Tuesday, March 31, 2009

You Murdered 14,000 People. What Do You Have to Say for Yourself?!?!

"My bad!...but everybody was doing it!"

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — The commandant of the most prominent Khmer Rouge torture house apologized in court Tuesday for atrocities he had committed but said that he had feared for his own life and that he was being made a scapegoat for others.

“I would like to express my regret and heartfelt sorrow,” said the commandant, Kaing Guek Eav, also known as Duch, who is the first defendant in a trial involving the deaths of 1.7 million people from 1975 to 1979 from starvation, overwork and disease, as well as torture and execution.
Heartfelt sorrow? Really? Heartfelt sorrow comes out somewhere between death #1 and, say, more than 3 decades later when your tired ass is finally brought to justice.

"Scapegoat" he says. Hmm:
[Prosecutor Robert Petit] illustrated what he said was Duch’s brutality by describing the fate of his “teacher and mentor,” Chay Kim Huor, who recruited him into the communist party in 1964. “Fifteen years later the accused would supervise the torture and execution of Chay,” Petit said. “That single fact I submit as highly revealing.”
Duch's probably right that there are many more people who should be facing trial (and, may I note, the gallows if they allowed the death penalty), but the "just following orders" defense has been tried before. And I still don't buy it.

Any real sense guilt would have manifested itself by now--probably in the form of suicide cum mea culpa--for any human being worth his salt. If there is an argument in favor of the death penalty (and retributive torture), this guy is begging for it.

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