George Piro talked to 60 Minutes in this interview. Of course, everyone wants to know about WMDs, but it had some other neat facts in there also. Saddam, for instance, wrote poetry and also enjoyed cookies very much. If you’ve been following the issue, independent reports say that yes, Saddam had WMDs. After the first war in the gulf, about one third went to Syria for safe keeping, one third were destroyed by the US and the UN, and one third were “lost”. Looted. Simply vanished into the desert. There’s postulation they ended up in Russia, who probably would have gladly sold them back to Saddam.
Where things get interesting is when Saddam talks about his plans. He figured that he would have to put up with Clinton-era bombings (which he survived) and that would be that. He stated he hated George Bush (both of them) because they did more than Clinton. He said he had deep respect for Reagan for not resorting to arms to defeat the USSR. Saddam admitted that the WMDs were gone per the UN, but he said that in Arabic channels, he maintained that he hoodwinked the UN. This is important – Saddam said he took a calculated risk to misguide his enemies while complying with the UN. He wanted to be bombed, but not invaded. The question is why? The UN, he said, was powerful enough to wipe him off the map. If he complied with them by making the WMDs go away, which I took to mean sending some to Syria and letting the UN destroy the rest, he could stay in power. However, after the Iran-Iraq War, he knew he needed some kind of ace up his sleeve to prevent another war with Iran and also keep the various islamic tribes in line. To his own people, he lied and said he still had them. The real ace in the hole was that he stashed the equipment and kept the engineers on his payroll. After the bombings or sanctions, he said, he planned on rebuilding the program.
Another tidbit I found interesting, George Piro said that Saddam called Osama Bin Laden brutish and called him an extremist. Al Jazeera is reporting that Saddam called him an infidel. I’m not sure which is the proper translation. Saddam did not say he kept himself seperate from Al Quaeda, and this I think is significant, he merely had some very specific comments on Osama Bin Laden. I would be really curious to ask him for the moral justification between September 11th, and the gassing of the Kurish regions in Iraq, but we’ll never know. Saddam did call the Kurdish genocide “necessary”, but left it at that.