March 11, 2005 - We all saw the photos in December 2003 of a disheveled Saddam
Hussein after he was pulled out of a "spider hole" in a town near Tikrit.
The administration laughed and the U.S. public made jokes about him and his hiding
The room was dirty. There was an empty Spam can. The story was that he was
holed up here and was totally irrelevant to Iraq. His day was done and he was
now in the hands of the liberators.
Guess what? Nothing of this scenario was true.
On March 8, 2005, United Press International (UPI) ran a small press release
titled "Public Version of Saddam Capture Fiction." Don’t think
you are remiss because you have not yet read this, but it received scant publicity
in the U.S. Prior to my writing this article, I have found only one news outlet
that carried the story: WHAM Channel 13 of Rochester, New York.
The U.P.I. press release consisted of quotes from ex-U.S. Marine Nadim Rabeh,
of Lebanese descent. In addition to the U.S. version of the capture date being
off by one day, during an interview in Lebanon, he stated:
I was among the 20-man unit, including eight of Arab descent, who searched
for Saddam for three days in the area of Dour near Tikrit, and we found him
in a modest home in a small village and not in a hole as announced.
We captured him after fierce resistance during which a Marine of Sudanese origin
Rabeh recounted how Saddam fired at them with a gun from the window of a room
on the second floor. Then, the Marines shouted at him in Arabic, "You have
to surrender. There is no point in resisting."
How did we come to see the pictures of the hole and a scruffy-looking Saddam?
According to Rabeh, "Later on, a military production team fabricated the
film of Saddam’s capture in a hole, which was in fact a deserted well."
The former Marine’s account mixes with the rendition Saddam Hussein gave
his lawyer when they had their only meeting. Saddam told him that he was captured
in a friend’s house and that he was drugged and tortured for two days.
Hence, the pictures of Saddam looking bedraggled.
I went to Google.com and searched for images of Saddam’s capture. All
the major news networks and publications showed pictures of the hole and a beleaguered
Saddam: Time Magazine, CNN News, magazines, daily newspapers, etc. You name
it and they published it.
But, they were all wrong. Not one publication took the time to research the
story. Not one. They just took pictures given by the U.S. military and parroted
the lines they were given.
This is not the first time something similar has occurred. After the 1989 invasion
of Panama, the U.S. allowed the press to enter Manuel Noriega’s office.
He was portrayed as a sexual pervert. In the office were pictures of young boys,
a picture of Hitler, red underpants and pornographic magazines. The dirty bastard.
A few months later, the first Marine to enter Noriega’s office was released
from the Corps. He eventually talked to a reporter and said that he was the
absolute first to enter the office after the U.S. kidnapped the former Panamanian
president and all that was inside were a desk, a telephone, a chair and a typewriter.
Let’s go back 16 years from Noriega’s demise. In 1973, Salvador
Allende, the president of Chile, was assassinated. When the press was allowed
to enter his office, they saw a pair of red underpants, pictures of young boys,
a picture of Hitler and pornographic magazines. The CIA did not have the decency
to change props. They used the same for both offices, thinking that 16 years
was a long time and no one would figure out the ruse. A reporter who covered
the 1973 event was also in Panama in 1989 and happened to see both made-up scenarios.
With Saddam, they changed props because the previously-mentioned ones probably
would not go down in Iraq. And, I always wondered how he obtained a can of Spam,
since no such product was offered in Iraq.
It seems no one asks questions, such as how a can of Spam was in the hole.
About a year ago, there was a picture on the Internet that gained much publicity
of a bunch of U.S. soldiers standing next to an Iraqi building on which was
depicted the blowing up of the World Trade Center. The inference was that Iraqis
took glee in the acts of 9-11.
However, I noticed the soldiers were standing on a base path of a baseball
field. There were no baseball fields in Iraq. Then, I looked at the trees and
saw they were typical southeastern U.S. types that I had never seen in any pictures
The photo was bogus, but the harm had been done. Even mainstream media picked
up and ran with the picture. I wrote to a few agencies that used it, but received
no reply. They were embarrassed.
Now, let’s get back to Saddam and his spider hole and other aspects of
his life after April 9, 2003.
When he was captured, U.S. authorities said he was a spent force and had no
say in the ever-growing resistance. Hogwash. Subsequent information shows that
he was heading the resistance and called many shots. For instance, on Wolfowitz’
first visit to Baghdad, he stayed at the Hotel Al-Rashid. A rocket was fired
at the building and killed a U.S. colonel on the floor just above Wolfowitz’.
Saddam Hussein personally ordered that strike and, for the sake of about four
meters, history may have been changed.
I have heard anecdotal tales of Sadam Hussein taking part in street battles
against U.S. troops. Various sources have told me this. So, I wrote to my Iraqi
contact in Baghdad (a retired colonel) and asked him. Today, I received a response
about that as well as Saddam’s capture. Here are a few items he mentioned.
* Saddam’s inside wear was very clean, which gives the impression he
was not in a hole.
* At the time they said they captured him, no dates were available, but the
trees they showed in the films had fresh dates on the palm trees and this was
* My house is in the Adhamiya and I can say that I saw Saddam after they announced
the fall of Baghdad. I saw him myself. He was standing on a bonnet of a car.
He was giving smiles to the people around him who were encouraging him by their
loyalty, which they always had.
* As I know, Saddam was on top of the battle at the airport.
* What I heard was that he was on top of many assaults against the Americans.
From various sources, we now have a totally different story than the one force-fed
to us by the U.S. administration. Instead of Saddam Hussein being a coward who
fled and was caught in a hole in the ground, he now is the president, who, under
siege, met publicly with his people on April 9, 2003 (we saw viedo of this on
U.S. TV), after personally being involved with several battles against the invaders,
and who created a network of resistance while tens of thousands of U.S. military
people were looking for him.
One thing is sure. Most 65-year-old men are contemplating retirement. However,
Saddam Hussein lived off his wits, the land, and with comrades for nine months,
all the time coordinating a resistance against illegal invaders. Most men half
his age would not be able to take the physical challenges of such a routine.
This in itself is a remarkable feat.
Let’s look at Saddam’s U.S. counterpart, George W. Bush. About
the only military achievement he ever performed was evading drug tests while
in the U.S. National Guard. There, he succeeded magnificently.
Unfortunately, the U.S. government is in possession of all of Iraq’s
records prior to April 2003. Not one word will be mentioned that will contradict
the U.S. rewriting of Iraq’s history. At best, we will have to rely on
anecdotal accounts and eye witnesses. It is neither the best nor the most accurate
form of history, but it’s all we have now.