State Sentence

We’ve all seen the picture of the hooded executioners putting the noose around Saddam’s neck. The International Herald Tribune and the New York Times ran it on their main pages, as did al Jazeera‘s English website. The Washington Post didn’t.

What struck me about the photo was the lack of officialness about everything.

  • The executioners are wearing street clothes.
  • The room looks relatively small, and suspiciously like a randomly chosen room in a building’s basement.
  • The executioners are wearing tattered ski masks.
  • Not only are the executioners not wearing uniforms; not a single uniform is visible anywhere.

Of course, it’s difficult to tell much of anything about the room itself with such a closely cropped photo.

Still, what immediately came to mind when I first saw this was the obvious similarity to all the beheading videos released from Iraq. It hardly looks like an official state action.

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