Skip to comments.Saddam execution rushed to stop him 'having last word': Primakov
Posted on 01/14/2007 5:40:06 PM PST by Tailgunner Joe
MOSCOW: The execution of Saddam Hussein was rushed to prevent the former Iraqi leader from revealing facts that could compromise the United States, former Russian prime minister Yevgeny Primakov said Sunday.
Saddam was executed in an "unexpected" way so "he could not have the last word" and reveal compromising information on the relationship between the United States and his former regime, the veteran diplomat said on a television channel.
If Saddam Hussein "had said everything (he knew), the current US president (George W Bush) would have been greatly embarrassed," said Primakov, a Middle East expert formerly on good terms with Saddam.
Primakov highlighted the military cooperation between Washington and Baghdad during the 1980s when the United States was fighting the fundamentalist threat from Iran.
He also alleged that Saddam made a deal with Washington before the 2003 invasion of Iraq to allow the United States to occupy the country without meeting any opposition.
Primakov made two confidential visits to Iraq at the request of Russian President Vladimir Putin shortly before the US-led invasion of the country.
Saddam was executed for crimes against humanity on December 30, which coincided with the first day of the Eid al-Adha feast and drew widespread Muslim condemnation.
A few months more and he'd be 70, inelligble for execution in Iraq.
Primakov is extremely upset that he was not given a third opportunity to make a deal to allow Saddam to escape his fate.
Gee, a friend of Saddam throws the DUmmies a bone. What a shocker. It is hard to distinguish Democrats from Terrorists these days.
I suspect the Russians are quite happy to know that Saddam isn't talking any more. They're probably a bit concerned about what he did say.
Being lectured about executions by the Russians always gives me a chuckle....kinda like being lectured on integrity by the Clintons.
Okay, it is not a good sign that the Russian Foreign Minister is obviously insane, or criminally deluded.
I know what Saddam would have said.
SADDAM: Yevgeny Primakov is a CIA operative. We discovered this while questioning his Gay lover, Muqtada al-Sadr.
Granted, I understand the final words he uttered were "Bush has small peck--ugh!", but that can't be verified.
Well.. I guess it ain't happenin'.
Cold War paranoia dies a hard death.
Total bull hockey.
Saddam was captured December 2003 and kept around for 3 years before being executed, after a long trial.
Saddam had anti American scum like Ramsey Clark and other lawyers that Saddam could have gotten information to that would be embarrassing to us. That apparently didn't happen. - Tom
I swear, sometimes it seems Russians are more conspiracy-happy than the Arabs.
If Saddam had anything "embarassing" on Dubya, there was plenty of time before execution for him to spill the beans.
According to the NY Times the Shia were the ones eager to hang Saddam.
Part of it was that the Americans, who turned him into a pariah and drove him from power, proved to be his unlikely benefactors in the face of Iraq's new Shiite rulers, who seemed bent on turning the execution and its aftermath into a new nightmare for the Sunni minority privileged under Saddam.
The American role extended beyond providing the helicopter that carried Saddam home. Iraqi and American officials who have discussed the intrigue and confusion that preceded the decision late on Friday to rush Saddam to the gallows have said that it was the Americans who questioned the political wisdom and justice of expediting the execution, in ways that required Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al- Maliki to override constitutional and religious precepts that might have ensured Saddam the prospect of a more dignified passage to his end.
American officials in Iraq have been reluctant to say much publicly about the pell-mell nature of the hanging, apparently fearful of provoking recriminations in Washington, where the Bush administration adopted a hands-off posture, saying that the timing of the execution was for Iraq to decide.
Apart from an instinct to treat Saddam better than he treated his victims, the concern of the Americans in Baghdad has been for the outrage that the execution scenes seemed likely to cause among Saddam's fellow Sunnis.
But a narrative assembled from accounts by various American officials, and by Iraqis who were present at some of the crucial meetings between the two sides, shows that it was the Americans who counseled caution in the way the Iraqis carried out the hanging. The issues uppermost in the Americans' minds, these officials said, were a provision in Iraq's new Constitution that required the three-man presidency council to approve hangings, and a stipulation in a longstanding Iraqi law that no executions can be carried out during the holiday of Eid al-Adha, or Feast of the Sacrifice, which began for Iraqi Sunnis on Saturday, and for Shiites on Sunday.
A senior Iraqi official said that the Americans staked out their ground at a meeting on Thursday, 48 hours after an appeals court had upheld the death sentences passed on Saddam and two associates. The three were convicted in November of crimes against humanity for the persecution of the Shiites of Dujail, north of Baghdad, where a fury of retaliation had been unleashed after an attack in 1982 on Saddam's motorcade, which he termed an assassination attempt. Saddam, as president, signed a decree to hang 148 men and teenage boys.
Told that Maliki wanted to carry out the death sentence on Saddam almost immediately, and not wait further into the 30-day deadline set by the appeals court, American officers said at the meeting Thursday that they would accept any decision but needed assurance that due process had been followed before relinquishing custody of Saddam.
The American pressure sent Maliki and his aides into a frantic quest for legal work-arounds, the Iraqi official said. The Americans told them that they needed a decree from President Jalal Talabani, signed jointly by his two vice presidents, upholding the death sentence, and a letter from the chief judge of the Iraqi High Tribunal, the court that tried Saddam, certifying the verdict. But Talabani, a Kurd, had long made it known that he objected to the death penalty on principle.
The Maliki government spent much of Friday working on legal mechanisms to meet the American demands. From Talabani, it obtained a letter saying that while he would not sign a decree approving the hanging, he had no objections. The Iraqi official said that Talabani first asked the tribunal's judges for an opinion on whether the constitutional requirement for presidential approval applied to a death sentence handed down by the tribunal, a special court operating outside the main Iraqi judicial system. The judges said the requirement was void.
Maliki had one major obstacle: the Saddam-era law proscribing executions during the Eid holiday. This remained until late Friday, the Iraqi official said. He said that he attended a late-night dinner at the prime minister's office at which American officers and Maliki's officials debated the issue, which the Americans had first raised at the meeting Thursday.
One participant described the meeting this way: "The Iraqis seemed quite frustrated, saying, 'Who is going to execute him, anyway, you or us?' The Americans replied by saying that obviously, it was the Iraqis who would carry out the hanging. So the Iraqis said, 'This is our problem. and we will handle the consequences. If there is any damage done, it is we who will be damaged, not you.'"
To this, the Iraqis added what has often been their trump card in tricky political situations: They telephoned officials of the marja'ia, the supreme religious body in Iraqi Shiism, composed of ayatollahs in the holy city of Najaf. The officials came back saying they had the ayatollahs' approval.
Maliki, at a few minutes before midnight on Friday, then signed a letter to the justice minister, who is responsible for prisons and executions. The letter told him to "to carry out the hanging until death" of Saddam and the two codefendants sentenced to death in the Dujail trial.
Not one of the Iraqi officials who discussed the sequence of events was able to explain why Maliki had been unwilling to allow the execution to wait until it could be better organized. Nor would any explain why those who conducted it had allowed it to deteriorate into a sectarian free-for-all that had the effect, on the video recordings, of making Saddam, a mass murderer, appear a pillar of dignity and restraint, and his executioners, representing Shiites who were his principal victims, seem like bullying street thugs.
WASHINGTON, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Saddam Hussein thanked his American guards when they handed him over to Iraqi authorities minutes before his execution, a top U.S. official said Wednesday.
His demeanor changed when he was in Iraqi hands, said Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, the spokesman for American forces in Iraq, at a Wednesday press conference.
"I have been able to get in contact with a group of Americans that were present at that point. They said at that point, he was dignified as always. He was courteous, as he always had been, to his U.S. military police guards. His characterization did change at the prison facility when the Iraqi guards were assuming control of him, but he was still dignified towards us," Caldwell said. "He thanked the military police squad, the lieutenant, the squad leader, the medical doctor we had present, and the colonel that was on site."
He said the U.S. team that handed over Saddam on Saturday knew it was for his immediate execution. So did the deposed dictator, who for 30 years persecuted his political opponents, especially Shiites and Kurds.
"Saddam recognized that they were at that point, too, I think," Caldwell said.
Caldwell insisted U.S. forces had nothing to do with his treatment or the manner of execution thereafter -- a recording of the event showed the circus-like atmosphere. He said had the coalition been in charge of his death, it would have been different. He refused to say how.
"Up to the time we turned him over to the prison warden, and when he signed for the physical control of Saddam, everything had still been done in a proper manner. Everybody had been treated respectfully. And then we left that building and moved away from that location, because we had no part at that point anymore in the process." Caldwell said.
"At that point it's a sovereign nation. It's their system. They make those decisions .... You know, if you're asking me, would we have done things differently, yes, we would have. But that's not our decision. That's a government of Iraq decision."
Saddam Hussein was convicted Nov. 5, 2006, and sentenced to death for the 1982 killing of 148 Shiites in the city of Dujail.
It's not really a matter of them being conspiracy happy. They've got a long history of playing games with us through the moonbat left.
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