Vincent T. Bugliosi was one of the most prolific prosecutors of murder cases in the history of America. Serving as a deputy district attorney for Los Angeles County, he prosecuted the Charles Manson case among many others.
In Bugliosi's recent book, "The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder," the former prosecutor excoriated the murder trial of Iraq's former dictator Saddam Hussein. He specifically criticized the selectivity of deaths for which the prosecution sought to try the defendant, restricting the scope to deaths of political opponents seeking to remove him from power.
A picture could have been introduced showing a smiling Donald Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam Hussein in his Baghdad presidential office.
This is the same Rumsfeld who, as a neoconservative and vigilant opponent of Saddam Hussein, as secretary of defense to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney designed the "shock and awe" air assault on Baghdad after assuring that by using such "smart bombs" as possessed in the U.S. aerial arsenal that civilians would be spared casualties and only Saddam's brutal warriors would be eviscerated.
Rumsfeld was proven so tragically wrong on the subject of civilian casualties that when the local Al Jazeera Baghdad affiliate did no more than show footage of what had occurred, and how local medical emergency rooms were filled with civilian casualties, the secretary of defense led a successful effort to close the Arab television network's office in Iraq's capital.
The reason given for closing Al Jazeera's Baghdad office was that the network was spewing "propaganda." The question is: Just who was spewing the propaganda, Mr. Rumsfeld? Did you or anyone else challenge the filmed footage? What terrified Rumsfeld was the truth.
In a bona fide trial Rumsfeld would be sworn in and the important question would be asked:
"Mr. Rumsfeld, when did Saddam Hussein become evil?"
That was you, was it not, Mr. Rumsfeld, who as a member of the Reagan administration team smiled proudly and shook Saddam Hussein's hand after an arms for oil deal was brokered? Did the U.S. not supply scientific technical assistance whereby Saddam Hussein's regime developed the means of employing poisonous weapons?
Mr. Rumsfeld, were not those arms along with poison gas technology obtained from U.S. sources unleashed against the Kurds in Iraq's northern provinces by Saddam Hussein in towering waves of genocide?
Do you deny that such genocide occurred, Mr. Rumsfeld? If it did occur then why was Kurdish genocide committed in Iraq's northern provinces by Saddam Hussein not included as part of the criminal complaint against Saddam Hussein for murder?
Another question should also be asked:
"Mr. Rumsfeld, which intelligence agency helped Saddam Hussein achieve power, despite significant evidence that he, along with the Baath Party he led, were responsible for killings and other atrocities? Mr. Rumsfeld, was that assisting agency not America's CIA, the Central Intelligence Agency?"
Needless to say, it was much easier to try Saddam Hussein on some deaths for which there was not the kind of evidentiary tracing of evidence as was the case regarding others.
The lid would have been blown off the prosecution if defense counsel for Saddam Hussein could display a link between American conduct and his rise and sustaining of power up until the time that the U.S. decided it was time for him to go.