CIA Interrogator: At Time of U.S. Invasion, Saddam Hussein Was Focused on Writing Novels, Not WMDs

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Ten years ago this week, on December 30, 2006, former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was executed. Hussein was toppled soon after the U.S. invasion began in 2003. U.S. President George W. Bush launched the invasion on the false premise that Hussein had stockpiled weapons of mass destruction and had ties to al-Qaeda. The invasion destabilized Iraq and the region, leaving over a million people dead. And the fighting continues in Iraq and Syria. A stunning new book about the Iraq War has just come out from a perspective we have not yet heard from. It is written by John Nixon, the CIA analyst who interrogated Saddam Hussein after his capture 13 years ago.

Nixon reveals that much of what the CIA believed they knew about Saddam Hussein at the time of the invasion was wrong. During his interrogation, Hussein revealed that by 2003 he had largely turned over power to his aides so he could concentrate on writing a novel. There was no program of weapons of mass destruction. Saddam Hussein was also deeply critical of al-Qaeda and other Islamist groups inspired by Wahhabism. During the interrogation, Hussein also had a warning for the United States about Iraq. He said, “You are going to fail. You are going to find that it is not so easy to govern Iraq. You are going to fail in Iraq because you do not know the language, the history, and you do not understand the Arab mind.”

For a transcript of an interview with CIA analyst, the link can be found here.

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