Saddam interrogation highlights
New documents released this week under the Freedom of Information Act give unprecedented insight into interviews with former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. The declassified summaries were acquired by George Washington University’s National Security Archive and are available at their Web site, but we did some rooting around in there and now present you with some ...
New documents released this week under the Freedom of Information Act give unprecedented insight into interviews with former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. The declassified summaries were acquired by George Washington University's National Security Archive and are available at their Web site, but we did some rooting around in there and now present you with some revealing excerpts:
Hussein continued the dialogue on the issues relating to the significant threat to Iraq from Iran. Even though Hussein claimed iraq did not have WMD, the threat from Iran was the major factor as to why he did not allow the return of the UN inspectors. Hussein stated he was more concerned about Iran discovering Iraq’s weaknesses and vulnerabilities than the repercussions o the United States for his refusal to allow UN inspectors back into Iraq. In his opinion, the UN inspectors would have directly identified to the Iranians where to inflict maximum damage to Iarq. Hussein demonstrated this by pointing at his arm and stated striking someone on the forearm would not have th same effect as striking someone on the elbow or wrist, which would significantly disable the ability to use the arm. Hussein indicated he was angered when the United States struck Iraq in 1998. Hussein stated Iraq could have absorbed another United States strike for he viewed this as less of a threat than exposing themselves to Iran."
Hussein on a potential peace agreement with the United States:
Hussein recognized that Iran continued to develop its weapons capabilities, to include its WMD, while Iraq had lost its weapons capabilities due to the UN inspections and sanctions. Hussein was asked how Iraq would have dealt with the threat from Iran once the UN sanctions were lifted. Hussein replied Iraq would have been extremely vulnerable to an attack from Iran, and would have sought a security agreement with the United States to protect it from threats in the region. Hussein felt such an agreement would not only have benefitted Iraq, but its neighbors, such as saudi Arabia. SSA Piro [the interviewing FBI agent] agreed that such an agreement would have assisted iraq immensely. SSA Piro noted due to the histry between the two countries, it would have taken some time before the United States would have entered into such an agreement with Iraq."
Hussein acknowledges he’s accountable for the actions of his subordinates:
SSA Piro informed Hussein that he had surrounded himself with weak individuals, who are now refusing to take responsibility for the actions of the former government. The other High Value Detainees were putting the blame for all of Iraq’s mistakes on Hussein, to which Hussein replied by saying what could he do. Hussein recognizes that he may bear the responsibility or blame while others will attempt to distance themselves."
More from Foreign Policy
Saudi-Iranian Détente Is a Wake-Up Call for America
The peace plan is a big deal—and it’s no accident that China brokered it.
The U.S.-Israel Relationship No Longer Makes Sense
If Israel and its supporters want the country to continue receiving U.S. largesse, they will need to come up with a new narrative.
Putin Is Trapped in the Sunk-Cost Fallacy of War
Moscow is grasping for meaning in a meaningless invasion.
How China’s Saudi-Iran Deal Can Serve U.S. Interests
And why there’s less to Beijing’s diplomatic breakthrough than meets the eye.