WERE U.S. TROOPS FIRST TO NAB
SADDAM? – PRESS REPORTS KURDS
GRABBED IRAQI DICTATOR, LEFT HIM
DRUGGED & DOCILE IN “SPIDERHOLE”
FOR OUR FORCES TO TAKE INTO
CUSTODY – GEN. ODIERNO, WHO TRIED
TO BRUTALIZE LTC WEST IN PRISONER
INTERROGATION INCIDENT, TOOK BOWS
FOR SADDAM “CAPTURE” – IS THIS
ANOTHER PENTAGON “STORY” LIKE
THE PFC LYNCH COMBAT “HEROICS?”
No one wants the tale of Saddam Hussein’s “capture” by American soldiers to be true more than the editors of this web site.
After a steady stream of bad news and rising casualties from Iraq, this great event was just what the doctor ordered – to lift morale at home and undermine the Democrats’ complaints about how the war was going.
But sometimes, when something looks almost “too good to be true,” it usually is. And if press reports in the London SUNDAY EXPRESS are in any way accurate, we have not been told the whole story of just how the Iraqi dictator came to fall into U.S. hands.
WERE THE KURDS FIRST TO NAB SADDAM?
According to the respected British newspaper, Saddam was first captured by members of the Kurdish Patriotic Front (KPF) after being betrayed to them by a member of the al-Jabour tribe, whose daughter had been raped by Saddam’s son Uday.
A former Iraqi intelligence officer told the London newspaper the KPF “cut a deal” with American officials to let them take credit for the capture in exchange for the Kurds “gaining political advantage” in the country.
The Kurds are just one of several factions jockeying for power and position in postwar Iraq.
In addition to the London report, a Scottish newspaper, the SUNDAY HERALD, quoted Adil Murad, a member of the Front’s political bureau, as saying the day before Saddam’s capture at Tikrit, he was tipped off by a Kurdish general – Thanmir al-Sultan – that “Saddam would be arrested in the next 72 hours.”
The HERALD correspondent in Baghdad said Kurdish media is claiming that its militia “set the circumstances” whereby U.S. troops had only to go to a farm identified by the Kurds to nab the hated strongman.
THE “OFFICIAL” STORY – IS IT TRUE?
The American version of events is well known. While there were some questions raised about Saddam’s obviously dazed and bewildered visage in the moments after he was taken into custody, most of the media wrote it off as the condition of a desperate man who was relegated to hiding in “a hole in the ground” to escape detection.
One of Saddam’s daughters, certainly not an objective observer, told reporters she felt her father was “under the influence of some sort of drug.” Now, with the claims by a Kurdish wire service that Saddam was nabbed by KPF forces first, the possibility the deposed dictator was partially zonked out on pills or an injection when American troops found him, appears at least plausible.
Ironically, the same time the British news reports surfaced on the possible Kurdish involvement in Saddam’s capture, NEWSWEEK reported the first “details” of the seizure, if indeed that was the way the snatch went down.
The breathless report, by Evan Thomas and Babak Dehghanpisheh, had an American soldier ready to toss a grenade into Saddam’s “spider-hole” when the Iraqi bully-boy reportedly shouted out in English: “I am Saddam Hussein, President of Iraq and I am willing to negotiate.”
To quote NEWSWEEK, one of the American GI’s “looked down at the disheveled, bearded, seemingly dazed man and replied, ‘President Bush sends his regards.’”
A great line – worthy of a Hollywood movie – if it actually happened.
The problem with that story, however, is the Pentagon has a very poor track record at telling the truth.
CAUGHT IN THE PFC LYNCH “HEROICS” FABRICATION
No one has “fessed up” yet as to what Pentagon “spin-doctor” created and planted the phony Jessica Lynch “fighting for her life” story with the Washington POST. You remember that – the one where Lynch blazes away with her rifle, mowing down attacking Iraqi soldiers until she runs out of ammunition? Then, as the tale goes, the fierce feminist only succumbs to the enemy after being shot several times and stabbed with bayonets. A virtual “Audrea” Murphy!
To her credit, ex-PFC Jessica – now worth more than a million dollars due to TV, magazine and book deals – acknowledged that she didn’t get off a shot. Instead, the slender GI – whose nude photos were snapped up and unpublished by sympathetic porn king Larry Flynt – told a nationwide television audience the “heroics” story never really happened.
Sources tell MilitaryCorruption.com elements at the Pentagon, including at least one female public affairs officer, dreamed up the yarn to buttress feminist arguments that women belong in combat. Because of “political-correctness,” we are told, the officer will go unpunished.
Could this latest fabulous account – the dramatic “capture” of Saddam – also be also less than factual?
The Pentagon and Bush Administration need to get out in front of this immediately and acknowledge whether or not there is any truth to the Kurdish claims.
There are several troubling elements that may undermine the veracity of the Pentagon account.
THE KURDS’ ROLE IN THE CAPTURE
A statement by Ahmed Chalabi, head of the Iraq National Congress, claims Kurdish forces provided “vital information” that led to the apprehension of the brutal Saddam.
Even a Pentagon briefer acknowledged some Kurdish militia might
have been in on what was described as a “joint operation.”
The obvious question is why would the Kurds be operating so far out of their territory – unless they had important information that was essential to the Americans finding the elusive “Butcher of Baghdad?”
U.S. forces reportedly took Saddam into custody at 8:30 p.m. local time December 13, but “sat on” releasing the news until 3 p.m. the following day. Did they need all that time in order to do a DNA test, to make sure they didn’t have a Saddam “double,” or was it for other reasons, such as putting a story together?
“GLORY HOUND” GEN. ODIERNO
One officer who wasted no time getting his mug on television was the controversial 4th Infantry Division commander, Maj. Gen. Raymond Odierno.
The gloating general, best known for the embarrassing LTC Allen West incident – in which the colonel was given the “choice” of loss of pension (three days short of retirement) or a court martial with up to eight years in prison, all for firing his pistol near – not at – near the head of an Iraqi prisoner to get information that saved the lives of American soldiers, was all over the television screen bragging about the high profile capture.
Typical of egocentric generals who don’t bother to credit the low-ranking troops who actually risked their lives to hunt down Saddam, Odierno’s shaven head, beady eyes and rodent-like mouth were on display, basking in glory and taking bows for a windfall that might mean a “third star” on the general’s collar.
As the days went by, the media were not treated to interviews with the soldier who spotted the “spider hole” and ordered Saddam to come out of his hiding place.
Wouldn’t it make sense for a generous and inspirational “leader” such as Odierno to “promote” the trooper on the spot, give him a medal and send him home early to spend Christmas with his family in the good old USA?
There’s something unseemly about a general who “hogs all the hosannas” for himself. But what should we expect of a man who screwed up so bad in the West case, he was frantic for any way to take the stink off himself?
Let’s hope the original “story” of Saddam’s capture by our boys holds up. If it doesn’t, no amount of “perfume” or PAO pronouncements will cover the stench emitting from the commanding general’s tent
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Many thanks to all the soldiers, past and present, who have offered us their opinion of Gen. Odierno. We welcome further input from the troops, especially the enlisted and NCO ranks. God bless and keep you safe.)