Thursday, January 24, 2008

Saddam Lied, Not Bush

CBS) Saddam Hussein initially didn't think the U.S. would invade Iraq to destroy weapons of mass destruction, so he kept the fact that he had none a secret to prevent an Iranian invasion he believed could happen. The Iraqi dictator revealed this thinking to George Piro, the FBI agent assigned to interrogate him after his capture.

Piro, in his first television interview, relays this and other revelations to 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley this Sunday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

Piro spent almost seven months debriefing Saddam in a plan based on winning his confidence by convincing him that Piro was an important envoy who answered to President Bush. This and being Saddam's sole provider of items like writing materials and toiletries made the toppled Iraqi president open up to Piro, a Lebanese-American and one of the few FBI agents who spoke Arabic.

"He told me he initially miscalculated... President Bush’s intentions. He thought the United States would retaliate with the same type of attack as we did in 1998...a four-day aerial attack," says Piro. "He survived that one and he was willing to accept that type of attack." "He didn't believe the U.S. would invade?" asks Pelley, "No, not initially," answers Piro.

Once the invasion was certain, says Piro, Saddam asked his generals if they could hold the invaders for two weeks. "And at that point, it would go into what he called the secret war," Piro tells Pelley. But Piro isn’t convinced that the insurgency was Saddam's plan. "Well, he would like to take credit for the insurgency," says Piro.

Saddam still wouldn't admit he had no weapons of mass destruction, even when it was obvious there would be military action against him because of the perception he did. Because, says Piro, "For him, it was critical that he was seen as still the strong, defiant Saddam. He thought that [faking having the weapons] would prevent the Iranians from reinvading Iraq," he tells Pelley.

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Donald Douglas said...

Nice post...

The left will always say Bush lied, hence siding with the forces of authoritarianism.

Shannonymous said...

Are you really trying to say Bush is blameless? We should attack any crazy dictator claiming to have WMDs? I think you're reaching, hon.

dan said...

I don't think that you can "blame" Bush for going after Saddam. After 9/11 I would expect any responsible Commander In Chief to do likewise.

Colleen said...

IMO most of the country was convinced that Saddam was defiantly hiding WMDs and that he intended to use them. That includes most of congress. Add faulty intelligence (if you can call it "intelligent") that they were all privy to and it's beyond me how people now turn around and say "Bush lied". He was lied to, they were lied to, we were lied to. Saddam blatantly asked, no begged, for an invasion with his actions. He was willing to put himself and his entire country at risk so he could look like the big bad-ass of the world.