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Say what you will about Jacques Vergès, but everyone deserves the best defense possible, even if it is Klaus Barbie or your long-time friend Pol Pot.

If you’ve never seen Terror’s Advocate, do so.

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  • Warren Terra

    I don’t really know anything about Verges beyond what I read in that obit – but if the obit is accurate, fnck Verges. It seems to me that there’s a pretty goddamn huge difference between insisting alleged monsters get a diligent and committed defense in a fair trial, and a grandstanding buffoon who proudly proclaims his clients were right to commit their monstrosities, or (in the case of Barbie) that being a fnkcing Nazi was no big deal because other bad things have happened in history. That’s not a defense in law: that’s the lawyer’s massive ego and manifest mental illness, encouraged and unrestrained, over and over again for decades.

    • heckblazer

      In other words, he was the worst concern troll ever.

    • Yeah, that article was stunning. It began so cutely (is there such a thing as dying cute?) with the 88 year old bon vivant dying right before dinner with friends, in the house of a celebrated revolutionary writer. But it quickly, quickly, went downhill. Horrifying. And my great Uncle defended a lot of people too, btw, including Ellseberg, Robeson, etc..etc..etc.. It is possible to be a defender of people the state has it in for without stooping to defend mass murderers and torturers by disrupting the entire procedure and casting doubt on the value of the lives they have taken.

      • rea

        And note, if you were on trial on war crime charges, this guy would be the last person on earth you would want to be your defense attorney. The strategy of turning the trial into political theater while insuring that your client gets convicted and sentenced harshly is not exactly ideal from the point of view of the person on trial. Did this man ever win a cae in his life?

    • Ken

      being a fnkcing Nazi was no big deal because other bad things have happened in history.

      Didn’t we just have this conversation, in the post about Texas’ violations of the Voting Rights Act?

  • ChrisTS

    Yeah, but he died in a house once owned by Voltaire so…. ok, I got nothing but 9 staples in my head.

  • Gregor Sansa

    In the case of Rios Montt, the “best defense possible” probably involved bribing high court judges to (unconstitutionally) overthrow a verdict without even waiting for a duly-filed appeal. Pardon me if I don’t see the virtues of the adverserial justice system in that result.

    • Gregor Sansa

      Obviously, Vergés had nothing to do with that result. So… I guess if the options are a narcissist or a gangster, perhaps the narcissist is better.

  • LurkingKen

    Funny, but I also see an advertisement for Liz Cheney above the comments.Terrorists and War Criminals everywhere!

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