Saddam Hussein interrogations

A Freedom of Information request has made available summaries of the interrogation of Saddam Hussein. I just spent some time reading and skimming through the summary documents. My impression of the interrogation is that Saddam Hussein was prone to self-flattery and some history revisionism, though he directly evaded the questions that would have cast in the worst light. There’s surely several points of interest to students of recent history. With the run-up to the Iraq war still in recent memory, one of the more interesting remarks is in my view the stated reason for resisting weapons inspections. Quoting from document #24, Casual Conversation, June 11, 2004:

* Hussein continued the dialogue on the issues relating to the significant threat to Iraq from Iran. Even though Hussein claimed Iraq did not have WMD, the threat from Iran was the major, the threat from Iran was the major factor as to why he did not allow the return of the UN inspectors. Hussein stated he was more concerned about Iran discovering Iraq’s weaknesses and vulnerabilities than the repercussions of the United States for his refusal to allow UN inspectors back into Iraq. In his opinion, the UN inspectors would have directly identified to the Iranians where to inflict maximum damage to Iraq. Hussein demonstrated this by pointing at his arm and stated striking someone on the forearm would not have the same effect as striking someone at the elbow or wrist, which would significantly disable the ability to use the arm. Hussein indicated he was angered when the United States struck Iraq in 1998. Hussein stated Iraq could have absorbed another United States strike for he viewed this as less of a threat than exposing themselves to Iran.

* Hussein further stated that Iran’s weapons capabilities have increased dramatically, while Iraq’s have been eliminated by the UN sanctions. The effects of this will be seen and felt in the future, as Iran’s weapons capabilities will be a greater threat to Iraq and the region in the future.

More at The National Security Archive, where the interrogation summaries are available.


3 Responses to Saddam Hussein interrogations

  1. Heraclides says:


    Thanks for your comment on Thinking Matters re entropy. I wanted to post in similar vein, but Bnonn (who runs that blog) has blocked my posts. I wanted to phrase it to the effect that the second law isn’t relevant, i.e. whatever you say about the second law is neither for nor against abiogenesis, as they’re really not connected, certainly not in the manner Johnston tries to make out. I would write on Ken’s blog, but it’s clear that they are “ignoring” his open thread on the subject. It’s a pity as I can detail a number of the other misleading statements J is making, e.g. regarding the genome sequencing effort. But anyway, just wanted to pop up and say the detailed response was nice to see.

    • tom w says:

      I’m glad you liked the comment. I found that blog while searching for thermodynamics stuff and thought I’d try to correct some of Johnson C. Philip’s misconceptions (BTW, is Johnson his first name or does he write his name Asian style with the surname first?). It’s not going to have any major impact, but hopefully it will be useful to at least some readers.

  2. Heraclides says:

    His first name should be Johnson (without the ‘t’, I keep accidentally dropping it in). He’s Indian, so it’ll be the standard British usage, first name, then surname.

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