The Glib Factor - Segment 12: In Defense of Scoundrels
By A.D. Freudenheim  

4 January 2004

“‘I felt pity to see this man destroyed, (the military) looking at his teeth as if he were a cow. They could have spared us these pictures,’ he said. ‘Seeing him like this, a man in his tragedy, despite all the heavy blame he bears, I had a sense of compassion for him,’ he said in answer to questions about Saddam’s arrest.’”
  Cardinal Renato Martino, head of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, as quoted by Reuters, 16 December 2003

Vatican City, 4 January 2004 – The Most Holy Officials today announced the formation of a new Vatican committee, the Council for the Mockery of Justice and the Critique of Reason, to be headed by Cardinal Renato Martino. The new Council will be responsible for all Vatican decisions and support efforts for those justly accused. Additionally, the Council will provide media relations support to the accused, to aid their efforts at mounting an effective public defense, and particularly aimed at overcoming the lies and slander of the accusers.

In a papal message released to the world timed with the announcement of the new Council, Pope John Paul II praised Martino’s efforts, and suggested that they would be received in a favorable light by the heavens above. “Cardinal Martino is a wise man,” said the message, “and he is well aware that throughout the Church’s long history we have had a terrific knack for supporting the best and most wise of men and causes. From the terrors inflicted on infidels during the Inquisition, to our early support of Hitler (admittedly, we were wrong there, but still, we did the right thing by the Jews in the end), to the aid, comfort, and expensive defenses mounted for our numerous child-friendly American priests ... the Church knows right from wrong, and stands by these judgments with all the weight of its many riches and heavy, woolen vestments.”

The Pope’s message then went on to include details of how the Church would fund the new Council through a partial tax on all Roman Catholic dioceses globally, with those in affected areas bearing proportionate shares of the cost; these diocesan costs are, in turn, expected to be covered by the parishioners themselves. For example, Rome will expect the diocese of Iraq to contribute upwards of $3 million to the rehabilitation of Mr. Hussein, including funds for a “With Dignity and Honor” campaign that will attempt to replace the public images of the shaggy, bearded post-capture Hussein with more fitting images from the era of his presidency.

Likewise dioceses across the United States will be asked to pay in closer to $1 billion to the Council’s U.S.-based fund. In the U.S., these contributions will help defray the cost of lawyers’ fees, settlement payouts, and weekly deliveries of fresh Calla lilies to the homes of all accused or implicated priests, bishops, or other Church officials. This last item, notes the Council, is to ensure a sense of a bright and pure future on the part of those who stand accused.

“It is right and just that Catholics around the world should help pay to prevent injustices that the Church itself has already been so diligent about defending.” Cardinal Martino elaborated that “Our first formal effort will be the salvation and rehabilitation of Saddam Hussein, former president of Iraq, and now held captive by the American forces. Hussein’s regime did wonders to bring one small piece of the Arab world into modernity, while providing many of the best creature comforts to Hussein’s trusted aids and minions. Moreover, his invasion of Kuwait more than a decade ago showed good instincts for how to avenge the poor against the rich, while still benefiting the rich. Mr. Hussein deserves, at best, a pardon from the American president, and at worst a fair trial by former Ba’ath party members, who are certainly in the best position to judge the quality, integrity, and appropriateness of his actions.”

With the announcement of its formation, the Council for the Mockery of Justice and the Critique of Reason also provided a list of other upcoming recipients to whom it intends to give aid and comfort. The list included Slobodan Milosovic, the former Yugoslavian president-cum-dictator; Charles Taylor, the former Liberian president-cum-dictator; Prime Minister General Khin Nyunt and the rest of the generals in the much-maligned junta that rules Myanmar; President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, whose reputation as a democratic leader has suffered in the absence of democracy in Syria; and President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe. The campaign for Zimbabwe, the Council noted, would dovetail with efforts to restore lands and farms to Black Zimbabweans “by any means necessary,” and would also provide for a public relations campaign designed to show that the 500% (and upwards) rate of inflation in Zimbabwe is, in fact, either irrelevant or merely the work of the Zionist banking conspiracy. The Council expects to find a welcome audience.

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