Robert Fisk – The Independent June 14, 2005
There he was, just as his victims looked on his own television screens, his words censored, his arguments unknown, his case as undemocratic as the “judicial” courts in which Saddam destroyed his own enemies.
The Iraqis – or, let us speak frankly, the Americans who tried to censor the old reprobate’s previous court appearance – decided yesterday that his words would also be censored. This is how Saddam ran Iraq.
The words were obliterated. And now the Americans and their obedient, Shia-led government, are acting out the same Saddamite line.
The pictures, the BBC admitted, were “mute”. What in God’s name did this mean? Who emasculated the BBC to such a degree that it should say such a ridiculous thing? Why were they mute? The BBC didn’t tell us.If Saddam was really being charged with war crimes over the killings of Shias – which I hope he was – then why, in heavens name, didn’t we hear what he had to say? Why use the methods of Saddam himself? The silent film, the assumption of guilt? Or was Saddam telling the court that the United States was behind his regime, that Washington had given him the means to destroy the Halabja Kurds with gas?
How can we know? And when so many of our journalistic brethren failed to challenge the reason why this tape should be “mute”, what does this say of us? We are told, by Saddam’s jailers of course, that he is being questioned about the murder of Shia villagers south of Baghdad in 1982. I hope so. But how do we know?
The reality is that Saddam is from Iraq’s past, something from the era before “our” insecurity and destruction and the rape and insurgency and death which has now overwhelmed Iraq.
Yes, there are those who would like to see Saddam brought to justice. But they want safety and law and order and freedom – freedom from us, too – before they care about this crazed old man’s trial. But we insist the Iraqis have bread and circuses before they have freedom. And they must experience our democracy by understanding that the defendant in a court must be shut up and denied his own words in order to appear on the BBC.
Why was Saddam Silenced?
Rixon Stewart – June 14, 2005
This writer would suggest that his court appearance was broadcast without sound because man in the dock was not Saddam Hussein but one of his many doubles.
Previously, the real Saddam had employed the services of a small band of look-a-likes to thwart potential assassination attempts. And there are many indications that the man, or should that be men, currently facing the Tribunal is one such. From his dental work – see photo below – to stories of the real Saddam flying out of Iraq at the beginning of the Coalition assault, to the fact that his wife could not recognise him when she visited her husband to reports of Saddam being given safe haven in Belarus, there are numerous stories which cast doubt on the line that the real Saddam Hussein is still in Iraq. Or indeed that the man the authorities claim is Saddam is actually the genuine article.
Which may also explain why this particular court appearance was broadcast without the sound of him speaking. Because if the man in the dock was not the real Saddam but one of his many doubles, then although he might look like Saddam Hussein, he might not actually sound like him. Or, at least, there might be enough of a difference to make people look again at the man the authorites claim is Saddam. Hence the Coalition’s decision to play it safe and broadcast his court appearance without sound.
Note the varied dental work on these ‘Saddam Husseins.
Another Saddam Hussein at his recent court appearance.
Also see: Saddam’s wife could not recognise her husband
Mrs Saddam Says Saddam Not Saddam
Iraqi Commander Swears he saw USAF fly Saddam out of Baghdad
Hussein Given Safe Haven in Belarus?
Shaddam Shaddam New Vaudeville Scam!
Yes, but Where Are the Saddam Look-Alikes?