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Monday, March 06, 2006

Trial by Liar

Some people will go to great lengths to delay the sword of justice from falling.

Often, criminals flee the country rather than face arrest. Others go to jail, but take their lives before going to court. And those who actually make it before juries frequently hire hotshot defense attorneys and walk free.

A select few—the cream of the criminal crop—end up in shackles with no clear way out. And within this upper tier are the Top Guns, the best of the best at perpetrating the worst of the worst. Take, for example, the elite club of incarcerated former dictators.

If you are a deposed tyrant, it’s hard to run away—after all, the whole world is watching. So you do everything you can inside the courtroom itself to scuttle the legal process.

Witness two recent examples.

First, the genocidal maniac we all love to hate, Saddam Hussein. Most of his antics have seemed like efforts to win a 2006 Best Actor nomination; the former Iraqi president has employed hunger strikes, tirades against the judges, and boycotts of the proceedings to foil justice. All, so far, to no avail.

Fewer folks, however, are aware of the latest tomfoolery from kooky Serb strongman Slobodan Milosevic. Documents released last week revealed that our friend Slobby petitioned the U.N. war crimes judges to call Bill Clinton to testify at his trial in The Hague.

Unsolicited legal tip of the day: Your case must really be on thin ice when you try to subpoena a man who has admitted lying under oath.

It turns out Serbie the Love Thug has gone down this road before. He also asked the court to compel retired general Wesley Clark, who oversaw NATO operations in the Balkans in 1999, to participate in the trial. Not only that, but last year the tribunal rejected Milosevic’s pleas to have Tony Blair and Gerhard Schroeder appear as witnesses.

Strike three, Slobs. You’re out.

This kind of defense strategy has me thinking back to the classic defenses of the past, from Reagan assailant John Hinckley’s “I wanted to impress Jodie Foster” insanity plea to O.J. Simpson’s “If the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit” tactic. But it also has me wondering about what some other international badguys will conjure up for their defenses when their judgment day comes:

North Korea’s Kim Jong “Licensed To” Il: “It’s all a case of mistaken identity … I’m just a cute little Monchichi!”

Al Qaeda’s Usama Bin Ladin: “I’m dirty, alone, and living in cave. How could you think I would misbehave?”

Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: “You in the West can’t even pronounce my name—how can I possibly be to blame?”

32 Comments:

At March 06, 2006 4:11 PM, Blogger Zen Wizard replied to my musings ...

Too bad Mengele didn't have a rhyming attorney:

"If my orders said, 'Kill Jews"; send me back to Brazil, youse!"

If you can't do the rhyme, don't do the crime!

 
At March 06, 2006 9:51 PM, Blogger Bar Bar A replied to my musings ...

Very interesting observations here, David! Your blog never fails to be entertaining and thought provoking. How do you come up with all your ideas?

 
At March 06, 2006 10:24 PM, Blogger The Phoenix replied to my musings ...

Talk about acts of desperation...Saddam is actually quite entertaining. I totally forgot about Slobby...seems so long ago he was arrested.

By the way, O.J. is still searching for the one who murdered Nichole and Ron.

 
At March 06, 2006 10:38 PM, Blogger angel, jr. replied to my musings ...

I think the best trial I've watched as far as drama goes is the O.J. one--especially when he demostrated the how the glove fits.

 
At March 07, 2006 1:40 AM, Blogger Amy replied to my musings ...

Ah, you should market this… really – you could sell your soul to some mad Washington spin doctors or maybe a fancy shamancy New York advertising agency…

Bill it as Limericks for Leniency!

You Like My Rhyme
I Do No Time….

You’re onto something big here David, don’t let the fame and fortune go to your head… OH, hell… why not? Go crazy wit’ cho bad self…

 
At March 07, 2006 3:36 AM, Blogger Laurie replied to my musings ...

What was Michael Jackson's defense, I forgot? And why is he living in Dubai??

 
At March 07, 2006 4:26 AM, Blogger ChickyBabe replied to my musings ...

Your posts always pack a punch, David. They're clever, well-written and deliver the message. Whilst I'm not always able to provide comment on the content, I like the way you write :).

 
At March 07, 2006 8:06 AM, Blogger Cari replied to my musings ...

Very perceptive. There are many people who have gotten away with things they SHOULD have been convicted for. It's a sad thing that's for sure. This kind of shinanagins (?) fueled me to study about the law. I loved to learn aout it, I think we need it...but like in anything there are many flaws.

 
At March 07, 2006 8:31 AM, Blogger FredCQ replied to my musings ...

What about that scumbag Gary Glitter?
http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/9421122/gary_glitter_gets_three_years

He molested two little girls and only got three years! He has been on the run from British authorities for child pornography for years. I think that he got off easy. He paid the family off with $2000 since they were poor. The court ordered him to pay an addtional $320 to each family.

 
At March 07, 2006 8:58 AM, Blogger BrianAlt replied to my musings ...

Not guilty, I say. Not guilty! They're all innocent!

With rhymes as bad as that, how could they be anything else but innocent?

 
At March 07, 2006 12:23 PM, Anonymous Bruce replied to my musings ...

Ah, that crazy, kooky Slobodan. He and Saddam make Attila the Hun look like a nun. ;)

 
At March 07, 2006 1:54 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

ZW, Laurie, Fred: I should have tried rhymes for your suggestions, too, dammit. Oh well. MJ is in Bahrain, Laurie ... which creates myriad opportunities with plain, rain, wane, Spain, vain, pain, train, bane, Cain, feign, Dane, gain, Jane, stain, main, vein, or former bicycling star Miguel Indurain. Over to you.

Bar, Amy, Chickadee: Thanks, and feel free to spread the word if you find the writing here worth reading. If this blog paid as well as my real work, I'd post every day!

Phoenix, Angel: OJ is still spending all his time hunting down her killer, I know. Apparently his information has revelead that the murderer is hiding out on golf courses throughout southern California.

Cari: Perhaps Cari you can use your jurisprudential influence to make help him prosecute the real killer.

Brian: You're right. None of those guys will ever go to jail--any efforts would be to no avail.

-- david

 
At March 07, 2006 2:57 PM, Blogger Jamie Dawn replied to my musings ...

North Korea's Kim Jong "Makes Me" Il: "I'm ugly & for me every day's a bad hair day, so cut me some slack."

Just the sight of Saddam makes me wish to God that he would have put up a fight when they found him in that rat hole. Shooting him then & there would have been much better for everyone.

 
At March 07, 2006 3:03 PM, Blogger Perplexio replied to my musings ...

What about the Winona Ryder defense?

"You better not find me guilty, otherwise Christian Slater and I will team up again and go all Heathers on your ass!"

And I'm sure there's probably a joke to be made about Gary Glitter being sentenced to 3 years in a Vietnamese prison for inappropriately touching 10 and 11 year old girls but I'm drawing blanks right now.

 
At March 07, 2006 3:30 PM, Blogger :P fuzzbox replied to my musings ...

"Where there is law. There is no justice." Oliver Wendall Holmes

 
At March 07, 2006 5:15 PM, Blogger debbiecakes replied to my musings ...

Dude, why don't these fools just off themselves already? When they're not menacing, they're just not cool anymore.

By the way, I have added a link to you. You are sort of the Jon Stewart anchorman of Blogger, methinks.

 
At March 07, 2006 10:00 PM, Blogger siren replied to my musings ...

Another great post, David :)

As far as OJ goes, I thought he was searching for the one armed man?

 
At March 07, 2006 10:50 PM, Blogger Sar replied to my musings ...

Monchichi, Monchichi, oh so soft and cudd-e-ly, Monchichi, Monchichi, oh so soft and cudd-e-ly. Thanks a lot for the earworm David!

 
At March 08, 2006 8:44 AM, Blogger Phil replied to my musings ...

Si Clinton is available to testify? Great, I could use a good character witness!

 
At March 08, 2006 10:17 AM, Blogger none - ya replied to my musings ...

Serbie the Love Thug...that one's gonna go down in infamy.

 
At March 08, 2006 10:54 AM, Blogger jay lassiter replied to my musings ...

or the tony blair i'm-just-a-big-pantywaste defense?

 
At March 08, 2006 10:56 AM, Blogger jay lassiter replied to my musings ...

or the chang kai (i was making) chex (mix) defense?

 
At March 08, 2006 10:57 AM, Blogger jay lassiter replied to my musings ...

or the(hiking the) ho chi mihn (trail) defense?

 
At March 08, 2006 7:24 PM, Blogger Sar replied to my musings ...

Hey David, congrats on making the finals in the caption contest this week!

 
At March 09, 2006 7:36 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

I love all these new defenses. I'm torn between being happy that you all aren't defense attorneys for the scum of the earth ... and sad that you aren't out there to defend me if the need arises!

Debbie: Thanks much. I hope you're referring to the Daily Show Jon Stewart and not the Academy Awards Jon Stewart; I didn't watch the Oscars but just saw a review that said Jon was a bit lackluster.

-- david

 
At March 09, 2006 9:44 AM, Blogger Perplexio replied to my musings ...

siren: OJ IS searching for the one-armed man. He's narrowed the search to Floridian golf courses apparently.

 
At March 09, 2006 12:02 PM, Blogger Dirk the Feeble replied to my musings ...

I agree, the inability to pronounce someone's name is a strong argument for their innocence.

 
At March 09, 2006 3:46 PM, Blogger Mojotek replied to my musings ...

“I’m dirty, alone, and living in cave. How could you think I would misbehave?”

Me thinks you could have a book idea in the making. You could make Johnny Cochran defenses for all of the crazies throughout history.

 
At March 09, 2006 7:15 PM, Blogger Zen Wizard replied to my musings ...

"If Saddam didn't gas Kurds,

Set him free, you bastards!!"

 
At March 11, 2006 1:20 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Just saw this morning that Milosevic was found dead in his cell. Now THAT'S a radical defense strategy.

-- david

 
At March 11, 2006 2:24 PM, Anonymous Bruce replied to my musings ...

ABC radio's headline to this story: Cheating the Hangman...

 
At March 11, 2006 7:45 PM, Blogger phlegmfatale replied to my musings ...

Wow, Slobo read your blog and gave up!!! Nice work David. Now if you can do the same for others...

 

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