From the Nov. 8, 2010 issue of TIME Magazine
Paranoid dictators don't long tolerate aides who acquire international fame, so it's a testament to Tariq Aziz's survival skills that he has lived long enough to be condemned to death by Saddam Hussein's successors. Handed the impossible task of speaking for Iraq during the occupation of Kuwait in 1990 and '91, the cigar-chomping Christian managed to acquire a reputation for urbane civility that stood in striking contrast to his master's thuggishness. Aziz survived the national humiliation of the 1991 Gulf War and several purges thereafter, remaining close to the dictator to the bitter end. But those who suffered under Saddam were not so forgiving: Aziz received a death sentence for his role in the persecution of Shi'ite groups, including the Dawa Party, of which Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is a member. Aziz's sentencing coincided with the latest WikiLeaks revelations, which detail the brutal treatment of prisoners by Iraqi security forces since Saddam's fall. As a representative of the tyranny of the old Iraq, Aziz would no doubt find some irony in the cruelty of the new.