January 25, 2003

U.N. INSPECTORS MURDER IRAQI DEFECTOR, FAMILY: How bad is this story? Bad enough to get Chris Kanis to come out of retirement. Excerpt from the CNN Report:

Appearing agitated and frightened, the young man, with a closely trimmed beard and mustache, sat inside the white U.N.-marked utility vehicle for 10 minutes, AP reported. At first, an inspection team leader sought help from nearby Iraqi soldiers, but the man refused to leave the vehicle as the uniformed men pulled on his sleeve and collar.

"I am unjustly treated!" he shouted.

Then U.N. security men arrived, and they and Iraqi police carried the man by his feet and arms into the fenced compound, journalists said. The man was turned over to Iraqi authorities at a government office adjacent to the compound, U.N. officials said.

I guess the U.N. wouldn't want to give would-be Iraqi defectors the idea that doing so might be, you know, safe. The guy had a notebook. I wonder what was in it?

I suppose he could be just a common garden-variety nut, but he doesn't look like one in the picture, and we'll certainly never know. But the message was undoubtedly received by any potential defectors: approach us, and we'll hand you over.

Can we charge the inspectors with "material breach?"