The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

Throw Your Shoes at the Iraqi ‘Justice’ System

Abu Aardvark frets that the attention paid to shoe-thrower Muntader al-Zaidi will distract from Human Rights Watch’s brand new report about the kangaroo state

Dexter Cooke
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Dec 15, 2008

Abu Aardvark frets that the attention paid to shoe-thrower Muntader al-Zaidi will distract from Human Rights Watch’s brand new report about the kangaroo state of Iraq’s central criminal court. But why? This is chocolate-and-peanut-butter territory. Al-Zaidi is apparently going to be charged with “insulting the Iraqi state.” What sort of criminal-justice system awaits him?

Defendants often endure long periods of pretrial detention without judicial review, and are not able to pursue a meaningful defense or challenge evidence against them. Abuse in detention, typically with the aim of extracting confessions, appears common, thus tainting court proceedings in those cases… [snip]

…the court has failed to provide basic assurances of fairness, undermining the concept of a national justice system serving the rule of law.

Pace George Bush, yeah, that’s right, but so what, right? What’s the big deal about a justice system that keeps people detained without an adequate amount of process to adjudicate their guilt and secure appropriate punishment or exoneration?* *Or that abuses people once jailed? *We got rid of Saddam here, people. *Everything else is a detail. Free people are free to call attention to themselves or make mistakes or subject others to indefinite detention. That’s what it means to be honor bound to defend freedom.

Dexter Cooke | He is an orthopedic surgeon who insists that a physician's first priority should be patient care. He specializes in minimally invasive complete knee replacement surgery and laparoscopic procedures that reduce pain and recovery time. He graduated from the Medical University of South Carolina with a medical degree and a postdoctoral fellowship in orthopedic medicine.


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