Skip to comments.In days before hanging, a push for revenge and a push back from the US
Posted on 01/06/2007 3:43:21 PM PST by TexKat
BAGHDAD: When American soldiers woke Saddam Hussein in his cell near Baghdad airport at 3:55 a.m. last Saturday, they told him to dress for a journey to Baghdad. He had followed the routine dozens of times before, traveling by helicopter in the predawn darkness to the courtroom where he spent 14 months on trial for his life.
When his cell lights were dimmed on Friday night, Hussein may have hoped that he would live a few days longer, and perhaps cheat the hangman altogether.
According to Task Force 134, the American military unit responsible for all Iraqi detainees, Hussein "had heard some of the rumors on the radio about potential execution dates." But never one to understate his own importance, he had told his lawyers for months that the Americans might spare him in the end, for negotiations to end the insurgency whose daily bombings rattled his cellblock windows.
As Hussein prepared to walk out into the chill of the desert winter, dressed in a tailored black overcoat, that last illusion was shattered. After being roused and told that he was being transferred to Iraqi custody, a task force statement e-mailed to The New York Times a week later revealed, "he immediately indicated that he knew the execution would soon follow."
"As he left the detention area, he thanked the guards and medics for the treatment he had received," Lt. Col. Keir-Kevin Curry, spokesman for the task force, said. Hussein was then driven to a waiting Black Hawk helicopter for a 10-minute flight to the old Istikhbarat prison in northern Baghdad, where a party of Iraqi officials awaited him at the gallows. "During this brief period of transfer, Saddam Hussein appeared more serious," the task force said.
(Excerpt) Read more at iht.com ...
Fascinating read. How can you go sleep the night before knowing you have so few hours to live? Won't there be enough time to sleep afterwards?
Thank you for posting this, TexKat, quite an interesting and informative article.
The day I decide it's a mistake to hang murderous villains like Sodamn Insane, is the day I give up and move into a nursing home. I only wish justice could be as swift for our own death penalty convicts.
There are some tidbits of interesting trivia, but it's more of the same old load of media BS.
"Hussein had long since told his American captors that he trusted them, but not the Iraqis."
Interesting article. Thanks for posting.
Emailing the NYTimes??????????????????????
Interesting read, but this snippet about sums it up. We made a democratically elected government possible in Iraq. They followed their own standards rather than ours in seeing this through to a conclusion.
It's too bad that Saddam got insulted on the gallows. Were I in charge, I'd have had him sung a couple of hymns, not out of expectation that he would accept Jesus, but to p*** off the ACLU and perhaps provide at least a touch of American kindness to the ceremony.
It is unfortunate that Saddam got hanged for lynching a mere 148 Shiite men and boys from the town of Dujal in 1982 before getting tried for mudering 180,000 Kurds in the town of Anful some years later. But I think that even under American standards 148 men killed is enough to warrant the death penalty.
Compared to the first hangings following the Nuremburg trials, the hanging of Saddam was, at least, quick and painless in its execution.
Disastrously? Was there a wholesale Sunni revolt? Or just the usual sour grapes from Saddam apologists and other Sunni national socialists and their Western appeasers?
"... three American lawyers who worked closely with the Iraqis at his trials, fought their own rearguard battle, telling fellow Iraqis how surprised they were that he received the death sentence in the narrow case that produced it the "systematic persecution" of a small Shiite town north of Baghdad, Dujail, after an alleged assassination attempt against Hussein there in 1982.
Sure, just the "narrow" murder of a couple of hundred innocent people.
The fascist ideology and self-interest of Saddam explain his actions: what explains the utter moral depravity of his Western defenders?
There are probably many other historical examples. It's simply what one should expect when a persecuted population gains political control. It was feared that this would happen, because that's what happens in these situations. No surprise. No matter what precautions the American military took, it was going to happen this way; because the Shiites NEEDED it to happen this way.
". But I think that even under American standards 148 men killed is enough to warrant the death penalty"
Actually, one is enough
not where he went- He'll want to sleep but will never be able to- it will be perpetual torture from things like desperately wanting to sleep but can't- all his vices here on earth will be multiplied many times- leading to complete frustration when he can't fullfill them- NOT a pleasant place to be where he is. He shoulda grabbed sleep before hte hanging as long as he could- gonna be a long long ride on the terror kabbob for him http://sacredscoop.com
nope- just the whining from the usual suspects- which in their estimate i guess is disasterous lol
Isn't John Burns an AP military-affairs reporter? Or a Times one?
Either way, it means his loyalty was with Saddam... and is now available for whatever other enemies of America might crop up.
Criminal Number 18F
The American pushback was complicated by the absences of Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and the top American military commander, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., who were both out of Iraq on leave.
How the hell can both of those guys leave the country on leave at the same time????
No interest after that.
John F. Burns is a New York Times reporter who has spent years covering Afghanistan and Iraq. He was virtually the only foreign reporter in Iraq during Saddam's reign to openly criticize the dictator - at great personal risk. He is arguably the best foreign correspondent for the newspaper. So far, this article is the definitive account of Saddam's execution.
"Khalilzad had suggested that the Iraqis get a written ruling approving the execution from Midhat al-Mahmoud, the chief judge of Iraq's Supreme Judicial Council; Mahmoud refused. Then, the Iraqis played their trump card: a call to high-ranking Shiite clerics in the holy city of Najaf, asking for approval from the marjaiya, the supreme authority in Iraqi Shiism. When his officials reported that they had it, Maliki signed a letter authorizing the hanging. It was 11:45 p.m."
We have brave men and women dying for this govt??!!
Great article. Good post. Though the circumstances were not as prim and proper as we could wish for, I do not believe that Iraq was dishonored in this matter, regardless of their motivations. Saddam got a trial. He was correctly found guilty. He received a just punishment..
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