Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Saddam: CIA man since 1959: "Saddam's first contacts date back to 1959, when the CIA backed an assassination attempt in which he took part against then Iraqi prime minister Gen. Abd al-Karim Qasim, the man who overthrew the western-backed monarchy the year before... Saddam, an aspiring young Ba'athist tough, was handled on behalf of the CIA by a local agent and an Egyptian military attaché, who set him up in an apartment opposite Qasim's office... The specific hit, however, was botched when Saddam "lost his nerve" ... When Qasim was finally overthrown in a Ba'ath Party coup ... Saddam was back as head of the party's secret intelligence branch, and, according to Darwish, was leading execution squads of Iraqi National Guardsmen who were hunting down and killing suspected communists included on lists provided by ... the CIA."

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