This weekend 60 minutes aired an interview with FBI Agent, George Piro. He was the man responsible for conducting the interrogation of former Iraqi dictator, Sadaam Husein. In this piece, Piro discusses some very interesting confessions Sadaam revealed to him.
CBS News reports:
For a man who drew America into two wars and countless military engagements, we never knew what Saddam Hussein was thinking. But you are going to hear more than has ever been revealed before.
After his capture, Saddam met every day with one man, an American he knew as “Mr. George.” George is FBI agent George Piro, who was the front man for a team of FBI and CIA analysts who were trying to answer some of the great mysteries of recent history. What happened to the weapons of mass destruction? Was Saddam in league with al Qaeda? Why did he choose war with the United States?
As correspondent Scott Pelley reports, Piro is the man who came to know Saddam better than anyone, as they sat face to face in a windowless room.
The following excerpts are taken directly from the interview transcript-
Sadaam on what happened to their WMDs
“He told me that most of the WMD had been destroyed by the U.N. inspectors in the ’90s. And those that hadn’t been destroyed by the inspectors were unilaterally destroyed by Iraq,” Piro says.
Sadaam on why he lied about possessing WMDS
“So why keep the secret? Why put your nation at risk, why put your own life at risk to maintain this charade?” Pelley asks.
“It was very important for him to project that because that was what kept him, in his mind, in power. That capability kept the Iranians away. It kept them from reinvading Iraq,” Piro says.
Before his wars with America, Saddam had fought a ruinous eight year war with Iran and it was Iran he still feared the most.
“He believed that he couldn’t survive without the perception that he had weapons of mass destruction?” Pelley asks.
“Absolutely,” Piro says.
“As the U.S. marched toward war and we began massing troops on his border, why didn’t he stop it then? And say, ‘Look, I have no weapons of mass destruction.’ I mean, how could he have wanted his country to be invaded?” Pelley asks.
“He didn’t. But he told me he initially miscalculated President Bush. And President Bush’s intentions. He thought the United States would retaliate with the same type of attack as we did in 1998 under Operation Desert Fox. Which was a four-day aerial attack. So you expected that initially,” Piro says.
Piro says Saddam expected some kind of an air campaign and that he could he survive that. “He survived that once. And then he was willing to accept that type of attack. That type of damage,” he says.
“Saddam didn’t believe that the United States would invade,” Pelley remarks.
“Not initially, no,” Piro says.
Sadaam on the use of WMDs against his own people
The Piro interviews with Saddam turned up other revelations about one of the most notorious war crimes of his regime: the use of chemical weapons on Kurdish civilians in 1988. Iraq gassed its own people in something called the Anfal campaign to counter Iranian incursions and Kurdish resistance to his rule.
Piro says Saddam told him he himself gave the orders to use chemical weapons against the Kurds in the North. When shown the graphic pictures of the aftermath, Piro says Saddam reacted by saying, “Necessary.”
Sadaam on the future his WMD Program
In fact, Piro says Saddam intended to produce weapons of mass destruction again, some day. “The folks that he needed to reconstitute his program are still there,” Piro says.
“And that was his intention?” Pelley asks.
“Yes,” Piro says.
“What weapons of mass destruction did he intend to pursue again once he had the opportunity?” Pelley asks.
“He wanted to pursue all of WMD. So he wanted to reconstitute his entire WMD program,” says Piro.
“Chemical, biological, even nuclear,” Pelley asks.
“Yes,” Piro says.
And if the President was wrong, who could blame him since all the intelligence we and everyone else had at the time pointed to the same conclusion. And now we even have Sadaam clearly stating that he intentionally gave the impression that he possessed WMDs.
According to this 60 minutes piece, we have confirmed the following facts from Sadaam himself:
1. At one time he did possess weapons of mass destruction.
2. Even after the supposed destruction of the WMDs, he continued to maintain the impression that Iraq was still in possession of WMDs.
3. He personally approved the use of WMDs on his own people and saw their deaths as “necessary”.
4. He fully intended to reconstitute his WMD program and maintained the appropriate personnel to do so.
So are liberals going to change the slogan to “Sadaam lied and people died?”
On another note: I also found it interesting that Sadaam did not take the threat of an American Invasions very seriously; and that he based his miscalculation on the wimpy response of the Clinton administration in 1998.
FACT: Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda was known to be based in Afghanistan – Not Iraq.
FACT: At the time some in the administration (e.g. Cheney) were hyping ties between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda (2002-03), Colin Powell acknowledged there was no known, confirmed connection between Al Qaeda, Iraq and Saddam’s regime. Declassified documents back up Powell’s position.
FACT: Saddam Hussein warned his Iraqi supporters NOT to join forces with foreign Arab fighters entering Iraq to battle U.S. troops (translation – they were NOT in Iraq!!!)
FACT: Bush Administration insiders (e.g. Cheney, Rice and Powell) stated that Iraq was not a “threat”, and that the policy of containment should be considered a success.
I can go on and on with this… the bottom line: If we are going after Al Qaeda and Bin Laden, and both are in Afghanistan, why in the world are we fighting (still) in Iraq? Saddam arguing why he was fronting the U.S. with his WMD claims is immaterial. AGAIN – WHY ARE WE IN IRAQ?????????
Did I mention Osama Barak…Ooops!!!…. (A Kenedyian Slip!)… I mean Osama Bin Ladin? This post is about whether or not Sadam led the world to believe that he had WMD’s. The fact is that he did!
In the US, Democrats and Republicans alike thought he had them. (See Video Below)
And now we see that this impression was exactly what Sadam intended. To say that President Bush lied is not being intellectually honest and you know it.
Not that liberals care about being honest…. After all, according to liberals these Democrats (the ones in the video) lied and people died.