Another point of view! GEM
Prosecuting the Iraq war:
The following conversation took place recently in a courtroom in Washington, D.C.:
Judge: So what exactly happened?
Defendant: Well, your honor, I killed him.
Judge: And why did you do it?
Defendant: I was afraid that if I didn't kill him, he would kill me.
Judge: Had he threatened to kill you?
Defendant: Well, no, not really.
Judge: Had he ever attacked you in any way?
Defendant: No, your honor.
Judge: Had he ever threatened to physically attack you in any way?
Defendant: No sir.
Judge: Was there something about him physically that intimidated you?
Defendant: No, definitely not. As you can see, I'm a big, brawny guy. And he was small and relatively weak.
Judge: Well then, did he have friends that threatened or intimidated you?
Defendant: No, your honor. He didn't really have many friends.
Judge: Did he have any weapons?
Defendant: I was afraid! that he might have.
Judge: But did you ever see any weapons? Did he ever threaten you with any weapons?
Defendant: No, your honor. I sent some friends of mine over to his house several times to look for them though.
Judge: And ... ?
Defendant: They didn't find anything.
Judge: And when you killed him ...? Were any weapons found at that time?
Defendant: No sir.
Judge: So he didn't actually have any weapons?
Defendant: Well, I think he kept them well hidden. I know that he used to have some.
Judge: Used to? When was that?
Defendant: Oh, about fifteen years ago. He had some then for sure.
Judge: For sure? What makes you so sure?
Defendant: Because I sold them to him.
Judge: But I thought you were afraid of him?
Defendant: I was.
Judge: I see. Did he live near you?
Defendant: No. He actually lived all the way on the other side of town. We never really had occasion to see each other.
Judge: So your paths didn't really c! ross on a regular basis?
Defendant: No, sir. Our paths didn't really cross at all.
Judge: So this guy never ventured over to your side of town? And he never threatened you in any way, and never attacked you in any way, either personally or through a surrogate, and yet you felt threatened enough by him that you felt justified in killing him? Is that about right?
Defendant: That is correct, your honor. Like I said, I was afraid that if I didn't kill him, he would kill me.
Judge: I see here that, according to the police report, you were found in the victim's home, standing over his dead body.
Defendant: That is correct.
Judge: So he didn't come looking for you -- you went looking for him? Is that correct?
Defendant: Yes, sir. I wanted to get to him before he got to me.
Judge: I see. Is there anything else you would like to add?
Defendant: Just that a year or two ago, I was assaulted.
Judge: By this same guy?
Defendant: No. By a different guy f! rom a different neighborhood. That's what I told everyone, anyway.
Judge: And was this other guy a friend of the guy you killed?
Defendant: Oh, no. They hated each other.
Judge: So that assault had nothing to do with you feeling threatened by this other guy?
Defendant: No, not really.
Judge: Okay, then. This is clearly a case of self defense. You are free to go, sir.
Defendant: Thank you, your honor.
Did the judge make the right decision in this case? To any reasonable person, and to the vast majority of the world's people, the answer obviously is that he did not. But to a significant number of Americans, he did indeed.