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Justice – Schmustice: The Reputation of the United States Continues Its Downward Trend

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Message David Benton
The last thing I want is to be on the record for defending the rights of such an odious character as Saddam Hussein. But I have a problem with the way the Bush Administration handled the trial of Saddam Hussein.

The proceedings were repeatedly criticized by prominent human rights groups and bodies such as the UN, which described them as "incompatible" with standards of international justice.

In orchestrating the Saddam Hussein trial, the Bush Administration had a perfect opportunity to showcase to the Islamic world the impartiality of the rule of law and the virtues of the West's system of justice. But instead of taking the high, moral road, the Bush Administration -- once again -- squandered an opportunity and has left a lasting impression in the hearts and minds of the ummah that American (Western) justice, like the invasion and occupation of Iraq, is corrupt and morally bankrupt.

We need a radical change in the conduct of our international relations and foreign policy if the United States is going to earn back its reputation as the leader of the free world and the defender of the underdog. It begins with the preservation of the rights of the criminally accused. Yes, even the likes of a Saddam Hussein. No more shortcuts for the sake of political expediency.

We need to raise the bar to where it once stood concerning the key moral underpinnings of law, justice and freedom for which this country was once known. We need a new crop of leaders who have the courage, the conviction and the integrity to take us back to the place of esteem and honor reserved for America - the city upon the hill. Help make it happen on Tuesday.
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Communications consultant based in Richmond, VA.
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