updated 12/7/2005 10:53:35 AM ET 2005-12-07T15:53:35

It's not the first time that the lawyer gets more buzz than the defendant.  I'm thinking of Alan Dershowitz and Claus von Bulow.

Same thing with Saddam Hussein and his controversial defense attorney Ramsey Clark.

The debate out in the blogosphere is centering on why Ramsey Clark would want to take on this case.  Some see him as a true believer in our justice system, and others think he's a traitor for defending Saddam.

For some background, The New York Times has a profile of Clark online today.  Clark served as the Attorney General for President Johnson.  Since then he's made a name for himself as a defender of some of the world's most heinous criminals.

Muammar Qaddafi, Slobodan Milosevic, and David Koreshi to name a few.

Some legal experts view him as a hero for bringing the American ideal of a fair trial to Iraq.

The blog Unclaimed Territory is written by a first amendment lawyer.  He says that Clark is risking his life to ensure that Saddam receives a fair trial.

Others are concerned that this isn't about Saddam or even the legal system, but about Ramsey Clark's own political agenda.

The Grotian Moment is the blog for Case Western Law School.  Here, a legal expert writes that Clark is known for turning trials into political stages.  It's just a way for him to attack U.S. foreign policy.

Christopher Hitchens agrees.  He's got an op-ed at Front Page Magazine today.  But he goes on beyond the political agenda argument to say that Clark is also a lousy lawyer.

Hitchens also says that the defense is taking the wrong approach.  Trying to justify genocide as a necessary act in war time probably won't sit well with Iraqis.

As for Clark's political agenda, he is the founder of the International Action Center.  The group's website says its mission is to provide "information, activism and resistance to U.S. Militarism."

That group was founded after the first gulf war.  Since 9/11 he's been involved with the group ANSWER, an anti-war organization.

But to the point on spreading American justice, I found this comment--at the blog Iraqi Vote: "I admire the fact that we, the new Iraqis, are giving Saddam what he denied us--justice, the right to a lawyer, the right not to be tortured."

That was written by an Iraqi Kurd, a group that suffered unthinkable cruelty at the hands of Saddam's regime.

Today on the show:  Peggy Noonan!  She'll share her thoughts on this second term, the war in Iraq, and Pop John Paul II.


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