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We present to our readers several key articles from both mainstream as well alternative news sources which cast doubt on the official story of Saddam Hussein's capture..
There are several holes in the official story, including the photographic evidence.
At the moment it would be premature to arrive at definitive conclusions.
For further reference, see also the following CRG articles:
Capture of Saddam Hussein: Was the Photographic Evidence Manipulated? 22 December, http://globalresearch.ca/articles/ATW312A.html
War Propaganda and the Capture of Saddam Hussein, by Michel Chossudovsky, http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO312B.html
Editor, 22 December 2003
Iraqis doubt real Hussein behind bars
By Mark MacKinnon,
Globe and Mail, 19 December 2003
Baghdad — Jassim Abu Ahmed almost spits his disgust at the television set showing yet another image of the dazed and bedraggled Saddam Hussein.
"It's not him," Mr. Ahmed says, waving his hand and looking away from the screen. "Everybody knows it's not him. Why do they keep showing this?"
While Iraq's new leaders are planning for what they have dubbed "the trial of the century" and claiming a great victory over the Baathist remnants that are still fighting the U.S.-led occupation, many Iraqis remain deeply skeptical that the former dictator has been caught.
In a country where the press was always controlled by the state, and that is now occupied by a foreign power, people have learned not to trust what they see or hear in the media.
And after watching television news reports during the war that talked of Iraqi military victories — even as U.S. troops were entering Baghdad — many now believe they're still being fed lies. A fuel tanker that exploded in Baghdad Wednesday, killing 10, was first reported as another suicide bombing — then downgraded by U.S. military officials to a mere accident, further adding to the disbelief surrounding Mr. Hussein's arrest.
Some even saw the report of an eyewitness who has seen Mr. Hussein as part of the grand plan, disbelieving it when Mowaffak al-Rubaie, a member of the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council who was among the handful of people who have visited the ex-dictator since his weekend arrest, went on television Wednesday to announce that Mr. Hussein was "still in greater Baghdad" and would remain in the capital until his trial.
Mr. Ahmed, an athlete who knew Mr. Hussein's oldest son Uday personally, says he is positive the person the United States is parading as their prize catch is not the former dictator. Mr. Hussein is known to have a tiny tattoo on his left hand, but in the relentlessly replayed video that shows him having his throat checked by a U.S. Army medic — the video that most of the world accepts as footage of the humbled former dictator — the markings are not apparent as Mr. Hussein strokes his straggly beard.
It's not the only detail that disbelievers have seized on. Others find it strange that Mr. Hussein's hair is black in the footage, but his beard is white.
"Everyone knows that Saddam dyes his hair, but after eight months hiding in a hole, it's still black?" asked Diaa, a 37-year-old taxi driver who gave only his first name. "Tell me how this is possible. When they captured [former information minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf] after a few weeks, his hair was already white."
Some, like Mr. Ahmed, believe the ex-dictator's dead sons are also alive, and that the whole family has struck a deal with U.S. President George W. Bush to live abroad in secret exile.
The rumours have also allowed those who have been fighting in Mr. Hussein's name to draw continued inspiration.
Rumours that the man captured was a look-alike sparked celebratory riots this week in the Sunni Muslim town of Fallujah.
"It is someone wearing a Saddam mask," 25-year-old tire repairman Waleed Ibrahim told Associated Press in Fallujah yesterday. "It is a trick to help President Bush get re-elected."
U.S. armoured vehicles rolled down the town's main street, blaring messages to the contrary.
"The coalition forces have arrested Saddam Hussein. Reports that it is a Saddam double are false," a voice declared in Arabic from a loudspeaker. "The old regime will never come back. This is the end of the Baath Party."
It's Not Saddam, a Story Calling for Investigation
Share International Media
December 21, 2003
In a news release sent to media worldwide on April 8, 2003, Share International magazine published information that Saddam Hussein had been injured in the first bombing of Iraq on March 20, 2003 and died two days later from his injuries. Also according to our information, Hussein was buried quickly after his death by his sons, in accordance with Muslim tradition.
So who has now been captured by American forces? According to the latest press release from Share International:
"In our view certainly not Saddam Hussein but an obvious stand-in, of whom we understand there are at least three: two cousins and a close friend all with similar family characteristics. We believe he is the same man a cousin - seen on Iraqi television on April 4, 2003, who picked up a child and laughed and waved to the crowds. His body language was completely different from that of Saddam Hussein. The end of his nose was much broader than that of Saddam and he had moles on his temple and forehead identical with the captured person. At that time commentators were perfectly ready to question the identity of the man seen on video. Now everyone seems conveniently to have dropped any enquiry or second thoughts.
"The Americans claim that DNA samples taken from the captive relate to that of Saddam Hussein. How do they know? With what are they comparing them? In any case, a cousin would obviously share some of Saddam's genetic features. >From the beginning of the Iraq conflict the proven lies from this US administration, particularly about the weapons of mass destruction, give little confidence that their information should be believed.
"We are convinced that eventually the truth will emerge - that this confused man now captured is not Saddam Hussein, but a double who may well have been part of a plot to keep the fact of Saddam's death from the Iraqi people for as long as possible."
We include here the links to the two news releases regarding Saddam Hussein sent out by Share International magazine's London office to the world's media as well as background information on Share International.
Saddam Hit? U.S.: Saddam Seen Leaving Baghdad Complex on a Gurney After Strike
ABC News, March 21, 2003
U.S. intelligence sources say Saddam Hussein was seen being wheeled out of a Baghdad residential complex on a stretcher after the complex was struck in "decapitation attacks" by the United States.
Eyewitnesses saw the Iraqi leader being taken from the complex on a "gurney, with an oxygen mask over his face" Thursday morning (Wednesday night U.S. time), the officials told ABCNEWS. Sources said there was clearly a U.S. observer nearby, watching the complex.
When asked today whether Saddam may have been injured in the attack, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said he wouldn't address rumors, but added ambiguously, "I don't know how Saddam Hussein is feeling today."
Three Critical Iraqi Leaders Believed Dead
Intelligence sources also said there has been a significant lack of communications between Saddam and his military structure since the airstrike.
They are optimistic that the attack injured Saddam, though they are cautious about the extent.
The U.S. officials believe that one or both of Saddam's sons were also in the complex when it was struck. The attack was "massive, catastrophic," the Washington Post's Bob Woodward told ABCNEWS.
Still, there are unconfirmed reports that Iraqi Sunni and other armed groups loyal to Saddam have been told that the Iraqi dictator is alive but communication with his son Odai has been lost and it is suspected that he died in the attacks. Intelligence officials told ABCNEWS they have no hard evidence that one of Saddam's sons was killed.
In addition, Iraq TV showed Saddam, his other son Qusai and Defense Minister Saddam Hashem Ahmed in a meeting. The person who read the news on air said they met today, but the claim is not independently confirmed. Later, a TV newscaster read new decrees by Saddam offering rewards to soldiers who shoot down coalition planes and missiles or kill or capture or coalition troops.
U.S. intelligence officials are confident other high-ranking leaders in Saddam's regime were killed. ABCNEWS' Brian Ross reported that U.S. intelligence believes three Iraqi officials — Taha Yasin Ramadan, Izatt Ibrahaim al Douri, and Ali Hassan Majid (also known as "Chemical Ali") — were killed in the attack. A CIA spokesman said officials had no information to confirm the report.
Complex Reportedly Housed Bunker
The strikes targeted a large residential complex in a Baghdad suburb, not a military installation or one of Saddam's palaces. Saddam and his advisers were believed to be sleeping inside a "hardened bunker" beneath the ground floor, intelligence sources said.
Yet within hours of the predawn bombardment, Saddam appeared on Iraqi television, condemning the U.S. attacks and calling on his people to defend the country in a jihad, or holy war, against its enemies.
A debate soon began: was it really Saddam making the speech, or one of the body doubles he is reputed to use as a security measure?
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said at a Pentagon briefing today that he had no doubt that the bunker was destroyed. But, he added, "The question is what was in there." Rumfeld said officials had no definitive evidence that Saddam was dead or still alive.
Was Puffy-Faced Man Really the Iraqi Leader?
Saddam is believed to have at least three body doubles, and many who saw his speech thought they were looking at one of them.
The photograph on the left is an image taken from a speech broadcast on Iraqi TV hours after the first strikes began.The image on the right shows the Iraqi leader during a television appearance three days before the strikes. (Iraqi TV via APTN/AP Photo and AP Photo)
The man at the podium wore glasses, and looked puffy, old and tired, unlike the Iraqi leader's robust appearance three days earlier.
The White House said today it does appear to be Saddam in the videotape, but press secretary Fleischer said there's no way to know when it was really recorded.
U.S. officials concluded it was Saddam after conducting voice analysis of the speech and using computer algorithms to compare the speaker's face with known images of Saddam. They also studied a second video purporting to show the Iraqi leader meeting with members of his Cabinet in the hours after the attack.
CIA officials said the man who gave the speech was the real Saddam, without his contacts, without his make-up, and without a good night's sleep.
Dieter Buhmann, a German pathologist who has meticulously studied hundreds of photographs of the Iraqi leader's public appearances, said he agreed with the CIA's conclusion. He said he was almost certain that the man who appeared on Iraqi TV was Saddam.
Buhmann, of Homberg University, had earlier measured and mapped Saddam's mustache and eyebrows, and concluded that he uses at least three different doubles.
Ex-Mistress Says It Was a Double
But there was a different assessment from a woman who claims to have known the Iraqi leader intimately. Parisoula Lampsos, who says she was Saddam's mistress over a period of nearly 30 years, told U.S. officials and ABCNEWS that the man who appeared on TV was not Saddam.
Lampsos had previously distinguished Saddam from his doubles in more than a dozen cases and she said that Saddam would never come out of the bunker during battle to deliver a statement.
Last year Lampsos explained to ABCNEWS' Claire Shipman how she could spot Saddam's doubles.
For starters, she said, the real Saddam has an unusual tattoo: two dots on his left hand that he received in prison years ago. But his eyes are the real giveaway, she said.
"Look everywhere — it might change," Lampsos told ABCNEWS. "You can change your teeth, everywhere. But the eyes, no."
ABCNEWS' John McWethy, Brian Ross, Pierre Thomas and Martha Raddatz contributed to this report.
Text of Interview with John Loftus
MSNBC, July 25, 2003
According to John Loftus: "military intelligence is so convinced that he was killed on March 20. So, nobody has the body, so nobody's confirming it. But everyone in -- that I've talked to in Centcom and Special Operations Command are so certain that he's dead that they're not even bothering to look."
OLBERMANN: Good evening. First, an insider tips off the U.S. and suddenly there’s a shootout with his sons, then today a tipster inspired by their deaths drops a dime and as many as 10 of his bodyguards are captured in his home city of Tikrit. Our fifth story on the COUNTDOWN tonight: Are we getting warm, yet? Does the appearance of these informants auger the capture of Saddam Hussein? Is he even still around to be captured? First that news from Tikrit.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We’re still working through the intelligence with them and we’re really interrogating them, now. So, I don’t have any specific answers to your questions in terms have they been with him recently.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: But, capturing Saddam’s bodyguards is just one overnight success story for the 4th I.D. in Tikrit. And another informer led troops to a buried weapons cache, that included, among other things: 34 rocket propelled grenade launchers with 150 grenades, 28 sub-machine guns, 11 homemade bombs, and 45,000 sticks of dynamite.
Searches are also underway in other towns in the so-called “Sunni triangle,” north of Baghdad. Including one in Fallujah that turned this house upside-down. The homeowner’s son said the raiding party told him they had information Saddam was hiding inside. He wasn’t home.
Is he somewhere where are we getting close? An atypical expert for cable television news joins us now, from Tampa, Florida. John Loftus is a former prosecutor for the U.S. Justice Department, he’s an author, he has his own nationally syndicated radio show, “The Loftus Report,” and his insights about Iraq and security have often proved so far ahead of the curve as to seem implausible, only to later be proved absolutely correct.
Mr. Loftus, good evening to you.
JOHN LOFTUS, HOST "THE LOFTUS REPORT": Well, thanks, Keith. Actually, I have some good friends down here. I live in Tampa Bay where both Centcom headquarters and the Special Operations Command headquarters are.
OLBERMANN: Just a coincidence.
LOFTUS: Just a coincidence.
OLBERMANN: Do you read into the selling out of Uday and Qusay and now about these bodyguards that we are getting close to finding Saddam Hussein dead or alive?
LOFTUS: Well the story down here is that we're not even looking for Saddam Hussein because military intelligence is so convinced that he was killed on March 20. We had an observer that saw his body being dug out of the rubble, carted off and half an hour later we had a British wiretap intercept of an Iraqi doctor calling for a Russian doctor to help because a senior member of the regime is seriously hurt and his heart has stopped. So no one's seen or heard from Saddam since March 20, you know, and gee, I kind of thing the guy would have at least held up a newspaper at some point, you know, with the date on it so people would know he was still alive.
OLBERMANN: Why hasn't the government said anything about this, then?
LOFTUS: Well, you know the joke of the Pentagon is that they're not going to say Saddam is dead until they have concrete evidence; they want to haul his body out of the concrete. The problem is that the last thing that we heard about Saddam was some Russian doctor was treated him, there's some suspicion now, he might be buried at the Russian Embassy. So, nobody has the body, so nobody's confirming it. But everyone in -- that I've talked to in Centcom and Special Operations Command are so certain that he's dead that they're not even bothering to look. The "New York Times" was flatly wrong; Task Force 20 hasn't even been hunting for Saddam Hussein. They've been working on their weapons of mass destruction recovery project. No one's looking for him down here.
OLBERMANN: If he's dead and as you've often said on your radio program, if there are really weapons of mass destruction still on the ground, in or around Iraq -- why are more of the troops not yet home?
LOFTUS: Well, I think that you have a very serious guerrilla war going on and it's being funded by Iran. Iran is paying a bounty to out of work Ba'ath thugs and Fedayeen mercenaries and for every American soldier you kill, you get a bounty. I mean, it's profitable work for them. So, Iran is making sure the war stays hot.
OLBERMANN: This apparent rush to fink out the sons and the bodyguards, in this week -- does that signal that if Saddam Hussein is dead that the news is about to come out and people are trying to make deals, if you will before the window closes?
LOFTUS: Well, there's a lot of deals being made. My favorite one is "Abu Tiba" (PH), which I'm told means "father of rumor," and he was the alleged bodyguard that sold an exclusive to the "Times of London," saying, "Oh, yeah. I was with Saddam afterwards." And, a wonderful story about how the family survived, and it's kind of all fiction. We know that many of the videotapes that were shown during the war were prerecorded and one of them, for example, Saddam is walking by a building that was blown up on the first day of the war.
LOFTUS: You know? And all of these guys are body doubles. Some of them are funny. This one body double, the cubby one, he's three inches shorter than Saddam and about 30 pounds heavier.
OLBERMANN: They don't have a good continuity director over there.
LOFTUS: No. No, they have a few problems.
OLBERMANN: Last question, getting back to your introduction of somebody who's very often well ahead of the curve. Why are there no major finds of weapons of mass destruction and when will we get those?
LOFTUS: Well, apparently they've located where the weapons of mass destruction are in neighboring countries. They were moved just across the boarder and they will be released, conveniently, in the middle of the election campaign. So, they're just sitting on the treasure, waiting for my democratic friends to embarrass themselves.
OLBERMANN: Good grief. Former Justice Department persecutor, radio talk show host, John Loftus, the host of "The Loftus Report," thanks for your time, sir.
LOFTUS: You're welcome.
Iraqi Resistance Stiffens Amidst Claims Saddam's Capture was a Hoax
by Ernesto Cienfuegos
La Voz de Aztlan
Los Angeles, Alta California - December 16, 2003 - (ACN) Hundreds of pro-Saddam rallies erupted today throughout occupied Iraq amidst widespread claims by Iraqis that US forces actually captured one of Saddam's many known doubles. US forces have killed 16 Iraqis during separate incidents as demonstrations in support of Saddam Hussein erupted across the occupied country. US occupation forces shot dead 11 Iraqis in the western Iraqi city of Samarra and returned fire in response to further attacks in the city, about 45 miles north of Baghdad. Military sources added that another five Iraqis were shot dead in Falluja and Ramadi today. Witnesses said hundreds of residents protesting the Saddam capture hoax overran the office of the US-appointed mayor in Falluja.
Also, a US patrol north of Falluja was attacked by roadside bombs and rocket-propelled grenades. Soldiers returned fire, killing two Iraqis, said the military, however, independent Arabic media reports said those killed were demonstrators.
In addition, about 500 protesters gathered in Ramadi and Iraqi fighters apparently fired at US forces in the city, wounding one soldier. Occupation forces then killed two of the attackers and wounded two others. In a separate incident, 30 Iraqi fighters opened fired at a patrol. US soldiers fired back, killing one of them.
In Saddam's hometown of Tikrit, about 700 people demonstrated against the hoax today, chanting "Saddam is in our hearts, Saddam is in our blood." Also, one protester was said to have been killed in Tikrit in clashes that broke out between baton-wielding occupation forces and students, reported independent Arab media sources.
In addition, in the northern city of Mosul, one policeman was killed and another seriously wounded in a drive-by shooting after a demonstration by 1000 students protesting against the "Saddam capture" hoax. An Iraqi policeman said four members of the Site Protection Force (SPF) were wounded by stones hurled by protesters. The violence erupted after police fired warning shots to disperse the demonstration.
And in the northern city of Kirkuk, US occupation soldiers shot and killed one Iraqi overnight as he was walking in the street. A second was seriously wounded when a US convoy opened fire near a petrol station, said the Iraqi (USA) police.
In related news, one US soldier died when a convoy was struck by a roadside bomb north of Baghdad, said US military sources. Three more US soldiers were injured, two seriously, in an explosion in Saddam's hometown of Tikrit, about 160km north of Baghdad, they said.
Meanwhile, extreme doubts have arisen throughout Islam that the released pictures by US occupation forces of the "captured Saddam" are of the Iraqi leader. Thousands of Iraqis, who knew Saddam, are claiming that it is one of Saddam's many known "doubles". Saddam Hussein's oldest daughter told Al-Arabiya television network her family doubts the pictures are that of her father. In a phone interview, Raghad Hussein, 35, told the Arabic-language channel, "This is not our father"! She added, "This is not how he would act." Raghad Hussein has been granted political asylum by Jordan.
Other Arabs and Muslims throughout the world expressed similar claims. Muslims as far away as Sri Lanka expressed their doubts that the real Saddam Hussein has been captured. Abu Haniffa, the president of the Sri Lanka Traders' Association said, "Some of our people think the pictures could be part of a US ploy or Saddam's own strategy to create a double and flee attempts to capture him."
It has been known for years, by both the Iraqi people and intelligence agencies, that Saddam Hussein utilized at least 5 doubles to hide his whereabouts during his rule of Iraq. George Bush and US occupation forces, themselves, were "fooled" when they thought that they had "bombed" and killed Saddam Hussein in March of this year. After a massive missile attack and bombing of a building where Saddam Hussein was, according to US intelligence sources located, George Bush claimed the Iraqi leader was blown up. A few days later the Qatar based Aljazeera news service broadcast a video showing Saddam alive and well. This incident totally fooled and embarrassed the Bush Administration.
Falih Abdul Jabbar, a sociologist and researcher at London University in England, says the Iraqi public had long known Saddam employed look-alikes. He says the public had become adept at detecting which Saddam -- the real one or a stand-in -- came to official ceremonies.
Falih Abdul Jabbar said, "People noticed that when the other guy, or 'the second Saddam,' was there, they could detect this very easily by looking at the bodyguards, who seemed careless, sometimes even laughing. They wouldn't do that in the presence of the real Saddam."
He continued, "Another observation by the public was that Saddam was very well-known among the Iraqis to be a camera-monger. He loved the camera and to be in close-up shots. And they notice that when the other guy, his 'spare part,' was his replacemnet, the cameras would take faraway shots, rather than zoom in. They would then deduce this was not the real Saddam."
In an effort to learn more about Saddam's use of doubles, the German public television station ZDF asked a forensic specialist to make a scientific study of some 30 films of the Iraqi leader. The expert, Dieter Buhmann of the Institute of Forensic Medicine at Saarland University in Homburg/Saar, found that the pictures reveal there are as many as three Saddam doubles who regularly took Saddam's place.
Buhmann says he found the doubles by looking for pairs of pictures in which Saddam's pose was essentially the same. Using a computer graphic program, the scientist marked each picture to highlight such features as the length and width of the head, the size of the eyelids and nostrils, and the forms of the ears and chin. By then overlaying the two pictures, he was able to calculate how closely the features matched, indicating whether the person in the pictures was the same man or not.
La Voz de Aztlan has conducted an independent analysis of the many pictures of the real Saddam, his doubles, and of the one that US occupation forces say is that of the captured Iraqi leader. We invite you to see and conclude for yourselves whether the American public, and that of the world, is being scammed by the "mother of all hoaxes". See for yourselves and believe your own eyes! The analysis is below :
Analysis of Saddam Hussein's Real Pictures, his Doubles
and that of the Supposedly Captured Iraqi Leader
The above is the US occupation forces' just released photograph of who they claim is Saddam Hussein. Notice four "tell tale" details that raise serious questions concerning who this man really is. First, notice the dark birthmark just above and to the left of this man's left eye and especially its position and size. Secondly, notice his right side of his hairline. Thirdly, notice the shape of his chin. Furthly notice the size and shape of his left eye. Now compare these details to two pictures of the real Saddam below:
Do you believe these are the same men??? Now look at the three photographs of known Saddam Hussein's doubles below. The first Saddam Hussein even "fooled" Kofi Annan of the United Nations but look at this Saddam's refined nose and compare it to "bulbouse nose" of the captured Iraqi alleged to be the Saddam Hussein.
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