What others are saying

December 29, 2006

Even in war-torn Iraq, a crude form of justice can prevail.

That's the main lesson to draw from the ruling Tuesday by Iraq's highest appeals court that upheld the death sentence for Saddam Hussein.

The trial was hardly a model of jurisprudence. A series of delays and diversions by the former dictator and his lawyers kept the key defendant out of the courtroom for weeks at a time. Meddling by the fledgling government - which demanded both a quick trial and a guilty verdict - and the kidnapping and murder of one of Saddam's lawyers during the proceedings cast a pall over the process.

And yet no one doubted Saddam's guilt - for this, if not many more crimes against humanity. ... .

Within 30 days, Saddam and three co-defendants will be hanged. The tyrant will then face the justice he denied so many.

- Rocky Mountain News (Denver)

Many Louisiana contractors seeking rebuilding work after Hurricane Katrina quickly concluded that when it came to FEMA contracting, it was not what you knew but who you knew.

Trying to determine whether that was the case, federal auditors are reviewing more than $12 billion in post-Katrina contracts. The review includes massive deals the Federal Emergency Management Agency granted to politically connected companies without competitive bids.

The scrutiny is welcome and necessary ... .

Federal investigators have already concluded that the agency gave up $1 billion in fraudulent disaster aid to individuals. Clark Kent Ervin, the former inspector general for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, said he would not be surprised if another $1 billion were wasted in the no-bid contracts.

That would be scandalous. Hundreds of thousands of people rebuilding their lives across the Gulf Coast cannot afford to see relief money pilfered or squandered. ...

- Times-Picayune (New Orleans)

CLARIFICATION

An editorial in Wednesday's paper should have noted that former Vice President Spiro T. Agnew pleaded no contest to a charge of income tax evasion.

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