Defending a Dictator

The latest from the Political Grapevine:

Dictator Defender

When deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein finally stands trial, he may be defended by a man who was once America's top cop.

Former Attorney General Ramsey Clark (search) has announced he's joining Saddam's legal team. Clark says he's concerned with protecting the former leader's rights in a court that he calls, "a creation of the U.S. military occupation."

But his support for Saddam shouldn't come as a shock. Clark's been a critic of U.S. policy in Iraq and visited Saddam in Baghdad just prior to the American invasion. And he's offered legal counsel to other anti-American leaders including ousted Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic.

Skybox Scandal

Arizona Republican Congressman J.D. Hayworth (search) is in hot water after aides admit he failed 5 times to disclose the free use of stadium skyboxes for political fund-raisers.

What's more, the lobbyist who donated those skyboxes is under federal investigation for exploiting Native Americans. Hayworth's chief of staff told the Arizona Republic Hayworth thought the skyboxes were a gift from two Indian Tribes, not a lobbyist. Under campaign finance laws Hayworth could face a fine for failing to disclose the value of the donation.

Early Warning

Early Sunday morning computers at a worldwide monitoring station in Vienna, Austria received potentially life-saving seismic data on that massive earthquake that devastated south Asia. The Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty Organization (search) is set up to check for nuclear explosions, but can also sense natural disturbances.

The only problem — the organization's 300 workers were on vacation at the time. So no one was there to get the information or pass it along.

Helping Hand

And even in a terrible disaster, there's always time for politics. An Israeli search and rescue team has cancelled its mission to Sri Lanka after that nation said it would not accept members of the Israeli Defense Force.

The delegation which included 60 members of the Israeli military had been scheduled to set up field hospitals and participate in rescue missions. Sri Lanka will accept a smaller Israeli aid group carrying emergency supplies.

— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report