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November 05, 2006

Memory Hole Back To Near-100% Efficiency

Big news!

Saddam Hussein Is Sentenced to Death

An Iraqi special tribunal today convicted Saddam Hussein of crimes against humanity and sentenced him to death by hanging...

As you'd expect in an industry devoted to bringing crucial information to as wide an audience as possible, out of the thousands of English-language stories on the verdict, only one (from the United Arab Emirates), has bothered mentioning this:

Saddam was seen by U.S. intelligence services as a bulwark of anti-communism and they used him as their instrument for more than 40 years, according to former U.S. intelligence diplomats and intelligence officials...his first contacts with U.S. officials date back to 1959, when he was part of a CIA-authorized six-man squad tasked with assassinating then Iraqi Prime Minister Gen. Abd al-Karim Qasim...

Saddam, while only in his early 20s, became a part of a U.S. plot to get rid of Qasim...

The assassination was set for Oct. 7, 1959, but it was completely botched...Saddam, whose calf had been grazed by a fellow would-be assassin, escaped to Tikrit, thanks to CIA and Egyptian intelligence agents...

Saddam then crossed into Syria and was transferred by Egyptian intelligence agents to Beirut, according to Darwish and former senior CIA officials. While Saddam was in Beirut, the CIA paid for Saddam's apartment and put him through a brief training course, former CIA officials said. The agency then helped him get to Cairo, they said...

In Cairo, Saddam was installed in an apartment in the upper class neighborhood of Dukki and spent his time playing dominos in the Indiana Café, watched over by CIA and Egyptian intelligence operatives...during this time Saddam was making frequent visits to the American Embassy...

In February 1963 Qasim was killed in a Baath Party coup...the agency quickly moved into action. Noting that the Baath Party was hunting down Iraq's communist, the CIA provided the submachine gun-toting Iraqi National Guardsmen with lists of suspected communists who were then jailed, interrogated, and summarily gunned down...the mass killings, presided over by Saddam, took place at Qasr al-Nehayat, literally, the Palace of the End...

The CIA/Defense Intelligence Agency relation with Saddam intensified after the start of the Iran-Iraq war in September of 1980. During the war, the CIA regularly sent a team to Saddam to deliver battlefield intelligence obtained from Saudi AWACS surveillance aircraft to aid the effectiveness of Iraq's armed forces...the CIA and DIA provided military assistance to Saddam's ferocious February 1988 assault on Iranian positions in the al-Fao peninsula by blinding Iranian radars for three days.

The Saddam-U.S. intelligence alliance of convenience came to an end at 2 a.m. Aug. 2, 1990, when 100,000 Iraqi troops, backed by 300 tanks, invaded its neighbor, Kuwait. America's one-time ally had become its bitterest enemy.

This is of course how it should be, because all that matters in life is what's happened within the last twelve seconds.

Posted at November 5, 2006 09:16 AM | TrackBack

What can I say? You gotta slaughter your fighting cock when he bites you!

Posted by: En Ming Hee at November 5, 2006 09:40 AM

Ouch, Friedmanism attack! I mean "peck you in the foot". My apologies.

Posted by: En Ming Hee at November 5, 2006 09:41 AM

Thanks, Jonathan.

Posted by: Nell at November 5, 2006 09:44 AM

homo homini lupus.

Posted by: Jesus B. Ochoa at November 5, 2006 09:59 AM

Hussein was convicted of executions of innocent folks he ordered in 1982.

That was the year the State Department took Iraq off its state sponsors of terrorism list.

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Posted by: Karen Mc Cullagh at November 5, 2006 02:26 PM

If you get out of line, you get whacked. Sometimes if you don’t get out of line, you get whacked.

Guys get whacked, no big deal.

Posted by: abb1 at November 5, 2006 02:52 PM

Wait. A president named Bush knocks off a "bulwark of anti-communism" with an invasion and puts him in jail after our government has propped him up for years? I though that guy's name was Noriega.

Posted by: darrelplant at November 5, 2006 04:06 PM

Ha. Good one, darrelplant. Of course, Noriega never hung, he's still sitting in a federal prison in Florida.

Ok, I admit I'm not any kind of an expert but weren't those Soviet tanks and Soviet missiles in Hussein's arsenal? Isn't socialism itself a large part of Baathist ideology? Wasn't Hussein considered the Soviets' man to balance US influence in pre-revolution Iran under the Shah during the Cold War?

Bulwark of anti-communism? What?

It doesn't surprise me in the least that the CIA was helping from the beginning, they do have their fingers in a whole lot of pies. Nor would it surprise me that Hussein would take assistance from both sides in the cold war. And, sure, after the Iranian revolution, the Reagan Administration outright courted him, supplying weapons and opening trade, in order to support him in his war with Iran. (The old enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend" gambit.)

But an anti-communist bulwark against the Soviets? I'm confused...

Posted by: RobW at November 5, 2006 05:21 PM

As the man whose only schtick is "I wish you Yanqs would learn to use political terms with care", I'd just like to make it clear that the guy who can't tell the difference between communism and Baathism isn't me.

Posted by: RobW (from Oz) at November 5, 2006 07:45 PM

All the more reason to surf world-wide for info. Its amazing sometimes how imortant reporting never gets into the western MSM.

Not only that, but UAE, Saudi, Thailand, etc often have a different "take" on stories you'll never get from the US, UK, France and such.

All your memory hole belong to us.

Posted by: SPIIDERWEB™ at November 5, 2006 07:56 PM

He was a real choir boy.

Posted by: at November 5, 2006 08:25 PM

Memory holes are like black holes--the more they swallow, the stronger they get.

Posted by: Donald Johnson at November 6, 2006 11:42 AM