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msnbc.com
updated 12/16/2003 12:04:13 PM ET 2003-12-16T17:04:13

There are condescending attitudes that suggest that either Iraqi judges and lawyers aren’t up to the job of trying Saddam –- or that they would be unable to separate evidence from a desire for revenge.

White it’s true that Saddam completely subverted and destroyed the legal system in Iraq, it’s not true that there are no capable, well-trained Iraqi lawyers and judges. Some were in exile, others may have been punished by Saddam, and yet others marginalized under Saddam’s rule.

But they are out there. There is no question that there has to be some international oversight, but that does not mean that Iraqi jurists are incapable of hearing the evidence.

Did we ask that question of every New York City judge, who heard any 9/11-related case? They work only blocks from the World Trade Center. Many knew people who died, and yet we did not assume that they would be blinded by vengeance. And while it’s true that Saddam’s tyrannical and brutal rule may create a unique situation and legal challenge –- we should not assume that the Iraqis can’t do much of the work.

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