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01 July 2009

How the FBI Broke Saddam - Part 4 (Epilogue)

from Counterterrorism Blog by James Gordon Meek

In the FBI’s 21st interrogation session, Saddam asked what was making headlines. He was told Iraq had signed a new constitution, was about to regain its sovereignty, had a new all-Iraqi Governing Council and that elections were on the way. None of that made him happy, according to the Bureau’s files.

Next came intense discussions about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. “Iraq does not have any WMD and has not for some time,” the FBI reported back to Washington, summing up Saddam’s responses. (Charles Duelfer - who had taken over the WMD hunt from the CIA’s David Kay in January - was coming up just as empty as his predecessor.)

Why had he rejected UN weapons inspections and defied President Bush? Saddam’s answer - one never seriously considered inside the Beltway before the 2003 invasion - was shockingly credible. “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,” the FBI reported.

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