What Else Is In Scott's Head?

The blog site for writer Scott C. Smith. Some observations on the world we live in and life in general. And maybe some politics.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Powell: Saddam innocent until proven guilty

Here's an amazing bit of news, from MSNBC: Secretary of State Colin Powell commenting that Saddam Hussein should be considered innocent until proven guilty.

JAKARTA - U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Friday former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein should be assumed to be innocent in his trial.

“The people of the world should watch carefully, listen carefully,” Powell said in his first comments on the judicial process against Saddam and 11 former aides that began on Thursday in Baghdad.

“Assume he’s innocent if you will, and let’s assume that, and let the Iraqi people through their courts decide,” Powell said in an interview with Indonesian television channel RCTI on the sidelines of an Asian security meeting in Jakarta.

Got that? A member of the Bush administration saying Saddam Hussein should be considered innocent until proven guilty.

Sound familiar? That's because Howard Dean made a similar statement about Osama Bin Laden.

On Dec. 26, 2003, Dean said, according to, "I've resisted pronouncing a sentence before guilt is found," Dean said in the interview. "I will have this old-fashioned notion that even with people like Osama, who is very likely to be found guilty, we should do our best not to, in positions of executive power, not to prejudge jury trials."

Dean added he is certain most Americans agree with that sentiment.

Dean latter amended his comments with the statement, "As an American, I want to make sure he gets the death penalty he deserves."

Of course Dean's comments ignited a firestorm. Even his campaign opponent at the time, John Kerry, scolded Dean, according to the Jan. 5, 2004, Washington Times: "That raises serious questions about your ability to stand up to Bush and make Americans feel safe," said Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts. "What in the world were you thinking?"

So, now we wait for public outrage over Powell's comments. Will it happen? Probably not. You know, that whole double-standard thing.


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