Chemical Ali was hanged yesterday in Iraq. He was the cousin of Saddam Hussein. Under his cousin's regime, Ali Hassan al-Majid ordered and orchestrated, among other things, the 1988 chemical weapons drops that killed 5,000 of his own Kurdish countrymen. A year before that, he was the official in charge of the massacre of hundreds of thousands of ethnic Kurds in Iraq with poison gas. He ordered the survivors be killed. Ali liked the chemical weapons, which is how he got his nickname, and, not coincidentally, why he was hanged.
On PRI's The World today, Barim Hasali, the Prime Minister of Kurdistan, is introduced as a person who opposes the death penalty. He made a special exception for Ali. "I am against the death penalty," Hasali said. "But I have to admit: In the case of people like Ali Hassan al-Majid, I cannot be true to my feelings about the death penalty."