We owe the New York Post and Britain’s Sun for imparting to us rather more than we perhaps care to know about Saddam Hussein.
Both tabloids bannered full-page pictures of Saddam in his underwear – he’s a briefs guy – and other scenes of domestic dishabille around his cell. Frankly, he looks pretty good for 68, certainly a lot better than he did when U.S. forces pried him out of a hole underneath a farm shed where he had been in hiding. Prison life may be austere but he clearly doesn’t lack for hair dye.
The Post and the Sun said the photos, believed to be a year old, were provided by a U.S. military official. The Pentagon professed outrage and promised a full investigation and the incident indeed could be an egregious violation of U.S. military policy and Geneva Convention prohibitions against publicly humiliating prisoners.
The Iraqi dictator seems to have absorbed some American culture from his U.S. captors: His lawyers are threatening to sue the two publications.
The source who provided the photos told the Post and Sun that he did so in order to deflate the insurgents in Iraq.
The source reportedly said: “Maybe that will kill a bit of the passion in the fanatics who still follow him. It’s over guys. The evil days of Saddam’s Baath Party are never coming back – and here’s the proof.”
The official worry is that the Saddam photos, coupled with the Newsweek item about U.S. interrogators desecrating the Koran, will further turn world opinion against us. But that assumes there’s a body of undecided opinion out there waiting to choose sides based on who – the United States or the Islamic jihadis – acts the more outrageous.
The sides have long since been drawn up in this battle.
(Contact Dale McFeatters at McFeattersD(at)SHNS.com.