View Full Version : Report: Saddam's Morale Plummets

06-04-2005, 11:09 AM
Report: Saddam's morale plummets
U.S., Iraqi forces arrest key terror suspect


MSNBC News Services
Updated: 10:53 a.m. ET June 4, 2005

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Saddam Hussein’s morale has plummeted due to the gravity of the war crimes charges he faces, according to the judge trying him. U.S. and Iraqi forces arrested an Iraqi regarded as a top terror leader in northern Iraq.

The Iraqi man, known as Mullah Mahdi, was detained with his brother, three other Iraqis and a non-Iraqi Arab national, following a brief clash in eastern Mosul, said Iraqi army Maj. Gen. Khalil Ahmed al-Obeidi.

Al-Obeidi said the terror suspect was affiliated with the Ansar al-Sunnah Army, one of Iraq’s most feared terror groups, and links to the Syrian intelligence service.

“He was wanted for almost all car bombs, assassinations of high official, beheadings of Iraqi policemen and soldiers and for launching attacks against Multi-National Forces,” al-Obeidi said.

Saddam's faltering morale?
The judge in Saddam’s trial, Raid Juhi, told the London-based Asharq al-Awsat newspaper in an interview that the ousted president and some of the 11 other detained former regime figures are facing “12 cases” carrying punishments from life in jail to the death penalty.

“The ousted president has suffered a collapse in his morale because he understands the extent of the charges against him and because he’s certain that he will stand tribal before an impartial court,” Juhi was quoted as saying.

Saddam, who is being held in a U.S.-run detention facility in Baghdad, was captured in December 2003 and faces charges including killing rival politicians during his 30-year rule, gassing Kurds, invading Kuwait and suppressing Kurdish and Shiite uprisings in 1991.

No date has been set for the start of his trial, but Juhi said the former dictator was expected to face the tribunal within two months. Juhi said Saddam will be tried alone in some case and alongside other detainees in other cases.

Saddam’s lawyer, Khalil al-Duleimi, rejected Juhi’s comments, telling The Associated Press that his client was in high spirits and that he was not aware of the 12 cases the judge referred to.

“The last time I met Saddam was in late April and his spirits were very high,” al-Duleimi said.

Offensive on insurgents
Iraqi and U.S. soldiers also kept up their pressure against suspected insurgents south of Baghdad, with more than 800 troops, mainly Iraqis, cordoning off districts in Latifiyah, a city in an especially violent region dubbed the Triangle of Death.

The U.S. military believes insurgents behind almost daily deadly attacks in Baghdad use districts on its southern edge as staging areas.

“For two years I have been suffering from these terrorists, now it is my time,” Brig. Gen. Mohammed Essa Baher, an Iraqi army commander from the region whose two sons had been killed by insurgents, said on the eve of Saturday’s offensive.

Suicide bomber targets U.S. base
In Saddam's hometown of Tikrit, a suicide bomber blew up his vehicle at the entrance to a U.S. base, killing five Iraq soldiers and wounding seven, a police source told Reuters on Saturday.

The attack occurred Friday at the main gate to the base, which was once one of Saddam’s palaces, he said.

The base, which is the headquarters for U.S. military operations in the northern part of the Sunni triangle, has been attacked frequently in the past.

Police in Tikrit said they had also found a body Saturday of a man who had been blindfolded and shot in the head.

Sectarian tensions
Over the past six weeks, Iraqi security forces have found scores of people shot dead execution-style and dumped in Baghdad and other cities.

Most were Shiite Muslims but some were Sunnis, fuelling fears that growing sectarian tensions could push Iraq toward civil war.

Insurgents have stepped up attacks since a new Shiite-led government was announced in late April. Since then, more than 800 civilians, scores of Iraqi police and soldiers and more than 80 U.S. troops have died in violence.

In the past 18 months, 12,000 Iraqi civilians were killed, including more than 10,000 Shiites, Interior Minister Bayan Jabr said Friday, citing figures from a research center. But he said he analyzed the figures on the basis of areas where the victims lived, not data explicitly stating the branch of Islam to which they belong.

In other violence:

Gunmen on Friday killed a city council official in Kirkuk, a contractor renovating a mosque in Samarra and a man standing outside a Baghdad hospital, while several car bombs that targeted U.S. convoys in the capital wounded six civilians, authorities said.

Australia’s top Muslim cleric, who trying to secure the release of 63-year-old Australian hostage Douglas Wood, said he hoped to receive news of the captive’s imminent release. He did not elaborate.

On Thursday, 48 people were killed in Iraq — including more than 30 in four suicide bombings.

Also Thursday, Iraq's interior minister claimed the government offensive seeking to root out kidnappers and other militants in Baghdad had scored big gains, saying this week’s sweep by Iraqi soldiers and police, known as “Operation Lightning,” captured 700 suspected insurgents and killed 28 militants.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

06-04-2005, 11:10 AM
When I saw this article, I busted out laughing... I thought, "Who gives a shit about Saddam Hussein's morale"... Then it occurred to me. I've always said that they can never let Saddam testify because he has too much troubling information about the United States. This story seems to be the seed for what's to come... Saddam's suicide.

06-04-2005, 02:05 PM
I was thinking the same thing. He's in a lot better shape than the people he had as his prisoners.