Saddam Henchman Tariq Aziz Crying the Blues to US Supreme Court
by Jim Kouri, CPP
Former Iraqi foreign minister Tariq Aziz has retained a US attorney, Giovanni Di Stefano, who has made an application to the United States Supreme Court and stated that he "places the US on notice of a Habeas Corpus Application to the United States Supreme Court."
A Writ of Habeas Corpus is a judicial mandate to a prison official ordering that an inmate be brought to the court so that the petitioner's case may be heard.
Di Stefano said the question presented to the United States Supreme Court will be: "Is the turning over of Petitioner Tariq Aziz to an authority that may reasonably be expected to violate his rights to a fair trial, due process of law, and his right to life in accordance with the law?"
In essence, Di Stefano is questioning the legitimacy of the Iraqi war crimes trials for its former dictator Saddam Hussein and key officials of his brutal government.
The United States Supreme Court has the jurisdiction to hear urgent cases and Aziz's US attorney claims he would be filing with the US Supreme Court shortly.
In a letter sent to Mr. Di Stefano by Tariq Azizís Iraqi lawyer Badie Izzat, the letter claims that Tariq Aziz has been on hunger strike for over ten days and "demands to be granted his basic rights, which are provided for him by Iraqi and international law."
Mr. Di Stefano confirmed he called upon the American Bar Association and the International Bar Association for support as it did in the case involving Guantanamo detainees.
Tariq Aziz was the voice of the Saddam Hussein regime as its long-time foreign minister. He began to rise through the ranks of Iraqi politics after the Baath Party came to power in 1968. He later served as a member of the Regional Command, and in 1977 became a ranking official with Saddam's Revolutionary Command Council.
In 1979, Aziz was named Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq, where his primary role was to act as a diplomat and to explain Iraq's policies to the world. In 1980, during Iraq's war with Iran he survived an Iranian-backed assassination attempt. When Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, Tariq Aziz served as the international spokesman in support of the military action, saying the move was justified because Kuwait's increased oil production was dampening Iraqi oil revenues. He has condemned Arab states for their subservience to the United States.
Aziz served as an official for a government that routinely killed, maimed and tortured its own citizens. Observers believe that the comparison of Aziz to terrorist "foot soldiers" and "true believers" being held at Guantanamo Bay is akin to comparing apples and oranges. Aziz was part of the Saddam coverup of mass murder, weapons of mass destruction programs, and several legal scholars believe he will be denied his day before the US Supreme Court, or they may hear the case and rule against him.
But that analysis may be in error, considering recent Supreme Court rulings that appear to disregard black letter law such as the Geneva Conventions. The justices on the SCOTUS have extended the right to counsel to terrorists and illegal combatants and it extended the protections of the Geneva Conventions in violation of provisions that stipulate the captured persons must be wearing uniforms or insignia that are visible from reasonable distances; they must be part of a nation-state's military or paramilitary; and they must bear arms openly, not concealed. Yet the court ruled otherwise.
So it's not inconceivable that the justices -- especially the liberal-left ones -- will hear Aziz's case and even rule in his favor.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.