At the time, much was made of the capture of Saddam Hussein. Touted by
the US government-controlled American mainstream press as a fatal blow
to the insurgency that would lead to rejoicing in the streets of Baghdad,
the reality, as we have seen, has turned out to rather different. Iraqis,
logically enough, seem to be less concerned about Saddam's capture
and trial than about the fact that a brutal US military force of occupation
has essentially taken possession of their country and its resources and
has caused the deaths of 655,000 of their fellow citizens.
his initial capture in December 2003, Saddam was paraded in front
of the press at his first court appearance in July 2004 where he stood
accused of up to 12 crimes, including the alleged gassing of the Kurdish
town of Halabja in 1988. But fate (and in Iraq these days "fate" wears
the red white and blue ) has decreed that
"Saddam" will not suffer the ignominy of answering those particular
charges because his first trial for the killing of 148 people
in a Shiite town in 1982 was enough, it seems, to convict and sentence
him to death. The sense of relief in the White House over the fact
that the "gassing" allegation will not have to be dissected is surely
palpable, given that, if Saddam gassed anyone, it was with the
chemical weapons supplied to him by the US government.
he first appeared in court in 2004, Saddam was weak
and pale and could be hardly heard. Strangely,
the US military instituted a severe clampdown on media coverage of
the proceedings which were not broadcast live. Frustrated members of
the press had to wait until after the event to receive just FOUR
minutes of audio and just a few seconds of video of the occasion.
Furthermore, Saddam's lawyers claimed that they had been denied access
to their client and that they had received death threats from members
of the Iraqi government.
While no mainstream media outlet at the time offered an explanation of
these strange occurrences, logic would suggest that there is something
about the man that appeared in court that the US military did not want
the Iraqi people and the rest of the world, to see, or hear. It
is one thing to present a few seconds of specifically chosen footage
of a possibly drugged or mind programmed Saddam lookalike on television
and thereby half-convince Iraqis that knew Saddam that the person
in court is the real deal. It is a much more difficult task however
to make an impostor's voice sound like the real Saddam's. There is also
the danger that the impostor might suddenly and unexpectedly reveal
his true identity. It seems likely that it was for this reason
that the US military had to limit and edit the audio coverage and then "clear" it
second "public" appearance came in May 2005 in the form of
sensationalist pictures of the former dictator in US custody in his
US custody, half-naked Saddam
MAY 20, 2005
A British tabloid has run a humiliating, half-naked photo
feature on Saddam Hussein, the prisoner firmly in US military custody,
sparking fears of an Arab backlash and an investigation into possible
human rights abuses.
authorities have promised to investigate how and when the intimate
photographs of the former Iraqi dictator wound up in The Sun , Britain's
best-selling newspaper. The tabloid, frontpaged on Friday a photograph
of a bare-chested Saddam standing in white underpants and folding
a pair of trousers.
is headlined 'Tyrant's in his pants' and sets the tone for still
more humble ones inside the tabloid. The inside photographs show
the man who once had a palace in every part of Iraq meekly washing
his clothes by hand. Yet another photograph shows Saddam asleep on
his bed. The Sun , which refused on Friday, to reveal where, when
and how it came by the sensational photographs of the Butcher of
Baghdad, would only quote American military
sources to say they handed over the photos in the hope of dealing
a body blow to the resistance in Iraq.
is not superman or God, he is now just an ageing and humble old man.
It's important that the people of Iraq see him like that to destroy
the myth," the American source is quoted to say. The source
"Maybe, that will kill a bit of the passion in the fanatics who
still follow him. It's over, guys. The evil days of Saddam's Baath
Party are never coming back - and here's the proof." But a furore
has erupted over the release of the photographs, with presumed American
logistical support, from Saddam's American-run prison, at a compound
near Baghdad since his December 2003 capture.
military experts pointed out that the photographs, which may or may
not be up to one year old, could still be deemed to have contravened
Saddam's rights as a prisoner and could have violated the Geneva
observers said the photographs of the toppled dictator wearing nothing
but white underpants risked re-igniting the Arab sense of burning
rage over the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib. Under the
Geneva Convention, Iraq's invaders, the US-UK-led military alliance,
are not allowed release photographs and details about prisoners of
war such as Saddam.
status as a high-profile prisoner of the West makes the photographs
particularly sensitive because Arabs might feel the West is poking
fun at it.
diplomats said the photographs could spark a new wave of violence
against the West.
At his second
day in court (his third public appearance), again the world and even
his lawyers were denied the opportunity to hear "Saddam" give
evidence in his own words, and were provided with only short video
segments with the former dictator's words interpreted for us by the
Back In Court
Tuesday June 14, 2005
by turns pensive and quizzical, Saddam Hussein returned to public
view yesterday when Iraq's special tribunal released video images
of the former president being interrogated.
first official pictures since his court appearance last July
were mute but a tribunal statement said he was being questioned
about a 1982 massacre at a Shia village north of Baghdad, one
of the cases expected to arise at his trial.
chief lawyer, Khalil al-Duleimi, said he would have to view the
video before commenting. The tribunal said
Mr Duleimi was present during the filming.
a London-based member of the defence team, Giovanni
di Stefano, said the former president
was without legal assistance during the video and that it
would be inadmissible in the trial.
defence team has accused the tribunal of denying it proper access
to the ousted dictator, withholding documents and leaking information
to the press.
time, the trial of "Saddam" has resembled a south American
soap opera more than a credible trial, with constant adjournments and
outbursts from just about everyone involved in the show, not to mention
and suspicious deaths of several of "Saddam's" lawyers,
of the only witness to Saddam's alleged mass graves,
and the testimony of one of Saddam's lawyers that he was psychologically
disturbed, terrified about his possible execution, urinated
on himself several times during the
interview and broke into tears without reason. Par for the course,
I suppose, in the judicial system of a country that is entirely controlled
by the psychopathic leaders of another.
back up a little to the time of the actual capture of "Saddam".
You may remember images of the unearthing from a "rat hole" of
some old bugger on a farm in the village of al-Dwar near
Saddam's home town of Tikrit in December 2004. This, we were told, was
"Saddam", finally captured more than 7 months after Bush had
bravely declared "Mission Accomplished" from the safety of
an American aircraft carrier docked in an American port. Images of the
capture scene revealed a hole in the ground and a prone and disheveled
santa-claus-type character with a burly American soldier poised over
him for the 'money shot'. The money as it happens, was produced soon
thereafter, $750,000 in crisp $100 dollar bills in a nice metal box,
but it wasn't long before suspicions were raised by the presence of yellow
dates on a tree at the entrance to the "rat
hole" (below). You see, In Iraq, dates
grow and ripen between March and August, with harvesting taking
place between August and October. It is unlikely therefore that any
variety of date would still be hanging on a tree in mid December in
Iraq. At the very least, this information allows us to conclude that
in all probability, "Saddam" was not captured in December
as alleged by the US government, and that we are dealing with some sort
of staged show for the general public.
Indeed, it seems that a planned and staged "capture" of "Saddam" was
common knowledge in political circles in Washington in 2004:
in Hot Water for Saddam Quip
By MATTHEW DALY
Associated Press Writer
December 15, 2003
-- Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., who earned headlines across the globe
last year for criticizing President Bush while in Baghdad, is enmeshed
in a new controversy over remarks he made about the capture of Saddam
an interview Monday with a Seattle radio station, McDermott said
the U.S. military could have found the former Iraqi dictator "a
long time ago if they wanted."
if he thought the weekend capture was timed to help Bush, McDermott
chuckled and said, "Yeah. Oh, yeah."
went on to say, "There's too much by happenstance for
it to be just a coincidental thing."
interviewer Dave Ross asked again if he meant to imply the Bush administration
timed the capture for political reasons, McDermott said: "I
don't know that it was definitely planned on this weekend, but I
know they've been in contact with people all along who knew basically
where he was. It was just a matter of time till they'd find him.
funny," McDermott added, "when they're having all this
trouble, suddenly they have to roll out something."
Republicans immediately condemned McDermott's remarks, saying
the Seattle Democrat again was engaging in "crazy
talk" about the Iraq war. [...]
Hussein's capture imminent
Tuesday, December 2, 2003
BLOOMINGTON -- U.S. Rep. Ray LaHood held his thumb and forefinger slightly
apart and said, "We're this close" to catching Saddam Hussein."
member of The Pantagraph editorial board -- not really expecting
an answer -- asked LaHood for more details, saying, "Do
you know something we don't?"
I do," replied LaHood. [...]
Let's pause for a moment and have a closer look at the physical evidence
for the claim that the real Saddam was captured almost three years ago.
Consider the following images of "Saddam" and Saddam, paying close attention
to the teeth of both men:
Check out the teeth
am not claiming that these images provide conclusive proof that we
are dealing with two different men, it does seem reasonable to suggest
that there is cause for significant doubt. The source
of the problem here is the fact that the US government had only to
claim that this man is the real Saddam for the vast majority of people
to accept it as fact. In the months prior to his capture, news reports
were increasingly informing the public that US troops were searching
for Saddam and were "closing in" on him. Then, when anticipation was
deemed to be at its height: "Bingo" "We got him!" With
such a build up of expectation among the general population that Saddam
would "soon be captured" there was no real chance that anyone was going
to look closely at the details when the event finally occurred. The fact
remains however that when
all of the
evidence IS scrutinized, we are led to the conclusion that it is highly
improbable that the man that was "caught" in
a "rat hole" in December 2003, appeared in court in July
2004, was splashed across the British tabloids in May 2005, and yesterday
was sentenced to death, is in fact the real Saddam Hussein.
Commander Swears he saw USAF fly Saddam out of Baghdad
Alamo Christian Ministries Online
will soon be made public of an Iraqi Army officer describing how he
saw a US Air Force transport fly Saddam Hussein out of Baghdad. The
explosive eyewitness testimony was shot by independent filmmaker Patrick
Dillon, who recently returned from a risky one-man odyssey in Iraq.
In the film, the officer, who told Dillon that he commanded a special
combat unit during the battle for Baghdad airport and whose identity
is temporarily being withheld, explains in detail how he
watched as the Iraqi dictator and members of his inner circle were evacuated
from Iraq's capital by what he emphatically insists were United States
Air Force cargo planes. [...]
says his film lends major support to what many have believed for years:
that Saddam was little more than an american tool, a stage-managed "evildoer",
just one in a long line of useful villains bought and paid for by the
United States in order to better manipulate international politics and
Given Safe Haven in Belarus?
World Tribune - 25 April 2003
President Saddam Hussein has obtained safe haven in Belarus, several
intelligence agencies believe.
intelligence sources said several intelligence agencies in the Middle
East and Europe base this assessment on new information about a March
29 flight from Baghdad to Minsk. They said the flight of a chartered
cargo plane could have transported Saddam, his sons and much of his
family to Belarus.
no proof that Saddam was on the plane but we have proof that a plane
left on that day from Baghdad airport and arrived in Minsk," a
senior intelligence source said. "If you can think of anybody
else who could obtain permission to fly out of Baghdad in the middle
of a war, then please tell me."
officials and Iraqi opposition sources said Saddam and his sons appear
to have escaped two assassination attempts during the war. But they
did not confirm the registration of a cargo flight from Baghdad to Minsk
on March 29, Middle East Newsline reported.
sources said the cargo aircraft took off from an unspecified Baghdad-area
airport and entered Iranian air space on the flight toward Minsk. They
said Iran did not attempt to interfere with the Iraqi flight.
two weeks later, a registration of the cargo flight was found by the
U.S. military in wake of the capture of the airport and the rest of
the Baghdad area. Baghdad International Airport was captured on April
officials said Saddam had been exploring the prospect of fleeing to
Belarus over the last year. They
said the Iraqi ruler was in close contact with Belarus President Alexander
Lukashenko and that Minsk became a major military supplier to Baghdad.
hours after the departure of the cargo flight to Minsk on March 29,
the Saddam regime was awash with rumors that the president had escaped.
Intelligence sources said the rumors spread rapidly throughout the military
command and among field officers.
was a significant decline in Iraqi combat strength starting from around
March 31," an intelligence source said. "In interviews with
coalition interrogators, Iraqi commanders have attributed the decline
in combat to the feeling that Saddam had fled."
may find refuge in Belarus Says Rumsfeld
The former Soviet republic of Belarus has emerged as a possible refuge
for Saddam Hussein after American officials hinted that the Iraqi leader
might be allowed to flee into exile to avert a U.S. assault on Baghdad.
visit to Iraq by a presidential delegation from Belarus last week coincided
with a suggestion by U.S. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld that Mr.
Saddam and his family could "leave the country."
Rumsfeld said in a television interview: "If he doesn"t
care to give up his weapons of mass destruction, then he"s got
the choice of leaving."
military preparations intensified with the mobilization of two more
aircraft carrier battle groups and a 1,000-bed hospital ship, U.S. officials
emphasized that no deal had been struck to allow Mr. Saddam to escape.
Rumsfeld's remark may have been no more than a psychological gambit
intended to stir confusion in Baghdad.
the Belarus visit heightened American suspicion that Mr. Saddam might
be making contingency plans for a last-minute dash.
it remains far from certain that the Iraqi dictator would flee, Mr.
Rumsfeld recently singled out Belarus as one of the few countries that
might offer him sanctuary.
Saddam Hussein is in a corner, it is because he has put himself there,"
he told a congressional committee.
choice he has is to take his family and key leaders and seek asylum
elsewhere. Surely one of the 180-plus countries would take his regime
- possibly Belarus."
former Soviet republic has become a pariah state under the dictatorial
rule of President Alexander Lukashenko and is suspected of violating
United Nations sanctions against Iraq.
according to our information, the deposed ruler and his sons were carried
to safety in Minsk in late March aboard two chartered airliners.
This week, the Polish news agency PAP sent a team of reporters to the
Belarus capital to check on this account. They quote Natalia Pietkiewicz,
spokesperson at President Aleksandr Lukashenko's bureau, as evading
a direct reply when asked if the former Iraqi ruler was in the country.
She said: "We have no information that Saddam Hussein is in Belarus."
This is a long way from a flat denial.
big question is how did the trio and its following of several hundred
manage to elude coalition air forces, by then in full command of Iraqi
skies, a question which leads to another: How
did the men at the pinnacle of enemy power come to survive the two wars
the Bush administration fought in less than two years?
also the testimony of Former Russian Prime Minister Primakov that Saddam
had made a "pre-war deal" with the US...
US had pre-war deal'
- Former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein cut a deal with the United States
before the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, former Russian prime minister
Yevgeny Primakov said in an interview published on Thursday.
was an understanding with the Americans, as paradoxical as it may seem,"
Primakov told the Russian daily Gazeta in a lengthy interview.
weren't the bridges of the Tigris blown up when the American tanks approached
Baghdad? Why weren't Iraqi aviation and tanks used, and where are they
now?" asked Primakov, a former head of the Russian secret service
and a specialist in Arab affairs who was formerly on good terms with
was there an immediate ceasefire? Why was there practically no resistance
a year ago?" he added.
who now heads Russia's chamber of trade and industry, also cast doubt
on the authenticity of footage of Saddam's reported capture that circled
the world on December 14.
showed two soldiers with guns with palm trees in the background near
the hole (where Saddam was reportedly hiding). At that time of year,
date palms are never in bloom," he said.
any man can tell you that such a long beard (as Saddam had when he was
reportedly caught) could not grow in seven months," he said.
evidence suggests that Saddam surrendered earlier and the story of the
hole was invented later," he said.
who was also Russian foreign minister, made two secret trips to Iraq
at the request of President Vladimir Putin, shortly before the invasion
by US and British troops.
Iran then backed up the Russian Prime Minister's story...
Media Leaks Secret US Deal with Saddam
Gulf News Apr 15, 2003
Iranian news agency close to top conservative military figures attributed
the fall of Baghdad to a secret tripartite agreement between Saddam
Hussein, Russia and the US.
to the Baztab agency, 13 days after the start of the war, Saddam and
Russian intelligence allegedly pledged to hand over Baghdad with minimal
resistance to allied forces provided they spared the lives of Saddam
and a hundred of his close relatives. The US, for its part,
promised to safely send Saddam and his entourage to a third country.
added that Mohammed Saeed Al Sahaf, Iraqi Information Minister, was
instructed to stay in Baghdad until the very last moments to lend the
impression that everything in Saddam's camp was under control. The agency
also claimed that Russia gained $5 billion to orchestrate this agreement.
wife could not recognize her husband
week, American authorities arranged a meeting of the former Iraqi dictator
with his wife.
She was the first of Hussein's relatives to meet with the ex-leader
of Iraq at a new place, at the American military base in Qatar. Accompanied
by Sheikh Hamad Al-Tani, Sajida Heiralla Tuffah has arrived from Syria
on his private jet in the end of March.
The outcome of their meeting turned out to be quite scandalous. Sajina
claims that the person she encountered was not her husband, but his
If someone were to say for sure that it was not insinuation, it would
have been easy to believe the wife with a 25-year experience. It is
also possible to assume that Saddam has simply changed since the day
of his sons' deaths, June 24 2003. This however is highly unlikely.
In case we believe Hussein's wife, all DNA testing of the ex-Iraqi leader
should be considered a mere fake. Overall, today there remain more questions
then there are answers.
A few days after his capture,
ordinary Iraqis reacted skeptically to the news that this was indeed
the real Saddam.
Iraqis doubt real Hussein behind bars
Globe and Mail
December 18, 2003
- Jassim Abu Ahmed almost spits his disgust at the television set showing
yet another image of the dazed and bedraggled Saddam Hussein.
"It's not him," Mr.
Ahmed says, waving his hand and looking away from the screen.
an interview given
to Deborah Moore in July 2004, one of Saddam's "lawyers",
Giovanni Di Stefano, stated categorically that Saddam would not face
execution and would not be handed over to Iranian authorities who are
seeking his extradition for alleged war crimes during the Iran/Iraq
war. When asked how he knew this he stated that he would not say anymore
on the matter.
established the Iraq International Law Group (IILG), which describes
itself as "your professional gateway to the new Iraq." Assisting
Salem in setting up the IILG was a partner Marc Zell (the IILG's website
has been registered in Zell's name). Zell is an Israeli settler of
Gush Emunim (Bloc of the Faithful) stripe. Here the plot thickens.
for many years been Feith's partner in their Washington-Tel Aviv law
firm, Feith and Zell (FANDZ). FANDZ had been set up when Feith left
government to pursue the work of a "foreign agent" representing
Turkey and some Israeli interests.
the Baghdad opening of the IILG, Zell soon opened, in the U.S., an
for Zell, Goldberg & Co., which promises to assist "American
companies in their relations with the U.S. government in connection
with Iraq's reconstruction projects." It is interesting to note
that Zell, Goldberg still uses the website FANDZ, the site of the old
Feith and Zell firm. So when Zell boasts his connections to government,
businesses know exactly what is meant.
relatively short period of time since the fall of the Ba'ath Party regime,
IILG and Zell, Goldberg have facilitated contracts in the tens, possibly
hundreds of millions of dollars.
incidentally has also been appointed by the Coalition Provisional Authority
to head the Iraqi tribunal that will investigate and prosecute the crimes
Saddam and his cohorts committed against the Iraqi people. His uncle
is meanwhile railing against the former regime's corruption and demanding
the right to investigate profiteering and kick-backs he alleges occurred
in the UN's food for oil program.
Chalabi discusses the finer points of "acting under the influence"