Report: Saddam hanged; Update: Last word — “Muqtada” (Update: Video added)

posted at 10:09 pm on December 29, 2006 by see-dubya

Word just in from al-Arabiya that Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti is dead.

Sic Semper Tyrannis. Watch this space for more details.

Update (AP): Al-Hurra is reporting it too. I’m monitoring Al Jazeera in the expectation that they’ll have the video before American media does.

Al-Hurra’s the American-backed Arab station, FYI, so their sources here are probably trustworthy.

Update (AP): HuffPo “celebrates.”

Update (AP): Al-Arabiya (via Fox) says photographers and cameramen were on the scene.

Update (AP): “‘Peace,’ he said, grinning and laughing. ‘Now there will be peace for my family.’

Update (AP): Human Rights Watch sticks to their wormy script: “The execution of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein following a deeply flawed trial for crimes against humanity marks a significant step away from respect for human rights and the rule of law in Iraq, Human Rights Watch said today.”

Update (AP): An excellent, unsparing obituary from the Times of London.

Update (AP): Here’s a twist — Fox says Al-Arabiya is claiming that, contrary to earlier reports, it happened outside the Green Zone. Nice head fake.

Update (AP): What to do with the body? There’s “wide disagreement” among U.S. and Iraqi officials, says the Times:

The most discussed options include sending his body out of the country to his family in Jordan, where two of his daughters live; burying him in a secret location never to be made public; burying him in a secret location but, after a period of time, having him disinterred and sent to his family or tribe; or sending him immediately to his hometown of Tikrit to be buried with members of his tribe.

In fact, a top Sunni politician even raised the prospect of holding a state funeral for Mr. Hussein. That idea, a Western official said, had very little chance of becoming reality.

Update (AP): “State-run Iraqiya television said: ‘Criminal Saddam was hanged to death’, and played patriotic music, while showing images of national monuments and other landmarks.”

Update (AP): Who said it? “Just in time for Eid, the Iraqis decided Saddam Hussein was one old acquaintance who really should be forgot.” Who else?

Update (AP): Here’s the graphic is using. Heh.


Update (AP): The first bucket of cold water from the Times splashes down.

Update (AP): CNN says al-Iraqiya will air photos of Saddam on the way to his execution. And now Fox is saying they’ll show the video, too. I don’t get al-Iraqiya, but I do get Al Jazeera. If the video makes its way onto the air there, it’ll be here soon after.

Update (AP): CNN is quoting Iraq’s NSA as saying Saddam had “fear on his face.” We’ll see.

Update (AP): This is going to be some video: “What the images might also show, according to one eyewitness to the event: observers chanting and dancing around the body.”

Update (AP): Bush’s reponse is low key. According to Fox, he was, er, asleep when it all went down.

Update (AP): More on reaction at the scene, plus your quote of the year:

Witnesses to the execution told NBC News’ Richard Engel that they were cheering around the body of Saddam after the execution.

NBC could hear cheers and celebrations in the background while talking to an official in the prime minister’s office.

This son of a bitch is lying under my feet.… I can’t talk now because of all the cheers!” a witness said.

Update (AP): It’s not clear yet whether Saddam’s half-brother and his former chief justice were hanged with him or whether their executions were postponed until after Eid. Iraq’s NSA says it’s the latter.

Update (AP): Iraq’s NSA is on the phone with Anderson Cooper right now and says Saddam carried a Koran, refused a hood to cover his face, and tried to look brave but was clearly “broken” by what was happening. He died “very quickly.”

Update (AP): His last words, according to one witness quoted by Fox? “Allahu Akbar,” of course.

Update (AP): Actually, not quite:

Sami al-Askari, the political adviser of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, told The Associated Press that Saddam struggled when he was taken from his cell in an American military prison but was composed in his last moments…

“Saddam later was taken to the gallows and refused to have his head covered with a hood,” al-Askari said. “Before the rope was put around his neck, Saddam shouted: ‘God is great. The nation will be victorious and Palestine is Arab.’

Update (AP): Al Jazeera English says the hanging took place at a Justice Ministry in northern Baghdad. Meawnhile, the reprisals have begun — a car bomb went off this morning in a crowd of people in the Shiite holy city of Kufa. Witnesses report “dozens” of casualties. And Fox is just now reporting at 2:35 that the Fallujah courthouse has burned down.

Update (AP): 30 dead at Kufa.

Update (AP): The LA Times has the fullest account so far of the execution scene, courtesy of Iraqi judge Munir Haddad. Cycle of life, cycle of savages:

A defiant Saddam Hussein was hanged at dawn today in a secret concrete death chamber here as the Muslim call to prayer echoed over the capital.

Hussein and 14 Iraqi government representatives were flown by helicopter to the site, according to Iraqi High Tribunal Judge Munir Haddad. Guards escorted Hussein into the room, where he denounced the West and Iran.

Hussein then climbed the high ladder to the gallows.

As his executioners placed a noose around his neck, Hussein blanched but betrayed no emotion, Haddad said.

Hussein refused to wear a hood.

The charged silence that settled over the execution chamber was broken by an exchange between Hussein and four guards, who were apparently followers of Muqtada Sadr, the militant Shiite cleric whose father was killed by Hussein.

“Muqtada Sadr!” they cried out.

Hussein scoffed in reply.

His last word was a sarcastic “Muqtada,” Haddad said. “And then he was hanged.”

Update (AP): The cameraman speaks.

Ali Al Massedy was 3 feet away from Saddam Hussein when he died. The 38 year old, normally Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s official videographer, was the man responsible for filming the late dictator’s execution at dawn on Saturday. “I saw fear, he was afraid,” Ali told NEWSWEEK minutes after returning from the execution. Wearing a rumpled green suit and holding a Sony HDTV video camera in his right hand, Ali recalled the dictator’s last moments. “He was saying things about injustice, about resistance, about how these guys are terrorists,” he says. On the way to the gallows, according to Ali, “Saddam said, ‘Iraq without me is nothing.’”

Ali says he followed Saddam up the gallows steps, escorted by two guards. He stood over the hole and filmed from close quarters as Saddam dropped through—from “me to you,” he said, crouching down to show how he shot the scene. The distance, he said, was “about one meter,” he said. “He died absolutely, he died instantly.” Ali said Saddam’s body twitched, “shaking, very shaking,” but “no blood,” he said, and “no spit.”

Update (Ian @ 4:29am): Video of Saddam being prepared for death:

Breaking on Hot Air



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Ouabam on December 30, 2006 at 3:42 PM

I’ve asked before , Who or What are are you?
You didnt seem so upset at Tookie when we berated that killer, you have not spoken much against islamofascists, now you’re upset that sadamn is hung? A criminal who is responsible for one may TWO MILLION DEATHS??? And you cry foul?
Who or what are you, ouabam?
Are you a Christian? Or just trying to speak for us?

shooter on December 30, 2006 at 4:22 PM

The GOOD news is we are probably going to be targeting Iranian “diplomatic” personnel in Iraq for closer surveillance. But the tone of this WaPo article bothers me (you have to remember that it is WaPo) because I simply do not believe this statement for several reasons:

The decision to free the men was made by the Iraqi government and has angered U.S. military officials who say the operatives were seeking to foment instability here.

First of all, it would or should be no surprise to our military commanders that Iranians would be backing Shiite groups who have been killing people.

Secondly, under international law, there is nothing else Iraq could do with them if they were in the country under diplomatic cover. If they were there as part of a diplomatic mission, Iraq had no choice but to expel them because in fact they would have diplomatic immunity. And our military commanders would know that.

So the article is designed to agitate. It is agit-prop which is what Washington Post does.

crosspatch on December 30, 2006 at 4:26 PM

Ouabam may be lots of things but being rational isn’t one of them. He said,

“Look at Saddam early life. He was a mistreated child. He struggled to show his unpleasant environment that he is greater than it.

I have a hard time reconciling the Butcher of Baghdad with a little defenseless and abused child. Any attempt to portray Sodamn Insane as anything more than a monster is sheer lunacy.

Guardian on December 30, 2006 at 4:54 PM

Greta “the bulldog” Van Sustern needs to go back to cnn. Replace her with anybody else. Also relating to Fox; Do Not let Colmes on air w/o Hannity to keep it balanced.

Yup ! ! Exactly. The Hollaway case kept her busy
for a year. Time to send her and Colmes to CNN and put
Mark Steye and Michelle in those time slots. ..

Texyank on December 30, 2006 at 5:22 PM

Mark Steye

Mark Steyn, Mark Steyn, Mark Steyn

Texyank on December 30, 2006 at 5:23 PM

“Look at Saddam early life. He was a mistreated child. He struggled to show his unpleasant environment that he is greater than it.”

Don’t give me that tired crap. You have choices in this world, and he chose to hurt people to make himself feel better about his own inadiquasies. By that line of thinking, everybody that has had a bad childhood should be a serial killer or liquer store robber. He just happened to rise to power in Iraq, and he was brutal. Why, to make himself feel better. He didn’t care about his people, just the way he saw himself, and other people saw him. I had a bad child hood, would it be Justified if I went on a killing spree? The other half take that experience, and use that knowledge for doing good in this world, those are the ones you should admire for having endured a tough life, not the ones that hurt people for their own selfish reasons.

webdemon on December 30, 2006 at 5:25 PM

Saddam was an abused child? As Michelle might say, boo-freakin-hoo! Does that in any way justify him maiming, torturing, raping, and murdering millions, including children? Not to any sane adult, it doesn’t.

ReubenJCogburn on December 30, 2006 at 5:38 PM

“Look at Saddam early life. He was a mistreated child. He struggled to show his unpleasant environment that he is greater than it.

Don’t give me that tired crap. I am so tired of hearing that flawed rational. We was abused as a child. He grew up poor. So what! We all have choices, and by that line of thinking anyone that thinks they had it rough as a kid should be out murdering, and knocking over liquer stores. I have a rough time growing up, and we were very poor. I learned from that experience, and I have made myself better. If I go on a shooting spree, the fact that I had a bad childhood doesn’t negate the fact that I went on a shooting spree.
People like Saddam either think that the world owes them something, or they simply hurt people to make themselves feel better about themselves. He was the leader of a country, and he didn’t care about his people. He only cared about money and power, because those were the things that that boosted, in his mind, his own self worth.
You see it every day in this world, and you can either accept that bad people do bad things, and they need to be punished for those misdeeds, or you can be like the people of Iraq, and live in fear.
Saddam paid for his crimes. I’m Happy about it. I’m extatic… Good ridance!

webdemon on December 30, 2006 at 6:02 PM

Update: Saddam is still dead.

EnochCain on December 30, 2006 at 6:21 PM

Cellphone video of the hanging itself.

That didn’t take long.

Spiny Norman on December 30, 2006 at 6:38 PM

As a pro-life, my position is not justification of his crime. I’m against the death penalty. You cannot take away life since you did not create it. Have any of you wathced the Laramie Project? I highly reccomend it. It will give a true sense of life. How important it is? Killing Saddam will not bring back the dead.

the really great thing about martyrs is that they’re dead.

Saddam was an abused child? As Michelle might say, boo-freakin-hoo! Does that in any way justify him maiming, torturing, raping, and murdering millions, including children? Not to any sane adult, it doesn’t.

Two great points. However, Saddam is martyr. The number of troops that we’ll die as a result makes being a martyr irrelevant. And I did not justify Saddam’s action. I just put some the so-called human aspects into him. Remember his last words: “Do not hate the invaders or whatever.” I wanted him to be given an opportunity to reconcile with his people.

Guys. Dream up.

Dream about dancing around saddam’s dead body tonight. It is great entertainment. You are all freedom fighters. Speaking death to power.

Peace. Ya’ll.

Ouabam on December 30, 2006 at 10:41 PM

You cannot take away life since you did not create it…

Ouabam on December 30, 2006 at 10:41 PM

Ouabam, focus your intensity on conveying your own belief, above, to the tyrants and jihadis of the world, that killing.

Entelechy on December 31, 2006 at 2:19 PM

I’m calling Bullshit. You did not support the war. You are not a conservative. You are not a Christian. You are pro-life only for criminals.

Ask me how I know, you Democrat Troll.

haakondahl on January 1, 2007 at 10:30 AM

I’m calling Bullshit. You did not support the war. You are not a conservative. You are not a Christian. You are pro-life only for criminals.

Ask me how I know, you Democrat Troll.

haakondahl on January 1, 2007 at 10:30 AM

I accept everything. I am not the above. I might also be a gay loving, pussy-sucking, and tree hugging liberal, even uneducated. I did not to know how you knew. You are pussy.

Ouabam on January 1, 2007 at 2:31 PM

Saddam’s execution – good or bad, was necessary. Further argument really not needed – either way it doesn’t matter as he is dead and we have to face the consequences of that, better or worse.

Letting it become an al-Sadr pep rally was very, very bad.

Sends the wrong message, you know.

Emmett J. on January 1, 2007 at 11:35 PM

He kept going OVER and over the fact that GHWB was photographed shaking hands with Saddam Hussain. BFD. Who cares, Alan Corpse? I’m beginning to really believe Alan is truly mentally retarded.

Saddam more valuable alive? Gimme a freakin’ break!

MsUnderestimated on December 30, 2006 at 1:58 AM

Excellent point. Liberals seem to think we live in a static world where nothing can or should be allowed to change. For example:

1. The Earth’s temperature must never change. Dispite the fact the the Earth once warmed up enough to emerge from the last ice age (a while before the industrial age,) it could never warm up again or experience any temperature fluctuations over time unless mankind was causing it.

2. Because the US once worked with the Saddam regime at a time when we had mutual interests in opposing Iran, we therefore are never allowed to oppose the Saddam regime when those interests change. I suppose that is why they always opposed the Cold War – because we helped Stalin during WWII so it was therefore wrong to ever oppose him afterward (oh yeah, and they really liked Communism as an idea.)

Coyote D. on January 2, 2007 at 12:16 AM

You cannot take away life since you did not create it….

Ouabam on December 30, 2006 at 10:41 PM

Where did you get that idea? Who says?

right2bright on January 2, 2007 at 10:37 AM