Saddam’s defense team was “coached” to seek delays by no other person than a former U.S. attorney general and Human rights activist, Ramsey Clark. The Times of London had reported that Clark allegedly discussed stalling the proceedings for Saddam’s war crimes and genocide charges by inviting a new international lawyer to take part, and suggested challenging the legitimacy of prosecution witnesses.

Clark, 77, is an outspoken critic of American foreign policy specially with respect to its covert actions all over the world and has found himself many a times on the other side of the fence. He has been called “Attorney Outlaw”, sometime accused of being “not merely their attorney but their advocate”.

Clark served as President Lyndon Johnson’s attorney general from 1967-1969. He was also involved in the defense of Slobodan Milosevic, the former Yugoslav president who was put on trial for war crimes at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague.

“Clark has been using and aiding mass murders and other American enemies for the last 30 years,” conservative pundit David Horowitz had said in 2003 of a Clark trip in Iraq.

But rushing to Saddam Hussein’s defense after he was pulled out of a hole in the ground was not unusual for Clark. According to him, Saddam was a victim of selective prosecution.
Clark’s stint also includes attempting to rescue Pakistan’s most charismatic leader Zulfikar Ali Bhutto from the gallows – - but a Pakistani law prohibited him from practicing or representing Bhutto in the criminal proceedings. It ultimately put the noose around Bhutto’s neck.

Clark ominously predicted Bhutto’s fate and predicament, having attended some of the “sham proceedings in a “kangaroo court” as he called them, and flew back hurriedly to the West dejected. He then went around holding press conferences and attending talk shows to reach out to the American public and stoke the sentiments of a civilization that nurtured a higher standard of moral grounds.

Clark addressed Stanford University in California and announced that the CIA may have been behind Bhutto’s ouster in a military coup even though he was a democratically elected President of Pakistan. It set off detonations of rumors, gossips, innuendos, drawing room politics, coffee house cigarette smoke-filled animated discussions.

But the croupier was already paid off and the dice was fixed! Even Bhutto predicted he would be assassinated.

“I don’t believe in conspiracy theories in general, but the similarities in the staging of riots in Chile (where the CIA allegedly helped overthrow President Salvadore Allande) and in Pakistan are just too close.” Clark had said.

Clark also highlighted the inadequacies of Pakistan’s legal system then and the bias he found among those who ran and controlled it, and who according to him was sure to send Bhutto to the gallows if the world did not act fast enough.

Bhutto may be executed soon in order to head off a probable political comeback when elections are held this October (1977), Clark had announced.

This was July 1977 – around two years before the Soviets crossed into Afghanistan from the north without firing a single bullet. Soviet leader Brezhnev had met with his politburo and Russian Generals in early 1977 and given them the go ahead to plan the invasion.

As if he had access to some secret, classified national security papers in those days, Clark announced then, matter of factly, “Bhutto’s execution could set off the single most dramatic change in world power alignment since World War II.”

Clark’s utterances in front of the Stanford audience that day created sensational headlines but did not help much Bhutto’s case for survival. It did however realign superpower politics 11 years later, in 1988 with Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan and subsequent fall of Soviet Empire and the rise of America as the sole superpower of the world and with it the advent of the politics of a unipolar world.

The Soviet Union, Clark had explained, has eyed the warm water ports of the Persian Gulf for centuries. “If anyone in the Kremlin has dreams of power, he said, “the road to the Persian Sea has to be a golden road.”
Unless the United States makes a stand…., Clark warned, the eighth most populous nation in the world could be carved up….by Soviet Union….”

“As Americans, we must ask ourselves this: Is it possible that a rational military leader under the circumstances in Pakistan could have overthrown a constitutional government, without at least the tacit approval of the United States?”

Clark pointed to the CIA’s activities in Iran as evidence of its willingness to support dictators over democrats.

U.S. officials can justify supporting a dictatorship in Pakistan, said Clark, because it “daggers the underbelly of the Soviet Union.”

Almost three decades later, Bhutto fans, analysts and keen Pakistani observers suspect Clark’s utterances to be true and insist they should not be trashed so easily.

Says one Bhutto follower, “…..see in 1977 Bhutto was removed and hurriedly executed. and in just about 24 months, Russia was in Afghanistan (December 1979) and Pakistan, USA, Saudi Arabia et al were all there together running an “Islamic Jihad” against the Communists. It takes more than a year to plan an invasion so big or a counter-attack so effective no?……boththe CIA and the KGB knew what each one of them were doing, planning….But Bhutto was the “wild card” in the overall Western game plan. Read his book If I am Assassinated…it tells you all.”

In later years, Ramsey Clark wrote ” Bhutto was removed from power in Pakistan by force on the 5th of July, after the usual party on the 4th at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, with U.S. approval, if not more, by General Zia al-Haq. Bhutto was falsely accused and brutalized for months during proceedings that corrupted the judiciary of Pakistan before being murdered, then hanged. That Bhutto had run for president of the student body at University of California in Berkeley and helped arrange the opportunity for Nixon to visit China did not help him when he defied the U.S. (CovertAction Quarterly magazine, Fall 1998)

Subsequent reports indicate that CIA continued providing funds to support President General Mohammed Zia ul Haq, insuring that he stayed in power, as he was a staunch U.S. supporter, and had allowed the CIA to pour paramilitary support through Pakistan into Afghanistan. (Security Assistance Operation)
Ramsey Clark wrote in 1998: “The new evil empires, terrorism, Islam, barely surviving socialist and would-be socialist states, economic competitors, uncooperative leaders of defenseless nations, and most of all the masses of impoverished people, overwhelmingly people of color, are the inspiration for new campaigns by the U.S. government … to shoot first and ask questions later, to exploit, to demonize and destroy.”

“The CIA is rapidly expanding its manpower for covert operations against these new-found enemies. The National Security apparatus, with major new overseas involvement by the FBI, is creating an enormous new anti-terrorism industry exceeding in growth rate all other government activities.”

Clark called on Americans to send telegrams to President Carter, Secretary of State Cyrus Vance “or whoever you believe you can have the most effect on” urging them to make a plea for Bhutto’s life.

On Thursday April 4, 1979 at 2 AM Pakistan Standard time, Bhutto was hanged.

“By 10:30, according to the official news release, Mr Bhutto’s body had been flown to his ancestral village of Ghari Khuda Baksh, near his hometown of Larkana in Sindh Province, and buried in the family cemetery with only a few relatives and friends present. They included his first wife, Shirin Amir.

“The way they did it,” said a foreigner who follows Pakistani politics, “is going to grow into a legend that will some day backfire.” (New York Times, Apr 5, 1979)

A similar event took place in October 1999 – almost two years before USA again walked into Afghanistan. a popularly elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was out and a military dictator Gen Pervez Musharraf was in. And another Pak-US party began that still continues. Isn’t this a coincidence? questioned an informed nationalist Pakistani.

Some would call him a conspiracy theorist – a nationalist – an anti-US intellectual. But he does have the right to have an opinion.