The Life and Career of Ramsey Clark: Former United States Attorney General
by Charisse Dengler
A man whose name is in the news a lot these days, Clark is a champion for the underdog. Over the course of his career, he has made a name for himself by representing the people no one wants to represent. The list of his clients includes Sheik Omar Abd El-Rahman, Lori Berenson, Leonard Peltier, Radovan Karadzic, and Lyndon LaRouche.
While his extreme viewpoints and boisterous personality rub some people the wrong way, Clark's ability to dedicate himself to a cause—even if it means going against the crowd—is an asset that cannot be denied. In fact, he has been praised by both Amnesty International and the American Civil Liberties Union for fighting on behalf of Palestinians and American Indians. When he confronted the general public's negative comments about his representation of Hussein in a letter on www.commondreams.org, he said that being a part of the trial was in keeping with everything he stood for.
"In a trial of Hussein and other former Iraqi officials, affirmative measures must be taken to prevent prejudice from affecting the conduct of the case and the final judgment of the court," he said at the beginning of the trial. "This will be a major challenge. But nothing less is acceptable."
Clark was born a Southern boy in the city of Dallas, TX, on December 18, 1927. He earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Texas and his law degree from the University of Chicago.
Upon graduation from law school, Clark went on to work at Clark, Reed and Clark. Then, in 1961, he left law firm life to work as Assistant Attorney General of the Lands Division for the Department of Justice. After that, he worked as Deputy Attorney General and even had a stint as President of the Federal Bar Association in the 1960s. However, his biggest achievement came when he was appointed to the position of United States Attorney General by President Lyndon Johnson, a position he stayed in for two years.
His most recent noteworthy trial appearance, though, began when he joined Saddam Hussein's defense team. However, his involvement in the case didn't last long. He was later dismissed from the team of attorneys for disrespecting the trial and Chief Judge Raouf Abdul Rahman.
In addition to being an attorney, Clark is an antiwar activist. In fact, he is the founder of the International Action Center (IAC), an organization at the forefront of the antiwar campaign. A visit to the IAC website presents you with the options of donating to the organization, educating yourself on U.S. involvement in Haiti, signing a petition to stop the government from reinstating the draft, joining a march to protest the war in Iraq, and much, much more.
"For 16 years, the International Action Center (IAC) has been one of the major forces mobilizing opposition to criminal and inhuman U.S. military adventures," Clark said in a letter on the IAC website. "It has worked hard and gained worldwide respect for opposing U.S. war, militarism, and interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan, from Venezuela to Haiti, Colombia and Cuba, from Palestine, the Philippines, Sudan, and Lebanon to Yugoslavia and now Iran and Korea."
He went on to say that the organization's resolution for the new year is to "end this criminal war and bring all U.S. troops home from Iraq."
Clark has also been linked with www.impeachbush.org, which is dedicated to doing just what its title implies—impeaching President Bush. In a letter on the organization's website, Clark said, "Only Impeachment will warn the next Presidents that the American people will hold them accountable if they lawlessly lead us into wars, aggression, and criminal acts to control foreign governments and exploit their peoples."