–murder committed under the influence of drugs, a born-again prison conversion, lots of last-minute publicity before the execution. At the time Bush made a public statement about it.
Bush said he was seeking “guidance through prayer,” and said “judgments about the heart and soul of an individual on death row are best left to a higher authority.” This led him to uphold the death penalty in this case as he had in the others.
So let me get this straight. Bush thinks we should just kill them all and let Allah sort them out.
Russian president Vladimir Putin once made a similar declaration that life-or-death judgments should be “left to the Almighty.” But Putin came to the opposite conclusion, that “such supposed judgments, even if they are believed to be divine, cannot properly be discerned and administered by flawed human agents.”
Bush is no stranger to capital punishment . During Bush’s tenure as governor of Texas 150 men and 2 women were executed. He upheld the death sentence in every case but one, which had attracted media attention when it was proved the accused was out of the state when the crime occurred.
Media spin continues to distance U.S. policy from Saddam’s execution. As respectable a source as the New York Times suggests it was the Iraqi government that rushed to execute Saddam in order to provide a sacrifice on the first day of the holiday. Eid al-Adha is a day commemorating Araham’s willingness to sacrifice his son that already flows with the sacrificial blood of sheep.
The trail of Saddam was about ordering a mass murder in a village. The exectuion should have been a lesson in abuse of power. But there is just too much of that going around. Every morning bodies of tortured Sunnis are found on Baghdad’s streets. Our Shiite allies appear to be abusing power every bit as much as Saddam did. Then there’s the torture at Abu Ghareeb. So far only a handful of low level soldiers have been convicted.
While the world press jumps to play the blame game, we are losing sight of something important. How do we hold those in power accountable for state-sponsored terror?