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March 26, 2004
Saddam Betrayed By Bodyguard

The BBC program Panorama asserts that the Americans captured Saddam by first capturing a loyal bodyguard, getting him to crack under interrogation and having him lead the Americans right to Saddam's spider hole:

Saddam Hussein was finally betrayed by a relative who was one of his closest bodyguards, a BBC programme reveals. Panorama reports that after eight months on the run, the hiding place of the ousted Iraqi leader was given away by an aide known as "the fat man". ...

After his arrest, Mr Musslit was flown to Tikrit where he was interrogated. He was then made to point out the remote farm where Saddam Hussein was hiding. The 600 American soldiers there found nothing in the farm buildings, but discovered Saddam Hussein hiding in an underground passage.

The bodyguard and Hussein relative will not share in the $25 million reward, however. Since he was captured and did not turn Saddam over voluntarily, the reward money will be kept by the US. The "fat man" remains in US custody, and the American military still refuses to officially name him. Panorama will air in the UK on Sunday with more details on this story.

While the work of the Coalition in developing the intelligence that led them to Saddam was remarkable, the story seems appropriately tawdry for the end of the most brutal regime in recent memory. Saddam was sold out by his own relative and bodyguard. I hope Saddam thinks about that every night when the lights go out in his cell.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at March 26, 2004 9:18 PM

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