Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein has been executed, according to two Arabic language media outlets. Earlier, an Iraqi judge told CNN Hussein would be hanged before dawn on Saturday in Iraq, (10 p.m. Friday ET). The former president was convicted of crimes against humanity in connection with the killings of 148 people in Dujail.
It was filmed:
It was witnessed by a doctor, lawyer and officials. It was also filmed.
It’s an important step but probably not the transformative one that many of us hoped for years ago. Still, few tears will be shed for this monster. Well a few folks may mourn, the Baathists in Iraq and the people at Time Magazine possibly, but hopefully the rest will take this opportunity to look forward and continue working towards a peaceful democratic Iraq.
They’re chearing in Michigan:
A crowd of Iraqi-Americans cheered and cried late Friday outside a mosque as some Arab media reported that Saddam Hussein was executed.
The crowd of more than 150 had gathered earlier in anticipation of Saddam’s execution, praying for the death of the former Iraqi dictator as people honked car horns, sang and danced in celebration.
Chants of “Now there’s peace, Saddam is dead” in English and Arabic rang into the night in this Detroit suburb.
U.S. networks are struggling, are at least pretending to struggle, with the ethical questions raised by the videotaped execution:
“We’re very aware that we’re coming into people’s living rooms and that there could be children watching,” CBS News senior vp Linda Mason said.
Mason and her network counterparts have broadcast standards and procedures they follow in these cases. Phil Alongi, special-events executive producer at NBC News, said there are ways the network can approach the video or photographs that will get the point across without having to be graphic.
The operative word: taste.
“We have very, very strict guidelines with how to deal with that,” said Bob Murphy, senior vp at ABC News. “If there were pictures made available of the execution, they would have to be viewed by senior management before we would put them on the air, and we would make a judgment of taste and propriety of what we would show.”
The operative word is taste? This is American television we’re talking about right? Anyway, it doesn’t matter – there’s always YouTube. And South Park.
Stuffleufagus: I have no problem with executing Saddam. He was evil. Truth is, I wish we would have bombed him to oblivion early in the war, along with his sons. Nobody deserves my sympathy if they systematically kill defenseless women and children. But now Saddam is dead. What changes? Is Iraq suddenly safer today? Will our troops be coming home tomorrow? Will Iraqi’s be safer tomorrow?
TV Squad: I never thought I’d see the day when the words “Saddam” and “tasteful” were in the same sentence, but that day has arrived. Word is coming from the Iraqi government that Saddam Hussein will be executed by hanging by Saturday at the latest, and they will tape the entire thing. If that happens, the networks are saying that the coverage of the execution will be tasteful, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Now, they’re not doing it out of respect to Saddam, of course; they’re doing it out of respect for their audience. They won’t air the full video if the Iraqi government makes it available for broadcast. “We’re very aware that we’re coming into people’s living rooms and that there could be children watching,” Linda Mason, a senior VP for CBS News, told THR. Since the war started, network news executives have considered using graphic video footage on a case-by-case basis, often editing it down to make it more palatable to audiences.
The Life and Times of Me: And I didn’t pray because I was afraid that I would feel guilty – like I was the one who made Ben die. And every day since, I have lived with guilt that I could have prayed one last time for comfort, and peace, acceptance, and a peaceful passing. For that very reason, while laying on my bed watching the news that Saddam was to be hanged in a few minutes, when I felt prompted to pray for strength and peace for Saddam and his family, I did. The news coverage was going in the background, and I prayed for peace for Israel. And then I thanked God for his righteousness and justice, and prayed that when Saddam stood in judgement, that God would prove himself faithful, and judge him justly. And as I prayed it, I lifted my head, and the newsman said “I have just recieved confirmation: Saddam Hussein is dead.”
Michelle Malkin: Lots of talking-head heat over the fairness and integrity of the Iraqi war tribunal. The Case Western Reserve University Law School has a blog and website with tons of key original docs related to the trial. Go here and judge for yourselves.
Obsidian Wings: I have nothing to say about this. I can’t possibly regret his death, but there’s something ghoulish about the reporting today, which was like a death watch. Or maybe I just happened to tune into the news at all the wrong times. I hope everyone who predicts violence in the aftermath of his death is wrong.
Global Conservative: Saddam is dead. Mission accomplished.
The Jawa Report: Saddam Meet Satan, Satan, This Is Saddam