Saddam's skivviesThe British daily The Sun's reputation is comparable to that of America's National Enquirer, except it pretends to be an actual NEWSpaper. It's particularly loathed in the English city of Liverpool after some, well, dubious "journalism" following a soccer disaster in 1989. The paper's circulation figures in the city have never recovered.
The Rupert Murdoch-owned rag caused a controversy last week when it published pictures of detained former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in his underpants.
The problem is that it's garbage journalism, which I think most people expect of The Sun. The photos really do nothing to advance anyone's understanding of any issue. Laughably, the paper described the photos as an "iconic news image that will still be being looked at the end of this century."
The other problem is: it's a violation of the Geneva Convention. The treaty prohibits subjecting prisoners of war (which Saddam is classified) to "public curiosity."
President Bush pretended to be upset about the photos' publication. It's curious why far more grave violations of the Geneva Convention, such as at Guantanamo Bay, didn't and don't seem to bother the president. But perhaps it's a step forward that at least he now knows when he should pretend to be upset.
Saddam has decided sue the paper for publishing the images.
Sure, he's being treated 50 times better than prisoners in his regime were treated. I bet more than a few ex-prisoners of his regime who survived would've preferred being photographed in their briefs to the treatment that was meted out.
But I offer a compromise. It's a compromise that preserves what's left of the Geneva Convention while not rewarding one of the century's more ruthless savages.
All involved in the photographs' publication should pay up. And all the money should be used to set up a restitution fund to compensate victims' of Saddam's barbarity.