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December 14, 2003
Was Saddam A Captive?

The provocative blog DEBKAFile has an interesting assessment of Saddam's status prior to his capture by American forces:

According to DEBKAfile analysts, these seven anomalies point to one conclusion: Saddam Hussein was not in hiding; he was a prisoner.

After his last audiotaped message was delivered and aired over al Arabiya TV on Sunday November 16, on the occasion of Ramadan, Saddam was seized, possibly with the connivance of his own men, and held in that hole in Adwar for three weeks or more, which would have accounted for his appearance and condition. Meanwhile, his captors bargained for the $25 m prize the Americans promised for information leading to his capture alive or dead. The negotiations were mediated by Jalal Talabani’s Kurdish PUK militia.

DEBKAfile analysts surmise that the American military decided to bypass the negotiators to ensure that Saddam's captors didn't kill him and demand the payment for the body. It's an intriguing post, and you should read the whole thing. I don't know if I buy the theory, but it would explain what Saddam was doing in a 6x8 hole in the middle of the Tikriti area.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at December 14, 2003 8:55 PM

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