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12/31/06 1:53 PM
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BzGrappla
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Edited: 31-Dec-06
Member Since: 02/27/2004
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BAGHDAD, Iraq - Saddam Hussein never bowed his head, until his neck snapped. His last words were equally defiant. ''Down with the traitors, the Americans, the spies and the Persians.'' The final hour of Iraq's former ruler began about 5 a.m., when U.S. soldiers escorted him from Camp Cropper, near the Baghdad airport, to another U.S. base at the heart of the city, Camp Justice. There, he was handed over to a newly trained unit of the Iraqi National Police, with whom he would later exchange curses. Iraq took full custody of Saddam at 5:30 a.m. Two U.S. helicopters flew 14 witnesses from the Green Zone to the execution site - a former headquarters of the deposed government's much-feared military intelligence outfit, the Istikhbarat, now inside the U.S. base. Saddam reportedly had asked that, as Iraq's commander in chief, he be sent before a firing squad. Instead, he was condemned to die on the gallows like a garden variety Iraqi criminal or thug. advertisement When the time came, before dawn in Baghdad, Saddam did not wear his familiar military uniform with its beret, but a black coat over a white shirt, black trousers and black shoes. His jet black hair was carefully combed, his salt-and-pepper beard neatly clipped. Saddam was escorted into the room where the gallows, with its red railing, stood, greeted at the door by three masked executioners known as Ashmawi. Several of the witnesses present - including Munkith al-Faroun, the deputy prosecutor for the court; Munir Haddad, the deputy chief judge for the Iraqi High Tribunal; and Sami al-Askari, a member of parliament - described in detail how the execution unfolded and independently recounted what was said. His executioners wore black ski masks, but Saddam could still see their deep brown skin and hear their dialects, distinct to the Shiite southern part of the country, where he had so brutally repressed two separate uprisings. The small room had a foul odor. It was cold, had bad lighting and a sad, melancholic atmosphere. With the witnesses and another 11 people - including guards and the video crew - it was cramped. Saddam's eyes darted about, trying to take in just who was going to put an end to him. The executioners took his hat and his scarf. Saddam, whose hands were bound in front of him, was taken to the judge's room next door. He followed each order he was given. He sat down and the verdict, finding him guilty of crimes against humanity, was read aloud. ''Long live the nation!'' Saddam shouted. ''Long live the people! Long live the Palestinians!'' He continued shouting until the verdict was read in full, and then he composed himself again. When he rose to be led back to the execution room at 6 a.m., he looked strong, confident and incredibly calm. Whatever apprehension he may have had only minutes earlier had faded. The general prosecutor asked Saddam to whom he wanted to give his Quran. He said Bandar, the son of Awad al-Bandar, the former chief justice of the Revolutionary Court. Saddam's half-brother Barzan Ibrahim and al-Bandar originally were scheduled to be hanged along with their former leader. Iraqi officials, though, decided to reserve the occasion for Saddam alone. The room was quiet as everyone began to pray, including Saddam. ''Peace be upon Mohammed and his holy family.'' Two guards added, ''Supporting his son Muqtada, Muqtada, Muqtada.'' Saddam seemed a bit stunned, swinging his head in their direction. They were talking about Muqtada al-Sadr, the firebrand cleric whose militia is now committing some of the worst violence in the sectarian fighting; he is
12/31/06 1:54 PM
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BzGrappla
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Edited: 31-Dec-06
Member Since: 02/27/2004
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the son of a revered Shiite cleric, Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr, who many believe Saddam had murdered. ''Muqtada?'' he spat out, a mix between sarcasm and disbelief. The national security adviser in Iraq, Mouwaffak al-Rubaie, asked him if he had any remorse or fear. ''No,'' he said bluntly. ''I am a militant and I have no fear for myself. I have spent my life in jihad and fighting aggression. Anyone who takes this route should not be afraid.'' One of the guards became angry. ''You have destroyed us,'' the thuggishly-dressed masked man yelled. ''You have killed us. You have made us live in destitution.'' advertisement Saddam was scornful. ''I have saved you from destitution and misery and destroyed your enemies, the Persians and Americans.'' The guard cursed him. ''God damn you.'' Saddam replied, ''God damn you.'' Two of the witnesses, apparently uninvolved in selecting the guards, exchanged a quiet joke, saying that they gathered the goal of disbanding the militias had yet to be accomplished. The deputy prosecutor, al-Faroun, berated the guards, saying, ''I will not accept any offense directed at him.'' Saddam was led up to the gallows without a struggle. His hands were unbound, put behind his back, then fastened again. He showed no remorse. He held his head high. ''He proved that he was courageous,'' said one of his enemies who could not help respect his calm in the face of death. The executioners offered him a hood. He refused. They explained that the thick rope could cut through his neck and offered to use the scarf he had worn earlier to keep that from happening. Saddam accepted. The platform he stood on was very high, with a deep hole beneath it. He said a last prayer. And then, his eyes wide open, no stutter or choke in his throat, said his final words cursing the Americans and the Persians. Haddad told the British Broadcasting Corp. that Saddam was not sedated. ''Not at all, Saddam was normal and in full control,'' Haddad said. ''He was aware of his fate and he knew he was about to face death. At 6:10 a.m., the trapdoor swung open. He seemed to fall a good distance, but he died swiftly. After just a minute, he was not moving. His eyes still were open but he was dead. Despite the scarf, the rope cut a gash into his neck. His body stayed hanging for another nine minutes as those in attendance broke out in prayer, praising the Prophet, at the death of a dictator http://www.registerguard.com/news/2006/12/31/a1.lastmoments.1231.p2.php?section=nation_world courtesy of NY TIMES
12/31/06 1:58 PM
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jellyman
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Edited: 31-Dec-06
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"courtesy of NY TIMES" uh oh...
12/31/06 2:01 PM
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BigEyedFish
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Edited: 31-Dec-06
Member Since: 03/18/2002
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lol, I thought the same thing as I read the bottom
12/31/06 2:02 PM
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BzGrappla
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Edited: 31-Dec-06
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well that what every article from different states newspaper had. It was all the same article from teh ny times. You could take it for what its worth..i guess
12/31/06 2:03 PM
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BigEyedFish
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Edited: 31-Dec-06
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I know. It was an interesting read. Im just sayin'...
12/31/06 4:59 PM
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BzGrappla
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Edited: 31-Dec-06
Member Since: 02/27/2004
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yea, i just thought i'd post it

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