Capture of Saddam Hussein

From SourceWatch
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The capture of Saddam Hussein was announced early in the morning, December 14, 2003, by the Bush Administration just in time to dominate the Sunday talk shows, although, it did happen daytime the previous day.

The best photo showed the disheveled dictator docilely submitting to a medical exam, with a doctor running his gloved hand through his hair looking for lice and sticking a tongue depressor in his mouth.

The U.S. military operation, titled Operation RED DAWN, was carried out by the "1st Brigade Combat Team of the 4th Infantry Division in coordination with Special Operations Forces." --According to briefing by Ambassador L. Paul Bremer III, Administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority, Baghdad, December 14, 2003.

Interestingly enough the Patriot Act II was passed on the same day as Saddam was captured. There were not any major news stories on the passing of the bill.

Other Related SourceWatch Resources

External links



  • Flashback Photo: Donald Rumsfeld "Shaking Hands with Saddam Hussein: The U.S. Tilts toward Iraq, 1980-1984," National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 82, Edited by Joyce Battle, February 25, 2003.
  • Iraqis rush for photo of Saddam, AP, December 18, 2003. Includes photo of "front page of Al-Moutamar newspaper published in Baghdad" on December 18th, with "a picture of Saddam Hussein, shaven and in captivity, sitting on the floor across from Ahmed Chalabi, a member of Iraq's American-picked Iraqi Governing Council."
  • 17 December 2003: "Dubious Link Between Atta and Saddam. A document tying the Iraqi leader with the 9/11 terrorist is probably fake" by Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball, Newsweek at Close-up photo of Saddam on the cover of Newsweek magazine.


  • 2 December 2003: "Hussein's capture imminent", "U.S. Rep. Ray LaHood held his thumb and forefinger slightly apart and said, 'We're this close' to catching Saddam Hussein. ... Once that's accomplished, Iraqi resistance will fall apart, said the five-term Republican congressman from Peoria who serves on the House Intelligence Committee."
  • 14 December 2003: "Saddam's wife 'turned him in'", Mail & Guardian online/ZA and "Iraq's Aziz Helped Identify Saddam, Official Says," Reuters [1].
  • 14 December 2003: "Indications Saddam Was Not in Hiding But a Captive," DEBKAfile Special Report.
  • 14 December 2003: "Hussein's Capture Is Yesterday's News" by Christopher Scheer, AlterNet.
  • 14 December 2003: "Saddam Sideshow Obscures Reality" by David B. Livingstone, AlterNet.
  • 14 December 2003: "We Finally Got Our Frankenstein... and He Was In a Spider Hole!" by Michael Moore,
  • 14 December 2003: "No Political Show Trial for Saddam: Human Rights Watch," AFP.
  • 14 December 2003: "TIME Exclusive: Notes from Saddam in Custody. Saddam is talking, but he isn't cooperative. New details on his capture and his first interrogation" by Brian Bennett.
  • 15 December 2003: "Captured Saddam Faces Tough Interrogation" by Christopher Torchia, AP.
  • 15 December 2003: "The Capture Of Saddam Hussein Does Not Change AT ALL That This Nation Was Lied Into War And Our Soldiers Died As A Result" by Doug Basham, Buzzflash.
  • 15 December 2003: "How Saddam Hussein was captured. BBC News Online looks at how the operation to capture former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein unfolded."
  • 15 December 2003: "IRAQ. What Does It Mean?", Center for American Progress.
  • 15 December 2003: "Bush Says Saddam Will Be Put on Trial" by Terence Hunt, AP.
  • 15 December 2003: "The Problem Prisoner" by Robert Dreyfuss, TomPaine.
  • 17 December 2003: "U.S. 'Torture Lite' Led To Saddam's Capture" by Ira Chernus, Common Dreams.
  • 18 December 2003: "Hussein Enters Post-9/11 Web of U.S. Prisons" by James Risen and Thom Shanker, New York Times: "Saddam Hussein is now prisoner No. 1 in what has developed into a global detention system run by the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency, according to government officials."
  • 19 December 2003: "Revealed -- Saddam's Network or a PSYOPS Campaign?" by Air Force Colonel Sam Gardiner, Ret.,
  • 20 December 2003: "How Army Sleuths Stalked the Adviser Who Led to Hussein" by Eric Schmidt, New York Times.
  • 21 December 2003: "Hussein Was Held by Kurds Before U.S. Capture, AFP Reports," "Saddam Hussein ... had [been] drugged and abandoned .... [by] The Kurdish Patriotic Front, which fought alongside U.S. forces during the Iraq war, [which] held Hussien until it negotiated for more political advantage in the Middle East, AFP said, citing the paper, which quoted an unidentified Iraqi intelligence officer."
  • 21 December 2003: "Saddam was held by Kurdish forces, drugged and left for US troops", AFP: "Saddam Hussein was captured by US troops only after he had been taken prisoner by Kurdish forces, drugged and abandoned ready for American soldiers to recover him, a British Sunday newspaper said."
  • 22 December 2003: "US Saddam claims being challenged" by Paul McGeough, The Age (Australia): "The deposed president was drugged and abandoned ready for the American soldiers to recover him, a British tabloid newspaper reported yesterday. ... Saddam came into the hands of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) after being betrayed by a member of the al-Jabour tribe, whose daughter had been raped by Saddam's son Uday, leading to a blood feud, reported the Sunday Express, quoting an unnamed senior British military intelligence officer. ... Washington's claims that brilliant US intelligence work led to the capture of Saddam are also being challenged by reports sourced in Iraq's Kurdish language media that say its militia set up the circumstances in which the US merely had to go to a farm identified by the Kurds to bag the fugitive former president. ... American forces took Saddam into custody about 8.30pm local time on the Saturday, but sat on the dramatic news until 3pm the next day. But early on Sunday, a Kurdish language wire service reported explicitly: 'Saddam Hussein was captured by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. A special intelligence unit led by Qusrat Rasul Ali, a high-ranking member of the PUK, found Saddam Hussein in the city of Tikrit, his birthplace. Qusrat's team was accompanied by a group of US soldiers. Details of the capture will emerge but the global Kurdish party is about to begin.' ... The Western media in Baghdad were electrified by the revelation, but as reports of the arrest built, they relied almost exclusively on accounts from within US military and intelligence organisations, starting with the words of the US-appointed administrator of Iraq, Paul Bremer: 'Ladies and gentlemen, we got 'im.'"
  • 22 December 2003 (Issue): "How We Got Saddam." by Evan Thomas and Rod Nordland, Newsweek: "'Don't shoot,' the bearded, submissive man said to the soldiers. He was Saddam Hussein, hiding in a hole, the man the Pentagon called 'High Value Target Number One.' The story of his capture--and what's next."
  • 24 December 2003: "Whatever You Do, Don't Diss the King: When Bush-Backing Bullies Attack" by Maureen Farrell, Buzzflash.
  • 31 December 2003 (Issue): "Captured. Taking care of Saddam business" by National Review editors.
  • 10 January 2004: "US gives Saddam POW status," ABC News (Australia): "Saddam Hussein has been declared a prisoner of war (POW) by the United States Defence Department and an Iraqi Governing Council member said the jailed former dictator could stand trial in Iraq by June. ... The US Defence Department named Saddam Hussein a prisoner of war after much legal wrangling,... US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was informed that Pentagon lawyers concluded that Saddam met the definition of an enemy prisoner of war under the Geneva Convention, Pentagon spokesman Lawrence DiRita said. ... However, Mr DiRita said under the conventions, his legal status could be re-evaluated at a later date."

History of the U.S. Relationship With Saddam Hussein Prior to War