Shortly after coalition forces captured Saddam Hussein in December 2003, he was interrogated by John Nixon, who was a senior leadership analyst with the CIA from 1998-2011. His detailed account of this interrogation is now available in his book titled “Debriefing the President: The Interrogation of Saddam Hussein.
In the book, Nixon describes Hussein as being out of touch with what was taking place within his own nation during the last years of his life. “When I interrogated Saddam,” Nixon told Time magazine, “he told me: ‘You are going to fail. You are going to find out that it is not so easy to govern Iraq.”
Nixon further pressed Saddam to understand exactly what he meant by the statement, and according to him, American’s would “fail in Iraq because Americans do not know the language, the history, and they do not understand the Arab mind.”
Years later, Saddam’s message takes on an entirely new meaning to the former CIA agent.
Nixon told reporters that in order to “maintain Iraq’s multi-ethnic state,” that he had to enforce a vision of a strong government leader such as Saddam. He went on to say that,
“Saddam’s leadership style and penchant for brutality were among the many faults of his regime, but he could be ruthlessly decisive when he felt his power base was threatened, and it is far from certain that his regime would have been overthrown by a movement of popular discontent.”
In Nixon’s interview with Time, he stated that Saddam had asserted that before he came to lead Iraq that “there was only bickering and arguing in Iraq. I ended all that and made people agree!” Of course, Nixon agrees that Saddam Hussein was in fact a dictator, and a brutal one at that. However, he was not on a mission to “blow up the world, as George W. Bush’s administration had claimed to justify the invasion.”
Many supporters of the war in Iraq continue to this day claiming that Iraq had the means and intention to destroy the world as we know it, yet they never acknowledge the true reason behind the war. With this new book now being published, it is presenting the world with two differentiating narratives, that could impact our policies both foreign and domestic. The book provides us with yet another insider account of how the U.S invasion on Iraq did more harm than good, but the media continues in its refusal to report on the truth of the matter.