Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Price

Greg Kehoe, a lawyer from Tampa, Florida, spent the last year training judges in Iraq and helping the investigation that led to Saddam Hussein's death sentence. He had done similar work in Yugoslavia but the scale of the carnage in Iraq astounded him:

"I obviously had spent five years at the war crimes tribunal in The Hague and I'd been in exhumations and, of course, I have dealt with large crime bases. I never saw anything like I saw in Iraq. Anything that was in Yugoslavia was child's play compared to Iraq. The bodies were everywhere. The bodies were EVERYWHERE. I was used to doing exhumations where we took soldiers out of the ground. I wasn't used to doing exhumations where we took women and children and little babies as young as 6 months of age that had been executed with a .22-caliber round to the back of the head. That's a whole different type of crime to me."

Kehoe worked closely with the judges who prosecuted Saddam:

"I was talking to some of the judges on the court. Think about the courage demonstrated to go out and in the midst of this insurgency to investigate these cases and move ahead and try this case. Let's be honest, they're not absolutely positive as to which way this is all going to go. But they're out there, they're sacrificing themselves to get this done. One of the judges over there, a very good friend of mine, his brother was executed during the course of my stay there. I went in and I talked to him; he was very upset, of course, going to the morgue and finding his brother bound and gagged with wire and garroted. He said, "I understand this is a terrible thing, this is what we have to go through because this is the price we have to pay for democracy." You know, I sat there and I said, "How many people that we live with here in America are willing to make that sacrifice, to pay that price?"


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