Paul Bremer, the American civil administrator of Iraq after the fall of President Saddam Hussein’s regime, revealed the details of the night of Saddam’s capture, and his first meeting with him.
And during an interview on the “Middle Line” program, Paul Bremer said: “I was in my bedroom in the apartment complex, when I received a call from my deputy, which I answered, and he told me directly that I had to go to my office to receive a secure phone call, and he did not tell me who the caller was, he told me That this matter cannot be delayed, so I returned to my office at a quarter past two in the morning, and General (American) Abu Zayd, commander of the central forces, was on the phone, and he told me that they had arrested a person who believed to be Saddam Hussein, and that they had found him in a hole near Tikrit on a farm “.
Bremer continued: “I asked General Abu Zeid about the best and fastest way to identify him, as Saddam was known to use his look-alikes for security necessities. He said, “We will bring him now on a helicopter and we will show him to the other detainees, including Tariq Aziz, to see if they will recognize him.” Or not, and they also have his DNA that allows them to know his identity accurately, and indeed he was brought after 4 hours, and his identity was confirmed after a DNA analysis.”
He added: “I directly called Dr. Rice, the National Security Adviser, and told her that we had captured Saddam Hussein. At that time, the military was drawing up their plan, which was based on placing Saddam Hussein inside a ship with an American fleet anchored in the Gulf waters, but I told General Abu Zaid that it was impossible, Saddam is an Iraqi prisoner and we cannot get him out of the country. If we did, no one would believe that we captured him, and he should have been shown to the world.”
To the question, “Why did you hand Saddam Hussein over to his enemies in this way? Isn’t the United States committed to human rights and treating justly, whether to Saddam or to anyone else?” Your Honor, and in my opinion, the Iraqi government subjected Saddam to a fair trial, but on the other hand they executed him in a hideous manner.
The interviewer asked a question about Washington’s performance of Saddam’s presentation, saying, “On the other hand, the pictures that you presented are a clear violation of the Geneva Convention in dealing with prisoners… Why did you present Saddam Hussein in this way that violates the law?” The Iraqi people believe that what is in our hands is Saddam Hussein, and we came up with two possibilities.. First, we must show a picture of him, and that was not enough.. The second possibility remains, which is that Iraqi politicians testify before the Iraqi people, that they saw Saddam under captivity, and they spoke With him, what we did was a violation of the Geneva Convention… Our decision was simply to convince the Iraqi people that Saddam was in our possession, even if that required a violation of the Geneva Convention.”
Regarding how he met Saddam Hussein and prepared him the first time he met him after his arrest, Bremer said: “Initially, I called Mr. Adnan al-Bajachi, head of the transitional Iraqi government (meaning the rotating president of the Transitional Governing Council) and asked him if he could gather as many members of the Transitional Governing Council as willing. Seeing Saddam, who was detained at the airport at the time, in Baghdad, and indeed this was done quickly and chose to bring 4 others, and we were keen to announce the news on the same day.. We all went to the airport, and the American corporal asked them if they wanted to see Saddam from a distance to confirm his identity, Or they wanted to meet him in person, and they chose to meet him in person.”
Bremer continued: “After that, I remember entering a long corridor, painted white and green. It was a miserable and dark place, and at the end of the corridor there was a bright room, perhaps a shower room. We arrived at it, and inside we found a small bed on which Saddam Hussein was sitting, with a thick beard and thick hair. He obviously hasn’t shaved for several months, wearing an American jacket.”
He continued: “Five members of the Governing Council, who were sitting on the opposite side of Saddam, were engaged in a conversation with him, in which you could discern the anger, and each of them had tasted the scourge of Saddam Hussein’s regime, even if you did not understand it. Each of these five had a relative. He was killed or tortured by Saddam Hussein.”
Bremer added, “Saddam never looked at me. I was standing next to the door and he was on the other side, and next to me was General Sanchez and an interpreter who told me everything that was going on in the verbal battle in front of me.”
And he added: “It was a noisy scene par excellence, and the members were angry at him, and he was angry at them as well, and he did not appear broken, on the contrary, he showed a clear ferocity when he was attacked by the members of the Council, and he responded to them with accurate details about them.. He considered them to be a handful of Traitors, he did not say that explicitly, but his looks reveal that, and he was treating everyone as if he was still the president of the republic.
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