Saddam's defense team is being "coached" to seek delays by no other person than a
former U.S. attorney general and Human rights activist, Ramsey Clark, says The Times
of London. His crime: He allegedly discussed stalling the proceedings for Saddam's
war crimes and genocide charges by inviting a new international lawyer to take part,
and suggested challenging the legitimacy of prosecution witnesses.
Clark, 77, is an outspoken critic of American foreign policy specially with respect
to its covert actions all over the world and has found himself many a times on the
other side of the fence. He has been called "Attorney Outlaw" sometime accused of
being "not merely their attorney but their advocate".
He served as President Lyndon Johnson's attorney general from 1967-1969. He was also
involved in the defense of Slobodan Milosevic, the former Yugoslav president now
on trial for war crimes at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia
in The Hague.
"Clark has been using and aiding mass murders and other American enemies for the
last 30 years," conservative pundit David Horowitz said in 2003 of a Clark trip in
But rushing to Saddam Hussein's defense after he was pulled out of a hole in the
ground was not unusual for Clark. According to him, Saddam was a victim of selective
Clark's stint also includes attempting to rescue Pakistan's most charismatic leader
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto from the gallows - a Pakistani law prohibited him from practicing
or representing Bhutto in the criminal proceedings - it ultimately put the noose
around Bhutto's neck.
Clark ominously predicted Bhutto's fate and predicament, having attended some of
the "sham proceedings in a "kangaroo court" as he called them, and flew back hurriedly
to the West dejected. He went around holding press conferences and talk shows to
reach out to the American public and to stoke sentiments of a civilization that nurtured
a higher standard of moral grounds.
Clark addressed Stanford University in California and announced that the CIA may
have been behind the Bhutto's ouster in a military coup even though he was a democratically
elected President of Pakistan. It set off detonations of rumors, gossips, innuendos,
drawing room politics, coffee house cigarette smoke-filled animated discussions.
But the croupier was already paid off and the dice was fixed!
"I don't believe in conspiracy theories in general, but the similarities in the staging
of riots in Chile (where the CIA allegedly helped overthrow President Salvadore Allande)
and in Pakistan are just too close." he said.
Clark also highlighted the inadequacies of Pakistan's legal system and the bias he
found among those who ran and controlled it, and who according to him was sure to
send Bhutto to the gallows if the world did not act fast enough.
Bhutto may be executed soon in order to head off a probable political comeback when
elections are held this October (1977), Clark had announced.
As if he had access to some secret, classified national security papers those days,
he announced matter of factly "Bhutto's execution could set off the single most dramatic
change in world power alignment since World War II."
Clark's utterances in front of the Stanford audience that day created sensational
headlines but did not help much Bhutto's case for survival.
The Soviet Union, he explained, has eyed the warm water ports of the Persian Gulf
for centuries. "If anyone in the Kremlin has dreams of power, he said, "the road
to the Persian Sea has to be a golden road."
Unless the United States makes a stand...., Clark warned, the eighth most populous
nation in the world could be carved up....by Soviet Union...."
"As Americans, we must ask ourselves this: Is it possible that a rational military
leader under the circumstances in Pakistan could have overthrown a constitutional
government, without at least the tacit approval of the United States?"
Clark pointed to the CIA's activities in Iran as evidence of its willingness to support
dictators over democrats.
U.S. officials can justify supporting a dictatorship in Pakistan, said Clark, because
it "daggers the underbelly of the Soviet Union."
Almost three decades later, Bhutto fans, analysts and keen Pakistani observers suspect
Clark's utterances to be true and insist they should not be trashed so easily.
Says one Bhutto follower, ".....see in 1977 Bhutto was removed and hurriedly executed.
and in just about 24 months, Russia was in Afghanistan (December 1979) and Pakistan,
USA, Saudi Arabia et al were all there together running an "Islamic Jihad" against
the Communists. It takes more than a year to plan an invasion so big or a counter-attack
so effective no?......both the CIA and the KGB knew what each one of them were doing,
planning....But Bhutto was the "wild card" in the overall Western game plan. Read
his book If I am Assassinated...it tells you all."
In later years, Ramsey Clark wrote " Bhutto was removed from power in Pakistan by
force on the 5th of July, after the usual party on the 4th at the U.S. Embassy in
Islamabad, with U.S. approval, if not more, by General Zia al-Haq. Bhutto was falsely
accused and brutalized for months during proceedings that corrupted the judiciary
of Pakistan before being murdered, then hanged. That Bhutto had run for president
of the student body at University of California in Berkeley and helped arrange the
opportunity for Nixon to visit China did not help him when he defied the U.S. (CovertAction
Quarterly magazine, Fall 1998)
Subsequent reports indicate that CIA continued providing funds to support President
General Mohammed Zia ul Haq, insuring that he stayed in power, as he was a staunch
U.S. supporter, and had allowed the CIA to pour paramilitary support through Pakistan
into Afghanistan. (Security Assistance Operation)
Ramsey Clark wrote in 1998: "The new evil empires, terrorism, Islam, barely surviving
socialist and would-be socialist states, economic competitors, uncooperative leaders
of defenseless nations, and most of all the masses of impoverished people, overwhelmingly
people of color, are the inspiration for new campaigns by the U.S. government ...
to shoot first and ask questions later, to exploit, to demonize and destroy."
"The CIA is rapidly expanding its manpower for covert operations against these newfound
enemies. The National Security apparatus, with major new overseas involvement by
the FBI, is creating an enormous new anti-terrorism industry exceeding in growth
rate all other government activities."
Clark called on Americans to send telegrams to President Carter, Secretary of State
Cyrus Vance "or whoever you believe you can have the most effect on" urging them
to make a plea for Bhutto's life.
On Thursday April 5, 1979 at 2 AM Pakistan Standard time, Bhutto was hanged.
"By 10:30, according to the official news release, Mr Bhutto's body had been flown
to his ancestral village of Ghari Khuda Baksh, near his hometown of Larkana in Sindh
Province, and buried in the family cemetery with only a few relatives and friends
present. They included his first wife, Shirin Amir.
"The way they did it," said a foreigner who follows Pakistani politics, "is going
to grow into a legend that will some day backfire." (New York Times, Apr 5, 1979)