TORTURE AND SADDAM HUSSEIN….Commenting on this much blogged story about how CNN spiked stories occasionally in order to protect its own reporters in Iraq, Mickey Kaus makes this odd statement:

This Eason Jordan piece is pretty amazing, and suggests that what some conservative friends have been telling me may turn out to be true — that the human rights case for ousting Saddam could turn out to be strong enough to compensate even for a U.S. failure to find WMD. … Mickey’s Assignment Desk #1: Should there be a “gross violation of human rights” exception to the generally-accepted ban on trans-border aggression, in addition to a “genocide” exception?

Now, I read Jordan’s op-ed and found it very far from “amazing.” In fact, what he said about the barbarous and routine human rights violations of Saddam’s regime was common knowledge (and surely “human rights violations” is really far too antiseptic a phrase to describe it). Was there ever any question about the stomach turning accounts of torture and sadism committed by Saddam, his relatives, and his henchmen?

Whether there should be the “human rights exception” that he suggests (and who should decide when it applies) is an open question. But I can’t believe that this is actually a brand new thought from anyone who’s been paying even the slightest attention to the events of the past 12 years.