The Other Charlotte and I have written a number of times (here, here and here, for example) on how absurd it is to put Saddam on trial-the legal system wasn’t devised for this use. Are we supposed to believe that Saddam is innocent until proven guilty?

The Nuremberg Trials were the first time the legal system was put to this use, and Churchill originally opposed the idea, vehemently arguing that it would be better to shoot the thugs.

The only reason to hold one  of these show trials is to demonstrate the great evil of a tyrant. And, as Charles Krauthammer notes today, the Saddam trial isn’t even doing that:

“Instead of Saddam’s crimes being on trial, he has succeeded in putting the new regime on trial. The lead story of every court session has been his demeanor, his defiance, his imperiousness. The evidence brought against him by his hapless victims — testimony mangled in translation and electronic voice alteration — made the back pages at best.

`‘’This has become a platform for Saddam to show himself as a caged lion when really he was a mouse in a hole,’ said Vice President Ghazi Yawar. ‘I don’t know who is the genius who is producing this farce. It’s a political process. It’s a comedy show.’

“There hasn’t been such judicial incompetence since Judge Ito and the O.J. trial. We can excuse the Iraqis, who are new to all this and justifiably terrified of retribution. But there is no excusing the Bush administration that had Saddam in custody for two years, and had even longer to think about putting on a trial that would not become a star turn for a defeated enemy.

“Why have we given him control of the stage set? We all remember the picture of him pulled out of his spider hole. That should be the Saddam we put on trial. Instead, with every appearance, he dresses more regally, emerging from cowering captive to ordinary prisoner to dictator on temporary leave. Now he carries on as legitimate and imperious head of state. He plays the benign father of his country, calling the judge “son,” then threatens the judge’s life. Saddam shouts, defies, brandishes a Koran. The judge keeps telling him he’s out of order. He disobeys with impunity, the guards daring not to intervene.”