13 March 1998
(Saddam Hussein resolution) (210) SENATE SEEKS TRIAL OF SADDAM HUSSEIN AS WAR CRIMINAL The U.S. Senate has unanimously passed a nonbinding resolution that urges creation of a United Nations tribunal to try Iraqi President Saddam Hussein as a war criminal. As a "concurrent resolution," the measure approved 93-0 on March 13 does not have the power of law, but simply sets forth the views of the legislature. It is expected to win easy passage in the House of Representatives as well. Specifically, the resolution calls for the U.N. to convene the tribunal "for the purpose of indicting, prosecuting, and imprisoning Saddam Hussein." White House spokesman Mike McCurry told reporters the Senate proposal was "an interesting idea and we will look at that resolution." The measure had been discussed briefly on the Senate floor the previous day; it passed with no further debate. One of its sponsors, Senator Arlen Specter (Republican, Pennsylvania) acknowledged that "taking Saddam Hussein into custody is a very complex matter, and perhaps impossible" without a major military effort. But, he noted, "The indictment itself, even in absentia, could give the United States the high moral ground" in its Iraq policy.