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Report: Rumsfeld Offered to Free Saddam

The International press is reporting that two weeks ago, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld visited Saddam Hussein in jail and offered to free him:

US Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld paid a secret visit to former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein and offered him freedom and possible return to public life if he made a televised request to armed groups for a ceasefire with allied forces, a media report said.

Saddam promptly rejected the offer, Ynetnews reported quoting a London based Al-Quds Al-Arabi daily.

Other news agencies that have run the story: Here, here and here. [Via Sploid and Crooks and Liars.]

And here's an interesting recent interview with Samir, the St. Louis auto mechanic who pulled Saddam Hussein from his spider hole.

Samir's extravagant story is difficult to believe -- until he pulls out his laptop computer and rifles through the dozens of photographs he shot that night. There's the photo of Samir posed next to the bodyguard who will ultimately lead U.S. forces to Saddam. There's the photo of Samir standing behind the stack of $12 million in U.S. currency seized near Saddam's hideout. And there's the most riveting image of all: Samir kneeling behind the bruised and bloodied dictator just minutes after his inglorious capture.

....His version is far more real-to-life than the "official" Pentagon account.

Far more colorful, at least:

Keeping an eye on the man's hands, Samir plunged into the hole and grabbed the prisoner. Samir says he knew right away that it was the deposed dictator.

"He smelled bad, like a homeless person, and had the long beard and hair, but I knew it was Saddam. I told everyone, 'It's Saddam. It's Saddam!'" Unconvinced, Special Forces had Samir ask the captive his identity. When the man answered that his name was Saddam, Samir says he shook him by his hair and dirt-matted beard.

"I said, 'Yeah, Saddam what? Saddam what?' Finally he said, 'Hussein.'" Upon hearing that, Samir unleashed years of pent-up rage.

"I told him that I was going to f**k him up the a*s. That we were all going to f**k him up the a*s. I told him he was a criminal and a murderer. I hit him and spit in his face. I stepped my foot on his head and his back. He wasn't crying, but I think he was shocked. No one had ever treated him this way."

The beating over, Samir tossed his digital camera to a nearby soldier, who quickly snapped a shot of Samir kneeling over the fallen despot.

[hat tip Right Side of the Rainbow.]

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  • Re: Report: Rumsfeld Offered to Free Saddam (none / 0) (#15)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:52:55 PM EST
    Kdog and GregZ Isn't that taking an argument to the extreme? The Baath's tore the heck out of the Kurd's and Shiite's. That should pretty much kill that majority forever. The Sunni's and the Kurd's will not support Sharia law - where is that going to come from. I sometimes think these kind of comments are intended to derail the support for democracy in Iraq by bringing up bogeymen to instill some fear. I think it is obvious that the Iraqis themselves know these are not logical issues at moment - so it must be meant for American/Western consumption. Probably pointed at same people ignorant enough to believe that Saddam and Bin Laden could have any real common interest.

    Re: Report: Rumsfeld Offered to Free Saddam (none / 0) (#16)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:52:55 PM EST
    Hey PPJ, Blaghdaddy bets those pictures taken at Abu Graib are really propaganda created by Anti-American Muslim media types... :-) Seriously, PPJ has a point (did Blaghdaddy really say that?) Kudos to Jeralyn for digging this up, but if no other coroborating (is that how you spell it? Damn spell-check, they've fried Blaghdaddy's brain!) story surfaces, we can probably put this one to bed. If one comes up, PPJ's comin' to Blaghdaddy's for some crow-pie...how about it, PPJ? BBQ'd Delay?

    Re: Report: Rumsfeld Offered to Free Saddam (none / 0) (#17)
    by kdog on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:53:03 PM EST
    JHC..Do I think a restored Baath party would get many votes? No. I just think any party should be free to throw their hat in the ring without US interference. It's their country, we should clean up the mess we made, get the infrastructure partially restored, and get the hell out of Dodge.

    Re: Report: Rumsfeld Offered to Free Saddam (none / 0) (#18)
    by ppjakajim on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:53:04 PM EST
    JCH - The question really is, would we let a political party into the mix that has lots of members supporting the terrorists. I say no. We didn't do it Japan, Italy or Germany, why now? As for your common interest comment... I remind you a friend of my enemy is my friend. That was the basis of their relation.

    Re: Report: Rumsfeld Offered to Free Saddam (none / 0) (#19)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:53:05 PM EST
    It is the Iraqi's call. Saddam was secular oppressor of Shiite south. Bin Laden extreme fundamentalist who has shown as much dislike for secular arabs as america. Not sure they could really get to "enemy of enemy = friend" but doesn't matter now

    Re: Report: Rumsfeld Offered to Free Saddam (none / 0) (#20)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:53:05 PM EST
    This does not seem like a credible story. The only good any of them can say came out of this war was deposing and capturing SH. They would never allow him to be freed, ever.

    Re: Report: Rumsfeld Offered to Free Saddam (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:38 PM EST
    This is like the CIA showing up in Bagdad during the invasion with "suitcases full of cash," and buying off the Republican Guard. Not that I'm not in favor of saving the troops by bribing the enemy, but it would be surprising if Bush accepted the cash without at least SOME blood on it. Negotiating the release of a genocidist and terrorist? Maybe it is time for his pal Hussein to get the benefit of that 1980's handshake from a fellow terrorist.

    Re: Report: Rumsfeld Offered to Free Saddam (none / 0) (#2)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:38 PM EST
    It isn't too late to solve this thing with a duel is it? Now that would be a Pay Per View event I would sign up for!!

    Re: Report: Rumsfeld Offered to Free Saddam (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:38 PM EST
    Can the administration now say with any credibility that they've really tried to catch Osama? Blaghddaddy wonders if Rumsfeld consulted any of the 1,500 dead soldiers' families before making the offer? These guys are so sickeningly corrupt that Blaghdaddy doesn't know what else to say...

    Re: Report: Rumsfeld Offered to Free Saddam (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:38 PM EST
    Off topic bickering deleted.

    Re: Report: Rumsfeld Offered to Free Saddam (none / 0) (#5)
    by ppjakajim on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:38 PM EST
    Okay, let's try this. I do not believe the story. The moslem meedia sources are, at best, neutral to the US. If Saddam accepted the offer it would rip the Bush administration apart, destroy troop morale and fracture the new Iraqi government.

    Re: Report: Rumsfeld Offered to Free Saddam (none / 0) (#6)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:38 PM EST
    Considering the sources, I'm inclined to doubt this story as well. That said, I'm with Ernesto. How about dropping W. and Saddam into a cage..."Two men enter...one man leaves." We can then see what an alleged "real man" does when confronted face-to-face with evildoers. The PPV royalties would go a long way to financing the Iraq war. ;)

    Re: Report: Rumsfeld Offered to Free Saddam (none / 0) (#7)
    by kdog on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:39 PM EST
    Makes sense to me. Rummy and Saddam are old friends after all. Two sour peas from the same pod.

    Re: Report: Rumsfeld Offered to Free Saddam (none / 0) (#8)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:39 PM EST
    The more interesting thing to me is that the Baath Party may want to return to politics. Should they be allowed to or not? I will toss out yes, in the spirit of building a truly national government.

    Re: Report: Rumsfeld Offered to Free Saddam (none / 0) (#9)
    by pigwiggle on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:39 PM EST
    “Hey PPJ, offer something constructive or shut up. Either argue the point or shut up.” You want to debate a story generated by the self-professed pro-Saddam Al-Quds? While we are at it lets debate this peach; "Sharon Coordinating with America to Attack Gaza,” August 29, 2003.

    Re: Report: Rumsfeld Offered to Free Saddam (none / 0) (#10)
    by ppjakajim on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:39 PM EST
    JCH - Hmmm, what's next? The National Socialist Party?

    Re: Report: Rumsfeld Offered to Free Saddam (none / 0) (#11)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:39 PM EST
    Jim Really tossing this out for discussion; so no rhetorical questions please. With their history, I am not particularly worried about their winning - and the old leadership isn't going to appear in order to have their arrest warrants served. The idea it seems is to build a multi-party parlimentary democracy. Do you start out that process by proscribing certain partys? Certainly, the Baath's deserve proscription if anyone does. My lean (initial unthoughtout reaction) was toward allowing it because of the need to show a desire to build a non-coercive, inclusive government - and to diffuse the insurgency by that means.

    Re: Report: Rumsfeld Offered to Free Saddam (none / 0) (#12)
    by kdog on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:39 PM EST
    If that's what the Iraqi people want, why not PPJ? Any Iraqi that wants to run for office, under any name, should be free to do so. That is democracy, is it not?

    Re: Report: Rumsfeld Offered to Free Saddam (none / 0) (#13)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:39 PM EST
    kdog you bring up a point that many have echoed. What if a true democracy elects former Bath'ist majority? Do we invade again? What if an-Iranian like regime is elected? This is best argued as far as what I have seen by Fareed Zakaria.

    Re: Report: Rumsfeld Offered to Free Saddam (none / 0) (#14)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:39 PM EST
    How about dropping W. and Saddam into a cage..."Two men enter...one man leaves." We can then see what an alleged "real man" does when confronted face-to-face with evildoers.
    You know the more I read the duel article, the better I like the idea... "Bush wants to attack the whole Iraq, the army and the infrastructure," Ramadan said. "If such a call is genuine, then let the American president and a selected group with him face a selected group of us and we choose a neutral land and let [U.N. Secretary-General] Kofi Annan be a supervisor and both groups should use the same weapon." "A president against a president and vice president against a vice president, and a duel takes place, if they are serious," the Iraqi vice president said. "And in this way we are saving the American and Iraqi people." Wow, in a perfect scenario both duels end in a draw and we are rid of not one, but 4 murderous clowns. What a deal! Can we amend the Constitution to force all foreign disagreements to be solved this way?????